After about a week of being home with my newborn baby, I already knew that I had ZERO desire to return to work at the end of my 12-week maternity leave.
The problem: we couldn’t afford for me to stay home without an income. Luckily, I found the most amazing work from home opportunity. And you don’t even have to be a teacher to do it.
Sure, I had my doubts that this would work. Could this actually be legit? I did my research, read testimonials, and jumped in,
I became a VIPKID Teacher.
I want to share this teaching opportunity with others, so you can stay home with your baby too.
Since November of 2016, I have been teaching English to students in China every morning and earning over $1200 per month. I work just 3 hours per day, Monday through Friday. I absolutely love that I get to stay home with N, and I love my students. This can be your reality too!
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1. Staying Home with My Baby. I wake up before the rest of the family, and get my teaching done before I would have usually even gotten out of bed. This means I have the entire day ahead of me to spend with N. Being a great mom is my number one priority. I get the best of both worlds, a way of making money that I love and being a stay at home mom. I don’t have to worry about childcare costs, coordination, and stresses.
2. Financial Contribution. Knowing that I am making a financial contribution to our household gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. It allows us to maintain more of our pre-baby lifestyle and live comfortably. Compared to other work from home opportunities, this one pays well! The range is $14-$22 per hour.
3. Sense of Fulfillment Outside of Being a Mom. There is nothing I love more than spending my days taking N to singing at the library and to local playgrounds. But I know I would miss the challenges and dynamics that come with earning money. VIPKID gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment in addition to the joys of being a mom.
4. Bonding Between Dad and Baby. Teaching in the early mornings means my husband typically gets N up, changed and fed. I never knew what a bond this would create between them! I started teaching when N was 8 weeks old. This time allowed my husband to become the expert on mornings with N. It boosted his parenting confidence and established a more equal share in parenting roles in our house. This was truly one of the most valuable and unexpected benefits of becoming a VIPKID teacher.
5. Flexibility. As a VIPKID teacher, I have complete control over my schedule. I decide what timeslots I want to teach each week, and how many. I can change my schedule week to week and month to month. I can even wait to open slots the day before if I feel uncertain about my availability long term by teaching short-notice bookings. The flexibility makes this job ideal for any mom.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, in ANY field, and at least 1 year of experience working with kids, you too can become a VIPKID teacher. You’ll be able to fulfill your dream of being a stay at home mom while still earning money with VIPKID.
This experience could be in teaching, tutoring, mentoring, or as a camp counselor. Even alternative education provided during babysitting or nannying can count.
What if I don’t have a degree or experience?
Then I highly recommend applying to Magic Ears! They do not require a degree, certificate or experience. They are another awesome company for people looking to earn money at home. They are a very similar platform for teaching English and provide all of the curriculum and training. Many friends of mine teach for VIPKID and Magic Ears. I’ve heard the hiring process is a bit shorter, so you may want to try both 😉
Magic Ears does not require a degree or any teaching experience. In their words, they want teachers who “love to smile, enjoy working with kids, and are fluent English speakers.” Create a free account today to learn more about working for Magic Ears.
1. Create an Account
2. Submit your Resume
3. Interview and Demo Lesson
4. Review Training Materials
5. Teach a Mock Class
6. Submit documents and background check
7. Start Teaching!
Like any other opportunity you apply for, it’s completely free. I feel the need to include that because so many people think this must be a scam. It’s not!
You have nothing to lose by applying. Why not see if you can earn money with VIPKID and be a stay at home mom?
All you have to do in the first step is provide an e-mail address and create a password.
2. Once you have an account, you’ll need to submit your resume.
This step is a screening on their end. They want to see that you have at least a bachelor’s degree and have 1 year of “teaching” experience.
Remember this can be formal experience or not.
It can be in the form of tutoring, mentoring, as a camp counselor, or other alternative education. Consider babysitting, homeschooling, or any other instructing or volunteering with children you have done.
Get creative! They just want to ensure you know how to interact with kids.
3. Complete an Interview and Demo Lesson
This is completed 1:1 on the VIPKID portal. This is your time to wow and shine! See tips below on how to rock your interview and demo lesson.
Know that they provide the short lesson you need to teach ahead of time. You will have plenty of time to prepare the perfect lesson.
There is also an option to record a 30-minute lesson which might be a better fit for some folks.
4. VIPKID Training materials
If you made it to this stage, things are looking good!
Watch, study and learn the training materials. They provide tons of reading and videos to help you learn the VIPKID platform and curriculum.
You’ll also learn basics of teaching ESL and education in general. They want to help you succeed and they know you may not have formal training in education.
Utilize the internet to help prepare for your Mock lessons. There are so many excellent VIPKID teachers on YouTube who give specific advice about teaching the mock classes.
Watching how others do it will set you up for success.
5. Teach Mock Class(es)
You’ll have the opportunity to teach one, two, or in some cases, three Mock Classes. Your scores on each influence how many you’ll need to teach before a final decision is made.
You’ll be teaching a full-length lesson (25 minutes) to a current VIPKID teacher pretending to be a student.
6. Sign Your Contract, Upload Documents, Complete Background Check
Once you are offered the job, you’ll need to submit some documents. They’ll want proof of your 4-year degree and a scan of your ID (passport or driver’s license). You will also complete a background check.
Next, you’ll set up your profile on VIPKID so that parents can view and book classes with you.
You’ll also need to provide banking information and complete a tax form.
7. Start teaching and earning money!
I’m going to share my experience teaching for VIPKID with you and give you all the tips, tricks and info you need to get hired.
I want to spread the word about this teaching opportunity to as many moms as a I can. Without VIPKID, being a stay at home mom would have been impossible for me.
You can stay home with your baby AND make money, just like me.
For me, having the opportunity to stay home with my kids in their years before starting school has always felt important. I always wanted to be their most present teacher and influencer in life. I just never thought that this was possible in our situation.
I scoured the internet for a solution. There had to be a way to do both. An opportunity where I could earn money while still getting to be home with my baby.
Some other options I found were in fact scams or didn’t pay well. Some provided no sense of fulfillment or were just down right boring. Others would have never fit the schedule and needs of my family.
VIPKID has grown so much since I joined in 2016. They are professional and supportive, always pay on time and in the correct amount.
My information is safe and secure, and most of all I love my students and the hours.
Because I am teaching students in China, the time difference means that peak teaching hours occur in the very early morning. They also occur on Friday and Saturday nights.
This couldn’t be more perfect as a mom! It means that I can make money while my daughter sleeps, and be ready to “mom” all day while she is awake. See more details about my specific schedule below.
During Daylight Savings Time (Mid-October to Mid-March)
Non-Daylight Savings Time (Mid-March to Mid-October)
Compared to other work from home opportunities, this one pays really well. I am able to make over $1200 dollars per month working only 3 hours per day, Monday to Friday. The base pay range is $14-$22 per hour.
On months when we know there are more expenses, I can easily add weekend morning and evening hours to boost my earnings.
It is possible to make up to $2000 per month by teaching 3 hours every day.
VIPKID provides all of the curriculum which means your prep time is minimal. There is no lesson planning involved. See more details about this below.
I’ll be honest. When I decided to become a VIPKID teacher, it was to make money. What I didn’t realize was what an incredible bond I would form with my students who live across the globe. I have formed meaningful relationships with these kids.
I’ve been “served” mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and I’ve “sat” in on family reunions, being introduced to generations of my student’s family members. I’ve taught back stage at ballet recitals and been given private piano and violin concerts. My students have shared their gorgeous paintings and calligraphy. Their talents amaze me!
I know their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and pets. They know (and love) my family as well. They ask to see my dogs and ask me about N and how she’s doing. What words is she saying, where is she? I show them pictures from my life and teach them about my culture here.
I’ve learned so much about their cultures and lives. I never knew the bond that was possible through the power of the internet. It is truly amazing.
I live on the east coast, which means peak teaching times for me are from roughly 5-10am every day, and Friday and Saturday evenings, depending on the time of the year.
I teach on weekday mornings. Monday to Friday I teach from 5 to 8:30am.
I eased into it. That’s the beauty of this job. There is no minimum hour requirement. You can open your schedule as much or as little as you want.
In the beginning, I would teach for only an hour at a time. My baby was only 2 months old when I started, and I never knew if she would need to nurse. As a family, we built up to me doing a 3.5 hour chunk every morning.
One of the best parts is that N and my husband Patrick have really bonded because of their mornings together.
It starts with having a programmable coffee maker that I set each evening. 😊 I wake up around 4:20, where there is always coffee waiting for me. I sip on my first cup of coffee, get our dogs settled, and boot-up my computer.
I get my desk organized and ready to go for the day’s lessons. I start teaching right at 5am. Each class lasts 25 minutes, leaving a 5-minute break between classes to stretch, use the bathroom, or re-fill my water.
I quickly fell into a routine and getting up truly doesn’t feel like a chore any more.
Each class lasts 25 minutes and is taught to one student on VIPKID’s teaching portal. You are in a live video chat and can also both see and interact with the lesson slides.
VIPKID provides the lesson for every single booking you have. You have access to this lesson up to a week before you teach the class. This means, that all you need to do is glance through the slides at some point before you teach.
Every single slide has “teacher directions” at the bottom that tells you what the goal is of the given slide and an idea of how to teach it. The beauty is that you can do exactly what it says, or you can breathe your own life into it, as long as you are meeting the objective of the slide.
You’ll find that after teaching for a few weeks or months, that the lessons and units all follow a similar format, so teaching becomes second nature and your prep time becomes almost non-existent.
There is no way for the parents to directly reach or contact you. None of your time will be spent answering parent questions or complaints.
If you have ever been a teacher, you’ll already know how amazing this is.
If you aren’t coming from a teaching background (which is completely fine!), trust me, this is a can of worms you will be grateful is closed.
Just another perk about this opportunity that really sets it apart from other work from home gigs is the supportive community that exists.
The VIPKID portal has their own community page filled with discussion boards. They keep it active and fun with daily questions, games, and tasks. There’s also a lot of resourceful discussions about teaching certain lessons, units, and types of students. Participation is completely optional, but in the beginning, it is an excellent way to connect with and learn from other teachers.
VIPKID has been so successful in creating an incredible company because above all, they care about and support their teachers. Any time you have a questions or problem, they guarantee a personalized response from their support team within 24 hours. They also offer live tech support during all classes should you encounter any problems.
Another benefit of teaching with VIPKID is that they offer free professional development workshops to all teachers. These are done in a video conference style. Each week they publish a workshop schedule and you can attend as many as you want to better your teaching skills. Again, participation is 100% optional, but it’s a great way to improve your practice while connecting with the community.
Lastly, there are a number of very active VIPKID Facebook groups that are screened for current teachers only. I bring this up, because more than any other avenue, this is the one where I learned the most as a new teacher. It speaks to the quality and passion of the other teachers you are represented among.
These people love what they do, just like me, and it shows in their positive attitude and willingness to help others in these Facebook groups.
I personally belong to the VIPKID Mom group on Facebook and find myself turning there constantly for support and general comradery.
I have learned so many tips and tricks from these fabulous ladies. It is a really positive and supportive mom group. Any question you have as a new teacher will be quickly and thoroughly answered.
Once that’s done, you can get to work on creating a resume that highlights relevant experience, as discussed above. Remember, you don’t need formal teaching experience. Any tutoring, mentoring, camp counseling, alternative teaching or possibly even babysitting you did could count.
Next, VIPKID will screen your resume, and contact you to setup your in-person interview. This is completed on their portal using the account you created.
During the interview you will be asked to talk about your personal education and ‘teaching experience’.
1. Prepare to Promote Yourself
2. Prepare Your Space and Props
3. Practice the Demo Lesson
4. Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Perfection
5. Be Yourself
Play up the experience you highlighted on your resume and let them know why it translates to teaching with them. Emphasize how you directly worked with, related to, and taught children in fun and engaging ways.
When you were a babysitter, what did the kids learn from you? What did you support them with? Did you do regular homework help or attend activities with them? How about craft projects that required teaching from you.
As a camp counselor, talk about any skills you taught the campers. Did you instruct soccer or arts and crafts. Did you teach the kids confidence and independence? When were you successful in connecting with the kids? Were you able to get on their level, relate to their interests and hobbies?
If you were a tutor, what was the age range? What were you teaching them? What results did you see? How did you encourage and motivate them? What did you do that made the tutoring sessions fun and interesting? Did the child look forward to their weekly meeting with you?
Maybe you gave lessons in sports, music, dance, or any other skill.
Be ready to talk up how good you are at connecting with kids and making learning fun and engaging for them.
They want to see that you’re serious about this opportunity and with a little effort you can convey this in a big way.
Set-up a teaching space to send the message that you are serious about getting hired. You don’t need to spend any money to do this effectively if you get creative.
Blank Wall with Your Name Poster On It
Find a place in your home where you can have a blank wall behind you during your interview. On that wall, put up a poster, or at least a sign with “Teacher (your name)”
You can prepare this with blank paper and some colorful markers. It sends them the message that you are completely ready to teach for them.
Make sure you have a bright light shining on your face during the interview as well. Lighting is key. You can achieve this by placing lamps on either side of your computer, or if you have a lamp with a movable arm, place it behind the computer and shine it in your face.
Enduring the bright light will made a difference in how professional you come across during your interview, don’t skip this.
At the interview stage, don’t go out and spend money on and invest in a headset if you don’t already have one. But, during the interview it is necessary to use a headset. You probably already have one. Even a set of ear buds with a microphone on the wire will do. If you have a more traditional headset, then that is even better.
Why is a Headset important?
There is a small transmission delay in the portal that is only noticeable if you’re not using headphones. You will hear the sound of your own voice coming out of their speaker if they are not wearing a headset, and vice versa. Luckily, they will be, and you should too.
It will be very distracting on their end if you are not wearing a head set because they will hear their own voice coming out of your speakers. You don’t want any unnecessary distractions during your interview and demo.
Again, you probably don’t need to spend any money to achieve this. Your interviewer will want to see that you took time to prepare for the lesson by using a few props.
A stuffed animal or puppet to model repeating, or question and answers is perfect. Additionally, a flashcard with any letters or feelings you need to teach is great. You can create these on your computer and print them, or just use markers and blank paper.
I also often use a pen as a microphone to encourage repeating and I made a paper “magnifying glass” that I use to indicate that I want them to look for and circle something on the screen.
This is the most important thing on the list. DO NOT WING IT!
You will have access to the slides ahead of time, so you should practice, practice, and practice again. Think about exactly what you will say on each slide.
Where can you incorporate your props and LOTS of hand gestures?
Let your personality shine through.
Smile through the ENTIRE lesson.
They want to see that you have a positive personality and took the time to seriously prepare. They already know you might not have formal experience in teaching, and for that reason they don’t expect this to be perfect. After this step, you are given access to a wealth of training materials
They want to see your personality and why YOU will be a valuable member of their teaching team. Every student is unique, and they need teachers who can relate to all kinds of learners.
If you are bubbly, bright and naturally funny- be it. But if you are more soft-spoken, kind and good at building confidence- do that. Play to your own strengths in personality and make sure those shine through.
Focus on being positive and engaging in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
Don’t be something you’re not because it won’t come across as well. There is a student who needs you exactly how you are and your interviewer knows that.
When you’ve made it to the mock classes, it is time to really prepare. At this point, you will have accessed and watched a variety of training materials and videos that VIPKID has provided.
For the mock class, you will be teaching a full-length lesson to a current VIPKID teacher mentor. You will have access to the lesson ahead of time to thoroughly prepare.
The mock class mentor will have you teach half of the class and then provide feedback.
The most important part of the mock class is that you immediately implement whatever specific feedback they provided in the second half of the lesson. They are looking to see your ability to adapt, think on your feet and learn from constructive criticism.
Just like you prepared for the demo, be sure to have a teaching space and props ready to go.
Use YouTube! There are so many wonderful channels out there with specific and detailed advice showing exactly how to teach these Mock classes well.
Are you excited about becoming a VIPKID teacher and getting to stay home with your baby or what?! Hopefully not what 😊 I’m so pumped for you.
You are going to make dream of stay home with your baby a reality, while still earning money and having a sense of fulfillment apart from being a mom.
You’ll have your days available to be an amazing mom, while still maintaining your own professional goals and achievements. What could be better?
Take the plunge and set up your account right now. It takes minutes and if you wait, you may have missed an amazing chance. What’s the worst that can happen? You have everything to gain.
I know this was a lot to digest. But the first step really is just setting up your account. Then you can take your time completing the rest. Pin this article and come back to it as resource for every step along the way.
Don’t hesitate to comment below with any specific questions about becoming a VIPKID Teacher or the process. I am so thrilled to be sharing this fabulous opportunity with you.