Matilda Woods is a somewhat uptight free spirit who makes her way in the world with the help of online English teaching platforms.
What Is VIPKID?
Okay, I know that saying VIPKID changed my life is pretty extreme, but it is a true one. So, let me tell you how I started working for an online English teaching company.
But first, what exactly is VIPKID?
VIPKID is a Chinese company that hires North American tutors to teach their 4- to 14-year-old students in a one-on-one online setting.
What do teachers tend to like about the company?
- The pay: VIPKID pays between 14$ and 22$US per hour which is at the top end of online English teaching companies.
- The hours: While teachers need to teach on Beijing Standard Time, they can CHOOSE THEIR OWN HOURS! Even more importantly, in my opinion, is the fact that VIPKID does not require a minimum amount of hours. For me, this is essential since sometimes, I am away from WIFI and cannot teach at all.
- The teaching environment: One-on-one with lesson plans provided. What more do I need to say?
So, how did I start working for VIPKID? Keep reading to find out.
My intention throughout University was always to teach English abroad as a way of travelling the world as a recent grad weighed down with student debt, but I think I must have always known that the traditional ESL jobs were not for me because I kept putting it off for years.
What was stopping me? Well, partially I think it was just normal trepidation about signing a contract and moving to an entirely new country, but more than, it was the job I already had (and have).
I work seasonally at a job I love, a job I am attached to, a job that has a season which runs just past when most school years around the work begin. For years, I went back and forth with the knowledge that my lifestyle was not sustainable. I didn't want to leave my job, but I struggled with what to do the rest of the year and with the idea that I would soon have to find a real job. So, finallly, I made the leap.
I said goodbye to my friends and coworkers, moved to the Czech Republic, and found a teaching position which I loved. The problem? I wasn't making very much money. I struggled through most of the school year worrying about how I was going to make ends meet until, one day, something serendipitous happened: I heard about VIPKID.
Let me tell you, eavesdropping has never come in so handy in my life.
What did I overhear? Actually, I overheard someone talking smack about my job. From across the room, I heard a girl telling her friend about how terrible and pointless teaching English was. Ready to be extremely offended, I focused in, but next she said the phrase that would change my life, "except for VIPKID."
For some reason, this stuck with me and as soon as I got home, I Googled it.
Surprise! VIPKID was exactly what I needed, a job I could do from home around my teaching schedule. I applied right there on the spot and after a rather lengthy interview process, I got the job!
I started with just a couple of classes each weekend, but as the weeks rolled on, I was picking up more and more classes. I thought this was just going to be a way to supplement my income, but it quickly dawned on me that this side gig was actually what I had been looking for all along!
What Does My Life Look Like Now?
The biggest difference in my life since I started working for VIPKID is the freedom it has afforded me.
I went back to my beloved seasonal job and have been there every summer since.
In the winters? Well, I go wherever I want, take time off whenever I want, and I teach some of the sweetest kids in the world.
So, You Want to Work for VIPKID
VIPKID has given me the opportunity to live the life I always wanted.
I realize that this lifestyle isn't for everyone, but if you have travel ambitions or have every thought about living the digital nomad life, I highly recommend VIPKID.
If you want to apply, here's what you need:
- English must be your native language
- You must be eligible to work in Canada or the USA
- You must have a Bachelor's Degree
- You must have one year's experience working with children
- You must have a stable internet connection and a quiet place to work
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Matilda Woods
Matilda Woods (author) from Toronto on October 05, 2019:
Hey Hat, sorry to hear that! Honestly, I'm not surprised at all that people are being put off by their manner, it's very different from any American or Canadian company I have worked for!
I didn't find the hiring experience particularly pleasant either, but for me, it has been so worth it :D
Hat Whit from North East USA on October 05, 2019:
Sounds like you've had a good experience. I looked into VIPKID last summer, but backed out after reviewing the interview information. I was just about to move and I realized I'd need to prepare and be settled in my new place. For the next 3 months (until I moved away from my old phone number) I was bombarded with phone calls from them, many of which were in such broken English I could barely understand them.
I am settled now and could probably go that way, but, honestly, I was a bit put off by it all.
Matilda Woods (author) from Toronto on October 03, 2019:
I absolutely agree! Hopefully, it was just an error somewhere and not policy!
Tori Leumas on October 02, 2019:
I think that it would be in their best interest if they actually email people back, even if it's a rejection email to explain why the person was rejected. Just not emailing at all is very poor communication and can cause for some bad reviews. I haven't given any bad reviews, and won't, but other people wouldn't hesitate to say stuff about the immense error of communication and respect for people's time.
Matilda Woods (author) from Toronto on October 02, 2019:
Hey Tori, sorry to hear that :(
In all honesty, they are notoriously picky and the application process is not easy to get through, but I do encourage you to try again. A lot of people find that knowing what's coming helps the second time around.
I also have an article coming with tips for getting hired.
One more thing, if you are still interested in online ESL, you can also check out Magic Ears, QKids, or SayABC; they are all similar companies :D
Best of luck, Tori!
Tori Leumas on October 02, 2019:
I tried out for VIPKID a few months ago. I went through the interview, gave my demo lesson, and when the interview was over, the lady said that I did pretty good. But, I never heard back from them again. I never got an email saying if I made it into the program or not. It was rather disappointing.