Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Since I quit my teaching job, I wanted to continue working as a teacher and started to teach with VIPKID (and Qkids). It’s been so much fun! I’ve been on the platform for two months and have had the chance to see what it’s like to be a new teacher.
Honestly, it’s a bit rough! People talk about their success on the platform and when I first started I was getting almost zero bookings. Okay, I had two the first week… but that feels like zero. As an online English teacher without experience, it was hard! But, this didn’t last long and soon I was able to get more bookings on VIPKid.
I wanted to be more successful/get more bookings on VIPkid, so I started to research some strategies. I tried everything I could find and ended my first month with 35 bookings.
In August (my second month), I completed 103 classes putting my income at $1200. I went from $350 in my first month to over $1200 the next month. Not bad for a side hustle. I figured out some ways for how new teachers can get more bookings on VIPKid and I’m happy to share.
P.S. If you are new to VIPKID and haven’t applied yet, I am happy to help you beyond this article if you want to be hired! Let’s hop on a call, I can give you tips or offer up advice. This post is targeted for those who are already on the platform. Here is a link for my referral if you want to check it out and get started. Send me an email if you have questions! I can’t wait for you to start teaching.
A TESOL certification is going to be so helpful when teaching with VIPKid now. I got mine through International Open Academy for just $19!
Please note that there were some recent regulations passed in China and laws have changed. Under the new private tutoring regulations, online lessons are limited to 30-minute sessions; there is a tutoring curfew of 9 p.m; and instruction is prohibited during weekends, holidays and school breaks. Companies that offer private instruction in core subjects will have to register as nonprofits and will no longer be able to raise investment capital through IPOs or advertise their programs. While VIPKid is still in business and hiring, things are changing daily.
Looking for more remote work? I’ve got a step by step guide to helping you land a remote job, even if it’s not teaching.
Part 1: Create a great backdrop and set up
Backdrop and set up make a difference if you want to get more bookings on VIPKid! Not only does it make you seem more professional to parents, it also gives you a feeling of confidence and preparedness for class. You want to go into each class feeling ready and providing the best to students, this is an easy way to do that.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy! You can use a map or simple posters from the Dollar Tree. I bought all of the items on my backdrop from there with the exception of the tri-fold (from Target). I then purchased a headset so students could easily hear me and a mouse so it would be easy to click around on the platform.
I also bought some reusable stickers and felt pieces to use as props as well as rewards. I also have a white board, some little thought bubbles, and physical props that I found around the house.
I use the trifold because I don’t want the set up around my house all the time! I have it set on top of two 3M hooks in the corner at my dining table. When I’m done teaching, I simply put it away into a closet and the space looks totally different! It also makes working from home more manageable and it feels like I am in a different space than home.
Here are a few things I use in my classroom:
Part 2: Open as many time slots as you can
My first month of teaching, I opened literally every time slot where I was home. Yes, that means over nights. I swear though this is the reason that I will made $1200 in my second month!
It’s not convenient to teach over night. I would set my alarm for 1:15, 2:45, 3:45, and again for 6:15. It was not convenient BUT after two weeks of this, I built up regulars, I have lots of good reviews, and am getting priority booking requests. Now I can close my schedule and get booked every time during the prime hours I want (6:30 am – 9:00 am)
If you can open up over night bookings, there is far less competition for you! Few people are willing to teach overnight and so your new profile will show up higher in results. It really worked for me and I’m sure it can work for you too.
Part 3: Getting great reviews
One of the ways you can get more bookings is by getting great reviews from parents. Parents do not often leave feedback so you’ve got to make sure that your class is fun and you are really working to teach the content. Here are a few things parents have said in reviews that they are looking for:
proactively giving feedback when errors are made (correct student errors quickly and positively so they fix it and try again)
actively encouraging students (I give lots of smiles, thumbs up, good job, and a reward every 5 minutes)
appropriate extension (ask extra questions and get to know student by asking personal questions – have you ever __ before?)
ample output from students (students should do the majority of the talking!)
Part 4: Take extra certification courses
I saw this piece of advice and I’m so glad that I took it! Here is what I mean… A lot of people only get certified for one of the levels on VIPKID. This is fine, but I have found that most people start with the 2/3 certification. Of all of the 65 bookings I’ve gotten, only 6 have been level 2 or 3. That is such a small number! That tells me there’s a higher need and I’m glad I went for both.
I have now been certified in both l and the supplementary “Free Talk” course. They were really easy and only required a quiz in order to become certified. Keep an eye out for when these openings are and get certified!
The other thing to consider is going for more advanced TESOL certifications. VIPKID only requires you to take their basic course. However, there are options for more and it looks great to have extra certifications on your profile! I took the time that I didn’t have bookings (but was hoping to get them) and used it to get extra certifications. I purchased a TESOL course for only $19 through IOA and am now TESOL certified!
I definitely think this helps boost your profile and makes you more qualified. Parents are able to see your certifications on your profile and it does make you look better!
Part 5: Use the 24hr Short Notice Feature
This is one that can also be helpful, but you have to be vigilant with it. VIPKID has a feature for short notice bookings in their system which can be great for last minute bookings. You also make $2 extra when this type of class is booked!
It’s beneficial because regular bookings close 24 hours before class begins. You can still have someone book that time slot if it is open if you switch to short notice with that 24hrs. Plus that extra money!
You have to pay attention because someone can book you up to an hour before class. If you leave this feature on, you want to have the app downloaded on your phone or be at your computer because if you miss a class, you could be penalized. It’s worth it though!
Part 6: Be proactive about asking for another class
The more reviews you have, the better your profile looks! If you have finished a class and you know it went well, don’t be afraid to ask the parents to book you again! After each class you leave a comment for the parents and student about the lesson. It is easy to add this line in at the end, ‘Thank you for choosing my class. I hope to see you in class again soon! – Teacher Meghan”
Some people recommend asking for parents to give you feedback as well. I haven’t tried this. I have heard from some that it is considered rude to ask for feedback and so I don’t want to risk it! It’s not against cultural norms to say you’d like to see their child again because you enjoyed the class. This still let’s the parents know that you hope to hear from them and can lead to more bookings!
Part 7: Be active in the community!
I think that people forget how important it is to connect with others – even if the job is from home if you want more bookings on VIPKid. Things are always changing and one of the best ways to stay updated is through connecting with other teachers. VIPKid is active on social media and there are tons of Facebook groups out there that you can join. VIPkid also has an area on their app/site called the Hutong where you can learn more about the latest updates, share ideas, and learn about meet ups. It’s how I already got a t-shirt and Dino!
You’ll also learn a ton of the community and it’s honestly a wonderful resource for when you are just starting out and want to learn teacher tips and how people make it all work!
Part 8: Make your profile stand out
If you want parents to be interested in your profile, use high quality photos that showcase who you really are (above is my main profile picture). Parents want to know you are qualified and that you will give their child a fun, high quality lesson. I have found that most of my reviews, and students who book me again, like that I am not very “cutesy” they are looking for a little more serious teacher. That is definitely my personal style! If you are a more fun, silly teacher, then showcase this and attract that type of student.
For your bio and video, keep the language fairly simple so that when it is translated, it does not get misinterpreted. If you want to get more bookings on VIPKid you have to tailor your profile to the parents. I would also suggest looking at Google Translate and using it to translate your bio intro Chinese and back to English to make sure it translates as you wanted.
My bio is below:
Hello! I’m Meghan and I am an elementary teacher in Washington DC. I’m excited to be teaching on VIP Kid as well. I have been teaching in classrooms for 8 years and have experience teaching in both China and Zambia! I went to Johns Hopkins University for my Masters in Elementary Education and have taught English Language Learners throughout my teaching career. I love making my classroom a place where students can learn, smile, and be expressive. When I’m not teaching, I am with my dog and cat who love lounging around the house. I also love to travel and have been all over the world traveling and teaching!
These are the tips I have for new teachers who want to know how to get more bookings on VIPKid. Good luck and if you’re looking for some help, I’m here – send me a message!
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