VIPKID Reviews – Reviews of their Online English Teaching Offer
I’ve see a lot of teaching ads from VPKID online learning lately, so thought I’d share what I’ve learned about them so far (the good and the bad)…
Online teaching is becoming more and more popular these days and instructors are seeing their hourly rates inch up as more qualified teachers enter this space, due to higher learning budgets from a growing base of affluent Chinese students.
VIPKID claims to offer an online American elementary school experience to Chinese children between the ages of 5-12 years old. Not sure if they’re expanding to other Asian countries, but China is a pretty big market at that!
Here’s their job description with the schedule pay structure, etc.
They have physical offices in Beijing,Taipei Toronto, Chicago, Greenville, South Carolina and Arlington, Virginia. There could be more, but these are the locations I’ve heard of.
They claim to have a silicon valley work culture. I’ll assume this means fun, challenging work with (stock options) but undoubtedly…. very long work hours and managers with high expectations.
I’ve read that some people enjoy working there – especially stay at home moms. No commute, can get the kids off to school and so forth.
Comments I’ve heard from teachers about the VIPKID interview process are…. “intense”, “comprehensive” and “professional”…
Other teachers have said the interviewer was “rude”, “proceed with caution” “they are full of themselves”.
I’ve also heard people complaining about them because they ask for a bank account or piece of personal ID.
Having said this… a bit about the application process:
You’ll apply online, then a recruiter emails you with a link to take a short test and watch some videos online. Then they schedule you for an online face to face interview with their Beijing office. They want to see if you’re presentable, friendly and would make a good ESL instructor.
They’ll chat with you for a bit and then you’ll be asked to teach a trial lesson based on the material you’ve read. So, no surprises!
The interviewer will role play a young learner and you’ll be the teacher.
After the interview… I’ve heard it takes anywhere from 5 days to three weeks before they tell you if you’re hired.
They seem to take hiring seriously unlike a lot of other online language schools and know who they’re looking for. This is rare in the ESL teaching market.
Some teachers are even asked to do 2-3 demo classes (unheard of in the industry). I guess, it’s to determine if the teacher is a good fit or not. Regardless, if they hire you, they’ll pay you for the demo classes. Seems fair enough!
Interview questions vary from the general to the specific such as:
Where are you from?
Have you worked as an ESL teacher before. If so where?
Where do you like to travel?
Have you taught children?
Do you have a degree?
Other interviewers just made small talk and then asked the applicant to jump into a trial lesson and then provided the teacher with constructive criticism.
So, it appears that if you’re interviewing with VIPKID, be prepared to do some home, work, present yourself well during your demo class, expect to do more than one trial class, and be able to accept feedback and be patient until you hear back.
I’ve read on their website that they expect a 6 month commitment and will give teachers about 15 teaching hours per week. Pay is between $14-$18 US per hour…
Like any language school, there are good and bad things on the Internet about VIPKID, but it seems mostly good.
What I will say positive about VIPKID (even though I’ve never interviewed there) is that they do monitor posts about their company and are quick to engage and understand the “why” behind any bad reviews.
This shows they care about the experiences of applicants and teachers as well as their employer brand.
If anyone learns more about VPKID please leave a reply below. I’ll add them to this ongoing post.