This is almost identical to my experience--right down to the PhD and experience teaching international students. Their emails kept telling me to schedule Mock Class 2 and I had already completed it successfully.
I have read through many of the responses in this thread and wanted to give some highlights from my experience that truly talks about the good, the bad, and the horribly bad.
I have been with VIPKID for 7 months and signed my first contract in April of this year. The interview process was the standard, interview/trial class, mock 1, and mock 2. I had about a year's worth of TEFL experience as well as a TEFL certification. For the interview I watched a ton of youtube videos of what to do and what not to do in your trial and mock. I wore an orange shirt and purchased some cheap props from the dollar store. This was unlike any interview process I'd ever been through. Their standards for preparedness is almost ridiculously high. Luckily, I did not have any horrible experiences expressed by others in this thread. My trial was done by someone in a call center. While this was distracting, a youtube that I watched and a blog that read gave me a head's up that this is probably how the first interview would go. My mock 1 and mock 2 proctors gave consistent feedback and I followed up with emails. Based on the below comments, many of you are super qualified and I am surprised that you did not get hired.
Here comes the bad. After getting hired in April, I received 1 booking about two weeks out. After that class, I received 2 more classes about a week out from the first. I forgot to check my schedule and was a no-show for my 2nd class. Not a good way to start! What happens when you're a no-show you ask? Well parents are able to scroll through pictures of teachers and "Favorite" the profiles that they like this most. (This is how you get followers) When you're a new teacher, your profile appears close to the top of the list to help you get booking and followers. I believe the freshdesk/sales team also helps you get bookings in the beginning to get the ball rolling. WHEN YOU ARE A NO-SHOW, EVEN IF YOU ARE NEW, your profile drops from the top of the profile list and goes somewhere near the bottom. So a mental picture for those who've read this far, I had 0 followers and my profile was essentially at the bottom of the list. After a certain amount of time, they either reorganize the list or the no-show doesn't affect your placement anymore and your profile goes back up. Due to my no-show early-on, I did not get booked for classes the entirely of May and June. I got like 2 classes in July. My bookings did not start to pick back up until the start of the school year in August/ September. I contacted Fresh desk several times and basically got an empty response and advice to take workshops and level certifications. During this time, I got certified to teach level 1 and 5...all while getting no bookings.
Now for the horrible. NO ONE is lying when they say that VIPKID's cancellation policy is unreasonably strict. While they try to make it seem like they are flexible for emergencies, they are not. If you ever have an emergency situation, you literally have to mentally calm yourself and contact a fireman or Fresh desk immediately to let them know that you will need to cancel classes. Two weeks ago, I had a serious medical emergency. I was in and out of the emergency room and doctor's offices. I'm sorry but my first thought while I was in the hospital was not "Oh, I better contact VIPKID to let them know that I'm in the hospital". Long story short, I had to cancel over 8 classes that week and had several teacher 2h no shows, because you're not really able to cancel classes in advance for medical reasons because you need a doctor's note to go along with your cancellation. I ended up having to send them all of my emergency room discharge paperwork, all of the doctor's notes from my many appointments, the procedure receipts that I was able to get, and proof of payment for the procedures. All in all, completely outrageous. So far, I have no been let go and have continued getting bookings but I will have to argue to change my finish types for this month so that they don't hurt my record.
While, I didn't go into the specific curriculum, I can say that some students receive it well while others need something much much more interactive. All in all VIPKID is a company where you apparently have to take the good with the horribly bad. Eventually, you get regular students and you honestly just want to stay with the company to continue teaching them. I don't intend on leaving the company but after my emergency situation, I do regard it with an appropriate amount of skepticism.
What you rightly describe for VIPKid is unfortunately all too common not only for online businesses like that one but also applies to many privately-run "schools" or training centers in ESL across the world.
Tax evasion and employing people illegally is a heavy crime. It can lead to a modern form of slave trafficking in that industry and has already happened more than once. It's also wrong not to stand up against such businesses and to fail to report them to the competent authorities. I have done that several times, which I felt was my duty as a law-abiding citizen. I could, of course, be wrong in one or the other individual case. If so, it would be only the competent authorities to investigate the matter and to decide on the latter the question. I see nothing wrong in this, and the "criticism of betrayal" that I may earn on a board like this doesn't impress me in the slightest way. Criminals or potential criminals in this respect MUST be reported; what will be the result of the investigation by the competent authorities is another matter and not my problem.
Trusting someone or a business is nice, and but when it comes to business in a highly unregulated industry like ESL, then control - strict control! - is much better to keep away the parasites of society who rely on criminal things like tax evasion in their dirty business practices. These businesses have no right to exist in the first place. ViPkid as a shitty online business has no such right either.
It's good that you report them!
VIPKID is a criminal organization. The primary focus of their business is the violation of labor law, evasion of taxation and obstruction of justice.
VIPKID is a criminal organization. The primary focus of their business is the violation of labor law, evasion of taxation and obstruction of justice. -- vipkidunion.com
I have to start with what I noticed first in your feedback in regards to your experience with VIPKIDS introductory process for aspiring applicants. Respectfully, I have to say, your grammar in the above feedback is not good. Perhaps, starting sentences with proper English grammar would have trumped everything else. It is true that the journey to teaching with VIPKIDS can be a challenging process. However, there are so many applicants! Reflecting one's self with clear grammatical errors can be detrimental to those who are new at learning English. I commend you for being honest and open about your experience, as it is different for everyone. I have a belief that, "Wherever you go, there you are." (Thank you Dr. Seuss). None of us are perfect; but teaching English as a second language to a child in another country is much different from someone who may be a 'native' English speaker. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I guess you did not even speak to a real person but to one the sex robots they use. You should forgive these machines for being unable to speak proper English.
"I thought it was strange that the interviewer was an immigrant who did not speak proper English. His grammar was terrible and he used slang. Really? What kind of an example is that for the standards of teaching English? "
I thought it was strange that the interviewer was an immigrant who did not speak proper English. His grammar was terrible and he used slang. Really? What kind of an example is that for the standards of teaching English?
I am a retired teacher and sailed through the initial interview. Given that I could see the background office of the interviewer (it looks like a call center), his superlative praises of my performance, and his lack of proper English, gives me the eerie feeling that he is being paid to recruit. I am a teacher, not an actress. I've decided to give them a miss.
I agree in principle with regard to Chinese online schools. As for that bit of lying, you might want to add "Chinese business culture". Chinese businesses generally lie , and that's an essential part of their business model. Even the Confucian classics from more than 2000 years ago attest to this. But not all Chinese people are liars.
The art of lying is part of Chinese culture and I am sick of it. The words honor and honorable have no meaning to them.
Why does 51 talk suck exactly? No pay? Not enough classes?I had hoped to teach on-line from Thailand, Clark Pampanga, Philippines or another tropical country that has fiber optic cables.So if 51 talk also sucks, why does it suck? Can you recommend a on-line school that does NOT suck?
and whether they steal students from you like mine did. These online schools lie. The art of lying is part of Chinese culture and I am sick of it. The words honor and honorable have no meaning to them.
I have heard of 51 talk, and I am curious to know how much could someone earn full time with 51 talk after a few months?Just curious, thanks.
Watch out! They also operate under the recruiter name eslauthority.com or are partners with them.
I am a teacher now with RIPkids and I completely agree with you. This company is overrated. The classrooms are boring unless you shout, dance, hoot, holler, over exaggerate TPR, and use 1000 props. The classroom has NO interactive cartoons. They only have a star that hardly makes a difference. Their review policy, absence policy, apples, Hutong and everything else is so stupid. I wonder how long I will last here.
Same here !!! What happened did you get hired ? I'm starting to feel really frustrated since I only get computer generated answers for my concerns
what was the name of the rival site that let you work via Skype?
VIPkids is the worst!!!!!! My background ESL University Professor 10+ years ESL experience and got fired for 4 bad parent reviews. I review students for what they do I do not kiss a parent's ass like most. It is what it is. Also had to fight to get an excused cancel because I was attending my brother's funeral who died suddenly. I had 6 messages warning me of my cancellations. I had to fight them for over a month to get back the money charged against my account. Fun stuff reliving that part of my life. There are so many better places out there to teach that have a good lesson plan for students. VIPkid teachers are just out of university or those who have no experience. Experienced teachers know how bad VIPkids is for the students.
1. No more micromanaging. I have taught over 1,500 classes and from that I have 10 negative apples. I was under review for a less than 2% negative review of my 1,500 classes of those 300+ were reviewed. Of those 300+ reviewed 10 were negative 323 5 apples out of 333. My account was suspended for review over that.
2. The TOEFL lessons are not preparing the students. With 10+ years teaching TOEFL at the university level both PBT and IBT what they say is a TOEFL lesson is a joke. There is nothing in those lessons that will help a student do well at the TOEFL. Students would be better watching Elmo.
3. The dumb give aways. You are not going to get anything out of it. Unless you refer 50 people to this horrible company don't expect a bonus. The wheel was a joke, this new Hutong is stupid. I have no care to have a Dino. I work here I am not a child. I don't think people care about having SWAG from their company. Please get over yourself.
4. T-Shirt signed by Cindy- Seriously who gives a crap. I know Kobe invested maybe if he signed something I might care but who the *bleep* cares about Cindy
5. The stupid TPR. You know who needs to do TPR uneducated teachers who can't keep a child's attention with the lesson. I don't have to put on clown make-up to get a child engaged in the classroom. TPR are those same teachers that buy chocolate candy for their students in a real ESL/ELL classroom because they can't control their class.
6. The contract review- So I teach 5 hours a day 7 days a week so that is 10 classes a day or 70 classes a week. out of those 70 classes I had 1 bad review every month. per the email reviewed because of 4/27/, 7/25, 6/30, & 5/28 each had a bad review. Seriously out of 280 classes a month during the summer where I busted my butt you are gonna review me for 4. Hey at least those who can't get booked have a chance now, well not really
7. Bookings- Too many teachers not enough students. Do the math if you aren't getting booked you will never get booked. The company is trying to grow too fast and will lose all the quality teachers they have. Then the parents will see the crap that is left over.
8. Hope some of you have a chance to read this before it is deleted. I will be back
I find it hilarious that the only pro VIPKIDS posts on here all are clearly from people trying to defend their employer.
Hilarious? You must go around chuckling at spider webs and stuff most of us would find in plain contrast to hilarious.
Just who do you expect to be the ones defending VIPKIDS or any other school on an FT's forum if it's not the schools' teachers. The same would be true for those attacking the schools (ex teachers.) Apart from the odd nut-case who makes it his business to defend or critisise schools he has had no first hand experience of, that is.
You suggest there are other posts which have an unclear agenda...could that be where hilarity creeps in?
I find it hilarious that the only pro VIPKIDS posts on here all are clearly from people trying to defend their employer.
I have heard about the negative reviews about this company but I still choose to go through the application process and viola just like most people had experience it happened exactly thesame with me. They let you go through several demos and encourage you to wear orange and spend time on props which most people end up buying of course. Then one evaluator will like what you did but the next evaluator will not like it. Then finally they will send you an email that your mock is not succesful with zero reason which part you failed! These crooks only waste your time! BEWARE if you still believe that time is gold!
There is a fee after being hired? What is the fee? Have you gotten more consistent bookings now? We're you paid on time? I just completed by mock 2 today. Hoping for good news soon.
Your text has instances of subject/verb disagreement. "A teacher" does not agree with "their."
(That's a pronoun/antecedent disagreement. Just saying.)
I agree! I was lost on my feedback after I was not accepted. It said I need to use the phonic sound more, and not say the letter. However, I did do that throughout the lesson. I remember having them trace the letter with their mouse and say the sound.....I guess that did not count? Also, for a younger kid I was told it should be 50/50 and then in the feedback it said the teacher should talk 30 and student 70? Those were my two errors, and my pros were perfect TPR, great enthusiasm, knew the material, etc.... Still a little boggled.
Very frustrating. Went through the whole process. Was hired. Two weeks in 1 booking coming up this Saturday. Here's the kicker. I have been posting on social media warning people about this and now for some reason, I cannot access my teacher portal (medium where I can open slots in my schedule allowing students to book me). My teacher portal only has access to the one class I am scheduled to teach this Saturday morning. I don't even have a "cancel" button next to it. Sent a ticket in. If I don't hear back... I'll be a no show for that class.
J Bob....you were warned. Could you tell us how much time you have invested in this and how much you have been paid, can't how much is owed to you? What you described sounds like a scam to get people to do demos and get new students, before VIP knows they will quit. Likely, just in time to not get paid for training.
The office staff is always available to help when needed and
offer tons of training and support.
I actually feel bad for the FreshDesk support staff. I believe their hands are tied and are the middleman between the frustrated teachers and sales team. I have sent numerous tickets to the staff and always get the same responses "Be patient. Take workshops." So forth and so on.
I am losing patience because they never answer my questions.
Many of my questions are about bookings, which I understand the sales team is responsible for. I have had zero master classes and only trials. I do NOT believe that it is normal that I've had zero MC! Not when I'm in FaceBook groups with other new teachers like myself and I'm continually told that not even having 1 is normal. Many teachers, teaching as long as I have, are fully booked or if not fully booked, at least have taught 1 master class.
Finding out I'm only allowed to teach Levels 4-5, but am given Levels 2-3 for trials is ludicrous. The Levels 2-3 that convert over to paying students, can't even book me as their teacher!!! I don't stand a chance in this company and I wish I was never hired.
This is one of the most troubling aspects. I stated two years ago, that I may not be the best, but certainly adequate and experienced. Also, was never critiqued in such a nitpicking way about things that weren't an issue in twenty years of licensure. Especially by a person, who did such a great job of speaking like a seven year old. I also noticed that one of their biggest recruiters in Thailand is no longer employed by the company.
5 no shows you will be gone.
this is not fair at all becasue I am a professional teacher and I would never miss a
session unless I am really ill.
Guess you get sick a lot then... But that's Ok coz you're a professional teacher.
How long after the mock 2 class did it take for you to get a response?
The interview was weird for me too. I actually hold a master's in TESOL and work with ESL students in my school and was not selected. I don't know what they are actually looking for.
Actually, you are only fined for classes YOU miss, not the student.
Please, READ ALL of their policies and rules. There are some policies I don't like. One is that they can fine you from your paycheck for missed classes for whatever reason-child doesn't show up (YOU PAY for the missed lesson), child can run around and is not interested in learning, you are sick and can't teach (even though you had notified them), Internet difficulties on their and your end, and whatever else they dream up. You can be fined for not being animated enough, wearing the wrong color shirt, and anything they perceive as a violation. Nothing is sacred. The fines are 25% of your pay, per occurrence. Miss classes (sometimes ONE, even if it is their fault) and they will drop you. You could, without your knowledge, end up owing them! Also, in their policy, is that they do NOT adhere to the US or EU (European Union) privacy laws about data security-there isn't any security over their Internet connection. Your computer data can be stolen at anytime; there are no safeguards. Teachers have NO RIGHTS. There aren't any Teachers' Unions for you in China, no one to stand up for your rights, because you, as a US teacher teaching to Chinese children in a Chinese company, are subject to their laws, not the US laws on anything. It's their way, or the highway. This is from CHINA-a Communist country! I don't think people read and digest the policies and rules with this company; most of what is in VIPKid's policies, are in most of the Chinese-based ESL companies. To check them out further, I suggest that anyone considering VIPKid, or any like companies based in China, please go to www.glassdoor.com, and read ALL the reviews! The companies cannot edit, remove, or alter any reviews. They are eye opening. They will not pay you for training-chances are good that you have to pay for your training, and the training isn't great. Good luck if you get $22/hour. I was accepted by a rival company, taught my first class via Skype, and I got a good review. THEN I read their policy. Next, I looked at the company on Glassdoor. I should have checked the company out before I signed on the dotted line. I quit right then. I never have been paid for the class I taught. Don't believe me about what I have written? LOOK IT UP.
I would like to send you a PM if I may. Please email me at [email protected], thanks!
Are you retired? I had someone tell me that in an interview recently and I think instead of "learning curve" they wanted to say, you're too old. This woman wasn't even so young herself.
VIPKIDS in China is not the right employer to work for.
They believe their Chinglish is English and have opinions like the other 1.4 billion selfish people of China.
English is not their mother language and their teaching methodology and their opinions about it,is simply based on repeating mistakes.
I have a Ph.D. and teach international students in college. I also have Teacher of the Year honors for a very large US school system, winning twice in years as an ESL Instructor. Recently, I interviewed with VIPKid. The evalutor, "Lisa," shared that I was smart, that she could not see my learning tool on occasion (glitch with the system she said), and mentioned the delay in our transmission. During the post evaluation phase, she mentioned I had circled a word she had circled already, sighting I was going too fast. She seemed very tired, and irritated by the 9hvious glitch in Kortana. There was not much consideration for this in her remarks. She shared that I was smart and really prepared, telling me to work more on my skills without being specific. She said my "learning curve " would be "huge" with the company. This feedback makes absolutely no sense as there is no learning curve at all. I spent over a decade teaching ELLs in elementary school classrooms as well as training teachers. I explained this twice to Lisa before my demo, but it is clear she either could not process it because of the questionable interface or she wasn't actively listening. I did not get to go to the second round because of her feedback to superiods that was skewed to say the least. I am not sure I would have been happy working under the strenuous coition cited here, but I believe the circumstances surrounding my interview were not fair and a waste of my time.
First of all I would like at say, I was a trainer and teacher in the military for management,
and technical fields. Later I was a church leader, and worked with small children, and
teaching them various subjects. So that they could improve their lives.
Seriously? Yeah, I believe what you've written and even applaud you for writing it; however, please do learn how to write English correctly before you accept another EFL teaching position in China. Sadly, your writing reveals you've a ways to go before you can honorably do so.
....I was the designated English tutor for the
Chinese students coming to my university.
Please don't say that you tutored them in writing.
I am an educator myself and would agree that the lessons they put together would not be my
One of my favorite Chinglish phrases is "best choice".
As a native Chinese speaker attempting to pass yourself off as a FT, your 'best choice' would be to be honest.
I promise you that I will continue to sabotage each and every VipKids bogus post on this site; VipKids has consistently defrauded FTs in China.
I am an educator myself and would agree that the lessons they put together would not be my best choice. I think it might be a good company to work for, but believe they need to continue to refine their process.
As an educator, I am not sure the approach they take on some of their lessons would be my approach, but maybe educators are a little more critical of what we present and how we present in a particular order.
Student targets and prior knowledge contradict the the Mock Interview lessons. I think they just need to re-evaluate some aspects of it! Just a thought of course.
I felt the process to be drawn out but understood why. However, I purchased several materials suggested by the mentors and implemented them. Watched a ton of videos. At the end of mock 2 the mentor teacher signed off with Happy Teaching with Vip Kid. I think that sent me a positive message that I had made it ( or so I thought anywsy) and still did not get it. I have taught for 32 years. I know if I had an actual kid and the actual real lesson I could do it. They kept telling me about all these teacher directions above the real power points to help you teach. I am disappointed and feel like I wasted a lot of my time and theirs.
Dear VIP KID "elevator,"
Please show your text to your supervisor. You are an [unqualified] evaluator, not an "elevator." You call yourself an "elevator" twice.
The most glaring punctuation error is a comma error. You mean "for potential teachers to refine," not "potential teacher's." Oh, dear.
Your text has instances of subject/verb disagreement. "A teacher" does not agree with "their."
You misuse a semicolon.
Your sentence that begins with, "That is one..." is fractured and nonsensical.
The most intelligent and the best written texts here on Glassdoor were written by individuals who, after three rave interviews, were rejected by VIP KID with no explanation, like I was, today.
For shame, elevator. For shame.
I'm not sure why you feel like they "make" you work in early morning hours. Those are the peak hours for their student population. Actually, many of us are interested in VIPKid, in part, because of the hours. I wouldn't be interested in a teaching position at 6 pm because that's when I have dinner with my family but rather than say a company "made" me work during family time, I would probably just not apply to the position.
Also, it's a contract position and parents schedule lessons so if you repeatedly don't show up, I would think that's a problem in any similar position.
So how are you paid....weekly, monthly, by the class? And is the check mailed to you?
the paychecks have been running late.
The easiest way to determine the quality of an organization is to examine their performance in paying their employees and contractors.
I read a review of the interview process on Glassdoor. I found it to be spot on. Apparently, the paychecks have been running late. There are a number of positive reviews, too. Most of us know, where there is smoke; there is fire. https://www.glassdoor.com/Interview/VIPKID-ESL-Teacher-Interview-Questions-EI_IE1105111.0,6_KO7,18.htm#InterviewReview_13609650
I especially agree with the comments about the stupidity of the demonstration videos..."kiss a doll," etc......
Agreed, they make you to work in super early morning hours-Those hours need to be fixed and not allowed to be changed. Sick leave means no show, and 5 no shows you will be gone. this is not fair at all becasue I am a professional teacher and I would never miss a session unless I am really ill.
I know there are a lot of questions and concerns out there about VIPKID, and as a teacher I would like to speak on my experience. I have been with VIPKID for some time now and I can honestly say my first couple of months have been a bit rocky. The company was fairly new and like every other new company, they had a lot of things to figure out and work through. At first I had scheduling issues, payroll issues, and other personal issues as well. Getting regular students was a slow start so I decided to jump right and and take last minute classes and those students quickly became regulars for me! I went from having only 15 slots per week filled to 95% of my availability filled. Now I work 7 hours per day 6 days per week and I have no scheduling issues at all. As the company grew, technology expanded, my schedule become consistent, and my concerns were carefully addressed, I absolutely fell in love with what I do! For the first time in my life I feel absolutely free! I have a fulltime schedule, travel the world with my family, alter my schedule as I see fit, and take days off whenever I feel like!
For those of you who truly desire controlling your schedule and having a portable income I urge you to apply! VIPKID is quickly going global and with the recent investment of Kobe Bryant they have some very exciting changes on the way!!
I want to help in every way I can so please feel free to email me before you apply so I can give you helpful tips on knocking the interview process right out of the park!! GOOD LUCK!
Smells like someone is employed to troll and divert attention from the main topic...
I have worked with the company since November 2015 and my experiences here have been nothing but good. I have found management to be courteous, fair and professional. The company is always striving to improve the quality of the service we provide. They provide us with curriculum, unlike most online schools, and they are constantly improving it.
I'm 36 and have never had any booking issues due to my age. I do have a graduate certificate in ESL.
As someone mentioned, you're mistaken about the scheduling issue you mentioned.
VIPKid has been a dream come true for me in many ways and I don't want to see its reputation tarnished online. To anyone considering applying, I say go for it.
I'm glad you are working towards preparing a great interview. So I have officially started! YEAH!!! Thus far I have only taught 2 classes which were last weekend. It's definitely rewarding, engaging, and has been great for spreading my wings in areas I am not comfortable with. I have four classes scheduled this weekend (including one tonight). Of course, the more I teach I feel as if I will become more confident and flexible.
The expectation of 7.5 hours during peak time is just that. As long as you have the slots open you are fine but be aware that this does not mean each slot will be filled. You have to consider the fact parents are actually booking us. So once you are hired (which I wish you the best of luck) you will have the opportunity to read and hear how teachers increase their bookings. In a total of 17 days I have 11 bookings so far. As a new kid on the block I think that's pretty good. The more familiar parents become with me hopefully the more I will be selected or given opportunities. However, you should check your booking schedule daily because it can change at anytime and another student may be added.
I haven't been employed a month yet so I really cannot reply about reimbursement but I do recall reading this takes place after a certain time period. I think it's 2 months but don't quote me on that I would have to look it up again??? There is also a payment for training. There appears (from what I read) ample opportunities for additional pay a very easy bonus is given for just attending the class. In your contract, they will explain more but another example is referring a new teacher.
I work full-time as a classroom teacher but honestly planning for days I know I will be teaching online has recently become a highlight of my week. The other teachers are nice, very supportive, passionate, and genuinely "collaborate." I hope everything works out well. Don't be concerned with your outside, just show them what you have to offer inside and I'm sure you'll do just fine! Be open to constructive criticism and I believe it will work out. Let me know if you have any other questions. If I can answer I will.
Thank you for your reply! I have scheduled my first interview and am taking time to prepare for it like you advised. I'm excited about my virtual classroom and feel good about the material and style of teaching they're looking for. Here's to hoping (and hustling)!
How is it going for you? I'm excited about the opportunity because it seems like a fun way to engage with teaching and I love working with non-English speaking kids. However, another big question I have is whether or not I would be able to work more than the 7.5 hour minimum requirement if I desire to do so. In other words, how is the availability?
I also saw they reimburse for classroom supplies. Do you have any experience with that?
Lastly, the base pay isn't great. The $14-22 dollar range seems based on bonuses. What is working with their bonus system like in regards to pay?
Thank you again for your support and perspective. If I get the position, I'd love to keep in contact
I am a new hire myself for VIPKID. I wanted to reply only to dismiss the negative stereotype that this company is racist. I myself am an African American woman. I studied the videos and prepared as if I already had a position. The interview process was long and I had such a relief after finishing my practicum but there is no race disqualification.
I'm thinking about applying to work for this company, but have been hesitant due to hearing much about racism (I'm African American/Hispanic) and being a woman (I've heard that there is misogyny within the hiring process for this company). With such a long and involved interview process, I felt hesitant to even try if there is embedded racism within the hiring process.
When I saw your post, I thought I would reach out directly and ask, as you are African American and a woman who has been both hired and has long-term experience working with this company.
Any advice or perspective would be greatly appreciated as I love the model of this company and have worked extensively with Asian youth populations.
Thank you in advance!
Hi, I am currently going through the hiring process for VIPKID and have some questions about what qualifications are really necessary to continue in the process?? I am currently enrolled in college and am completing my degree in psychology and as such, have not completed a BA. I have practicum experience in elementary schools. However, I dont have my degree. I made this very clear in both my resume and during my interview, as it said on the website that it was needed, but still received a contract of employment and the go ahead to continue with the process.
When I emailed them to say that this was an issue, they suggested that I upload a copy of my transcript instead. Could someone please tell me if they have had this experience or issue? OR can anyone that works for VIPKID tell me how necessary the Bachelor Degree (BA) really is??
I finished my 6th class teaching for VIPKID last night. My experience is completely opposite from what you had. I am extremely impressed with VIPKID. Everyone I have interacted with has been kind, professional, and lighthearted. Their training videos and documents are comprehensive and clear. The pay is great and my students have been wonderful.
Maybe you did not put enough preparation into the demo interview and the practicum...
They seem to really be full of themselves at VIP. I went through the interview process about three months ago. In addition to there being inherent problems with Chinese ISPs, VIP's software was not working properly (mouse control problems), and they wouldn't even acknowledge it. The videos were almost pathetic. "Kiss a doll"...perhaps the worst teaching video that I have seen. I am also quite suspicious that they are using all these "practicums" for their own financial gains. They seem to have a specific idea of who they want, but they want come out and say it. I think that is why you are getting reports from people, like myself, who have been declined, but have many years experience in this area. I'm early 50s, and could pass as under 45...I'm not claiming to be the best teacher, but I'm a lot better than acceptable, and also have a degree from a highly competitive university in Virginia. I've been told many times, that my voice was excellent for teaching, and that applied to ESL/EFL, too.
Many of their teachers are involved in the recruiting process, as they have many ads on FB teaching groups. I don't think many of them have even received their first paycheck. The pyramid aspects have come to mind. I just got a bad feeling, and don't feel that they are being "straight up." Constructive criticism is fine, but to nitpick small details with me on things that have never been an issue in twenty years of licensure; annoys the shite out of me. Strangely enough, they contacted me last week, asking me to re-apply.
I live in Thailand, so it could have been a good fit for me, and unlike the younger backpacker crowd that they hire; I don't have visa troubles, and even own my own home here.
I am a current vipkid teacher and practicum elevator. It is unfortunate that you stopped the process right before the second practicum because you were right at the end. Practicums are used as opportunities for potential teacher's to refine their ESL teaching skills in a mock class environment. If you were invited to teach a second practicum, it is because your elevator felt that there was something in your first practicum that showed that you were not yet ready for the real class environment. This process is set up to help equip potential teachers to be the most successful with VIPKID that they can. I understand and value that you have extensive experience teaching and working with children, however; the online ESL teaching environment is unique as are the policies and procedures of the company and this information is what the practicum classes are set up to equip you with.
As far as the scheduling is concerned, it is true that the we like to have your availability set in advance. This is helpful because it is the parents that choose a teacher and time for their child's class. Having the availability known ahead provides the opportunity for the parents to set their own schedules in advance. If a teacher needs to remove a time slot from their schedule they are easily able to since the individual teacher's have complete autonomy over their schedule and availability online. The only request is that changes not be done within 24 hours of the time slot (that is by VIPKID not to schedule a student and by the teacher not to cancel their availability). That is one of the best aspects of working for this company is the flexibility I have in scheduling. I work a full time job outside of the full time hours that I put in with VIPKID and I am easily able to change and adapt my schedule as needed.
I have worked with vipkid for a year now and I have found it to be one of the best companies I have ever worked for. The office staff is always available to help when needed and offer tons of training and support. The teachers have also developed a community of support through skype chats and I have developed some great friendships with people from all over the world. The student's that we work with are always happy and eager to learn and I truly look forward to getting up each morning and logging on to see their smiling faces.
It's ok not to get a job, we don't always get hired for positions but there is no need to go around ruining the reputation of a company or school just because it did not suit or fit you. Some ways work for some and not for others and that's ok. VIPKID is a company with rules and regulations just like any other around the world and if someone does not like it, they can move on to something that makes them happy. My experience with VIPKID has been and still is wonderful. I have the respect and consideration I feel I deserve and I'm being treated well. Also, I'm 35 years old, not 25 or less and fresh out of school with a supervisor status.
Anyway, all the best in your endeavors and I hope that you don't keep that negative feeling in your heart. There was no need for this post either.
I am so sorry to hear about your hard time with the Practicum process at VIPKID. I would like to share some of my experiences working for the company as well. I am an African-American who started working for this company about 7 months ago and my husband has been working for the company since the very beginning- about a year and a half now. When I applied I was hired immediately from my interview! I got a perfect score on my interview even and had my interviewer laughing during my demo lesson! Then I moved on to Practicum 1. I was under the impression that Practicum 1 would be very similar to my Demo class so I was expecting to immediately pass it. I did well on my first practicum, however I was requested to complete practicum 2. The feedback I received for my first practicum had a lot to do with my ability to instruct the student to use their own mouse to work on the slides (I was using a laptop and trackpad so didn't have an actual mouse with me during my practicum), and also I forgot to continue using the reward system throughout the class. But, I had heard such good things from my husband about the company that I went on to Practicum 2. My first date for practicum 2 had to be rescheduled since I hadn't received the lesson in advance to prepare, but finally was able to complete Practicum 2 and passed. What I noticed about the whole process was that for each stage, (demo lesson, practicum 1, practicum 2) they are looking for specific skills: how energetic, enthusiastic and engaging you are as a teacher, how well you are able to model and demonstrate expectations to students in addition to giving them verbal instructions, and how well you are able to differentiate and accommodate for varying english levels and the efficacy of your teaching strategy. I agree, the process is quite long and time consuming, but justifiably so I believe. Teaching English online is much much different from teaching English in a classroom. You will encounter added distractions: friends being over at their house, students completing lessons at their parents work, parents interfering during the lesson, etc... I even had one student who would always get up from the class and go do other things in the house, I didn't have much support from the parent to bring their child back to the class, so the majority of my class with this student was spent singing songs, doing funny dances, drawings, anything I could think of to bring the student back to class. Therefore, VIPKID tries to equip potential teachers with as much information to help adjust to this new medium of teaching.
Another reason, I personally think the process is so long and in depth, is to serve as a weed-out space for teachers who may not be as committed in the future- if a teacher isn't willing to prepare during the hiring process, why would they be committed to preparing for their classes when they will have much more autonomy? When I started having my first classes I was actually quite grateful for the amount of time I had to put into applying for the job. I understood the expectations of VIPKID and I was able to apply my own creativity to the classroom as well. Since I started working for VIPKID, I have received a passing Monthly evaluation for 6 months (my first evaluation I did not pass because I was still becoming acquainted with everything). Due to my consistently high evaluation scores, and VIPKID's desire to expand, I was promoted to a Practicum Evaluator. I have been evaluating Practicums since January. I do at least 10 practicums a week, and in that time I have only failed 2 teachers, and have only passed 2 teachers immediately from Practicum 1 to teaching. That means well over the majority of the Practicums I evaluate go to Practicum 2. This isn't because I am a hard evaluator, this is because I want to make sure the teacher is able to give a quality lesson and that their students will actually learn English during their class! I also put a lot of thought into my scores. I try to be as fair as possible in my evaluations and in my feedback during the evaluation. A lot of the teachers I see do good job, but I have to ask myself: would their "good job" be enough for the most challenging student? is their "good job" enough to keep a student re-booking classes? VIPKID is definitely more about the quality of the classroom experience than anything else.
For those of you reading this who are thinking of applying to VIPKID, I can give some of the things I personally look for during my Practicums. This will not be the same for every evaluator as we all come from different experiences in the classroom and value some things more than others. These are simply the things I personally think influence student participation and understanding in an actual classroom.
1. Timing: your pacing is very important to me, but I would much rather you go over time and give a quality and level appropriate lesson than for you to complete the lesson in exactly 25 minutes and the student not have learned very much. DO NOT stress out over timing- you get 1 point out of a possible 44 points for spending an appropriate amount of time on each slide.
2. Props: this is a great way to keep students attention and reinforce understanding. Find ways to effectively incorporate props in the classroom. It also shows an evaluator that you did more preparation than just looking through the slides 20 minutes before your evaluation.
3. Model/demonstrations: your student's english level will vary from very low to very high. When you are teaching your low level learners, as an evaluator I want to see you demonstrate and model your expectations for the student on each slide. If you just give verbal directions, I can almost guarantee you that I will look at you like I have no idea what is going on!
4. creativity: i believe teaching is an art form and that teachers are very creative- let's see some of the creativity and your personality! Take advantage of using different voices, varying the volume of your voice, acting out some of the words or slides, even being creative with what your reward system is- it doesn't have to be the one in the lesson. I want to see how you can make each lesson relevant, engaging, and meaningful for your student.
5. Preparation: this goes without saying, but it's important to still be familiar with the lesson before teaching it. The Teacher Directions are there to assist you during your planning and to serve as a reminder if you do forget during the class. But, in the same way that you would not be reading from your lesson plan in a regular classroom, you should not be reading directly from the TD during class either. This means you are familiar with what the target letters, words, and sentences are for each lesson and you have a plan for how you are going to provide instruction, and that you have tried to incorporate some of the aforementioned items in your lesson, too.
Finally, 6. Teacher- Student Speaking Ratio: when you are teaching you should never move from any slide where the student has not spoken. VIPKID likes teachers to try and follow a 30:70 ratio where the teacher speaks 30% of the time and the student speaks 70% of the time. How you measure that exactly is up to you, but from an evaluators standpoint, I want to see that you are letting the student speak on each slide, not just completing the activity.
I hope this post has been helpful. So sorry for the length. I think VIPKID has done an excellent job of trying to mirror some assistance teachers would receive in a normal teaching setting. Teachers are required to go through a practicum before teaching, much in the same way that teachers in University have to complete a Student-Teaching program before getting their degree/graduating. They conduct monthly evaluations of teachers, in the same way that you would receive announced and unannounced observations in a classroom (at least if you are teaching in the US), they also provide a space for teachers to support each other, and they try to be as available as time difference will allow to answer questions, resolve any problem, and clarify any misunderstanding for teachers. Another characteristic that I appreciate about the company is that they value and encourage teacher-feedback. They want to hear from teachers and hear how lessons and slides work in the classroom, and this feedback is considered by Education.
Thanks so much for reading, and if you are applying for VIPKID I hope this clarified some of your questions and I hope to see you during Practicum!
For Robert, again I'm very sorry for your bad experience with the Practicum process and best of luck with your future pursuits!
P.S. I won't get paid or promoted or receive any sort of incentive for having posted this response.
I have worked for VIPKID for almost a year and disagree with the information being shared here. VIPKID is not about control, but it is about QUALITY. VIPKID has the majority of their teachers go through 2 practicums in order to ensure that the teachers are fully prepared when they enter the classroom. As a retired teacher of 35 years, I can say that I thoroughly respect the abilities of management. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, and fair and always have as their goal making VIPKID the best company around. If you want to work with fantastic kids and a very professional management team, VIPKID is the company for you.
Only 10 percent of VIPKID teachers passed the practicum on the first attempt, so 90 percent of us took it twice.
Also, the statement about cancellations is inaccurate. I close unfilled time slots all of the time. There's only a penalty for cancelling a class that's scheduled.
Astroturfing， the next frontier.
Such companies as this generally cause heartache and grief. Avoid, for your own sake.
I am currently a VIPKIDS teacher. VIPKIDS does not hide that their application process is lengthy and highly selective. Keep in mind that they are a business. Their clients choose teachers to book from week to week. I have spoken to a variety of teachers, all from different backgrounds, ages, races, etc. That being said, they all have an energy and style that caters to the clientele and perhaps you weren't the correct fit.AAs to the claims of a "controlling" company that's simply not true and any contractor can verify it. In my experience classes that are not booked can be removed by the teacher from their schedule up to 24 hours before the class. Within 24 hours express permission from the teacher must be given in order for a class to be booked.
I have worked in various online companies. VIPKIDS is by far the best, due to their excellent curriculum, happy clients and even happier teachers.
As to the claims of a "controlling" company, that's simply not true and any contractor can verify it. In my experience, classes that are not booked can be removed by the teacher from their schedule up to 24 hours before the class (with no consequence.) Within 24 hours express permission from the teacher must be given in order for a class to be booked.
I have worked in various online companies. VIPKIDS is by far the best, due to their excellent curriculum, happy clients and even happier teachers.
I am currently scheduled for an interview. Do you get paid at all for training? Also, how long does it last? I am concerned because I cannot find any reviews on this company. I am also wondering what you mean by the schedule. Do you mean there is no way to cancel a scheduled class or it doesn't exist?
I also recently applied to VIPKids, and I must say what a great smoke screen they put up.
First of all I would like at say, I was a trainer and teacher in the military for management, and technical fields. Later I was a church leader, and worked with small children, and teaching them various subjects. So that they could improve their lives.
Later I attended my university for Chinese language and culture degree, and a Technology Education degree. While attending classes, I was the designated English tutor for the Chinese students coming to my university. I then worked in China as an English teacher. I was assigned to teach at universities, some private schools (5-12 years old).
Now fast forward to recent times. I applied to VIPKids. I did the interview and demo class, got a remark of great. Then did their training. Then did the practicum class. Also was told I did great. So the next email I got from them, said that they are inviting me to another try at the practicum. Seriously? So at that point, I decided it was time to move on.
However this is what I learned about VIPKids and their methods. They are not looking for teachers. Their sample class videos show this. The sample lessons that I witnessed has to be the worst classes I have seen. They want to lock you in to the schedule. If you want to change an unfilled time from being scheduled, they will still hit you with a "CANCELLED" class.
This school is all about control and no flexibility. There are many of these schools out there. I have investigated about 6 different schools. This is the worst. This is about control. Probably due to the fact that they are hiring foreigners straight out of school and granting them supervisor statuses. Can you image sending your child to a school, where the principal is under 25?
This is a great example of a school to avoid at all costs. Although they pay a little more. that slight amount is not worth the control and aggravation you will receive.
Otherwise this is a great school if you want to jump through all the hoops they put in front of you and do it for free. There is no respect to be found at this school!