VIPKID Review: An truthful report From A teacher

If you’re interested in becoming an online English teacher, you’ve probably heard about a popular teaching company called VIPKID. In this truthful VIPKID review, I’ll let you in on exactly what it’s like to work as a teacher for this company. 

I’ve been an English teacher with VIPKID for 3 years now and am here to share my insider information with you.

This first-hand review of VIPKID will cover everything you need to know about this online ESL giant, including what to expect as a VIPKID teacher and how to decide if it’s best for you.

Lad os komme igang! Here’s my extensive review of what it’s like working as a VIPKID teacher.

Update August, 2021: teaching English online looks a little bit different these days. China has changed its guidelines concerning foreign English teachers. This implies that unfortunately, numerous online platforms aren’t hiring at the moment — however, our contact at VIPKID has informed us that they are still hiring new English teachers. 

There are still numerous companies that aren’t China-based that you can apply to, such as: Preply, Cambly, iTalki, Outschool, Teachable, and Profy. 

What Are The requirements To become a VIPKID Teacher?
How Do I apply To VIPKID?
What materials Do I need For VIPKID?
VIPKID Review: My First-Hand Experience
VIPKID Review: The Pros 
VIPKID Review: The Cons 
Is VIPKID A good fit For You?


Created in 2013, VIPKID is one of the largest and many recognized online English companies in the industry. They are based in China and focus on providing English lessons to Chinese children between the ages of 4 and 12.

Classes are one-on-one and students learn a curriculum developed to match a North American elementary education. This implies that teachers will cover science, math, and social studies topics in addition to English grammar, reading and speaking.

VIPKID lessons are 25 minutes long and are taught through the VIPKID App. teachers can enter the classroom and hold classes on a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet as long as there is a strong Internet connection.

Teachers are paid between $14 – $22/hour and scheduling is incredibly flexible. There are no minimum or maximum working hours each week so you can instruct as much or as little as you want. You can also change your schedule each week as needed.

I learned about VIPKID when I was teaching in a conventional classroom back home in the USA. I was interested in remote work and a colleague discussed that she had been able to earn a few hundred dollars a month teaching English online on the weekends and before school.

As you can imagine, I was intrigued. This was in 2017 and online teaching wasn’t as widespread as it is now. The idea that you could actually make good money teaching online was very new and I concerned that it was too good to be true.

Still, my skepticism didn’t stop me from signing up once school let out for the summer. It didn’t take long for me to become completely hooked on the online teaching lifestyle.

VIPKID has changed a lot because I started in the summer of 2017. I think these changes are for the better.

The hiring process has been simplified, the classroom design and functionality has improved drastically, and teachers are much more supported than they were back in the day.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 things To know before becoming An online English Teacher

What Are The requirements To become a VIPKID Teacher?

Unfortunately, the VIPKID requirements are strict compared to some other online ESL companies. To become a VIPKID teacher, applicants should have the following credentials:

You should Be From The USA Or Canada

While you can instruct classes from anywhere in the world, you should be from the USA or Canada to be hired with VIPKID. as of 2020, VIPKID no longer hires teachers that live in California.

You should have A BA degree Or Higher

Your degree can be in any subject, but you’ll need to have at least a BA or higher to get hired by VIPKID. They are strict about this requirement and will require verification of your degree later in the hiring process. No degree? Intet problem! check out this list of 10 companies that will still hire you.

1+ Year Experience working With children Is Required

Many types of experience will fit this requirement. If you have experience coaching, mentoring, babysitting, teaching, or tutoring, that counts toward your year of experience.

While conventional classroom teaching is a plus, it’s not a requirement to instruct English with VIPKID.

You’ll need a computer or tablet With High-Speed Internet.

It makes sense that you’ll need reputable Internet for a job that takes place online, so this requirement probably doesn’t come as a surprise. VIPKID teachers need to have a device for teaching as well as consistent access to the internet.

If possible, the optimal Internet speed for teaching online is at least 20 Mbps. I’ve been able to conveniently instruct on around 10 Mbps, but higher speeds are preferable. 

Special Mention: TEFL Certificate

When working for VIPKID, all teachers will need either a TEFL certification or a professional teaching license. but don’t worry, you can still apply even if you don’t have one of these qualifications.

If you don’t have a TEFL certificate or teaching license, VIPKID will require that you take an in-house TEFL course while you complete your onboarding. This course is totally free and offered within the VIPKID platform.

As far as I know, this special VIPKID TEFL course won’t transfer to other teaching jobs, but it is enough for you to meet the VIPKID requirements and start teaching on their platform.

If you do have your TEFL, your odds of being hired over someone who doesn’t are much greater. find out about the best 7 TEFL Certificates on the market here. 

How Do I apply To VIPKID?

The VIPKID hiring process used to be a deterrent for prospective teachers because it was so complicated. In recent months, however, VIPKID has overhauled its hiring process and now it’s much simpler.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to start teaching with VIPKID!

Opret en konto. This is totally free and easy and is done online and you’ll need to make sure you meet the criteria above.

Complete an interview Demo Lesson. You can do a short “Smart Demo Lesson” on your phone, record yourself teaching a Demo Lesson.

Review materials in the certification Center. After passing the interview, you’ll have access to the certification center on the VIPKID website. You will find information about teaching, valuable resources, and the lessons you’ll need to instruct in your mock classes.

Complete your Mock Classes. Mock classes take place with an existing VIPKID teacher called a mock class mentor. You’ll instruct a mini-lesson and your mentor will give you feedback. many people will do their mock classes 2-3 times before moving on. think of this as your teacher training!

Upload your documents. You’ll fill out your payment information and submit the required documents. getting your files verified can take a few days, so in the meantime, you can work on the final step…

Complete your Profile. This is where you’ll create your teacher bio, welcome video, and submit profile pictures.

Apply to VIPKID here

What materials Do I need For VIPKID?

Many VIPKID reviews don’t mention the materials that you’ll need. When I first started teaching with VIPKID, I used some flashcards I purchased at the dollar store and canine toys as props. These days, my teaching equipment is a bit much more refined!

Teaching materials and Resources

For this part, you can get creative! While VIPKID does expect you to use some props and classroom decorations, you can be as inventive and distinct as you want.

To get started, it’s a good idea to find some sort of academic posters, a chalkboard, or decorations to put on the wall behind you while you teach. This gives your little computer thumbnail much more of a classroom feel.

For props, you can’t go wrong with a set of flashcards and a small dry erase board. You ought to also have a stuffed animal or puppet to help demonstrate question and answer scenarios to younger students.

You can find these items at dollar stores, teacher supply stores, or on Amazon.

Technology Requirements

You’ll need a reasonably new laptop, desktop or tablet for teaching classes. You’ll also need a headset with a microphone attachment so that your students don’t get distracted by any background noises.

If your computer doesn’t have an HD video camera (most modern devices have one built-in), you’ll need to purchase a separate webcam video camera so your students can see you clearly.

It’s also a good idea to connect your laptop to your Internet source through an ethernet cord if you’re able to do so. using an ethernet cord implies your connection will be much more reputable and guarantees a smoother classroom experience.

VIPKID Review: My First-Hand Experience

As I discussed at the start of this VIPKID review, I’ve been a teacher for 3 years now! Here’s a bit about what it’s like working as a VIPKID teacher.

My common day as a VIPKID teacher begins early in the morning. When I’m on the east coast time zone, the time is opposite for me and my students in China. This implies that China’s evening is my early morning.

The highest demand for classes is in the afternoons and evenings after kids are home from school, so I’m up well before first light many weekdays.

After getting a cup of coffee and changing into my orange teaching t-shirt, I head to my classroom which is set up in the corner of my bedroom.

How I Prepare For My VIPKID Classes

With VIPKID, you open the time slots you’re available to instruct in the teacher platform. You can open classes a few weeks in advancement or a few days in advance.

Parents can see your availability schedule. starting about 1-2 weeks in advance, parents can book your time slots for their child. While you’ll typically see the same students again and again (called regulars), you might also meet new students.

Once a time slot gets booked by a student, I can see the lesson I’ll be teaching. This implies that I can look over the slides in advancement so there are no surprises.

The night before a class, I make sure to review which lessons I have coming up and pull out any props I’ll need.

For example, if I’m teaching a class about fruit, I might go to the kitchen and get a banana so I can use it during the lesson. If I’m teaching a younger student about colors, I’ll try to find a few different colored items that I can use.

I’m always impressed by how numerous teaching props I can find around my home!

I also look through my 2D image props and pull out any pictures that might be helpful for the lesson. some of my many frequently used 2D props are a picture of my family and a world map.

Starting A VIPKID Lesson

About 5 minutes before my first class, I get settled into my desk and connect my ethernet cord to my laptop. then I launch the VIPKID computer app and click on my bookings tab.

This displays a calendar of all my booked classes, so I can click on the one that’s about to start to “enter the classroom.”

Once I’m in the classroom, I can see a timer that tells me exactly how long I have until the start time. VIPKID is strict about starting and ending classes on time, so don’t be late!

With 10 seconds until class time, I turn on my webcam and unmute my microphone on my headset. now I can see my student and the student can see me. It’s time to begin class.

If I see a regular, I’ll ask them about their day and chat with them about the topics we discussed last time before introducing the new material.

If I see a new student, I’ll focus on much more “get to know you” information like asking them their name, how old they are, where they’re from, and, depending on their speaking level, their interests.

After saying hi and building that initial connection, we begin the lesson.

VIPKID Review: What Is A Lesson Like?

Lessons in VIPKID typically follow the same format. They all start with a warm-up activity where the student practices reading or conversation skills. With younger students, this could be a song or matching game. Find much more English classroom games here.

Then I introduce new material to the student and we practice it together. After practicing together, I encourage the student to practice independently. There will be activities to assess student understanding throughout the lesson.

Remember that VIPKID will offer the entire lesson for teachers so you don’t have to worry about creating a curriculum. teachers are expected to instruct the material and encourage the student to participate independently.

At the end of the 25-minute lesson, my student and I will say goodbye. If I have another lesson scheduled in the next time slot, I have about 5 minutes between classes to go to the bathroom, revitalize my coffee, stretch, and start on class feedback.


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