A Digital Nomad’s Guide to Teaching English Online

Cristina Uncategorized 2 Comments

I used to work fulltime in corporate America with positions in integrated marketing strategy and email marketing. My last position, which was at a highly respected fortune 500 company, only provided employees with 5 vacation days during their first year of employment. ONLY FIVE! Even the usual 10 days per year of vacation time in the United States simply isn’t enough if you want to travel and see the world. Our peers in the UK and The Netherlands started out with 25-30 days of vacation per year in entry level positions. Saying good bye to my corporate career wasn’t all easy though – having big fat consistent paychecks, health insurance in the US, and the illusion of job security was nice – but I don’t regret leaving one bit.

Now, I live a lot more simply but I have the freedom and flexibility to work remotely and travel the world. All I need is my laptop and an internet connection and BOOM instant office.

So what do I do online to afford my traveling lifestyle?

I am an online ESL Teacher for VIPKID and I absolutely LOVE it! I have some of the most amazing students you could imagine. My students truly are adorable, smart, inquisitive, and eager to learn. I no longer have that “dread” I used to feel before working my corporate job, now I actually have a job that is fulfilling and satisfying. Being able to actually see the impact I make on a child is priceless.

Never heard of VIPKID? Well, neither had I until my friend, Lauren, became a VIPKID teacher. VIPKID is headquartered in Beijing with over 20,000 teachers world-wide, over 100,000 paying students and 500,000 registered students and growing. VIPKID provides an international learning experience to children in China between the ages of 4-12 through one-on-one English classes. All VIPKID teachers are independent contractors. I love the flexibility this job provides me with. I work as much or as little as I want and I chose the hours of the day that I want to work. The best part is that there is NO lesson planning involved. VIPKID develops the curriculum and provides teachers with the material. This makes prep-work for class a cinch.

Right now, I only choose to work a fraction of the hours I used to work while devoting the rest of my “work hours” to my own passion projects like my YouTube channel, this blog, and planning our next adventure.

Sooo… how much can you make as a VIPKID teacher?

Okay this may get a little confusing, but bear with me… as a teacher with VIPKID the hourly rates can range a bit depending on your experience, qualifications, and how many hours you work. The starting rates are between $7-$9 per 25 minute class plus incentives. Teachers are paid monthly and the incentives can vary month to month. Teachers can expect to make an additional $2 per class as long as at least 45 classes are taught. Teachers are also paid an additional $2 per class if the class is booked within 24 hours (teachers have the option to not allow short notice bookings if they prefer). On top of ALL of that, if a teacher successfully converts a trial student into a new student, an extra $5 per new student is also added! WOW! Pretty good deal for a job I love AND is remote! It can vary from about $22-28+/hour depending on short notice bookings and trials. You may see this rate vary depending on who (which blogger or YouTuber) is reporting it but those short notice and trial conversions can really make a huge difference.

What qualifications do you need to become a VIPKID teacher?

VIPKID’s requirements have changed some in the past year but as of August 2017, VIPKID requires a 4-year university/college degree. VIPKID does not require you to have a degree in education though (I have a BS in Marketing) but you do need to have American or Canadian classroom teaching experience. VIPKID also requires teachers to be native English speakers with either an American or Canadian accent.

What’s the interview process like?

Grueling. Honestly… After your initial application is accepted you will be invited to interview with a member of VIPKID’s recruitment staff where you will need to teach a brief lesson to an employee in the Beijing office who is pretending to be a 5-year old with limited English ability. It’s not as scary as it sounds, the scary part is the next stage of the process: Mock classes. I prepped for hours for these (I had TWO, many teachers only go through one mock class). The mock classes are facilitated by an experienced VIPKID teacher who tries to create as real of a classroom environment as possible to judge your teaching ability and provide feedback. Once I became a fully fledge VIPKID teacher, I found it much easier and much more comfortable to teach to actual students vs a mock class student (aka adult pretending to be a child).

Does this sound like the perfect job for you? Are you dying to become a location independent digital nomad too? Are you already living the remote lifestyle and looking for another way to make extra income? APPLY TO BE A VIPKID TEACHER and if you do, reach out to me! I can help coach you through the process. Use my referral code and it’ll help us BOTH out. There are sometimes bonuses for both the applicant and the referring teacher. (Referral code: CRIST0006)

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