VIPKID Update: I Still Love My Job!

I am well within my third month of teaching with VIPKID as an online ESL teacher for students in China. AND I’m still absolutely loving it! If you missed my first post (It discusses what VIPKID entails, the hiring process, and what my 1st month looked like), you can click here.

You can also check out my 2nd YouTube video here. I’ve updated my online classroom, added some props, and I share how I prep. I’ll continue to use YouTube to discuss my VIPKID experience as well as other fun teaching techniques for the online classroom.

 

Simply Impressed

What impresses me the most about VIPKID is their willingness to listen, adapt, and grow as a company to better their program. The staff truly does a wonderful job in responding to concerns, addressing issues, and staying in communication with the teachers.

Communication is huge! And I am a communication nut- I love being “in the know” and having my questions or concerns answered ASAP. And VIPKID does a wonderful job with this.

If I’ve had any classroom, payment, or other issues, I simply submit a ticket through the teacher fresh desk (you’ll get an account once you’re signed on with VIPKID). Even if the person I’m initially in contact with can’t resolve the issue, they will get in touch with someone who can. And most of the issues I’ve had or questions I’ve had, have been answered within 24 hours.

One exception I’ve had with an issue taking longer is when I received a “teacher no show” for a class that didn’t show up on my schedule. I’m always on time for class, checking my schedule each day (several times a day), so I knew something was not right when I saw this come up on my booking schedule.

I was able to take a screen shot of what my schedule looked like, and how I did not have a class booked for the time that now indicated that I didn’t show up for class. Someone was immediately in touch with me about the issue, but it took a few days to resolve, and then it took until the end of the month for the $10 deduction in pay to get taken off my paycheck.

Because I took the screen shot and was able to submit evidence, this helped in clarifying the issue, and it was easily reconciled.

 

Screen Shot, Screen Shot, Screen Shot!

If you are teaching with VIPKID, I’ve learned to always take screen shots of anything that may seem off or odd. For instance, any time I have a student that does not show up for class, I always take a screen shot. I stay in the class for the required amount of time, and I screen shot myself in the classroom so that there is evidence that I was there, and that the student did not show up. I will also always screen shot conversations I have with the firemen (technology staff in the classroom) on any IT issues that may come up so that I have proof of our conversations.

Always look out for yourself! Do yourself a favor and screen shot your classes! If you’re new, you will eventually get the hang of this fairly quickly, but I’ve learned that screen shots help resolve any questions that may come up about a teacher or student being within a classroom on time or for the full class time. I use my computer’s “snipping tool”, and it easily will screen shot my screen. I can also use a screen shot on my phone with the app when needed.

I have seen some people upset that issues were not resolved in their favor. Personally, I have not had this happen (or at least yet). My recommendation is to stay calm, communicate with the education staff by opening a ticket, and check out the given teacher material as well as the teacher forum for answers. I love the teacher forum on fresh desk because it allows teachers to talk with other teachers about any and all topics. The topics range from weekly updates, to pay, to technology, to Chinese culture.

The fresh desk also allows teachers to submit screen shots of any lesson slides that may have errors that the education department needs to address. The education department usually responds within 48 hours to change any slides that are incorrect or that may need some changes.

The teacher forum is really a wonderful resource, and it gives teachers a sense of connection despite all of us working from home. It’s helped me tremendously with many questions that I’ve had as a new teacher, and there are many teachers that post helpful tips and tricks for the online classroom.

 

Safety

How safe is your personal information with a foreign company? That’s a very good question, and it’s not one that I can completely answer. I can tell you that I did get a weekly update last month that said that VIPKID had installed a new security feature that protects our personal checking account and bank information. But I still wonder exactly how safe my information is.

Obviously, I’ve taken that risk of giving them my personal information. I haven’t heard of any teachers on the forum complain about identity theft, stolen information, or being hacked. I realize the company is still very new (just 3 years old), but I’m hopeful that my information is secure.

I realize that may not be a good enough answer for someone still looking into VIPKID, but I may not be the best person to ask since I’m still very new. I’m also hopeful that VIPKID will continue to give us more information about the safety of our personal information that we’ve given them.

I’m very thankful that the staff continually communicates and updates teachers on any and all changes pertinent to us on a weekly basis.

 

I Don’t Plan on Going Anywhere

There are so many attributes to this company that I love, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. Teaching these kids is such a joy, and not only are the kids learning, but I’m growing as a teacher daily.

After teaching my first two months, I received feedback on 4 of my lessons. This was beneficial to me because teaching online is so different than teaching in a regular classroom. I was surprised by some of the feedback, but it was all good stuff that I needed to apply to my lessons. The staff truly cares about the quality of teachers and their curriculum, and it shows in how they run their business.

The community at VIPKID is so supportive and I’m happy to be teaching again through this platform!

 

Learn More:

Are you interested in VIPKID? Follow this link to apply (Yes, I get a small kickback if you use my link- Thank you)

Apply to VIPKID Here!

Do you still have questions about VIPKID? Feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer.

Everything within this blog post is related to my own experience with VIPKID and it is my opinion. I have not been paid by VIPKID to write this post.

Other Blog Posts on VIPKID

6 Month Blog Post on VIPKID

1 Month Blog Post on VIPKID

Visit My Online Classroom via YouTube 

The Stories That Shape Us

“Look for Christ and you will find him. And with him everything else.” -C.S. Lewis

“We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we’re of no use whatever to him.” -Romans 5:7-8 (MSG)

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” -John 1:9-12 (ESV)

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2

 

Our Family’s Santa Experience

This past week, our family made the trek to a town near us to visit Santa Claus. It was already evening when we decided to head on over to meet the “Big Man”, and my husband and I were making conversation on how we thought our son would react to seeing Santa.

Being just over 14 months, both of us were pretty sure he wasn’t going to like it too much, but we still wanted to give it a try. He had forgone seeing Santa last year, and we wanted to make the effort this year, if only for a cute picture to show our son when he’s a little older.

My in-laws met us at the Santa Village. As we parked the car and walked around the building where Santa was stationed inside, we took in the cute window displays of animated puppets and Christmas villages. All of the displays made us pause, and appreciate the splendor, and the intricacy of each little character and the story that was told within a single window.

As we opened the door to the Santa village, we were greeted by an elf, or rather a high school girl dressed as an elf. She happily greeted us and asked who was coming to visit Santa. We told her our son’s name, and she smiled, and directed us down a hallway where we met another elf who greeted us. The high school girl slipped ahead to the room where we knew Santa would surely be, and we patiently waited and talked with the second elf as we continued to make our way down the slim, welcoming hallway.

My son was taking in all of where we were, and he had somewhat of a transfixed expression on his face as he went from looking at the Christmas photos on the wall, to the elves friendly faces, to the lights strung down the hallway. I’m sure he had no idea who he was about to encounter, but I certainly felt a sense of anticipation in wanting to see Santa and my son’s reaction to him.

What astonished me, as we walked along the hallway, was how I felt. I felt the nostalgia of my own childhood experience of going to visit Santa, seeing the man sitting in his sleigh, in his big red suit, and a joyful smile strung across his face, welcoming my brother and I up on his lap.

I remember Santa was happy to sit with us and talk with us. I remember realizing, “He knows my name!” I was amazed and blown away that this man cared for so many children, loved them, and delivered toys around the world to all the little boys and girls in one night. It seemed impossible, but at the young age of five or six, what other explanation could there be?

As we took those final few steps in the hallway, before we could see Santa, we could hear his, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” that was echoing from around the corner. And we heard him jingling the bells on his boots and on the wrists of his red coat. “Who do we have here?” He joyfully said, in his deep, belly-laugh of a voice.

It was then, we made our step into the room where Santa was seated on a large chair fit for a king. His smile was welcoming, his nose was just like they say in the books, cherry red. His beard was long and white, and his suit was velvety red. The magic and nostalgia of my childhood flooded back, and Santa was real once again, even if it was just for a moment.

Then, he joyfully said my son’s name- as if he already knew him. Obviously, the high school girl elf had run ahead to tell Santa my son’s name, but it almost took my breath away thinking of the magic that comes when children believe that “Santa knows my name”.

Unfortunately for my son, he did not think Santa was so pleasant, and he immediately burst into tears when he saw him. Thankfully, with a little consoling, we were able to snap a few precious photos. Most of them were of my son crying and reaching for Mommy and Daddy.

One of the few photos without tears.

 

The Stories We Tell

In the stories, we tell our children, we explain how Santa knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good. And as children, we believe in this man who is beyond human, who loves us (even when we’ve been naughty), and is gracious to us just the same. He’s a man who seemingly sees all and knows all about us.

And I began to think about The Night Before Christmas classic children’s story, Santa’s character, and how the “Big Man” can be seen as a metaphor for an even bigger person and a bigger story.

The character of Santa is similar to the nature of God in that he has unconditional love for children, similar to the love that God has for His children. God displays his grace and mercy to His children despite their fallen nature.

And the story of Santa asks children to take a leap of faith- to believe. Santa’s story is just a tale. But, the idea of believing in something you cannot see or fully comprehend, relates back to God. God asks us to take a leap of faith- to explore who He is, to humble ourselves and acknowledge that there is a greater power than ourselves, and to invest our time on this earth in learning about who He is in all His glory. His story will change ours.

Santa’s story is one that tells us of how he travels around the world in one night to deliver gifts to good little boys and girls. Whereas, God’s story reveals that His one gift to the broken and sinful children of the world is THE life-changing and eternal gift that can compare to nothing else. It’s an undeserved gift that reveals the love of the Father.

God’s story is the greatest love story of all time. It’s a story that shows God’s true nature, and his desire for us to be reconciled to a perfect and holy God by sending His Son, Jesus.

It is in this time of year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but let us not forget the whole story.

Jesus’ miraculous birth, life, death, and resurrection are all a part of God’s story. And the story continues, as we are a part of the story.

And it’s up to us as to whether we will accept God’s gift.

The stories we continue to tell, mold us, shape us, and impact the way we live our daily lives. Let us not forget to share and reflect upon the one true story of love that changes who we are: The Story of Jesus.

The story of Jesus is one that needs to be told. It’s a life changing story because Jesus is the ultimate gift from an all-knowing, loving, and gracious Father.

He’s a Father who not only knows our names, but he knows everything about our very being. And how we choose to respond to the gift of Jesus, impacts us not only in this life, but for an eternity.

 

Listen to Their Story:

“He Knows My Name” -Francesca Battistelli

 

Reflection:

Tell Your Story.