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.
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.
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!
Are you interested in VIPKID? Follow this link to apply (Yes, I get a small kickback if you use my link- Thank you)
Do you still have questions about VIPKID? Feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer.