The concept of online teaching is not new. In recent times, many students have benefitted from such programs and hence the demand is created. Today, to cater to this demand, there are many such online teaching platforms available especially for teaching the English language.
VIPKid is one such similar site that caters to the needs of learning English for the Chinese kids. This is another kind of earning opportunity through the work-from-home concept, for those who are interested in teaching the English language to kids across the globe.
If you are still reading the review, it means you are looking at VIPKid as an opportunity to invest your free time and earn a little extra. Here, in this review, you are about to read an unbiased review of VIPkid covering each aspect of the site. By the end of the review, we intend to answer your question – Is VIPkid legit or a scam? So, don’t jump to any conclusions, simply go through each section of the review and decide whether it is worth your time or not.
What is VIPkid?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is VIPkid?
- 1.1 How do VIPkid presents itself?
- 1.2 What is known about the history and credentials of VIPkid?
- 1.3 How do VIPkids works?
- 1.4 What do you obtain with VIPkids?
- 1.5 How to get started with VIPkids?
- 1.6 What is required?
- 1.7 Is VIPkids legit or a scam?
- 1.8 What is the final verdict?
VIPKid is an online teaching platform under ESL (English as a Second Language). This segment is part of a work-from-home concept wherein you can make some extra earnings along with your regular income by working at an ease of home. The platform connects potential teachers from the U.S. and Canada with the students in China, who are interested in learning the English language.
Most of the students are in the age group of 5 to 12 years but in recent times VIPKid teaching is expanding its student base and the kids are starting from the age of 2 years too.
How do VIPkid presents itself?
VIPkid presents itself as a technologically advanced digital classroom for students in China to learn the English language virtually through teachers based in America and Canada. With VIPkid not only American and Canadian teachers but also others who are not teachers by profession but are interested to teach can join to be part of this global classroom.
VIPkid website: The official website is VIPkid teachers. The website is simple and user-friendly. It has an engaging user interface and encourages you to take your teaching career online. The homepage of the website is descriptive and captivating at the same time. It clearly states the process of how VIPkid works, information about other pages connected to the company background and activities along with some of the teachers’ digital introductions.
VIPkid’s Student portal: This portal is in simple language and easy for any Chinese kid to join in. Students or their parents can make their kids join VIPkid through this portal with an email ID and a password.
VIPkid’s teachers portal: The teachers’ portal is a comprehensive portal with all the details about classes, various activities, and resources with course curriculums. (Fig. 3) You can also access information related to work, points earned, and payments in this portal under My info.
As soon as you join the website as a teacher, you will be able to access all the information connected to working in the teachers’ portal.
VIPkid’s social media connections: VIPkid has a strong social media presence on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. You as well as students both can join VIPkid using social network like Google and Facebook account too.
VIPkid’s mobile presence: In January 2018, the company has launched the mobile app – VIPkid Teach. This app is available through both Google Play and the Apple store. So, now you can connect and keep track of your classes from any time anywhere. (Fig. 4)
VIPkid Life website: This is a resource website for current and potential teachers. This website gives complete information about how to be a teacher on this platform.
VIPkid customer support: If as a teacher you need customer support, the company directs you to use FreshDesk though the VIPkid Life website. We could not find any direct contact number for customer support of VIPkid just an email ID for support – firstname.lastname@example.org
What is known about the history and credentials of VIPkid?
VIPkid is a known company that has initiated a connection with more than thousands of American teachers with students in China. It is a Chinese startup company founded by Cindy Mi in 2013 who is also the CEO of the company. She figured the need for a good English tutor for Chinese kids who are willing to learn the language. Kevyn Klein is VIPkid’s U.S. based head of the community and growth of the company who joined Cindy Mi in creating a global classroom for global citizens.
The company initially started in Beijing but currently has its headquarters in :
# 301, Howard Street, San Francisco, California 94105 U.S.
According to the company website, at present, they have 70,000+ teachers and 600,000+ student base with them. VIPkids also has team partners in education like SCHOLASTIC, National Geographic, TESOL international association, etc.
VIPkid is featured as #1 in Forbes list of Top 100 Companies for Remote Jobs in 2018.
How do VIPkids works?
If you like to teach kids, VIPkids gives you the opportunity irrespective of the fact whether you are a professional teacher or not. VIPkids inspire students all across China to learn English through a one-to-one class session. As a VIPkid teacher, you will have to take a 30 minutes class of which 25 minutes is for the lesson and 5 minutes will be for Q/A session with the students.
To be a VIPkid teacher, you have to go through an in-depth application process.
After you sign-in, there is a 5-step application process that you need to go through to be a full-fledged VIPkid teacher.
- Submission of Application: You send your detailed resume with your credentials (if any) to VIPKid and thereafter they will screen your resume for the basic requirements of application and teaching experience.
- 1-1 Interview or recorded Interview: If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from VIPkid, inviting you to either schedule a 30 minutes interview session with a VIPkid recruiter or record a ‘Demo Lesson’ based on the PPT provided by the company. You can record this demo lesson at your own convenient time and send it to VIPkid for evaluation.
Just ensure while you record the demo lesson, you keep in mind that you are teaching a 5-year-old kid. The interviewers will watch for friendliness, positivity, voice modulations, and your body language along with your skills to plan the lesson effectively.
- Introduction to teaching: After you succeed in the 2nd step, you get up to 3 days to go through the VIPkid curriculum, technology, and standards and prepare yourself for the next step.
- Mock Classes: This is like a full-fledged practice class with a VIPkid teacher. Similar to the demo class, the recruiter here will focus on your teaching methods, lesson planning, and vocabulary. The duration of a mock class is like an actual class – 25 minutes. For best results, you can use some props while teaching so that you can demonstrate how well you can keep kids attentive in your class. After the mock class, the VIPkid recruiter will give you feedback.
In case you need improvement, the recruiter can put you in Mock-2, where they will see whether you have incorporated the feedback from the Mock-1class.
- Sign-up Contract and Upload Documents: The first contract is of 6 months with VIPkid and you must upload all the necessary documents so that VIPkid can make your profile for students and their parents in China. Based on this profile parents will select you as VIPkid teacher for their kids.
Based on your 6 months performance and your willingness to work, the contract is renewed further in VIPkid.
- Full-fledged VIPkid teacher: Now you are a VIPkid teacher, so put your time-slots on the portal so that students can start booking classes with you. You earning beings now, based on the classes you take.
VIPkids Teachers’ schedule:
VIPkid prefers you to work for a minimum of 7.5 hours a week. You can choose to work at the peak VIPkid hours which can give you a maximum response. These peak hours are in line with Beijing Time Schedule i.e., 6:00 pm to 10: 00 pm from Monday to Friday and 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
VIPkid PEAK HOURS
|U.S. Time||Monday to Friday||Saturday and Sunday|
|Eastern Time (EST)||5:00 am to 9:00 am||8:00 pm to 9:00 am|
|Central Time (CST)||4:00 am to 8:00 am||7:00 pm to 8:00 am|
|Mountain Time (MST)||3:00 am to 7:00 am||6:00 pm to 7:00 am|
|Pacific Time (PST)||2:00 am to 6:00 am||5:00 pm to 6:00 am|
Since you are teaching kids in China, these time slots will be the best as the kids are looking for teachers to teach during this time.
Base Rate Adjustments:
VIPkid increments are done annually and are calculated based on the Base Rate Adjustment points score.
Other ways to make money
Apart from the basic earning from taking classes, there are other earning options to increase your monthly intake.
VIPkid teachers Bonus: VIPkid gives various kinds of bonuses to its teachers.
- Participation Bonus – $1 for every class attended and started on time in a month.
- Finished Class bonus – $1 for every class finished if completed more than 45 classes in a month and $0.50 for every class finished if completed 30 – 44 classes in a month.
- Short Notice Bonus – $2 for classes booked 1 to 24 hrs ahead of time.
- Sign-up Bonus – $5 if a trail student joins after taking your trail class. Every student gets 3 trail classes to check the teaching style after which they must pay to attend the VIPkid class.
VIPkid Referral Income: Like any other multilevel marketing concept, VIPkid also encourages you to make others join in VIPkid as teachers. For every successful joining of a teacher, you get referral incentives. However, we could not certain the figure of referral incentives given by VIPkid to its teachers from any source.
If you are not taking classes as scheduled constantly, more than 2 hours in a month your account can get suspended. If you want to re-apply further, either you will have to wait for 6 months or you can start the application process again with a new email ID.
All payments are made on an hourly basis. In short, you can take two sessions which are of 30 minutes in an hour to qualify for an hour of payment. VIPKid pays its teachers via ‘Direct Deposit’ once a month between 10th to 15th. If you are joining as a VIPkid teacher, you need to provide your bank details at the time of joining along with your verified email ID to get payments smoothly.
What do you obtain with VIPkids?
The topmost way to earn in VIPkid is to take as many classes you can in a week so you can get an additional bonus.
With VIPkid you can earn from $14 to $22 an hour, which is inclusive of incentives. There is an annual raise of $0.50 to your base class rate only if you meet the conditions for increment as per the “Base Rate Adjustment” system. Taxes are to be taken care of independently by the VIPkid teachers based on the US tax laws.
How to get started with VIPkids?
To start earning with VIPkid you must register with the website. The registration is free of cost.
Simply visit https://www.vipkidteachers.com/teach and sign in with your email ID and password. Thereafter completing the application process and you can start being a VIPkid teacher.
What is required?
To be a teacher with VIPKid, you need to fulfill certain basic requirements.
- You must be eligible to work in the U.S. and Canada.
- You must have a bachelors’ degree; it can be in any field.
- You must be a native English speaker with a North American accent.
- You need to have experience of working with children in the age group of 5-12 years.
Apart from the above basic requirements, there are also some technical requirements too.
- You need to have a laptop or a desktop or Mac or any such device with a steady internet connection.
- A webcam whether in-built or attached separately to the desktop, since kids on the other side need to connect to you virtually face-to-face for an effective learning experience.
- A high-quality headset which can cancel outside noise and let you focus on teaching the kids on the other end.
Once you have fulfilled all the above requirements, now you can start applying for a VIPKid teacher. Teachers’ credentials are preferred but not required mandatorily. If you like you can have a TESOL certificate directly from VIPkid which you can only use in VIPkid to show parents in China as your credentials.
Is VIPkids legit or a scam?
As we did a thorough analysis of VIPKid teachers and its functioning, we found that it is a legit form of ESL teaching platform online. However, to answer your question whether it is worth your time or not, we want you to go through various pros and cons before you make any such decision.
- Flexibility: You can work any time and from anywhere with VIPkid.
- Genuine learners: The kids who join VIPkid to learn English as their second language are seriously interested in learning the language. You will find that most of the kids are well behaved, attentive, and put extra effort into learning.
- No need for TOFEL or any professional certifications. As compared to other online teaching programs, here anyone with a college degree can teach through VIPkids.
- Ready Clientele: Unlike in private tutoring where you must find students on your own to teach, here with VIPkid you get ready student base. Parents of potential students can pick you from reviewing your profile directly.
- Structured study material: When you teach with VIPkid, you get 20-25 slides per course along with all the study materials and instructions for your lesson plan which you can review 6-12 hours in advance.
So, you don’t need to worry about making your separate lesson plan before teaching.
6. Decent part-time income: With VIPkid you can make a decent income along with your full-time job.
- Fixed Schedule: Whenever you choose to work, your schedule is fixed two weeks in advance. Even if you apply for ‘Soft Cancellation’ to avoid any financial penalties, it will reflect in the company’s record about you. So, if you have any last-minute emergency you can feel stuck with the classes.
- American accent mandatory: Just knowing the English language is not enough.
- Below average VIPkid’s support: Firstly, there is no direct contact number to call and discuss issues connected to teaching. Secondly, reaching out to them through social media too does not provide any prompt response from the support team. For Eg: A teacher posted about a technical snag in her 25 minutes class session and the support team took a response time of 22 minutes to fix the issue. The session was a disaster!
- VIPkid cannot be a full-time career option. As compared to private tutoring, VIPkid earnings of $14 -$22 may not feel a lucrative option for you. It is a good side income option for anybody who loves to teach but we do not recommend that you pick VIPkid teaching as a full-time earning opportunity.
- Uncertain referral scheme: Even though VIPkid promotes the referral scheme as another source of earning but in reality, it is not given as free and frequently. There are cases where VIPkid teachers have recommended others to join. But after they have qualified through the multi-interview process, the company has denied giving referral income to those teachers. They make excuses for not giving it.
- Non-attractive terms of incentive: If you finish teaching 30-44 classes per month, only then you can earn an incentive of 50 cents and thereafter 45 classes $1. If for some reason you are unable to teach the said number of classes, you earn simply the base pay $7 to $9 per 30 minutes session.
- No Insurance, No Benefits: Just like any other online job, you don’t get any benefits or health insurance through VIPkids. If you want the same, then it’s better to have an alternative full-time job that provides you these benefits and insurances.
- VIPkid peak timings irksome: VIPkid peak timings are as per Beijing time. So, you have to work in odd hours like from 2 am to 6 am, Monday to Friday or 5 pm to 6 am, Saturday – Sunday as per PST (Pacific Time), if you are based in the US or Canada.
- Improper feedback system: According to the VIPkid, after every class, the parents are needed to give feedback about the teachers. Since most of the parents are not proficient in English, they generally respond in their native language. The translated version of feedback is very confusing. At times some parents simply give poor ratings without giving any such explanation too. Such kind of improper feedback affects even sincere VIPkid teachers.
What is the final verdict?
VIPkid is a legit Company. However, we believe the pros do not outweigh the cons fully and hence you should look forward to some more options of making money online instead of just relying on VIPKid. We rate VIPkid 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.