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Thinking of working for one of the online schools that teach English to kids in China? Ready to increase your bookings and earn more as an English teacher in 2021? Read on to learn how to earn more teaching online with these simple tips (ft. VIPKid).
VIPKid is arguably the largest, most popular online English teaching platform out there. It’s also one of the better-paying ones. This article is based on my personal experiences with the VIPKid site. Unlike some other sites, with VIPKid, you are not guaranteed students or classes. Instead, you open slots and wait to receive bookings. Despite having opened slots a few weeks out, I had very few bookings at first. After familiarizing myself with the site though, I’ve learned to use some simple tools to increase my bookings and my earnings. Here’s my part 1 on how to earn more teaching online with VIPKid. Stay tuned next week for the rest of my tips 😉
One of the easiest ways to get more bookings is to be willing to teach Short Notice classes. When you open your slots to show that you’re available for teaching, you can check off if a short notice class is okay. Short Notice classes can be booked by students anywhere from 24 hours to one hour before class time. Since it’s really important not to miss a class, you’ll want to be sure to sync your calendar (i-calendar works much better than google calendar) with the VIPKid app.
After I opened Short Notice slots, I immediately got two evening classes a few hours before I was to teach them. The best thing about Short Notice classes is you get an extra $2 for each one you teach. That may not seem like much, but if you teach multiple Short Notices in a row, you can effectively give yourself a $4/hour raise. That can really add up!
After you’ve taught a student for the first time, you can send them an electronic thank-you card. They really like these because it lets them know you were thinking of them. You can also send them an invitation to book with you again.
With VIPKid, teachers can earn tokens for everything from opening more slots to watching training videos. You can use some of your tokens to “purchase” gemstone boxes for a student. Students love receiving these because they can redeem them for items in the Student Portal.
One of the best ways to get repeat students, is to record a quick thank-you video letting your students know how much you enjoyed teaching them and that you’d like to see them again. You can record even more videos as part of the platform’s Teacher Feature section. Here, you can share a video of you teaching a class to showcase your skills.
VIPKid has set up a program just for new teachers to help them get recognized. You can use your tokens to “purchase” Power Slots. Similar to Gemstone Boxes, Power Slots are very popular with students because when they book these slots, they get extra stars to redeem for items in the Student Portal.
If a student joins VIPKid after one of your trial classes, you earn an extra $5.00.
This is kind of a no-brainer. The more levels of English you’re certified to teach, the larger your pool of potential students. Getting certified is pretty straight-forward. You simply take the mini-course for that level and take a quiz. Passing some levels requires a demo class.
It is not ideal, but if you want to break into the game, you have to be flexible and be willing to open slots on days and times that others don’t want to work. I taught my very first class at 6 a.m. on Christmas Day. Luckily, I was finished by 8:30 a.m., just in time to start opening presents 🙂 The VIPKid app highlights slots for you that have a strong chance of being booked. On Jan. 1 at 6:00 a.m., for example, I had an 85% chance of getting booked.
I hope part I of this series has helped you gain some pointers on how to get more bookings on VIPKid and other online teaching platforms!
My top tip for getting hired is having a great TEFL certification to add to your credentials. It’s much easier to get hired with VIPKid and other online teaching platforms if you have a TEFL certificate from a reputable company. If you haven’t yet gotten certified, TEFLPros offers a FREE 2-Day Online TEFL Course taster so that you can try before you buy!
Happy teaching in 2021!