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Due to the pandemic, more TEFL teachers than ever before are teaching online this year. So, it’s more important than ever to know your way around popular online platforms like VIPKid. Here is our follow-up insider look at how to earn more teaching online with these simple tips. If you missed part 1, check it out here!
Just to recap, the following is my personal learnings from delving into the VIPKid site over the Christmas holidays. While I’m a seasoned EFL instructor, I quickly found that there are a lot of tricks-of-the-trade specific to the niche of online teaching. And before we jump in to the Part 2, don’t forget that the number one way to boost your career in online EFL is to have a solid TEFL certification under your belt. Not only is it much easier to get hired with a TEFL certificate, it also provides you with a sturdy foundation in all the skills required to be a great teacher and provide real value to your students. If you haven’t yet gotten certified, check out TEFLPros FREE 2-Day taster!
I’m putting this at the top of this list for a reason. If you’re not opening slots during peak times, you can’t expect to get as many bookings. It’s that simple. Parents are most likely to book classes Monday to Friday, 6 to 10 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beijing time. Here’s an interesting fact – the whole country of China is in the same time zone! So check your time zone and plan accordingly. For example, I’m in the state of North Carolina which is 13 hours behind Beijing. When I start teaching at 5 a.m., it’s 6 p.m. the next day there.
Once I realized that some students like to rebook lessons right after their current lesson ends, I started implementing this trick. Opening slots two weeks out maximizes the chances of getting booked right after a class if a student was satisfied and wishes to book you again. This can be a good strategy for those just starting out, especially if coupled with the Short Notice classes that we discussed in Part 1.
We all know that consistency counts for a lot in the in-person classroom. Having routines and schedules makes any student, young or adult, feel comfortable. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that keeping a consistent schedule can help you get regular students in the world of online teaching. Interestingly, according to the VIPKid site, many parents hope the same teacher can teach their child regularly. If your schedule appears random, they might feel apprehensive about having their child become a regular student. My advice – grab that cup of coffee and keep to your early in the am schedule 😉
Like I mentioned previously, I am no stranger to the EFL classroom. But with that said, I put a lot of effort into preparing for my first few classes on the platform. Like they say, You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Here’s how to put your best foot forward:
Applying these simple tips really paid off for me. Two parents took the time to give me a 5/5 apple rating. High ratings give prospective parents confidence in your teaching abilities.
At VIPKid, providing thorough feedback on each student is very important. As a matter of fact, if you don’t provide feedback, you don’t get paid for that class!
I reviewed the lesson’s objectives and wrote a few comments about how the student met (or struggled to meet) them. It’s pretty straightforward. There’s a drop down, multiple choice menu. The site provides plenty of examples of quality feedback. Finally, read what other teachers wrote about a student before your class.
Well, now that you’re ready to earn more teaching online with these simple tips, here’s to making the most of your online teaching experience this year!
Happy Teaching in 2021!