One of the easiest ways to move abroad and maintain an income is to work remotely as an English teacher. In contrast with traditional English teaching jobs that require you to move to and stay in a particular country, remote English teaching lets you do it from anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable internet connection. Whether you’re looking to make some extra cash on the side or as a source of income while you travel, check out the best company for teaching English remotely!
What is VIPKID?
VIPKID is now the largest online English teaching provider for children in China. With the backing of global investors and partners, VIPKID has experienced unprecedented growth in the last year. In 2016, the company grew from fewer than 500 to more than 4,000 teachers to date. There are now more than 40,000 students that use the VIPKID program to learn English. You’ll find articles on VIPKID in the Wall Street Journal where Kobe Bryant praised the company and its CEO, in the Huffington Post, and is in the top 25 companies that let you work from home.
Teaching positions with VIPKID require a Bachelor’s degree and some experience with children or teaching ESL. This requirement may be waived as the company is expanding rapidly and in need of more teachers. I have spoken to many VIPKID teachers who did not have prior experience and were offered a position. You will likely need to do a little research beforehand to learn ESL techniques like Total Physical Response and synthetic phonics, but there are plenty of resources out there.
Who will you teach?
Students are all Chinese students under the age of 12. Lessons and teaching methods are all designed to encourage participation and active learning to young kids. Your students at the beginning will be new customers, but as you continue teaching many of your students will be regular clients. Often times, the younger students will be accompanied by a parent.
What makes VIPKID the best company for teaching English remotely is the huge support system you’ll have not only from the administrators, but also from fellow teachers. Teachers share great tips on their classroom design including any props or techniques they find useful in teaching. The administrators are always available for questions and have an incredibly fast response time.
The best part about VIPKID is that you do not have to create your own lesson plans. Having taught ESL in the past, this is often a step that takes a lot of time and planning which you do not get paid for. With VIPKID, the lesson plans are all created for you including all activities, warm ups, and daily objectives. You simply log in to the portal 24 hours before your class to see the lesson plan objective, PowerPoint slides, and comments about your students abilities.
While this is remote work, there are some restrictions on hours. You are required to teach a minimum of 15 classes (7.5 hours) per week during peak Beijing hours. For those residing in the US and other distant time zones, this can mean some early hours.
Weekday (Morning US):
Peak Beijing hours are from 6-10pm Monday through Friday. This would be 5am to 9am EST or 2am to 6am PST time. This is important to note because for many living in the USA, these hours will be very early. The nice thing is that you can find time to teach for an hour before work if you choose to do this as a side gig.
Weekend (Evening US):
The corresponding weekend peak hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9-11am Beijing time which is equivalent to 5-7pm PST or 8-10pm EST. This is much more reasonable, particularly for those on the west coast and means you could get a significant number of hours in during these times without having to get up early.
Note, even if you work all peak hours on the weekend, you will still only have 4 hours and need to teach 3.5 early morning hours during the weekday to make this work. For those on the east coast, this is a great option as the hours aren’t insanely early.
Pay ranges from $7-9 per hour for base pay and incentives that increase your final pay. For example, you will receive a $1 bonus attendance pay just for showing up to teach your classes. You receive an additional $1 bonus for every class taught if you teach more than 45 classes per month. This means hourly pay can be anywhere from $14 to $22 per hour. With my base pay rate and the incentives, I started making $20 per hour teaching English with VIPKID.
Ready to sign up? Head to the VIPKID website and get started!