Last week, I shared all about what you can expect during your first two weeks as a teacher with VIP Kid. VIP Kid is a company that provides an international learning experience for kids in China between the ages of 4-12 years old. The curriculum is designed to align with the U.S. Common Core State Standards and gives the kids an enlightening and fun experiencing that fosters both creativity and critical thinking skills while making learning English fun. I’ve been teaching with VIP Kid for right at a month now, and I’m absolutely loving it! It’s such a blessing to be able to supplement our income doing something that I actually enjoy. Plus, it’s super flexible and allows me to work from home, regardless of where home might be. Now, you may be wondering, how the heck can I get hired to teach with VIP Kid? Well, in this post, I’m going to be breaking down the application process and sharing my tried and true secrets on how you can ROCK the VIP Kid Interview and Demo.
The VIP Kid application process is not for the faint of heart. For a lot of people, one look at the process is enough to send them running for the hills, but, I promise you, if you stick with it and see it through, it will be well worth it. The first step in the application process is to submit your basic info. This is where you submit your educational background and your resume. VIP Kid requires that all applicants have a bachelor’s degree and some experience working with kids. The experience does NOT have to be teaching (although it’s definitely a plus if it is). Include any and all experience you have working with kids, whether it be babysitting, homeschooling, mentoring, or leading a youth Bible study group. Something else that I added to make my resume stand out is the I have lived abroad. This shows that I have experience dealing with non-English speakers and am familiar with other cultures. If you have lived overseas or traveled extensively, I encourage you to include “Expat” on your resume and give a brief description of where you have been and for how long.
Once you submit your basic info, you find out right away if you are approved to move to the next phase of the application process, which is the Interview and Demo Lesson. The VIP Kid Interview and Demo are arguable the most important parts of the entire process because this is when your pay rate is determined. Teachers make between $14-22 an hour, and if you follow my advice to ensure that you rock this step, you’ll definitely be on the higher end of that spectrum.
A lot of applicants take the VIP Kid Interview and Demo phase lightly, thinking that because it’s an online interview, it won’t be as intense as a face-to-face one, but I urge you to take some time to prepare! I picked a time slot and did the live interview, and I have heard that for a lot of people, this is a better option as you find out right away a) if you’ve passed and b) how much money you’ll be making with the company. You will want to be prepared to answer questions about your educational background and about all of the work experience you included in your basic info. Be outgoing and upbeat – although you’re dealing with an adult during this stage, they are still assessing how well you will be able to work with children. During the demo, you will be given 10-minutes to teach your interviewer (who will be acting like a 5 year old child) about feelings using a pre-assigned PowerPoint lesson. You will want to treat this like an actual class, even though it feels a little awkward. Be on the lookout for mistakes that your interviewer may make on purpose just to see if you will catch them and make corrections. Spend some time watching YouTube videos about phonetic sounds and TPR, as these are two of the areas it’s crucial that you showcase.
Now, I’ll start by saying that it is not a requirement that you purchase anything at all for your VIP Kid Interview and Demo, but, in my personal experience, if you want to rock this part if the application process, purchasing a few basics is key (especially if you don’t have kids who you can steal props from). Here is what I would recommend that you purchase for the VIP Kid Interview and Demo:
- A white board: This is useful for teaching the blending of b + eg and l +eg
- Laminated print outs for your reward system: Most people use a monkey and bananas. The monkey receives a banana each time the “student” does a good job. Here’s a free printable of my monkey and banana reward.
- Adhesive magnet strips and something magnetic: For the above reward system, I recommend adhering magnet strips to the back of your print outs and sticking the monkey onto a cookie sheet or something else magnetic. Each time the monkey gets a banana, you can simply stick it onto the cookie sheet to join the monkey.
- Letter flash cards: These are useful to teach letters, and you’ll be teaching the letter M during the demo.
- A puppet: This will help you to model things for your student, such as the role play slide.
- Some sort of colorful or educational background: This can be a piece of poster board or a world map – just have something behind you besides a blank wall.
- A bright colored shirt with no visible logo or pattern: A lot of people wear orange because this is VIP Kid’s color, but you can wear any bright color that you please.
Once you have all of your supplies, you want to practice your butt off to ensure that you rock the VIP Kid Interview and Demo. Practice speaking slowly, utilizing TPR, and being upbeat. I recommend setting up your computer and webcam and recording yourself so that you can go back and watch, plus, this mimics what it will actually feel like at the time of your interview. There are a ton of videos on YouTube where teachers share examples of the demo lesson, and you’ll want to check these out so that you can adapt their teaching styles and make them your own. Instead of making my own video about the demo lesson when there are so many great ones out there already, I’ve included a few of my favorites below:
Slide by slide, here is what I recommend that you focus on when practicing for your VIP Kid Interview and Demo:
- Slide 3: Be sure to introduce yourself! You’ll want to say something like, “Hello! My name is Teacher Allison! What’s your name? …. Hello, [Name]! How old are you? You are _ years old? Cool! How are you today? I’m fine, too! Are you ready to learn about feelings? Let’s go!”
- Slide 4: On this slide you need to explain your reward system. If you’re using my monkey and banana printable, you can say something like, “When you do a good job, the monkey gets a banana! YAY, monkey!”
- Slide 5: You will want to read the poem line by line while acting out the emotion. Have the student repeat. You can underline and write on the slides in the VIP Kid portal, so underlining each line as you read helps.
- Slide 6: Hold up your M flashcard and introduce the letter. Say something like “M makes the sound mmmm.” Ask the student to circle the animals that start with the “mmmm” sound. You may need to read each animal name as your student may not know them. If you do, exaggerate the “mmmm” sound by saying “mmmmmonkey” and “mmmmmouse”.
- Slide 7: I recommend utilizing your B and L flashcards to ensure that your student knows the sounds that these letters make. Then, teach the sound “eg” by writing it on your white board. Add B and have your student read “beg,” then do the same with L and “leg”.
- Slide 8: Teach the feeling words “sad,” “happy,” and “angry” by saying the words and showing the emotion on your face. Have the student say the words 3X each. Then, have the student repeat each sentence.
- Slide 9: Use your puppet to model by having the puppet ask you, “how do you feel?” and answering the puppet. Then, ask the student and allow them to answer each question. Circle the answer that you expect to prompt him or her.
- Slide 10: Circle a face and ask the student to draw a line to the appropriate emotion word.
- Slide 11: You don’t want to just stop without warning. Say something like, “Wow, you did a great job today, [Name]! High five! It’s time to say goodbye. See you next time!”
Now, a word to caution: You should time yourself as you practice and focus on time management. You should be spending about 1 minute on each slide. While it is normal for time to run out during your demo with 1-2 slides left, you want to get as close to finishing the material as possible to show that you will be able to manage time well in your classroom.
Congratulations! If you’ve followed my tips, it’s likely that you have ROCKED your VIP Kid Interview and Demo. The next step in the application process is Mock 1, in which you will have 25-minutes to teach both a beginner class and an intermediate class to a mentor posing as a child. If you fail Mock 1, unfortunately, you will not be offered a contract by VIP Kid. If you pass, you will be invited to choose between completing Mock 2 or attending a Kick-Off Meeting. Both have their pros and cons (as you may be required to teach a certain number of trial classes before you are allowed to teach regular students if you choose the latter). If you pass Mock 1 with flying colors like I did though, you are invited to sign a contract without completing Mock 2 or attending a Kick-Off Meeting and can start teaching regular students right away. If you are interested in finding out how I rocked Mock 1, sign up as one of my referrals by entering my referral code, 06E3OH, and contact me. I love to give my referrals one-on-one coaching, and would be happy to meet with you via Skype to help you prepare!