If you're looking for the perfect side gig or a full-time job that will pay the bills, have you ever thought about teaching?
I'm not talking about standing in front of a room of kids for almost eight hours (been there, done that). There's actually a simpler way to make money while still having the time to pursue the things you love.
What I'm really talking about is becoming a private tutor and teaching in the comfort of your own home. The best part is that you get to choose your work hours and the job is super simple (no lesson plans!!)
So say you dream about traveling the world, need to save up money for college, or just need a break from that 9-5 life, online teaching will help you get closer to that dream faster that any other minimum wage job.
You could be making approximately $500 a week helping children in China learn how to speak English.
This is exactly how my friend convinced me to start teaching online. She had just finished her one-year teaching contract in Thailand and wanted more flexibility with her schedule.
She was able to choose her work hours, and then have fun whenever she wanted. If this doesn't sound like a dream life, I don't know what does.
Once she got settled with this job, which took only a week or two, she started traveling the world. She's been to more than 10 countries in just under a year!
What teaching for VIPKID is really like:
It's actually really simple.
You're teaching children as young as four years old, so you can imagine how basic the lessons would be - as basic as apple, dog, hello, teacher, and thank you.
If you want more of a challenge, you can teach older kids who can carry on full conversations. You can talk to them about their dreams and aspirations, so you're not only teaching, you're making a new friend too.
The online education company employs approximately 30,000 remote tutors around the world. You can make up to $22 an hour, so if you work 24 hours in a week, which is part-time, you'd be making more than $520 a week.
Each lesson is 25 minutes long, so you'd have to book two half-hour teaching blocks to get your full hour's pay.
All you need to do is log into your account, let them know your availability and you'll be tutoring students in no time.
As I said before, VIPKID provides you with lesson plans and slides, so you don't need to worry about that. When I was teaching abroad, coming up with lesson plans was difficult and time-consuming.
You'd have to think about what you wanted to teach, print the sheets, and sometimes have to buy other materials out of your own pocket. You aren't responsible for doing any of this when you're an online tutor with VIPKID. All you have to do is show up. It's that simple.
Here's how you can do it too:
First, the question you have to ask yourself is can you do it? This is an awesome job, but only if you're willing to give it your all when that student shows up on the screen.
You have to present the subject in an entertaining and educational way. They're not paying you more than minimum wage so that you can just sit there and read a few slides!
Here are four things you need to become a successful applicant:
- A Bachelor's degree in any field
- High speed internet
- Some teaching experience
- Ability to commit for a minimum of six months
What most people lack when they want to apply to become an online teacher is the third point. I got my TESOL certification years ago and had a bunch of experiences teaching kids, so yeah, you could say it was easy for me.
BUT you can do the same thing. Ditch the thousand dollar TESOL or TESL certificate and gain some experience by volunteering in your community.
If you said yes to all those points above, you're on your way to becoming a VIPKID teacher.
After you apply, you'll go through mock lessons so that recruiters can make sure you're a good fit.
Here's a tip: The best way to get recruiters interested in hiring you is to show them that you're enthusiastic about the job.
It's more than just smiling. Make sure the place you're teaching looks inviting for a young student.
I've attached a whiteboard on my wall, and have all kinds of stuffed toys to show as examples. You don't have to do exactly what I did, but don't be afraid to get creative!
Five things only a VIPKID teacher would tell you:
1. Be prepared
Lessons plans are made for you, so that's something to celebrate, but that doesn't mean you should be seeing the slide for the first time.
Take a few minutes and skim the lesson plan so you have a general idea what you're going to cover in your lesson.
That way you can also get your materials or props ready.
The better a teacher you are, the more good reviews you're going to get, and that may mean more cha-ching.
2. The 70/30 rule
Most of these students are super shy, and you should be mindful of that, but try to encourage them to speak.
A student should be speaking 70% of the time, and a teacher should be speaking only 30% of the time.
If you find that they don't want to speak or only give one word answers, try having them answer questions in full sentences or read the slides.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Have you ever seen Blue's Clues? The host is quite energetic, and when you're an online teacher, you should be too. Kids want to learn from someone entertaining, not some monotone professor (you've been there, am I right?)
We don't act and talk like that in our normal day, but sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to get the job done.
So remember, talk slowly, lots of hand gestures and facial expressions.
4. Make more money by recruiting your friends
Let's be serious, don't we all know someone who wants a job like this?
You can make about $100 for referring your friends to apply. You'll get the money once they teach their first class.
Don't forget to use your referral link!
5. Take breaks
Enjoy. You call the shots.
Make sure you take breaks between sessions and do something fun with your time. You have the freedom to choose a schedule that works best for you.
If your dream is to travel, go to that beach you're dreaming to see. For once, you'll be able to "take" time off.