Passing the VIPKid interview and completing the application process can be daunting. So, I’m sharing 10 tips that will help you become a VIPKid success story.
This may sound ridiculous, but when we get nervous, we forget to smile.
Yes, the interview and mock class are part of a nerve-wracking process. In all likelihood, this process is very different from anything you’ve ever done before. So, you have no way to really “prepare” yourself.
Just put yourself in the place of the kids that you are going to be teaching. They don’t want to see a teacher who is frowning or grimacing at the camera. Trust me, for beginner level students, they are nervous, too!
Try to forget that during the interview process you are speaking to an adult and just think about how you would speak to your own child or another child in your family. You would make lots of eye contact and smile…a lot.
2. Practice with a Camera
This one’s important because you need to make sure that you’re staying within the frame during your lessons. Even when you reach to get your reward, you want to be sure that you’re positioned in a way that keeps you within eyesight of your student.
You need to get used to seeing yourself on camera and become familiar with how to point the right direction. Remember, pointing left is right and right is left. (Don’t worry, I still forget sometimes.)
This takes a little bit of practice before you become comfortable with it. So, take the necessary time BEFORE your VIPKid interview and mock class to ensure that you’re prepared.
3. Make Corrections
Interviewers and mock class mentors will make mistakes intentionally to see if you correct them. If you are unsure whether you heard something spoken incorrectly, simply ask them to repeat the sound or word. This is an integral part of learning another language.
VIPKid parents are paying a lot of money for native English speakers to work one-on-one with their child. So, this means they want you to correct the mistakes their children are making.
4. Be Encouraging
Being encouraging is easy when they are saying everything correctly. You can smile, send them a virtual high five, or give them a “thumbs up.” These are simple ways to keep your student engaged in the lesson.
However, there are ways you can be encouraging even when they make errors. The truth is that your students aren’t perfect, and even the best student will occasionally make a mistake.
So to help them persevere when the content becomes more difficult, I like to say something like, “Hmmm….” or I will redirect them back to the question. This helps my student realize that they did not answer correctly without me saying anything negative.
5. Use TPR
Using TPR (or Total Physical Response) at every level is helpful for your students. So, getting in the habit of using TPR when you’re going through the interview process is an excellent place to start.
Make sure that your TPR is directly connected to an action you want them to take, and not confusing. In other words, don’t point to your mouth when you say, “What do you see?” Simply point to your eyes or shade your eyes like you are looking for something.
6. Use Your Time Wisely
This was a problem for me in both my VIPKid interview and my Mock class. I wanted to make sure that every syllable from my student was accurate, and so I didn’t stay focused on the time frame.
While you want to make sure that you correct errors, be mindful of the time. It’s much easier to fill up an extra minute at the end than try to shave off time.
7. Have a Secondary Reward
Having a secondary reward prepared for your VIPKid interview is easier than you might think.
When I first started teaching with VIPKid, I thought I had to have different rewards for all of my students and I quickly became overwhelmed. (Not to mention, sometimes, I would get so focused on the lesson and the secondary reward that I would forget to give them their virtual stars.)
Now, I use the Find-A-Star reward system for my classes because I can quickly and easily place the numbers back over top of the stars and pictures so that I am ready for my next class. Using Find-A-Star also reminds me to click the star as soon as my student finds a star on the board. Easy peasy.
Another secondary reward system that I’ve been using with my more advanced students is Would You Rather. This gives students two choices and they have to pick which one they prefer. It’s a fun (and simple) way to incorporate conversation into your lessons.
The nice thing about Would You Rather is that there are only 5 numbers. So, as soon as a student answers the question, you can give them a star.
8. Listen (2-3 second delay)
This is one thing that takes a little bit of practice.
As soon as we say something, we expect a response from our student. However, it takes a couple of seconds for what we say to reach our students’ ears due to lag in the Internet connection. Then, we need to allow another second or two for processing the question and formulating an answer.
Honestly, it can feel like an eternity, but it becomes something that you get used to over time. So, just be sure to provide as much time as possible for your student to respond to your questions.
9. Use Props
Props are something that many parents expect from teachers (especially in the lower levels). But, this doesn’t mean that you need a prop for every single concept on every slide. You just need to consider how the visual cue helps your student identify and relate the new word, image, and concept.
During my interview and the first few months that I taught with VIPKid, I used my kids’ toys, but I realized very quickly that I wouldn’t have the space needed to store all of the props. So, I started using prop flashcards and I’ve never looked back.
In fact, I started selling my flashcard sets on Teacher Pay Teachers and they have quickly become Best Sellers. I receive comments almost daily from teachers saying that they were able to increase their ratings and bookings from using these prop flashcards.
10. Use Post-It Notes Around Your Screen
I save my favorite tip for last. This is the one that helped me more than anything else. I stuck small post-it notes around my computer screen to help me remember certain things. I had one that said FIVE STARS! I had another that reminded me to smile, and still another that said to watch the time.
Each of these tips was essential to my success! And by now, you’ve probably discovered just how laborious the VIPKid interview process is and how many things you need to recall.
But, just remember, that by implementing these tips you will successfully complete the VIPKid interview process and be on your way to becoming a sought-after teacher on the VIPKid platform.