So you’ve made it! You’ve been hired as a teacher with VIPKid. Now all that remains is getting booked!
In 2018, VIPKid reported having 60,000 teachers and 500,000 students. By all reports I’ve heard, that number keeps growing! But with so many teachers to choose from, getting booked is not always immediate!
If you are thinking about applying with VIPKid, I always suggest starting as soon as possible because it WILL take time to build up your student base. Below are the most common suggestions to help make that happen as quickly as possible.
Review your profile picture.
VIPKid will send you instructions for your profile picture. They suggest that it be clear and in a professional style. If that’s not working to get you bookings, then try something else! Parents will be scrolling through hundreds of profile pictures, and that will be the first thing that catches their eye. Make sure:
- You take up most of the frame. The background (even if it’s your amazing classroom) isn’t what the parents are interested in. They are interested in you!
- Make sure it is well lit. Avoid shadows on your face.
- Smile. Kids will want a fun teacher who smiles authentically and a lot.
- Think about the colors that you are using. If you are wearing neutral colors, try something more colorful. If you are wearing patterns, try a solid color.
- Consider adding something to make you stand out. While the main focus of the picture is you, you can add something to make you different. Maybe you’re holding a prop or a pet. Maybe you are in an active teaching pose. Find something that will catch a parent’s eye.
Review your featured photos and intro video.
Many of the same guidelines as above will apply, but you do have a little more flexibility to make these fun and personal! I have three important pieces of feedback here.
- Make a video and use pictures that are fun for you! They don’t have to be the type of things that will go viral. We aren’t all you tube stars! Just have fun with them, and that will shine through!
- Take one of the VIPKid workshops about “marketing yourself.” These are led by veteran VIPKid teachers and mentors, and they can give you great feedback on how to spruce up your profile to appeal to parents.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again! You aren’t committing to use the same pictures and videos forever! If you aren’t getting bookings, try something else!
VIPKid offers a robust list of workshops like the one I mentioned above. There is a workshop for anything you might need help with!
As a new teacher, the very first one you should sign up for is the New Teacher Kickoff Workshop. It is usually the first one linked under the “Library–>Workshop Schedule” menu in the teacher portal.
That will be a great introductory session and they will introduce a roadmap of other helpful workshops to help you get your feet wet.
Teachers also often speculate that learning partners get lists of teachers who attend workshops and might be more inclined to recommend them. I can’t confirm or deny this, but it certainly can’t hurt to take them!
Another good workshop that’s targeted specifically to getting bookings is called “Marketing Yourself.” This is offered several times per month and you can get live tips from the pros.
You saw above the massive number of students reported by VIPKid in 2018, and these numbers are growing by the day! It makes sense that the more students you are qualified to teach, the more bookings you can get.
Depending on when you were hired, you may have one or two certifications already. With the 2019 VIPKid Application and Interview Process (Updated March 2019) most new teachers will be certified to teach either “lower level” (Interactive Level 2 + Level 3) or “upper level” (Levels 4 and 5.) When I was hired, 60% of students were in level 2, and shortly thereafter they began being converted to Interactive Level 2. So if you started with the upper levels, a great way to get added potential students is by certifying for the lower level classes.
Trial Classes are another great way to increase your bookings. Many times, parents sign up for trial classes at the last minute, so more tenured teachers are less likely to be available. As an added bonus, trial students can often turn into regulars!
If you meet the requirements, Level 1 is growing by leaps and bounds, so if you have taught the minimum number of classes and there are vacancies available, this would be a good option.
The more students who CAN book you, the more students WILL book you!
Open Short Notice Bookings.
I know this is scary, especially for new VIPKid teachers. But if you are a parent, you know how hectic life can get. Often, parents need to schedule last minute classes because that’s when their kiddo is available. When this happens, their regular teacher may not be available, so they will be more likely to give a new teacher a try. (Plus, lots of trials are booked as short notice too!) Don’t be afraid of short notice. My very first student was short notice, and she is now my most regular. If you’re still nervous, check out VIPKid Short Notice 24-hour Bookings for more information.
Don’t give up!
This is the most important advice I have. No two teachers alike, and everyone has a different experience. For some teachers, it takes days to get bookings. For others it takes months. If you try something and it doesn’t work, then don’t be afraid to try something else. Ask your mentor for help. They can help review your information or perhaps even recommend you to others if they have a good parent network!
The students will come, and by following the tips above, you’ll be ready to support them in the very best way possible. If you have tips of your own, or questions about anything you’ve read here today, let me know in the comments!