Congratulations! You’ve been hired as a new VIPKid teacher! Now what?
On the television show “The First 48,” the title sequence said, “For homicide detectives, the clock starts ticking the moment they are called. Their chance of solving a murder is cut in half if they don’t get a lead within the first 48 hours.” With VIPKid, the stakes aren’t nearly as high, but those first days and weeks after you are hired are still pretty important.
There is a lot of advice on the Internet about what you should do while you are waiting to begin teaching. Here are the first three things you should do within the first 48 hours:
- Open Your Schedule
- Schedule the New Teacher Kickoff Workshop
- Assemble a basic set of props
Step 1: Open your schedule.
I say this with a big disclaimer. You will not get booked immediately. You will most likely not get booked within your first week. There is no single formula to tell us when you will be booked. For some, they get booked in days. For some, they get booked in weeks. For some, they get booked in months. It is different for everyone. But one thing is absolute. If you do not open your schedule, you will not be booked.
If you are like me, you would rather wait until you are “fully prepared” and have reviewed every single lesson you could possibly teach. Even if that were possible (which it’s not) it would take FOREVER, so just rip the bandaid and open up some timeslots.
Remember, parents book their classes 2-3 weeks in advance, so while you are welcome to open up timeslots immediately (especially if you are willing to try Short Notice 24-hour Bookings) you will have the most success opening slots following the booking frenzy for the week after next. VIPKid also recommends that you open slots for at least 3 weeks in advance to allow the highest chance of re-booking immediately following a class.
For more information about how to open your timeslots and when, check out VIPKid Booking Schedules.
Step 2: Schedule the New Teacher Kickoff Workshop
Jumping in to your first class can be exhilarating, but also terrifying. Even if you passed your mock class certifications with flying colors, there’s something about sitting across from a real little person across the ocean that is just so much more! The best way to make sure you are prepared is by attending a new teacher kickoff workshop. The objectives of the workshop are:
- Help you prepare for your first class.
- Learn more about the VIPKid life.
- Find out all about the awesome workshops and other resources available to teachers.
- Learn a bit more about how to “run your business” in the platform.
- Get some precious tips from experienced and super-friendly mentors.
- Get gifts especially made for new teachers.
The workshop lasts 1.5 hours, and they schedule at least one on MOST days. I would suggest checking your calendar and getting one scheduled within your first week. Once you get a taste of what’s out there, you’ll want to schedule more, so the earlier you get started the better!
For more information on where to see the schedule and how to find this workshop, check out my overview of the VIPKid Library and Certification Center.
Step 3: Assemble a basic set of props.
Don’t go crazy. You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money. In fact, I’m certain that you already have much of what you need right around the house! Depending on what levels you are certified to teach, you may want to adjust, but here are some basics:
Free Props (or things you already have)
- an apple
- stuffed animals or pet toys (I use dogs, cats, elephants, foxes, and pigs the most for some reason.)
- a ruler
- game pieces (dominos, dice, colorful paying pieces, play money, or UNO cards are a few of my favorites)
- your smartphone (There is a whole wealth of digital rewards and props available in the Google Slides Facebook group. Or you can always pull up photos or gifs on your phone that you find relevant to the lesson.)
- printed or drawn props (Meg, Mike, and Dino, He/She/It, alphabet flash cards, printed stars to award during class, happy and sad faces)
- a small, handheld whiteboard
- a toy microphone or other musical toy for songs
- a bag of balloons (great for colors, counting, size, weight, and more!)
- some inexpensive educational decorations for your backdrop if you didn’t already decorate for your mock class certifications
- a simple reward system (The options are endless here – pick out something you think is fun and cool, because if you like it, your students will too.) For ideas, see Types of VIPKid Rewards.
You will be amazed at what you can find to use in a lesson just lying around your house. One of my go-to props is a packet of Ramen noodles and a set of chopsticks from a restaurant!
I want to stress that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on props. It’s also not necessary to have every single prop planned out in advance. But I know from experience I felt more comfortable knowing that I had a few trusty items I could grab if I needed to!
If you had visions of your first 48 hours with VIPKid being filled with classes and students, I’m sorry to disappoint you. However, know that those first 48 hours can set you up for success in what is sure to become a successful journey with VIPKid.