VIPKid Dictionary

Are you still struggling to incorporate your FAS with your SN PPT timeslots during your MC classes?

Are you new to VIPKid? Are you still struggling to incorporate your FAS with your SN PPT timeslots during your MC classes? Don’t worry! There are a LOT of acronyms with VIPKid.

The below is certainly not a comprehensive list, but hopefully it’s enough to get you started. If you have a new one I’ve missed, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it! Many are acronyms, but I’ve also included a few words that might be confusing if you are new to our VIPKid world!

Bao Bao: This is a nickname for “child” used by some Chinese families. Occasionally, you’ll see a class scheduled with “Bao Bao” and this just means that the parents haven’t yet chosen an English name OR perhaps it’s a trial and the student has not yet been confirmed. Often in Facebook posts, you’ll see teachers refer to their student as “Bao Bao” just like an American might refer to a generic student name.

Brand Ambassador: Brand Ambassadors are online influencers on social channels with an engaged audience who can help curate, promote, and share information with VIPKid teachers. If you’ve done a google search for VIPKid, I can assure you that you’ve run across some brand ambassadors. They will have content that’s clearly marked as their own content vs. “Official” VIPKid sanctioned content from their brand ambassador role.

Builder’s Program: The VIPKid Builder’s Program provides high-performing teachers with the opportunity to get involved in other aspects of the company. There are several different roles that fall into three main categories: Create (focusing on bringing the teacher voice into the curriculum development,) Promote (for teachers who like to share VIPKid in the community,) and Support (for those who want to support their peer teachers.)  More information about the different programs can be found below. To qualify for any of the builders programs, you must have taught at least 1,000 classes “as finished,” have a 4.90 apple rating from your last 100 classes, and have a 5.0 participation rate. More information on the builder’s program can be found in the VIPKid Support Center.

Coach: VIPKid Coaches are part of the Builder’s Program. Coaches are teachers who facilitate in-person coaching sessions were applicants can practice the basic skills of online teaching. This is a part of the VIPKid Interview Process – Fast Pass Coaching Day.

Community Ambassador: A community ambassador is a role that’s a part of the Builder’s Program. Teachers serve a three-month term and provide support to other teachers through the Official VIPKid Facebook group or the Hutong.

Curriculum Reviewer: Curriculum Reviewers share feedback with the Curriculum team via small group and 1:1 calls. This role is a part of the Builder’s Program.

FAS: Find a Star is a game that is often played during class. This can be done digitally through Google Slides or by printing out pictures or numbers and hiding stars underneath them. There are many different ways to play Find a Star, but it’s a popular game among teachers and students alike. You can see an example of it in Using Google Slides with VIPKid.

Finish Type: Each class is marked with a disposition by VIPKid upon completion.  For a teacher to be paid, the finish type must be one of the following:

  • AS_SCHEDULED
  • STUDENT_NO_SHOW
  • STUDENT_IT_PROBLEM
  • SYSTEM_PROBLEM

Other finish types that will affect your payment and could perhaps incur teacher penalties are:

  • TEACHER_NO_SHOW
  • TEACHER_NO_SHOW_2H
  • TEACHER_CANCELLATION_24H
  • TEACHER_CANCELLATION
  • TEACHER_IT_PROBLEM

GS or #gsOG: This refers to Google Slides, and if you see the hashtag, it generally refers to the Google Slides Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/vipkidgs/.)

IPAED: This is a teaching method used in many VIPKid lessons.

  • Introduce: This is where you show your student a new word or idea.
  • Practice: The student practices repeating the new concept. These slides are often drag and drop so the student can get comfortable with the new information.
  • Apply: The student is asked to apply their new knowledge. These slides are often fill in the blank so the student can really show they learned the information.
  • Extend: This is your chance to extend upon the information. If the student has mastered the concept, then you can add to it at this point.
  • Demonstrate: Here’s where your student can show you what they’ve learned! In major courses, this refers to the projects they do for homework. In some supplemental courses, the students get the chance to demonstrate more regularly!

JCL: Junior Creator’s League is a supplemental program available for students through VIPKid. It’s designed to develop students’ interests into skills through hands-on learning. The lessons are very specific to a unique topic (for example, biology or singing.) More information can be found in the certification center.

Local Leaders: Local leaders are active meetup hosts in their communities, strong promoters, and they identify and execute on local opportunities. Local Leaders are a part of the Builder’s Program.

MC: Major Courses are the primary courses that students can take through VIPKid.  There are currently seven levels of MC classes:

  • Level One (PreVIPKid)
  • Level Two (Being phased out)
  • Level Two Interactive
  • Level Three
  • Level Four
  • Level Five
  • Level Six

Each MC has 12 units and 12 lessons in each unit. The unit is divided into halves, with a unit assessment at the end of each.  Each lesson is numbered as follows:

  • Class Type (MC)
  • Level (1-6)
  • Unit (1-12)
  • Half (LC1 or LC2)
  • Lesson (1-12)

For example, MC-L2-U1-LC2-10 means that it’s a major course (MC) in Level 2 (L2). It’s Unit 1 (U1) and the second half (LC2) and lesson 10.

MCM: Mock Class Mentors are those who help teachers pass their certifications. They provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.conduct 1:1 classroom role-play scenarios and provide feedback to applicants and current teachers certifying in new curriculum or levels. This is a part of the Builder’s Program (see above.)

Mentor: Mentors create and run 1-hour workshops for VIPKid teachers. You may also hear teachers refer to a referring teacher as a mentor (for lack of a better word.) Please note, true Mentors are paid positions that are part of the Builder’s Program, while a referring teacher is simply someone whose code was used during an applicant’s application process.

Peak Timeslots: These are prime teaching hours, generally when Chinese students are not in school.

PPT Timeslots: These are the most popular timeslots and are the best to open if you are looking for increased bookings! For more information on timeslots and VIPKid scheduling, check out VIPKid Hours.

Product Advisory Council: Members of the Product Advisory Council are a part of a team that meets monthly to brainstorm new features, discuss upcoming launches, and test new features. This role is a part of the Builder’s Program.

SIT: Student IT – this is when a student has a proven IT issue on their side. Teachers are paid for 100% of the class in Student IT situations.

SN: Short Notice – this refers to timeslots that can be booked up to one hour before class. If a timeslot is not marked as “short notice” it will expire 24 hours before class time. You can learn more about SN booking with VIPKid Short Notice 24-hour Bookings.

SNS: Student No Show – this is when a student doesn’t come to class. Even if a student isn’t in the classroom, you are required to stay and wait at least 15 minutes for trial classes and a full 25 minutes for other classes. There are many different opinions on what should, or shouldn’t be done when you are in a classroom and your student hasn’t arrived. I personally post a message in the chatroom every 2 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, I contact the fireman so that they can call the parents. I take screenshots every five minutes in case there is any question that I was there, ready to teach. This is not required, but simply a best practice I choose to use.

TESOL: TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and encompasses what used to be called TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). Within VIPKid, you’ll most commonly hear this in the context of the VIPKid certifications offered in conjunction with the TESOL-VIPKid Foundational and TESOL-VIPKid Advanced certifications.  The foundations certificate is now required for any new teachers who don’t have a degree in education, but the advanced TESOL is optional.

TIT: This is the dreaded “Teacher IT” – if there is a system problem that prevents you from teaching at least 3 minutes of class (and it is not the student or VIPKid’s fault) then you forfeit 100% of the payment for that class. It’s always helpful to have a backup ready to go in case of power outages or internet failures. Ipads and mobile hotspots are lifesavers!

TMC: Teaching Material Contributors create and design prep materials, level certifications, and participate in testing new curriculum. This role is a part of the Builder’s Program.

TNS: Teacher No-Show. Noooooo….  this is when you fail to show up for, or cancel, a class. Obviously, you get no pay for these. In addition, you will be penalized (usually $10 for a normal 25 minute class, or $20 for a 50 minute class.)

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.  There is a supplementary course offered by VIPKid to help students prepare for this test. Certification information is available under the Certification tab in the Teacher’s Portal.

T2T Feedback: Teacher to Teacher Feedback is optional feedback left in the portal that’s only visible to VIPKid and other teachers.  It is intended to be used to provide the next teacher a short update about the student or their progress. Be careful! There are a lot of opinions about how this should (or shouldn’t) be used. Ultimately, I suggest adding whatever notes you feel would be helpful if YOU were the next teacher!

I feel like there are far more of these types of words and acronyms that an experienced teacher now takes for granted, so please – if you have questions or others to add to the list, please let me know!

In the meantime, if you are just getting started with VIPKid, check out the application process Completing the VIPKid Application and feel free to use my referral link if you’d like some help through the hiring process!

Thanks, and happy teaching!

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Getting Bookings with VIPKid

The more students who CAN book you, the more students WILL book you!

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.

First of all, be sure you have opened up the correct weeks! Most parents book two weeks in advance, so if you aren’t sure, check out VIPKid Booking Schedules.

Then…

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!

Take workshops.

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.

new teacher kickoff

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.

Add Certifications

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!

If you’ve tried all of these tips, check out these additional booking booster ideas!

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!

Happy teaching!