Do you love your ministry job but need more income to make ends meet, especially in the time of COVID-19?
Do you want to grow as an ESL teacher but don’t have the bandwidth for a traditional certification process?
Are you looking for a side gig but it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the work day?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. I’ve talked to many, many people who are involved in ministry among immigrants who are in this same boat. I know I am!
That’s why I am so thankful for VIPKID, a Chinese company that connects American teachers with Chinese students for online tutoring in English.
Interested in signing up to be a teacher?
All you need are:
- A college degree (in anything, though training in ESL = higher pay)
- Some teaching experience and/or experience with kids (even being a camp counselor, homeschooler, or Sunday school teacher counts)
- A good internet connection
It also helps if you’re willing to work in the early morning (this is what I do, because my kids are sleeping!) or at night, since these times are when kids in China are available. These “off-hours” hours are nice because it means you can do this job in addition to your regular job or in addition to being with your kids during the day.
Another great thing is you make your own hours and work as much or as little as you want. This is helpful if you have another job that ebbs and flows, so you want to work a side-gig more sometimes and less at other times.
I’ve been teaching for nearly 2 years with VIPKID, and this job has helped me in unexpected cross-cultural communication areas beyond just providing flexible income:
- I have become educated on-the-job in the mechanics of teaching English. VIPKID provides all curriculum with slides for each and every lesson that are self-explanatory and require little to no preparation to teach. They are organized in such a way that it supports step by step learning, and is very easy to grasp as a teacher (but I wouldn’t have been able to organize a lesson that way by myself on the fly for sure!). I am re-learning the rules of my own language, and this is helpful to me as I explain ESL ideas in “real” life crosscultural friendships, too!
- I have become much more comfortable interacting with people who know little to no English (as is the case for some of my more basic students). I have learned the value of smiles, laughter, acting things out, and not taking myself too seriously. And I have had the joy of seeing comprehension develop bit by bit as we practice English together!
- I have grown in my understanding of Chinese culture, since I am literally video-ing in to living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms (and occasionally the streets of Beijing when my students are on public transit–that is always exciting!) to connect with students, so I am seeing life unfolding in the background and talking with children and teens about their daily lives. This has given me more practical insight than a book ever could and has informed my interactions and relationships with Chinese friends here, giving me many questions to ask and conversation topics to introduce.
I get all this education, yet they pay me for it?? I’m really grateful, especially right now.
And with so many people dealing with financial strain and job loss in the face of COVID-19, I thought I’d share a bit about my experience and let you know that VIPKID is hiring thousands more teachers these days since Chinese kids are still not back in school due to the virus.
If you read this blog you are most likely a very good candidate, since you love people from other cultures and are looking to grow in your crosscultural understanding and communication.
Want to try it?
You can sign up using the link below as my referral if you’d like (or feel free to share with a friend who might be looking for work).
I’d be happy to walk you through the interview process, giving you more tips for what they’re looking for and how to make sure you’re prepared for teaching your first class!
Get started here: https://bit.ly/2VcpsoP.