Heyyy! This post is geared toward new VIPKid teachers or to you if you want to get more VIPKid Bookings. First off, welcome to the family new teachers! This is an exciting life and it can lead to many additional opportunities. Next, it is going to be alright your schedule will get full, you will get more VIPKID bookings. The Chinese Culture is much different from our Western-way-of life. Once you can understand what they are looking for I believe you will be able to better supply it to your soon to be customers.
A little about Nomadic Wander. My wife and I have been teaching with VIPKid for two years. I contracted with them while I worked a corporate job in the states and my wife worked with them full-time. We now both contract with them as we travel the world. We also worked in central China teaching at a university for 8 months. While we taught at Wuhan University of Science and Technology we still worked our VIPKid jobs and we taught elementary kid students (man we made some bank over there…) on weekends. I say all this to let you know where I am drawing my information from. We both belong to FB VIPKid groups and what not but we also have first-hand experience of what the expectations of parents are and what the parent-child dynamic is in China and it is different.
How the hell do you get more VIPKid Bookings?
I am sure you have heard most of the information that is out there about getting a full schedule but the reality of the situation is you need to look good to the parents and the students. It aint no secret sauce, your game needs to be tight and you can get it tight for cheap. SURPRISE! Getting more VIPKid Bookings starts with your video. I would shoot for something under 60 sec my video is 15 sec (just long enough to get them intrigued). My wife’s video is around 40 sec. We have had the same intro videos since our hire into the company (if it aint broke don’t fix it is our mentality). We both have always enjoyed full schedules with regular students. We take routine breaks from VIPKid at least 3 or 4 times a year and we always come back to being fully booked. You can view our intro videos at the bottom of this post. We both have different styles, different personalities but there are commonalities in each of the videos. They are both shot in a classroom-looking environments. Both are up beat, showcasing your personality and both have us in positions of looking the part of teachers (not a clowns or buffoons). This is not a Blues Clues auditions, parents are not looking for someone to entertain their child but rather someone who can hold the attention of their child and teach them. In China, teachers are highly respected and esteemed throughout the culture. You are worthy and they will recognize your worth if you come off as authentically you. If you are acting you will likely come across as an actor in your video and Chinese parents are about “that life” for their children’s education. They want the best that they can afford. VIPKid bookings are generally reliant on 2 factors: 1) a students identification and selection of your video and 2) the parents approval.
Recommended Video Criteria:
- short and to the point
- highlight your classroom and personality
- no over the top buffoonery, but be playful and fun
- play up your teaching persona
- have your props laying around or use them in the video
- do something to grab a child’s attention (deflate a balloon, make a rooster noise) #standout
The other factor is your bio. What I thinks happen is that a child selects the video they’re most interested in. From there you will need to pass the parental approval stage. This is the parents measuring tool for you. They want to see experience, they want to see the ability to deal with their child one-on-one and keep them engaged and they want to see that you are going to give them what they are looking for. Here are some buzz words and statements to put in your bio:
Buzzing Bio Recommendations:
- extensive experience working one-on-one with children.
- a passion for helping children learn
- nurturing classroom environment
- timely correction
- encouraging and helping children learn
- love of reading drills/ math instruction…..
- engaging teacher
- any standout info (well traveled, school teacher, day job….)
- fun classroom
- proper intonation instruction
- ability to build rapport with students
Searchable Teacher Tags
AVIPKid allows up to 5 searchable Teacher Tags to be on your bio. These tags allow parents to be paired with the appropriate teacher. Your interviewer/mock mentor assigns tags to you. After you complete your video and bio review your account, submit a ticket and request to find out what tags your mock mentor assigned to you. If you do not have 5 or if you believe your tags are not accurate, submit another ticket requesting to add more or change the ones you have. VIPKid will then send you a list of tags to choose from. Some examples of tags are enthusiastic, funny, serious, affectionate, outgoing, strict, supportive……..get some teacher tags associated with your name!
Be patient; the flood gates will open in time and you will reap the full benefits of being a VIPKid Teacher.
Hit Targets dollar section, Dollar Tree or the party section of any store. Most of my backgrounds have been birthday party banners from various party stores and I have used a couple of maps as well. I created my classroom via Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar section.
My wife made our videos with KineMaster (free download on google play) but any video editing software will due; Power Director also has a free download.
Those are the two things that are completely under your control. Here is a window into understanding the parent-child dynamic in China which may help you grow your VIPKid Bookings.
Parent Child Dynamic
Children in China are pressed on all sides and the parents are the primary ones doing the pressing. Most children in China are involved in several after school activities and their school schedule is demanding to the extreme. Students study something constantly and it is for a good cause. Parents generally allow them to make as many decisions as they can (like you pick your teacher and we’ll let you know if we approve) so that they can have a symbol of control.
Tradition: Historically, education or excessive studying is the only way to succeed in China. To secure a government appointment or get into a prestigious university. It is the expectation of the Government (intentional) and the expectation of society that you study, study hard and study continually.
Education: Currently, the logic goes like: Studying hard -> Get into a prestigious university -> Good job -> Good life. In the absence of having rich or well-connected parents, prestigious university is the only way to land a good job. And the University Entry Exam (think of it as SAT) is the great equalizer. Every July, high school seniors have one chance and one chance only to do well in this exam. The score by itself will determine which university you will attend. Your entire life up to that point is to prepare to do well in this one exam. And the result of this exam alone (no recommendation letters, no extracurricular activities, no essays) will determine which university you’ll attend, if any. The only way to do well is to one up the person next to you, which resulted in that vicious cycle described above.
Teacher Del’s Video:
Teacher Apryl’s Video: