Day One


“One student (my favorite from today, actually) was in a sulk. She didn’t want to come to the camera. She practiced emphatically saying, “I am NOT feel good.” with her mom, in preparation for when I would ask how she was.”

By Kate Christian

Today was my first day as a VIPKID teacher. Although I have 15 years classroom experience, and have taught ESL students from all over the world, I was a little nervous. How would I manage this new format? I had five classes scheduled back to back. Would I be able to leave feedback for all of them and still be on time?

One of my favorite things from today was seeing the faces of my students on camera before my lessons started. One little boy was growling and making monster faces while watching himself on his computer. One little girl looked nervous as she fidgeted in her chair. Another girl looked exhausted—drooped across her desk, fanning herself. One student (my favorite from today, actually) was in a sulk. She didn’t want to come to the camera. She practiced emphatically saying, “I am NOT feel good.” with her mom, in preparation for when I would ask how she was. She slid under the desk and hid when she saw the first slide load. But when I appeared on camera, she popped up and was all smiles. When I asked, “How are you?” she told me, “I’m FINE! Thanks!”

Do you know how Kate could have answered “Thank You” back in Chinese? Click here to find out.

And, I was fine, too.

Some of my classes felt a little rushed to me, but everything was covered. The little boy who had been making monster faces was having his very first lesson. He was very excited to type numbers. So, when we finished the lesson ppt, we spent some time learning English number words. He was thrilled. The girl who had been sprawled all over her desk in exhaustion pulled out a notebook and wrote down new vocabulary as I taught. My nervous little girl was enchanted with my monkey puppet and was delighted to earn bananas for it. It was a really fun morning.

I know the alarm is going to go off really early tomorrow. But I’m looking forward to it. I can tell already that teaching for VIPKID is a job that I will love.


Kate has been teaching with VIPKID since May 2015.

Earn up to $22 an Hour Teaching English from Home


  1. You, Kate, just motivated me enough to go and clean up, put some makeup on, and get ready for this interview process. I don’t want to miss a thing as I’m quite detailed myself in preparing for my days. This, I believe, would be a joy and a wonderful opportunity as I’m a mom of 2 children, who are now adults, 30 and 35 and I have a grandchild that is 7.
    I would love going back to teaching again. That was my best time ever was teaching children. I have taught all my nieces and nephews since they were 2 and 3 and 4 years of age. They are now 52, 50, 48, 46, 44, and so on. I’ve been teaching a long time. I already have a BBA in Business, but this BA will be for clinical psychology, counseling, and addiction. I have 3 1/2 years of Human Services. I’ve decided to change my major from BS to BA as that is where I feel the need is in the world at it stands, is for helping people, teens, kids, adults with addiction and behaviors of addiction and to counsel them. You need to have a true love for people and the human spirit to teach what you’ve learned throughout your life. I happen to have that love. Thank you, Kate, for inspiring me further, I already knew I’d love this you just made it seem viable to me.

    • Hi Crystal,
      Did you ever start teaching for VIP? Your story sounds very similar to mine and I am curious how this is working for you.
      Let me know,

  2. Hi Kate,
    Thank you for documenting your first day! I too feel as if I have PLENTY of teaching experience over the years and have even held basic educational classes for young offenders in prison, yet still – I’m nervous about joining this project. Admittedly, I’m unfamiliar with this format for teaching, but with your story about your first day – it’s giving me the courage to jump in. One bucket list item that was going to be left unfulfilled was teaching overseas, but now (If I pass the interview) – I will be able to accomplish that life long dream from the comfort of my home.
    Your comments are sincerely appreciated and you have motivated me to move forward in this new venture.

    • As a retired teacher, I so miss teaching!! I am unfamiliar with the delivery of teaching on line, but have a vast amount of teaching ELA students. I am sure, with the encouragement of these commentaries, and the excitement to return to teaching, I will so look forward to embarking, with my kids, a rewarding and educational experience.

  3. Wow! You sound like a fantastic teacher, Teacher Kate! While I spent many years working in the school system as a school nurse, I am new to teaching ESL. I am both excited and nervous. Thank you for giving me an insight into a day in your teaching life! I hope I will be as successful as you!

  4. The challenge with online teaching is availability of space. The likely scenario for me it will be a public library or my home of which the space is limited. In the library, movement of people and staff, l don’t know if you can advise me on this before we start with the interview.

    Thank you

    • Our teachers use no more than just a corner it their home. They can teach standing or sitting down. Standing up uses less space.

  5. What a great, honest description of a day of teaching lessons (back to back) to a variety of kids. I have just applied via Indeed,and look forward to the process of interviewing and eventually teaching young children again.
    Retired First Grade Teacher,

  6. Is this job as good as all of you are making it to be ? Do I have to know Chinese ? What are my requirements ? I was just sent an email with the information to apply. It would not let me click off to anywhere else. So I am actually kind of on a need to know basis about this job . I am very interested in teaching children that is what I am going to school for as of right now .

    • Here’s some more info about requirements:

      You can sign-up to teach with us here:

  7. Good morning from Indiana. Such an inspiring first day. I so look forward to the interview and hope all goes well and I get the opportunity to proceed into teaching. I have taught Pre-School many years ago, plus homeschooled my step-daughter through high school. Not to mention teaching adults to read and write through out the years. I recently went back to school to obtain my BA in Early Childhood Education. As one day I hope to open a Pre-School for Disabled and Needy Children with working parents and those that cannot financially afford it. My heart is fullest when its helping children as mine are grown and moved away. I look at this opportunity to fill it once again with the joy of children and teaching. Thank you very much for you most inspiring daily docket. Continued success and blessings sent your way.

    • Hi Michelle, Hello also from Indiana and very intrigued by your dream of opening a preschool for disabled kiddos. My regular full-time job is for the state parent training and information center and I have a very passionate interest in improving educational outcomes for ALL kids with disabilities. I’d love to hear your ideas sometime. You can reach me at, 812 496 5997, or via our Facebook private inbox on our Facebook page at @INSOURCEparentshelpingparents. This, to me, seems almost like an extension of what I do (special education advocate and parent educator). I can’t wait to get started. (My kids are grown and gone also) Good luck to you!

  8. I am looking forward to something new and different style of teaching than I ever did before. Having taught for 20 (+) years, as well as subbing this style of teaching brings a whole new aspect. I probably never thought that I would do this. I feel a sense of independence and less distractions than ever before what a great feeling. I believe this is a new version and a more innovative way of teaching in the future.

    • That’s what I was wondering about too. The interview times were 1-2 am where I am (Pennsylvania, US). I hope can answer this question. I have no problem working in the middle of the night. In fact it would be the best time for me. Quiet and no interruptions.

  9. I’m soo excited about the opportunity to teach kids. I submitted the first part and am awaiting the email to begin the next step. I miss teaching and I’m excited about impacting kids in a positive way and showing them a little of Alaska through the lessons if possible.

  10. Hi There,

    I am curious, Is this portal only for Americans? As I am a teacher from South Africa, I have been teaching in South Korea and have just completed my contract and am looking at doing this type of teaching. Sounds wonderful. The way of the future!

  11. I am totally new to this concept and way of teaching. Am now in the process of the first stages of applying. Have enjoyed reading the comments and I will see what happens.

  12. Reading these comments to your wonderful overview was quite encouraging. I am full of the same anxiety that accompanied my first day in the classroom. I have taught on-line before, to accelerated and at-risk learners, but this is a new endeavor for me as I have been retired for several years and am hoping to succeed as I truly miss the joy that only successful teaching can provide. Thank you for sharing this message.

  13. Hi I’m waiting an upcoming interview and feeling nervous. I been in the education field for 20+ yeears and even though I’m nervous, I also feel excited to start this new journey if or when I pass the interview.

  14. Thanks, VIPkid teachers and soon-to-bes! I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one intimidated by the interview process and its prospects! I, too, am a retired “teacher” (actually, a career simulator instructor in the field of Nuclear Power Plant Operations Training). As well, I was immediately drawn to the idea of teaching youngsters via the Internet! I have many years of experience coaching boys and girls, mostly between the ages of 5 and 13, and always involving team sports (e.g., baseball, softball, football, soccer), but I have never participated in structured training, one-on-one, with a child! I have a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl, and I love those moppets so so so much! I hope I do well on the interview, because I really really really want to do this! I’m so glad I bothered to read these comments! Thanks to all!

  15. I taught ESL in Japan several years ago, and absolutely loved the experience and opportunities living and working abroad presented. It allowed me to introduce rural Japanese children to my language and culture as an American and as a Southern African American woman, and conversely, I was introduced to theirs.

    I was excited to learn of VIPKid through a Facebook advertisement. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical at first. After some research, and reading several blog posts (including this one), I believe I have enough information and have decided to apply. There are still a few lingering questions: 1.) Is there a good volume of student-clients relative to teachers. Since the company is obviously on a hiring blitz at the moment, I am wondering if there is a comparable need for teacher positions to fill; 2.) If you an individual is not selected for a position in the first attempt, does VIPKid allow a reapplication at a later date? Although I usually do well with interviews, I’ve read so much about how difficult the interview and mock lesson is, that I am a bit nervous myself. This will be my first time doing any teaching virtually. Any answer or advice that you have regarding these questions/concerns would be appreciated. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  16. I have started filling out the paperwork and now the next step the video. I am a little scared with this, even though I work as an online tutor and with other students in-person, this is new to me. I hope I can do this since I can work in a classroom with a room full of students and I have no problem teaching them. But, to teach students overseas in China is a little foreboding.
    I have been substituting for over 10 years and I have never had butterflies in teaching till now. Tell me, will this be as easy as everyone has said it is or am I just having wishful thinking. But I want to help all children learn to read and write. So I guess I will jump in and get my feet wet.
    BTW I am a Hoosier who is now living the Buckeye State.

  17. I have only taught Sunday school and Mentored in the St Louis Public School system for 10 years, although I have a Masters degree, it is not in TEACHING. I have a interview tomorrow and am scared to death. After reading all the comments I’m REALLY SCARED because it appears that you all have teaching degrees or have relative experience, so I’m feeling a bit unqualified and lacking the experience to do this. Although I do have a passion for children and learning, my classroom experience is limited. Got Big butterflies for this interview tomorrow

    • Hey Sharon! How did the interview process go? I am in the same boat as you and very nervous to even apply without prior teaching experience.

    • Hello, I just applied for a teaching position with this company. I have read lots of reviews, wondering how the questions are, what to expect and how long the process takes. I have substituted before for K-12 students in the classroom but never online. Excited to learn something new about this opportunity and looking forward to working with students.

    • How did it go??? I have a Bachelor’s degree and have only taught Sunday school classes and homeschooled my boys for 4 years with the help of an online public school. I want to apply but just really nervous about the interview/possibility that I will get hired.

  18. I have over 20 years of experience in teaching both in the classroom and online. I have not worked with ESL students. Would I need to learn Chinese?

  19. Just set up my interview! I am super excited and nervous at the same time. Reading the comments is super helpful in familiarizing myself with this method of teaching.

  20. I absolutely and thoroughly enjoy online teaching and Kate has just inspired me to proceed and believe I could be accepted into the company. I have been teaching online since 2014 from an English Language Call Centre with iTutor Group but it would be wonderful to pursue this from home, enjoying more one-on-one Tutoring. I have applied and waiting in anticipation. Thank you Kate.

  21. I am about to Complete my MOCK 2 class. I have overcome my jitters of seeing myself on camera.. I will let you all know how I did. LOWER LEVEL 2…. My preference would be PRESCHOOL. But I am used to being flexible, I teach Elementary Special Needs.. Wisj me luck!!!!

  22. Love this post! Have taught for 32 years, from preschool to college sophomores, and this sounds like an opportunity to make a difference. I am curious about what hours parents book. I’m sure evening hours their time, which would be early morning our time, are the most popular. Do any parents book lessons during traditional school hours their time? I would like to be able to get in an eight-hour work day. Thanks

  23. I actually want to try this but there is the fear in me that I may not be great at it given I have no teaching experience at all. The thought of what if I am not good at it, what if the kids don’t like me keep holding me back from it *sad*

  24. This post made me feel better, I have taught for 21 years and just retired. I already miss the kids and want to do something. Will I been teaching in the middle of the night in US, I am not sure about the time difference. I am worried about seeing myself on camera, but I am sure going to try this. Wonderful opportunity!

  25. I understand a little fear of the unknown is normal, as I prepare for my interview. But more so, I am lead to think of the kids that are signed up to be taught and I get excited. Several years ago, I had the privilege to teach ESL students in a private school setting. I also teach in various settings at church. This will be the first time on this platform.

  26. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kate. I have had plenty of teaching experience but am concerned about the tech aspect. Does it get expensive to do it? First you have to supply the headset. How about the puppets? Do you have to go out and purchase those as well? And the props? I have so many questions!

  27. I just found out about VipKid online when searching for a remote job opportunity. I have no teaching experience however, I do have a BA in psychology and I am a mom of 6. I need some more information. I have also worked with kids with special needs and I have a lot more patience than some. Do I need to know other languages and what are the qualifications?

    Thanks, Leah

  28. I have taught music and biology briefly. I substitute teach now everyday that I can. I’ve done that for 7 years I teach Pre K-12, music, art, math, sciences, comp sci and business. My primary career was software, but I have a music education degree with a biology major. I took conservation, anatomy, physiology, and biology education courses. I did use the biology degree when I volunteered with conservation groups and USFWS for 10 years.
    I had to leave my career early when both my parents developed Alzheimer’s. So now I’m considering other employment. I don’t know if this is right for me, but I have a lot of varied experience which I think might be useful in this type of position. I’ve subbed for English teachers, but I’m stronger in sciences. I did write technical articles for my software employer, so I can write. I’ve helped students write lab reports and research papers. I just don’t know if I have enough English skills to teach English.

  29. Kate, I have a B.S. in education, have a masters am 24 hours into my Ph.D, My experience includes children, teens and adults. I have a fried with the organization who has said she will recommend me. I contacted VIPKID and the reply said not to type above the line. I could not send an acceptable reply. I am ready to begin.


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