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!”

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.

To become a VIPKID teacher, please click here.


  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.

  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.

  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.

  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!