By teacher Beth K.
My family is a VIPKID family; my little family of 4 people and 1 dog, tucked on the side of a hill overlooking waters near the Atlantic Ocean of Nova Scotia, Canada, is a VIPKID family.
We weren’t always a VIPKID family. I had been a stay at home Mom for just over seven years when, at a BBQ, I overheard a friend’s Mother talking about my friend’s new job. She was teaching English online to kids in China. What? That’s a thing?
I peppered my friend’s mother with questions and then contacted my friend and peppered her with questions. By October of 2015 I had been contracted to join the VIPKID team. My friend earned a recruiting bonus from VIPKID so I felt less bad about my endless barrage of VIPKID questions…she totally earned that bonus.
My elderly labrador retriever, Lixie, joined the VIPKID family right away; lying by my feet while I taught and sometimes lifting her head to say hi, much to the delight of my students.
Next came my children. The boys often sit with me when I review my lessons. They do the activities. They blend the letter sounds together. One practices reading while the other traces the letters.
Since our youngest hasn’t started school yet, he has helped me with other VIPKID projects. First he co-starred in a marketing video I made of me reading a bedtime story, and then he starred as my assistant in a video I made to showcase ten easy, cheap, effective reward systems.
For most of my VIPKID career I worked between 10 and 20 hours a week. Sometimes I like to make more money though. When something comes up I can immediately open more timeslots in my schedule and have them filled within days. I love the flexibility in my schedule and the ability to work as much or as little as I want.
As happy as I am to teach, I was thrilled when I was faced with a new opportunity; VIPKID Practicum Evaluator (PE). Now I can fill in more hours evaluating the practicums of potential teachers and my new position lets me work outside of peak teaching hours. I truly feel as though I have the best of both worlds; teaching a few hours each morning and evaluating incoming teacher candidates at other times during the day. The two positions compliment each other well. Doing PEs helps me be a better teacher and teaching gave me a solid foundation as a PE.
My husband Dale completed our VIPKID family this summer when he too became an active teacher. These days our youngest sits with Dale to review his classes. He knows the Level 1 class as well as I do and he tells his father, “this is an easy one Dad.“
Having another VIPKID teacher in the house has been wonderful. It makes troubleshooting and brainstorming much more efficient. We are always bouncing ideas off of each other and reviewing tricky teaching scenarios. If we had a watercooler we’d be able to have actual watercooler conversations.
The downside of both of us working for VIPKID is when technology goes down. Recently a severe thunderstorm took out our phone and internet service. We couldn’t get back up and running for a couple of days so I was forced to do Practicum Evaluations from the country store down the road and had to teach at 6 AM in a friend’s house. Dale had to cancel a class as he needed to be home to wait for the technician to come fix our phone and internet. Luckily our tech issues are few and far between.
VIPKID has slowly been infiltrating my extended family as well. A few months ago my sister-in-law joined the team and just this week my niece became an active teacher.
Now, if only I could teach my parents how to use their computer…