One of the greatest perks of being a VIPKid teacher is the total flexibility we have with our schedule. However, that can be a problem if you don’t know how to open your schedule or make your VIPKid schedule work for you!
So we’re going to discuss how to open your schedule, change your schedule as needed, deal with priority bookings, update your schedule during Daylight Savings time, and block time for vacations in order to create the perfect VIPKid schedule for your needs.
Creating Your VIPKid Schedule
You are 100% in charge of creating a schedule that works for you and the needs of your family. Obviously, if you want to teach more classes, you need to open more time slots. But there are no VIPKid minimum hours; you can teach as many or as few classes as you want!
But since you want to create an ideal VIPKid schedule, let’s take a look at all of the things you need to consider.
How Long are VIPKid Classes?
One of the first things you need to understand is that VIPKid classes are a minimum of 25 minutes long, but you can go as long as 28 minutes. That’s why you’ll notice class times available on the hour and half hour.
As teachers, we’re given a 30 minute window to complete the lessons. That way if your class runs to the 28 minute mark, you still have enough time to say goodbye, exit the class, and enter your next class with time to spare.
VIPKid Full Time or Part Time
Another important factor to consider when is whether you want to teach full-time or just part-time. While I only teach part-time, there are a multitude of teachers who keep a completely booked full-time schedule.
Simply think about your needs and decide how many hours you want to teach. Then take a few minutes to determine exactly how much money you will make based on that specific number of hours.
Knowing these numbers will help you stay on track to meet any financial goals that you’ve set.
When you first become a VIPKid teacher, you are asked about your time zone. The VIPkid app is customized to reflect your time zone, but the classes parents choose is based on Beijing time.
So here’s a quick breakdown of the American time zones…
- Eastern Time – 12 hours behind Beijing time (9 am EST = 9 pm BJT)
- Central Time – 13 hours behind Beijing time (8 am CST = 9 pm BJT)
- Mountain Time – 14 hours behind Beijing time (7 am MST = 9 pm BJT)
- Pacific Time – 15 hours behind Beijing time (6 am PST = 9 pm BJT)
- Hawaii Time – 17 hours behind Beijing time (4 am HST = 9 pm BJT
Knowing the time difference is important because your VIPKid teaching hours can vary greatly from other teachers’ hours…simply because of your time zone.
Daylight Savings Time
Just when you think you’ve gotten your schedule all worked out, you end up having to make some changes because of Daylight Savings Time. When we “fall back” in October or November, China’s time doesn’t change.
So that means that if you were teaching a class at 9 am ET, it will now be at 8 am EST for you and still 9 pm BJT.
The good news is that the times reflected inside of your schedule coordinate with the time change without you having to do anything! You just need to make sure that you’re aware of the change and how it affects your specific VIPKid schedule and teaching hours.
Peak Teaching Times
Your greatest opportunity to fill your schedule with students is during VIPKid peak hours which are from 7 pm – 9 pm BJT. Outside of these time slots, the next most popular times are Saturday, Sunday, and 6 pm – 7pm BJT.
If you’re struggling with bookings, these are the optimal times to open slots! You can see how these times are differentiated in the VIPKid peak hours chart below.
You can see that the peak hours and PPT (which are the MOST popular times) are highlighted on the left-hand side of the VIPKid hours chart. Just remember that my times may look different from your because I’m in the Eastern Time Zone.
How to Open Your VIPKid Schedule
Open the VIPKid app and hover over the “Class” tab and then click on “Bookings.”
Once you have clicked bookings, your schedule page will open. The times on the left are based on your specific time zone. I’m in the Eastern Standard Time zone, so this is a snapshot of my schedule.
All of the white boxes are available times to teach classes. Those boxes with the light grey stripes are expired times that can no longer be booked.
When you click a class time, the box becomes blue indicating to parents that you are available at these times.
In the schedule above, you can see that there are 2 class times that I have opened but have not been booked. These are noted as available.
Once a student books your class, the box goes from blue to green and includes the student’s name. This lets you see at a glance which students you will be teaching on specific days.
If a student cancels a class, that slot goes from green back to blue. And once a time has expired, it switches to the darker grey color.
How far in advance should I open my schedule?
VIPKid opens all teacher schedules to the parent community at noon Beijing time each Monday. This is known in the VIPKid community as the “booking frenzy.”
Parents are allowed to book their child’s favorite teacher for as many of your classes as they want. But this VIPKid frenzy is for the following week.
Let’s look at an example.
On July 13, 2020 at noon Beijing time, teacher schedules were opened for the week of July 19-25. This allowed every parent the opportunity to book favorite teachers.
Now there are times when a parent can book BEFORE the booking frenzy and these are known as priority bookings.
If a student has taken your class and enjoyed having you as their teacher, parents can choose to priority book your class for the same time two weeks in advance. This gives them priority over the general parent population to be able to book with their favorite teacher.
There are a few exceptions to this as some courses, including Starlight, give parents the ability to book your classes up to four weeks in advance. So as you consider how far in advance you want to open your schedule, definitely keep this in mind.
You’ll want to open your classes at least two weeks (or more) in advance based on the type of courses you teach to take advantage of any priority bookings and the booking frenzy.
If you have your schedule open for bookings at least two weeks in advance, parents can book your classes without you having to confirm the booking. However, if you haven’t opened the slots, you will get a notification that a student wants to priority book your class.
Another time you might see a priority booking notification is if a student wants to book a class outside of the time slots you have opened. They can request this class, but you have the final say as to whether or not you want to teach it.
How do I decline a priority booking without making parents mad?
In the past, parents have requested classes at 2 am, 11 pm, and 10 am on Sunday mornings. Because I never open my schedule for those times, I had no problem declining the priority booking.
However, if you’re a newer teacher looking to get more bookings, it may be hard for you to say no because you don’t want to upset parents. So you have to decide if the class you are considering opening is a time that you can continue to open.
If it is, go for it!!
If it’s not a time that you can continue to open indefinitely, then I would NOT open it. A parent will most likely want you to continue teaching at that particular time and if it isn’t sustainable for you, you’re better off just not opening it at all.
The good news is that you can explain to parents (with up to 1,000 characters) why you’re declining to book the class. The parents are also given the opportunity to select another open slot in your schedule that hasn’t already been booked to choose for their child.
How to Block Time Periods
Vacations and periods of absence are no problem! The only difference is the way that you note this on your VIPKid schedule.
To let your students and parents know that you will be unavailable for a block of time, simply go to the VIPKid app and click on “Bookings” under the “Class” tab. This will bring you to your weekly schedule page.
At the top of this page, you will see a section called “Block Time Period.” When you click this tab, you will see a page that looks like this.
Here you can block a period of time (not to exceed 14 days), but this has to be filled out at least one full day in advance. You can also list the reason that you’re going to be gone as well as any additional information that you want to provide.
However, I also like to let my students and their parents know that I will be on vacation (or out for whatever reason) in the class feedback. This is just a personal reminder that they greatly appreciate.
One of the best things about being a VIPKid teacher is that we have complete control over our VIPKid schedule and teaching hours. And that’s what makes this is one of the best jobs for classroom teachers and homeschool moms.
You can simply increase the number of VIPKid bookings to match the amount of money you need.
- If you’re a classroom teacher, you can take advantage of VIPKid summer hours and teach a full time schedule!
- If you’re a homeschool mom, you can create the ideal VIPKid work hours and schedule based on the time you want to begin homeschooling your kids.
This job is unlike any other because you TRULY have complete control over your own schedule.