Passing the VIPKid interview and VIPKid demo lesson can be daunting. So, I’m sharing 10 tips that will help you become a VIPKid success story.
This may sound ridiculous, but when we get nervous, we forget to smile.
Yes, the interview, demo lesson, and mock class are part of a nerve-wracking process. In all likelihood, this process is very different from anything you’ve ever done before. So, you have no way to really “prepare” yourself.
Just put yourself in the place of the kids that you’re going to be teaching. They don’t want to see a teacher who is frowning or grimacing at the camera. Trust me, for beginner level students, they are nervous, too!
Try to forget that during the interview process you are speaking to an adult and just think about how you would speak to your own child or another child in your family. You would make lots of eye contact and smile…a lot.
2. Practice with a Camera
This one’s important because you need to make sure that you’re staying within the frame during your lessons. Even when you reach to get your reward, you want to be sure that you’re positioned in a way that keeps you within eyesight of your student.
You need to get used to seeing yourself on camera and become familiar with how to point the right direction. Remember, pointing left is right and right is left. (Don’t worry, I still forget sometimes.)
This takes a little bit of practice before you become comfortable with it. So, take the necessary time BEFORE your VIPKid interview, VIPKid demo lesson, and mock class to ensure that you’re prepared.
3. Make Corrections
Correction is an integral part of learning…especially when it comes to another language.
VIPKid parents pay a lot of money for native English speakers to work one-on-one with their children, and they expect teachers to point out incorrect pronunciation!
Therefore, the interviewers and mock class mentors will make mistakes intentionally during your VIPKid demo lesson to see if you’re paying attention to their pronunciation.
If you feel unsure about whether they spoke incorrectly or not, simply say the word or phrase again and have the interviewer or mock class mentor repeat after you. This is an excellent way to be confident that your “student” is pronouncing everything correctly!
4. Be Encouraging
Being encouraging is easy when they are saying everything correctly. You can smile, send them a virtual high five, or give them a “thumbs up.” These are simple ways to keep your student engaged in the lesson.
However, there are ways you can be encouraging even when you are correcting errors. The truth is that your students aren’t perfect, and even the best student will occasionally make a mistake.
So to help them persevere when the content becomes more difficult, I like to say something like, “Hmmm…” or I will redirect them back to the question. If this still isn’t enough assistance, I say the word or phrase slowly and then have my student repeat after me.
This helps my student realize that they did not answer correctly without me saying anything negative.
5. Use TPR
Using TPR (or Total Physical Response) at every level is helpful for your students. So, getting in the habit of using TPR when you’re going through the interview process is an excellent place to start.
Make sure that your TPR is directly connected to an action you want them to take, and not confusing. In other words, point to your eyes when you say “What do you see?”
This will help your student make connections between the words you are saying and the action you are performing.
6. Use Your Time Wisely
This was a problem for me in both my VIPKid demo lesson and my Mock class. I wanted to make sure that every syllable from my student was accurate, and so I didn’t stay focused on the time frame.
While you want to make sure that you correct errors, be mindful of the time. It’s much easier to fill up an extra minute at the end than try to shave off time.
7. Have a Secondary Reward
Having a secondary reward prepared for your interview and VIPKid demo is easier than you might think.
When I first started teaching with VIPKid, I thought I had to have different rewards for all of my students and I quickly became overwhelmed. (Not to mention, sometimes, I would get so focused on the lesson and the secondary reward that I would forget to give them their virtual stars.)
Now, I use the Find-A-Star reward system for all of my classes because it’s very user-friendly and it reminds me to click the star on the screen as soon as my student finds a star on the board.
Another one of my favorite VIPKid rewards for older students is Would You Rather. This gives students two choices and they have to pick which one they prefer. It’s a fun (and simple) way to incorporate conversation into your lessons.
The nice thing about Would You Rather is that there are only 5 numbers. So, as soon as a student answers the question, you can give them a star.
But no matter which secondary reward system you use, just make sure it’s sustainable and easy for you to implement during your classes.
8. Listen (2-3 second delay)
This is one thing that takes a little bit of practice.
As soon as we say something, we expect a response from our student. However, it takes a couple of seconds for what we say to reach our students’ ears due to lag in the Internet connection.
Then, we have to allow another second or two for processing the question and formulating an answer.
Honestly, it can feel like an eternity, but it becomes something that you get used to over time. So, just be sure to provide as much time as possible for your student to respond to your questions.
9. Use Props
Props are something that many parents expect from teachers (especially in the lower levels). But, this doesn’t mean that you need a prop for every single concept on every slide. You just need to consider how the visual cue helps your student identify and relate the new word, image, and concept.
During my VIPKid demo lesson, mock class, and even the first few months I taught with VIPKid, I used my kids’ toys. However, I realized very quickly that I wouldn’t have the space needed to store all of those props.
So, I finally got smart and started using prop flashcards. And to this day, I’ve never looked back.
In fact, I started selling my flashcard sets on Teacher Pay Teachers and they have quickly become Best Sellers. I receive comments almost daily from teachers saying that they were able to increase their ratings and bookings from using these prop flashcards.
10. Use Post-It Notes Around Your Screen
I saved my favorite tip for last because this is the one that helped me more than anything else.
I stuck small post-it notes around my computer screen to help me remember certain things. I had one that said FIVE STARS! I had another that reminded me to smile, and still another that said to watch the time.
Each of these tips was essential to my success! And by now, you’ve probably discovered just how laborious the VIPKid interview process is and how many things you need to recall.
But by implementing these tips you’ll successfully complete the interview and VIPKid demo lesson and be well on your way to becoming a sought-after teacher on the VIPKid platform.