Teaching online through VIPKID

Since the month of July I have been teaching ESL to kids in China! It is completely online through their own teaching portal. All you need on hand are a laptop with a webcam, headset (or earbuds), reliable WIFI, and a bigfatcheesy smile! Teachers have the freedom of making their own schedule with no minimum requirements. 



Time Zones

When I started with VIPKID I was working a full time job and was teaching in the evenings. In the summer I found it was very easy to book up all of my slots in the evenings (west coast time zone). When I wanted to teach at 6pm in Seattle it was 9am in Beijing. When it switched over to the school year for the kiddos abroad, evening work was more sparse, but definitely doable. Although peak hours were early mornings for someone living in Seattle, I refused and just did evenings so that I could stay somewhat sane. Plus – this job was just an extra source of income and all went toward student debt. Peak hours also fluctuate during the holidays. So if you keep a consistent schedule (which I definitely don’t) then you are good to go!

If you live in Europe – you have the BEST schedule, and if you live in Asia you are doing alright.

Hello life abroad – I will be teaching in Thailand soon where VIPKID will be my MAIN source of income on top of a few other remote jobs. 


Each class lasts 25-28 minutes. I finally have it down to finish at exactly 25 every time. VIPKID has all of the curriculum planned and ready to go, but it is a good idea to prepare props – honestly, I hate props and only use a few. They encourage using a lot of TPR (Total Physical Response) which means that the more animated and lively you are, the better the class will go. No time for sounding monotone and boring while online. In fact, I use a homemade standing desk because it gives me more energy.

Lesson prep time? At first I would take about 10 minutes to prep PER class. But now I take about 2 minutes to prep for a block of 4 classes. And if I forget, I am good at winging it. During those 5 minutes between classes I write feedback, stretch, pee, drink water, check Facebook, and get back at it. 

Everyone who applies is placed to teach a certain age group based on their interview. But as you get into the vibes of teaching you can take workshops to be certified for all different levels. Although I only started out to be certified for Level 2 and 3 (younger kids – but not newbs), within the first two months I took workshops to be be able to teach every level. VIPKID teachers also have the opportunity to sub, get raises, be a mentor, and gain incentives – like referrals! Hey use my code so that I can get some $$. 🙂 The more invested you are, the more you will realize as you keep teaching and getting reviews that your opportunities will expand. 


I currently make a base pay of $7.50 per class (25 minutes). When I finish a class I automatically get another $1 to make that $8.50. That means that I am guaranteed $17 per hour. But then again, there are the student no shows or the short notice bookings which boost my hourly wage. 

If I get a short notice booking (less than 24 hour notice) I get an additional $2 to make that $10.50 per class ($21 per hour). Subbing also adds to the cash flow – I have not yet subbed because I have NO TIME (or just want to sleep).

All teachers get an additional 50 cents per class if they teach at least 30 classes in a month and an additional $1 per class if they teacher over 45 classes in a month. Soooo all in all, you can make about $17-$23 per hour. Since July, I have never made under $21 per hour. Payday is once per month. 

Application Process

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree and some teaching experience – coaching, babysitting, or anything that has to do with kids. EMPHASIZE that on the application since its initial overview is a handy scanning system. Any sort of TEFL certification will boost your bookings but is not required. 

To be a VIPKID teacher you go through a three-part interview process. The interview process IS a bit tedious, but once you are done you are set. I do appreciate that they really choose teachers who are dedicated and really want to work. 

The first interview is with someone in China and it only lasts 30 minutes. You will immediately question your life and wonder what the heck you are doing. You will do a ten minute “mock class” and make sure to prepare! I did not do well on this part, but somehow I still passed.

(Prepare means have a good background, lighting, and a prop or two – I printed out a few emojis online because I hate buying things).

I then went on to the second interview and prepared much more. The second interview was an hour and with a VIPKID mock class mentor teacher. It was less intimidating and she was really good at telling me what I did well and what I needed to improve on. I felt comfortable doing my mock interview and practiced beforehand because I wanted to make sure I had my timing down.

The third interview was, again, with another VIPKID teacher. I did another mock class and he took notes the whole time. It went well again and I felt pretty comfortable. It was definitely a bit awkward teaching lessons to adults who pretend that they are 5 years old. But they have all done it before, so just go with it.

And then YAY, I passed! I then had a few things to check off of the to-do list to become officially ready to teach. But VIPKID is really good at having everything organized and laid out for you so that you know exactly what you need to get done.

About a week after my “hire” date I was booked for a few classes and each week I increased my booking numbers. Just six weeks of “self-employment” I made enough to book a trip to Hawaii for the fall! Hellllllo #sidehustle.

How to get bookings

  • Keep pictures updated. For the “non-professional” picture I have one of me teaching in Korea and one of me dressed up for Valentine’s Day.
  • Don’t have a lazy video! Originally my video was horendous – when I updated it I immediately got more followers and bookings. In my new video I used lots of props and talked about some of my favorite hobbies. 
  • Make sure to add as much teaching experience in the bio as possible.
  • Give detailed feedback!


If you are interested in becoming a VIPKID teacher please contact me and feel free to use my referral code if you are going to apply. 




I spent two years (fall 2012-fall 2014) teaching English in South Korea. I could make an entire book about it but am going to keep it short & sweet. Contact me if you have questions.


  • Must be from a Native English speaking country such as: U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Pass a background check & drug test
  • Flexible and “go with the flow” work ethic

Here are some FAQ’s that I have received over the  years from friends, family, and those who have interest in teaching abroad:

  • What’s the difference between teaching at a private or a public school?
    • I spent both years working at a private school. Students will go to the standard public school during the day and then off to their private lessons in the evening. This could be tae-kwon-do, computer classes, English lessons, piano classes, or basically anything that could advance them academically. The pressure to do well in school is very high. Some students would get home as late as midnight (depending on age). I was their designated English teacher for their private lessons. I had small class sizes and the lessons would last 25-45 minutes. At the three schools I was at during this time I had about ZERO prep and never brought work home with me.
    • I also taught kindergarten for the first year and that was for kiddos ages 4-7 who would only go to school during the mornings.
  • Are there certain degrees you need in order to be qualified?
    • No, you just need a Bachelor’s degree. If you have a certification to teach you will have more options and should apply for an international school.
  • What agency did you go through?
    • I went through Adventure Teaching. They hooked me up with interviews, my visa, my entire to-do list pre-flight, and they were great about staying in touch on a weekly basis throughout the entire process. 
    • I also recommend EPIK or Footprints as I had many expat friends who used those recruiters.
  • Did you know any of the language prior to going to Korea?
    • Not at all. I tried to remember “hello” & “thank you” before I got there but I failed. However, within my first week of living there I could read the language because it is actually SO EASY. I then picked up bits and pieces while living there. You can get by without learning it, but don’t be that person. Just try! Koreans love when the westerners put in that effort.
  • Why did you choose that country to teach in?
    • I was debating between Korea & Japan. I applied to teach in Japan but didn’t get in. It’s a bit more competitive. I chose Korea because I knew the salary was decent and I needed to pay off student loans. I couldn’t just travel abroad and not make $$. Knowing nothing of the culture and never having been to Asia, I just did it because I felt like it.
  • When did you apply and what made you apply?
    • I applied around December 2011 knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go before August 2012. If you choose to teach at a private school you can apply any time of the year and only need a month or two notice. If you apply for a public school the best hiring months are August & February.
  • Do you have any tips, suggestions, or things that you wish you would have done differently?
    • I wish I had worked at a public school. You get earlier hours and more vacation time. However, I was really lucky with the schools I worked at. Teaching at a hagwon (private school) can be a bigger risk.
    • I wish I would have budgeted more because I made a lot of money and I spent a lot of money. But I have no regrets and was able to do so much in those two years.
  • Is it lonely?
    • I lived in the 7th largest city in Korea which still has over 1 million people. I had a lot of expats friends and there were always events going on. I also played ultimate frisbee and my teammates became my “Korean family.” There was no time to be lonely because so much was always going on.
  • What is the contract, housing, and salary like?
    • Contracts are usually a year and you are paid on a monthly basis; I made about the equivalent of $2,000 USD.
    • Housing is always free.
    • Some schools give you a pension.
    • You get a year end bonus that is the sum of your monthly salary.
    • You will have health insurance and the healthcare is super cheap.
    • Schools pay for your round trip flight.
    • Your visa will be taken care of by the school.
  • How did you get TEFL certified and is it required?
    • I took a 120 hour class online through Adventure Teaching. It is not required to have the certification if you are working at a private school. However, it is getting more competitive and it is required for public schools. I also just think it’s good to have so that you know a bit about what you are getting yourself into.

Overall, I absolutely LOVED teaching in Korea.

There were definitely hard times: for example, when I got rejected to stay another year at my first school, when I was lied to about having health insurance, when my boss hit on me, when I got paid late every single time during my second year, when i didn’t want to eat raw octopus at a teacher dinner and was called insulting, and when I would go home crying because I felt so bad for some of the kids.

However, I really was treated well, worked at good schools the whole time, DID get paid back for my health care, DID call out my boss who got fired, DID get paid every single penny i earned, had amazing co-teachers who always helped me out, sang karaoke until the morning with those same co-teachers, negotiated my salaries and benefits, made great expat and Korean friends, and lived in an amazing city.

I forced myself not to stay a third year only because life was too easy and I knew it was time to move on after two years.

A letter from a student on my last day of teaching

**I would love to hear your opinion if you have taught abroad or answer any questions if you are interested.

To see pictures of when I was teaching go to my page called Korean kiddos are cute.

**Further details about teaching and living in Korea

**Teaching tips for new teachers

Korean kiddos are cute

A little summary of what was happening. Selfies, yes….Teaching, maybe.

**Photos may be horribly blurry because who knows what kid was taking the pic… Still good memories.
Teaching the good teach
Kindy twinsies
Halloween 2012 with Joey teacher
Christmas decorating
One of the kindy classes
Need this hoody
Cuteness forever
Just look cute for a minute please
Selfies forever
Hi, I’m cute
Leave me in peace
Can we be weird please?
Hi, I’m super super cute
Hello? My Jesus
To pick or not?
Birthday card
Selfie #126
More selfies
USA vs Korea
Halloween 2013
Last class of 2014
Do you wanna take a selfie?
More selfie-ing
Last day of teaching in Korea 2014
Let’s be cute
My babies
Why are you taking my pic?
Hello, we know we are adorable
Just getting my hair done
Same same
Making maps
Yes, we are still cute
Hey, let’s take a selfie
Angry face


I missed two American Thanksgivings in a row and was a bit mopey.


But, no time to be sad. I have this amazing life abroad and get to hang out with super cute kids. I made them do a little project on what they were all thankful for.

Here’s a bit about what it looked like:


  1. I’m thankful for my family isn’t sick leave.
  2. I’m thankful for eating many foods. Because some countrys can’t eat many foods or can’t eat food. 
  3. My country have peace. (no war)
  4. I can study in good place. because some people can’t study or studying in bad places. 
  5. I can leave (live) in Korea.
  6. I meet good parents. than I can go
  7. Parents bring me and two sisters because many familys are busy and don’t go trip not much. 
  8. I can communicate with god. because some people can’t communicate with god, but I can. 
  9. I’m not bad or rude child, because some children are very rude or actions is bad.
  10. I can study with Roran (Lauren) teacher!!

The above may not be PERFECT English, but still is very cute. 

First week of teaching in Korea


  • On the first day of school I was about five minutes early. My co-teacher asked why I was there so early and just instructed me to sit and relax.
  • I work 11-6:30 Mon-Fri with lunch breaks.
  • I teach about a 11 classes a day. Kindy (ages 5-7) in the mornings and elementary (ages 9-12) in the afternoons. I love the variety. The little kids are adorable and I really like teaching the older kids because they know English fairly well.
  • I have two other co-workers from the states.
  • Lunch is provided at the school every day. So far I have tried squid, fish, seaweed, and something really spicy that makes my eyes water. Oh, and of course, lots of kimchi.
  • The kids are always screaming hello at me and jumping all over me. They won’t stop staring at me and talk about my big alien eyes.
  • When being introduced to my classes the kids guessed where I was from. Some of the best answers were Italy, France, Mexico, and China.
  • Everyone keeps asking if I have a boyfriend or am married.
  • Don’t write your name in red! At least I only wrote my own name so didn’t curse anyone else.
  • Heads up seven up and hangman are great ways to pass a few minutes of free time in class.
  • The little kids love ABC competitions and screaming.
  • Every elementary student has a smart phone. They use it for translating and telling me when class is over.
  • For our “culture” project this week the kids are making me Valentine’s Day cards.
  • Every kid has a “Konglish” shirt. Everything is spelled incorrectly.
  • All of the kids have “English” names. Some of the boys are named Bliss, Mighty, Chrissy, Joy, Beryl, Mirror, and DRAGON.
Study study study
Worst lesson EVER. I refused to teach this chapter
One student’s pencil case….
Let’s talk about cow farts

It was the best first week I could ask for. Work is a lot of fun.