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For some, teaching English online is a way to earn a full-time income. For others, it is a side hustle to earn some extra cash. In this post, I interview a fellow online English teacher and dear friend, Teacher Tanya, about her experience teaching English online while working at a traditional full-time job.
Just joining in? Check out these posts about teaching online first!
- An Overview of Teaching Online with VIPKID
- What are the VIPKID Requirements to Become a Teacher?
- How much can you make Teaching English online with VIPKID?
- Is VIPKID Legit? An Honest VIPKID Review
Nic – Hi Tanya! Tell us a little about yourself.
Tanya – Hi! I am a twenty-something currently working as a software engineer. I write, test, and maintain software applications for a transportation company. When I’m not working full-time, I like to teach English classes to Chinese students through VIPKID!
Nic – How long have you been teaching English online with VIPKID?
Tanya – I’ve been working with them for five months.
Nic – How did you find out about VIPKID?
Tanya – I found out about VIPKID through a close friend of mine, who happens to be a travel guru/blogger/diva (haha!), while I was looking for a way to make some side income.
Nic – What was the application process like?
Tanya – The application process was pretty speedy and straightforward. I believe you can complete all 3 stages of your interview within 2 days time. Part 1 was very simple – you provide written information about your experience and background.
Part 2 consists of you teaching an abridged version of a class, with someone from China acting as your student during a webcam session. The final part is similar to Part 2, however, you’re teaching a full, 25-minute class to an adult pretending to be a Chinese student.
Luckily, I had tons of mentoring from both you and YouTube. I was able to find lots of resources to guide me through every step in the process and help me to be successful.
Tanya – I teach between 9 and 15 classes each week, depending on my availability and bookings, which is less than 7 hours a week.
Nic – What is it like to balance VIPKID with another job? Do you have any tips for others looking to do the same?
Tanya – I think VIPKID is the perfect part-time job to have as a supplement to my full-time job. The hours are extremely flexible and you set your own schedule.
I typically teach one class before work each day, 3-4 classes on Friday and Saturday nights, and take Sunday off. Every so often, I’ll try to teach a couple of last minute classes on Sundays on short notice to make some extra cash that month.
The balance between VIPKID and my full-time job works out well, mostly because the two jobs are extremely different from one another and don’t ever have the opportunity to overlap since I set the schedule.
As a tip to anyone wanting to teach for VIPKID in addition to their main job, I would recommend incorporating VIPKID into the mornings so that you start the day with a relatively stress-free (and fun) task.
It leaves you feeling accomplished bright and early and sets you up to go into your actual work day feeling productive and ready to succeed.
It’s also important to realize that you don’t have to work ALL the time. I fell into the mindset of “I should be trying to teach a class” whenever I had time available outside of my main job.
This can lead you to get burnt out extremely easily and take all the joy out of having a side hustle, when the additional income should really be adding ease, not stress, into your life. Make sure to take some days off where you aren’t doing any work so that you can recharge.
Nic – That’s great advice! What has been your favorite part about teaching English online?
Tanya – My favorite part about teaching English online is the community of students you build. You start to see the same faces in over and over again and your students get just as excited to see you as you are to see them.
Getting to know the personalities of each student and having conversations apart from the material makes you feel more connected, not just to another human, but to an entirely different culture.
I love when my students teach ME new things I may have never learned otherwise, for example, I recently learned about hong bao, a monetary gift that kids receive during Chinese New Year. My students were stoked to show me their shiny, red envelopes from the recent holiday!
Nic – That is adorable! I really enjoy that part of the job too! This job is definitely filled with overwhelming cuteness at times. But it can be challenging at times too. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Tanya – My biggest challenge has been setting up a stable schedule. I get the most success when I provide availability at least 2 weeks ahead of time, but I’m constantly hesitant to open slots so far in advance in case I have to attend an event or leave town.
The classes themselves are not difficult to teach most times, but getting them booked can pose a challenge if you are not willing to consistently commit to a set schedule.
Nic – Would you recommend it to a friend?
Tanya – Yes, Absolutely!
Nic – Thank you so much for sharing your story! Keep doing amazing things 🙂
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Teaching with VIPKID
I teach English online with VIPKID and I love it! If you are interested in teaching English online, I encourage you to check them out. You can find their FAQ and additional information here: https://t.vipkid.com.cn/faq
You can apply to VIPKID online with my referral link here
Referral Code: NICOL0117
If you decide to sign up for VIPKID and found this post helpful, consider using my referral code. When you use my referral code and complete the recruitment process, I’ll get a bonus for recruiting you.
After applying with my code, send me a message to let me know! I’ll be available to answer any questions you have as you go through the application process.