My VIPKID Journey Around the World

How I started my journey with VIPKID

...the truth about VIPKID :)

Why the heck did I decide to travel around the World?


So, last March I decided I wanted to travel the world with my boyfriend and a group of digital nomads. At the time I was at a job that really didn't fit me. I was doing office admin for an architecture firm and doing social media stuff for them.

It was fun to learn more about real estate and remodeling luxury homes in California, but ultimately not the right fit for me. 

So, when my boyfriend brought up the idea of traveling the world and working remotely (he was a software developer), it was an easy yes. I thought it could kick-start things in my life I wanted, like the international career, the cookbook, the challenges for my own personal development. 

And I am still in it, finding out a little more about myself and how to make things happen. 

I have to also give credit a friend's friend who turned my boyfriend and I on to this idea in October before we left.

He filmed a movie of his year long travel around the world, and it was called Take it With You, by Bryce Lemon. It was magical and deep and something that keeps coming back to mind when I question myself about the right way to live. 

Warning: Watching this movie might make you want travel around the world. 



Finding VIPKID. . . 

I found VIPKID through Indeed searching for "Teaching English" opportunities and "remote opportunities." Then, I had interviews at odd times in California, like 8 or 9pm with interviewers in Chnia. It was odd to me. 

The funniest thing was that a grown woman played a 5-year old and I had to teach her for 10 minutes, give all sorts of praise and giving funny faces as they graded me on my teaching style. I think I had to do that twice. I also had to make a background and whiteboard with ABCs and happy faces and my name "Teacher Jojo". It was a trip and I thought, how the heck am I going to pull this off?

But, they hired me! 

They hired me for the beginning of March, even as I told them I would be working from South Africa. It seemed to good to be true. I got a job in a week or two of quitting my job, and I was starting this journey around the world.

My teaching background I would travel with. Felt and construction paper!


The first month with VIPKID. . . 

In a way it was too good to be true.

Month 1: South Africa

It was tough. I wasn't getting any booked classes even though I opened up my schedule. I changed my intro video, pictures and bio to market myself better. I watched all sorts of videos from successful VIPKID teachers to see how I could improve.

Every week I got 1-3 kids. They were all trials, and it was a bit nerve-racking especially in a new country and teaching out of a little call booth.

I wanted to get more bookings, so I thought if I got certified for Level 2 I could get more bookings. I tried that and failed the first time, and the second time. It wouldn't be until next month that I actually passed the Level 2 certification and could start teaching level 2.

My group of digital nomads at Lion's Head in South Africa

The next months with VIPKID. . . 

Month 2: Morrocco

I got to start teaching kids, but only a few a week. I felt more confident to go for the Level 2 certification again, so I had to re-record my demo class 6 or 7 more times. It was tedious and hard to stay motivated, knowing only I had 3 chances to pass. The best part was that I was able to meet with a VIPKID mentor teacher for 30 minutes to review every one of my demo recordings. Sometimes, they made me redo the whole thing, but were always positive and encouraging. If it wasn't for them, I probably would have stopped working for VIPKID. Thanks!

By the end of the month I got certified for Level 2!!! It was such a great feeling, like I was back in school again passing a test.


Month 3: Spain

Now, I have a stable teaching schedule and things were going better than I expected. I was starting to get regular students, too. I was able to teach from around 12noon to 3pm which made my schedule great. I could write in the mornings, go to breakfast and then work.

Paella in Valencia, Spain

Month 4: Serbia

My best month. I worked nearly 30 hours each week and reached my financial goals for the month. I was so proud of myself. I taught both trial students and my regulars and in that month, andmany of my trial students signed up for VIPKID.

I did so well that VIPKID asked me to part of a Substitute teacher program because I was in the top 40% of teachers who converted trial students to regulars. It was flattering. But, I was more proud of myself that I was getting to be a better teacher and meeting my goals each day.



Month 5: Croatia

Another good month with scheduling. I nearly got all booked for all the slots I opened. I traveled a bit this month so took some time off. But, it was a great schedule, working similar hours to Serbia, from 7am-2:30pm or so.

Croatia

Month 6: Portugal

To be honest, I was burnt out. I loved seeing my regulars, but to teach trial students back-to-back was exhausting. Some would cry or not speak, or just look at their parents. It's cute, but after a while it takes a lot of energy and patience. I do have a lot of patience but I think I overdid my VIPKID hours in Serbia. It was too much for me. I took a little break this month.

Month 7: Argentina

I started off the month teaching from 8am-10am and then late at night from 9-12midnight. This was not the ideal schedule I wanted. Although I had the full days to myself, the night schedule was always in the way. I decided to take time away from VIPKID to work on what I really love, writing.

I began writing articles for health, nutrition, and travel blogs and organizations. I found it to be a lot less stressful, more flexible, and it resonated more with me.

While I really do love working for VIPKID, the amount of energy it takes wore on me. Also, to wake up early and have a student who doesn't show up made me realize that my time was not valued as much as I thought. While you get paid for no-shows, the pay is less. My time is more valuable than that.

I want to thank VIPKID for a great journey. And, in fact, it is a perfectly good job as an additional source of income. But, to rely solely on VIPKID didn't work for me.


Things I wish I knew when starting with VIPKID

1. Be patient.. It took me time to get fully booked and get regular students. But, it did happen!
2. Have an additional source of income. 

You do get paid well for sitting in your home and working, but it is rarely enough to live on. Especially, if you are just starting, you should keep your old job as long as you can until you get more steady hours with VIPKID.

It also takes a LOT of energy to teach kids and be happy all the time, at least for me. Five hours of teaching sometimes was too much and after that I didn't feel like talking to anyone. The best situation would be to have 2 remote positions, one that is more low-energy like writing or social media, and VIPKID so you can conserve your energy. It is fun, no doubt, you just got to see what works best for you.

If you have any interest starting the VIPKID journey or traveling the world, you can contact me directly here.


If after this, you want to pursue VIPKID, please use my referral link by clicking here. They are always looking for native speakers from the US and Canada.

Thank you for visiting my blog and best of luck on your unique journey!

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