Applying to VIPKID: My Experience Part 2
It’s the Big Day!! My husband is off, so we get up early and grab a bite to eat. I pick out a gold top and put a little makeup on. I like the natural look, especially for something important like this. Just a bit of foundation, mascara, eyeliner, and to top it off, some lipstick. I ready my area with my props. Then I watch Nancy’s videos again for both slide A and B and practice my synthetic phonetics. Making sure “R” sounds like “err.” I’m sure since I was asked to teach slide A last time that I will teach B this time.
Yet, I still study both of them. At 2:12 PM, I log in to the classroom before my mentor so I can make sure all the techy stuff is working. Then I proceed to teach the slides as if I have a student on the screen. In my head and practicing, I hit everything just great. The slides that are harder I go over a few times, hoping I remember the right questions to ask or that I model effectively.
I make sure the student speaks in complete sentences and at the end, we count the rewards and I say goodbye just in time to see the mentor typing in the chatbox. I read through the text, look over my little reminders, make sure my props are close, and take a deep breath, smiling, always smiling. Teacher Sue enters the class. She introduces herself, she’s been with VIPKID for three years. That’s a little intimidating and exciting to be able to get her feedback. We begin the class.
In the end, I had a 1:26 left, if only I had not let that last slide trip me up again. Nerves took over. I also wanted to count the rewards and say goodbye but I didn’t. I want to shake myself! How could I do so well in practice but mess up in the mock? I think Sue can see this written on my face because she tells me not to beat myself up. I am learning. She goes on to give me some great feedback. She loves my positive energy. She actually felt like a student and that I did a great job of giving rewards. We went through slide-by-slide, and she gave me some tips on how to teach some of them.
Remember that slide that tripped me up in Mock One? Well, Teacher Sue said I did an excellent job with that slide. On the phonemes slide, Sue was happy that I corrected my “z” sound during the class and she liked my prop to teach that slide. Some magnet alphabets and the lid of a tin pencil box. [So simple, I know.] She made sure to give me some constructive criticism that would help me in the classroom. We then said our goodbyes and that I would hear something in 24-48 hours after she turned in her report of the mock class.
An hour later and I haven’t received an email like I did the other day, but I don’t know whether that’s a hopeful sign or not. Hopefully, they are getting my contract ready. [Fingers and toes crossed] I still have to send in a copy of my bachelor’s degree and other credentials before the hiring process is complete. And I have to pass VIPKID’s TESOL test to be able to teach with them.
And I’m in shock, “please book another Mock class with us.” Okay, now that makes me feel really low because I believe myself to be a quick learner and have the skills VIPKID is looking for. I wait a day before I schedule again, looking over the material suggestions and watch the video of my class. [You only see and hear from your side.] I scroll down to book my class but can’t proceed until I pass a short quiz. A very simple quiz if you’ve read everything and remember. I pass so I schedule again in two days to give me more time to practice.
I’m beginning to think I’m overthinking the whole process. I also believe that VIPKID sees the potential but wants to make sure I can handle a class and remember TPR, Modeling, and make sure the objectives are met with some extensions. I know what I’m doing right since two different mentors have basically given the same feedback. I do think mentors have different things they look for, but for the most part, it’s pretty consistent. I wish my next mentor ends up being one of the ones I’ve had so they could see their feedback put to use. I’ve heard it happens, but we will see.
Now it’s time to practice, and I begin to prepare my lessons, making sure I hit each objective and extend on it at the last slide. I practice using more educational TPR and modeling for the student. The thought of a student doesn’t make me nervous, especially compared to a mock class. Crunch time.
Today’s Mock is at 2 PM. Remembering, the regular and sporadic afternoon thunderstorms, I want to be done before the thunder rolls in. I go through my normal morning routine with butterflies fluttering wild in my belly. I get my class set up, start practicing, and read through my notes. I enter the class at 1:30 PM to make sure everything is working.
It’s time! The mentor enters the classroom. Teacher Cheryl asks if this is my first Mock and then goes on to ask what kind of feedback I received from the other mentors. She makes sure I don’t have any questions before setting a timer for 10 minutes. [And again, I’m asked to teach Slide A. I should be great at this point.]
The class has officially started. I am teaching my heart out until I get to the dreaded extension slide. I slip up in asking my question and I quickly correct myself. The timer goes off just as I’m counting the rewards. My mentor says she really enjoyed my class, that she felt like an actual student.
She does hundreds of mock classes for VIPKID a week. That makes me feel great. She gives me some tips on making the class fun and interesting for my students with the extensions. She tells me she really doesn’t have much feedback to give and that I hit every point.
She did remind me to make sure to listen for mispronounced words, especially with the “th” sound, and whenever I make a mistake that it’s okay to let the student know because we are human. I tell her that I’ve been studying the slides and practicing in the mirror for several days now. She replies that it showed in the class.
Again, she tells me VIPKID will be sending me an email letting me know something and goodbye. I put my class away feeling good. [I felt this way after the last one, too.] It’s been three hours and I haven’t seen an email. Every time I get a notification, I peek out one eye to see if it’s an email from VIPKID. This is worse than the class. I’m one of those that want to know their score or grade as soon as possible.
It’s 10:18 PM and still no email. Now I’m starting to stress when the hubby mentions that they are giving it more thought than just a quick overview. Maybe so… I hope that the longer response means I’m hired.
Now it’s 6 AM and still no email. And the internet is no help with this as all I find is that, although many hear back quickly, sometimes it takes the full 24 hours for a decision to be made.
At 12:30 PM, the long-awaited email comes through. The notification pops up and I see VIPKID’s “Congratulations you passed your mock.” I run through the house, heading straight for the book room to grab my degree so I can upload it to my VIPKID profile. I had to sign the background check form out, fill out tax documents, upload photos and a video to my profile, and take the TESOL Test.
There are two parts to the TESOL and so much information to go over and take in. Some of it I knew from my linguistics class at SNHU. It took me about four hours to go through the materials and take the quizzes. There are 10 multiple choice questions on both and you must answer at least eight correct. The first quiz I retook a few times.
Okay… okay. I took it about five times before I passed. Luckily, I pass the next quiz on the second try. By now, I’m tired of looking at my computer. All I need to do is upload my profile video. I went a little campy with me talking to an Ugly Doll my godmother sent me a few years ago. His name is Moxey. My Dad’s nickname is Mox, so I feel like they both were able to share in this exciting moment. As soon as the background check clears, I can sign my contract and start booking students.
This has been my journey during the hiring process with VIPKID. If any of you are in the middle of this process, keep pushing. If it’s something you think you would like to do, send me a message and I will help you get started on your own adventure. Or check out YouTube, there are tons of videos. Make sure to check out Nancy Taylor’s videos. *Hint* [Coughs] This was posted a few days ago and will help you prepare a lesson for the demo video.
Also, don’t get discouraged if it takes a while for your profile to be reviewed. At the moment, the VIPKID team is backlogged in this process. Take this time to sign up for workshops, work on TESOL certification if you don’t have it, go through videos, and most importantly be prepared with any printable props, headphones, good lighting, and a backup plan in case the internet goes out. You can’t sign your contract until your profile pictures and other information is reviewed and cleared. So hang in there! If you think you need some one-on-one help, use my referral code, CHASI0036, I would love to help you along your journey. You will be teaching before you know it.