I know this may come as a shock to some of you (She says as she is dripping with sarcasm!), but teachers do NOT make a lot of money! The funny thing is, I knew that going into this profession but still chose it because happiness and purpose are so very important to me. However, that doesn’t change the fact that life keeps getting more expensive while my salary hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years. Plus, I spent some time as a single mom in the last couple years, and that time was HARD! I am still working to recover from that tough period while also trying to enjoy life and help support my little family.
When I began teaching, I swore I would never teach summer school. (Never say never, y’all!) But, when I realized that my current financial situation was not going to improve if I didn’t find an alternate income, I began to really consider it. I came to terms with the fact that I would just have to suck it up and give up that time with my family to earn that little bit of extra income. I pondered over it for months but just couldn’t get over the nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach about the thought of having to put my kiddos in daycare so that I could spend more time away from them just for the sake of money. It really began stressing me out, and I knew that I needed to see if I could figure out an alternate plan.
A couple of my former co-workers had mentioned a company they worked for (while also being amazing brick-and-mortar teachers) called VIPKid, an online-based education program that teaches English to kids in China. When I first saw the ads years ago, I figured it was just some too-good-to-be-true scam; however, hearing from others first-hand that it was a legit company really got me thinking about it, and I began to look into it more.
Over Spring Break, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, figuring I really had nothing to lose by at least applying. I am not going to lie–the application process was much lengthier than I expected! (Hence the hiatus from the blog life!) I had to dig out lots of documents that I had tucked away (degrees, certifications, marriage license, etc.), and I wound up having to complete three live mock lessons before getting to the final stage. There, I had to study a few modules, watch some videos, and pass two quizzes before I FINALLY got the the contract-signing stage. Phew! Then, just as I thought I was done, I had to upload a profile picture, then a few more pictures, then a profile video, and wait for those to be approved. When, at last, I was all signed up, I couldn’t wait to start opening slots for booking and begin teaching!
Cue the Jeopardy theme song…
Yeah, that did not happen as quickly as I thought it would. Thankfully, after stumbling upon a post in the VIPKid Teacher Facebook Group, I realized I wasn’t alone. Some teachers had waited MONTHS for bookings! I couldn’t believe that and began to feel pretty bummed at this point. Just when I thought I was doomed to return to my summer school plans, my first booking came through. And then another. And then another! One week after signing my contract, I taught my first VIPKid lesson with sweet, precious little Amy! And it was so much fun! I taught three more lessons the next morning and woke up from my nap to find that ALL FOUR of my first students had already RE-BOOKED me!
I am heading into my second weekend of teaching and have six scheduled classes so far. The hours are weird, I know I’m going to be pretty tired some days, and I now have a mini classroom spread all over our dining room (Sorry, Yvonne!), but I am super excited about this new journey and really feel like it is going to be such a blessing for my family and me.
If you would like to know more about VIPKid, feel free to shoot me a message. I would love to share more about this adventure with you!
VIPKid Show Name: Michelle BMZ
VIPKid Referral Code: MICHE0950