- DO NOT FOLLOW A SCRIPT
If you are serious about landing the job as a teacher with VIPKID, you have probably watched many instructional videos of current VIPKID teachers. These videos can be a great support to you, but PROCEED WITH CAUTION. It is tempting to write down everything you should say during your mock class lesson but I highly advise against this! Drafting a general outline of your lesson plan is a great plan. Your mock class evaluator (who will be posing as a limited English speaking student) will intentionally misunderstand portions of your lesson. This is not to trip you up, but to see how well you ADAPT to the needs of your student! If you keep repeating the same “line” you memorized from the mock class video you watched, you will definitely receive poor feedback. If you are a current brick and mortar school teacher, coach, or mentor, you know very well that children do not always respond to the lessons as we would like. Sometimes they struggle and other times they master concepts quicker than we could ever imagine! Instead of copying someone else’s lesson verbatim, look for the instructional techniques they use in the video. How do they begin the lesson? What props do they use? How do they engage the student? What methods do they use to teach the material? You should also have a plan in place for the following- What will you do if your mock class mentor is struggling to understand the concept? What will you do to extend and enrich the lesson if needed? Now I am not saying not to watch videos and gain feedback from expert VIPKID teachers- by all means go ahead and learn tips and tricks!! Just remember to ADAPT and RESPOND to your “student” during the demo lesson and mock class 1. You want to be prepared and planned but not a robot spewing out memorized lines! Make the lesson your own and put your own personal touch on it!
- DO NOT HAVE A MESSY BACKGROUND
You want to ensure your background looks educational and is tidy. The mock class evaluator does NOT want to see piles of clothes, dishes, or a disorganized background! This will be interpreted as a sign that you have not prepared for the lesson. If possible, put up an educational poster (such as a map or ABC chart) directly behind you. It can even be homemade! Another helpful tip, your NAME (written as Teacher _________) should be clearly displayed along with your reward system. You will receive BIG brownie points if you follow these simple tips 🙂
- DO NOT SCHEDULE YOUR MOCK CLASS “ON A WHIM”
Take the demo and mock lessons seriously…if you try to “wing it” there’s a good chance you will be unsuccessful. The mock class evaluators are looking for you to be prepared and organized. Want to show them you are excited about the job? Sport an plain orange t-shirt….this is the official color of VIPKID. Show off a highly organized background complete with awesome lighting so you can be seen clearly by the “student”. Greet the mock class evaluator with a smile and be prepared to tell them (in a few words) what you know about the company. Remember, many applicants are applying and you want them to know you are dedicated to landing the job!
- DO NOT BE EMPTY HANDED
During your mock class and demo lesson, your hands should be:
*Holding a visual or prop to help the mock class evaluator (“student”) understand the concept you are trying to teach
*Using TPR (Total Physical Response- check out my article all about this powerful ESL teaching technique!)
*Giving a “thumbs up”, “high five”, or celebrating the accomplishments of your “student” (a.k.a mock class evaluator) with voice/hand cheers or music (bells, noisemakers, etc.)
- DO NOT BE MONOTONE
Young children do NOT respond well to adults who drone on! This is a surefire way to lose the attention of your student. You need to be animated, adjusting the pitch and tone of your voice to help keep your student engaged in the lesson. There will be many times during your VIPKID teaching sessions where you will be required to elicit the student to say the SAME vocabulary word three or four times. This helps with retention and mastery of the word. Make it fun for the child! Say it in a high voice, low voice, a happy voice, scared voice….you get the idea! Student engagement is key to a successful lesson 🙂
- DO NOT BE UNAWARE OF THE TIME
It is very easy to start teaching during your mock class and/or demo lesson and lose track of time. Before you know it, the mock class evaluator stops you and you’ve only gotten through ½ of the slides. Bummer! Don’t let this happen to you! Remember, your demo lesson determines your base pay rate. Your lesson pacing is highly evaluated! It is recommended you spend about 1 minute per slide. Now remember, you will want to adapt to the needs of your mock class mentor. If he/she is really struggling with a concept, you may need to spend an extra minute or two re-teaching. This is totally fine. Remember, to adapt! You can make this time up later in the lesson when you see the mock class mentor is picking up on a concept quickly. Once you notice this, move on to the next PowerPoint slide/concept! I recommend doing a practice of your demo lesson and or Mock Class 1 lesson with a friend, family member, co-worker, etc. a few days before. Time yourself and see how you do! The demo lesson should be approximately 10 minutes long. Your mock class 1 should be 25 minutes total in length (15 minutes on Part 1 and 10 minutes on Part 2).
- DO NOT OVERTHINK
I will mention this once more….it is important to be planned, but don’t let your plans lead you astray from being present and in the moment! You are not teaching a potted plant 😉 You are teaching a student with super awesome thoughts and feelings. They will react to you, surprise you, and “wow” you with how they respond during the lesson. Adapt and react to your student. Tailor your instruction to meet their needs. VIPKID teacher applicants that follow this simple method will successfully pass their demo and mock 1….I promise! So keep calm and don’t OVERTHINK!! Want some free guidance and coaching throughout the VIPKID application process? E-mail me your questions, thoughts, and concerns at email@example.com