In this post, we are going to discuss a very important topic, bookings. In order to get paid to teach at VIPKid, you must teach students and students must book your class. The time between signing your VIPKid contract and getting your first booking can very difficult and it can take some time. Everything a VIPKid does after signing the contract is preparing for that first booking. In addition, it takes time to go from your first booking and having a full schedule (90% of open slots booked). In this post we will discuss how bookings work, opening time slots (setting up your schedule), short notice bookings (extra $$$), the booking frenzy, and getting bookings. Let’s discuss….
How it works
Once you sign your contract, you can open time slots to start teaching prospective VIPKid students. I recommend that you open as many slots as you can four weeks out in the very beginning. Keep in mind that most teachers wait 2 to 3 weeks for their first booking, so you won’t to be available. It is important to have an up-to-date teacher profile with your pictures, bio, and video ready for prospective parents and students to view. Go here, to read about setting up your teacher profile.
Opening Booking Time Slots
1. Go to your teacher portal.
2. Click the unlock button at the top right corner. The lock-unlock buttons help prevent an accidental slot opening.
3. Click on the time slot you want to open and select ‘available’
Remember: in the very beginning, you need to check your schedule daily once you have opened slots for teaching, to see if you get a booking. It isn’t easy especially if there are no bookings, but you don’t want to miss a class, especially the first one. Classes can be booked at any time from two weeks in advance up to 24 hours before the class starts (if you click the short notice button- the class can be booked up to 1 hour before it starts).
Colors and details of the schedule and time slots
- Available Time slots for opening are gray/ white.
- Peak times *weekends and evenings in Beijing) say ‘hot’
- Peak peak times (7 to 9 pm Beijing time) say “very hot’
- Time slots that you open with turn blue and say ‘available’
- Time slots that are green have been booked by a student, the student’s name will appear in the slot. You can go to the classroom tab to get more information on the students and the class you will be teaching.
- Classes that are completed or canceled, the time slots turn gray. If the slot is gray before you teach it, it has been canceled.
- If it is a gray trial class, VIPKid can re-book the slot for another trial student at any time (regardless of the short notice option), so you must be prepared to teach. If it is a gray MC class, they cannot re-book unless you had selected the short notice option.
Here is an example of what it looks like:
How many time slots should you open?
This is completely up to you. VIPKid places no expectations or restrictions on your schedule. You are solely in charge of when you are available to work. The downside is that you are not guaranteed bookings or hours. The downside is only a disadvantage in the very beginning, once a teacher has some regular students and a good record, bookings and hours are almost a given.
In you are new, you need to open as many slots as you can four weeks out. Make sure you are available to teach during those times. Try to open as many during peak peak times (7-9 pm Beijing time) and on the weekend as you can. Allowing some or all slots to be short notice will help increase the chances of bookings as well.
How are the time slots booked?
Major Course (MC) and Supplemental classes are booked by the parents 1 to 2 weeks ahead of the class time. Parents can start bookings at 12 noon (Beijing Time) on Mondays, around midnight Monday in North America. Teachers are expected to have time slots opened two weeks out for parents to book, this is called the ‘booking frenzy.’ Parents can book within the two-week window, but most book during the frenzy.
Trial classes are booked by VIPKid. Trial classes can be booked at any time. About half of all trial classes end up being no shows, so the teacher gets half pay plus incentives.
Parents can request you as a teacher, this is called priority booking. This gives the parent an opportunity to book you in advance. It is up to you as a teacher whether to accept or refuse these requests.
Short Notice Bookings
When you open a slot for a booking, you have the option to make it ‘short notice.’ This means a class can be booked up to one hour before it is taught. A class that is booked on short notice pays an extra $2 for the class.
Making your slots short notice will increase the likelihood that the slot will be booked.
The Booking Frenzy
Every Monday at noon, 12 pm (Beijing Time) (around midnight Monday in North America), VIPKid parents can book students for the following week. For example, if it is the 1st day of the month and Monday, parents can book classes for Monday through Sunday, the 8th through the 14th. At noon on that Monday, VIPKid parents log into VIPKid and sign their students up for classes with their preferred teachers.
Therefore, you should always have at least 2 weeks or more of slots opened for bookings. Parent can book before the frenzy with a priority booking. Parents can book after the frenzy but usually don’t.
The frenzy is a reference to booking Major Course and Supplemental courses only. VIPKid can book trial classes at any time.
The booking frenzy affects new teachers differently depending on how many classes may have been taught and how many regular students the new teacher may have. It isn’t unusual for a new teacher to get very few bookings during a frenzy in one week and then get fully booked during a frenzy the next week.
Getting MORE Bookings
This is a list of things you can do to get or increase bookings if you are a new teacher or a teacher that has low bookings.
1. Open as many peak peak time slots (7 to 9 pm Beijing Time) as you can. In addition, try to be very available on the weekends as much as possible.
2. Make sure you are certified to teach a variety of classes. Make sure you have the trial class certification and any others that VIPKid will let you certify for. If you can certify for some of VIPKid’s supplemental classes, you should pick up those certifications as well.
3. Give your best in very class you teach.
4. Write well-thought-out feedback to the parents. Ask the parents for a 5-apple feedback, ask them to follow you at VIPKid, and let them know that you look forward to seeing their child again.
5. Try to open the same slots each week.
6. Take as many workshops as you can, until your schedule is full. The rumor is that VIPKid keeps track of the workshops you attend. The more workshops you attend, your chances of getting booked increases.
7. Check and double check your teacher profile. You can always improve your teacher profile so look for ways and opportunities to do this.
8. Open short notice bookings. As discussed above, giving parents the option of booking you up to 1 hour to book your class before it starts increases bookings.
9. Be available to teach when most teachers aren’t. For example, holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving.
10. If you have not received a booking three weeks after signing your contract, send a ticket into VIPKid for assistance.
Well, I hope this list helps. Email me if you need additional assistance.
Well, if you are a new teacher, I hope this post explains everything you need to know about bookings. As soon as you sign your contract, you want to work towards getting bookings and getting as many as possible. Be patient in the beginning, the bookings will materialize, and your schedule will be full in no time. I wish you the best as you start teaching with VIPKid.
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