My VIPKID Teacher Journey Teaching English Online to Chinese Students


Online ESL Job

As an Online ESL Teacher, it is vital to have a detailed daily schedule. It is very important to try and figure out how to balance life and the craziness of teaching English online from home with VIPKID. It is so easy to get pulled into doing extra projects for your Online ESL Job and before you know it you’re exhausted and burn out. At one point last year I didn’t leave my house for 7 weeks. It took me almost a year and a half to get a structured schedule that balances work and family. 

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When I hit around the 7-month mark, my ESL teaching job with VIPKID became an obsession. At that point, I had refined my teaching in the classroom to fit what VIPKID wanted. I had an excellent system in the classroom that my students loved and it made for a relaxed and stress-free class. I soon realized that I needed to focus on only doing things that would build up my student base.

I became a VIPKID Open Class teacher which is teaching a 25-minute class to around 100-500 students. It is more like a performance than an online ESL class. By doing this it reduced the gaps in my schedule. I loved teaching it! It was a nice change of pace. I taught 2-3 of them each month.

Next, I did an audio of a bedtime story that was sent out to the student base. This was viewed by over 4,000 parents. At that point, I was only working on company projects that would put me in front of the parents and students. This was helping but I still wasn’t happy with the ups and downs of my schedule.

So now we have the Summer rush coming June, July, August. I was determined to put as many hours in that I could to build up my student base. It wasn’t easy and it isn’t for the faint of heart. Here is how many classes I taught each month and my final payment for the Summer Rush:

June 2016: 702 classes taught: $7,000

July 2016: 788 classes taught: $9,112 (Big Summer Bonus Program)

August 2016: 741 classes taught: $7,803

I worked my butt off and it really paid off financially for my family. Parents were starting to complain that it was hard to book my classes. That is what I was looking for to have parents waiting to book my classes. Here is what some parents say about my classes:

“No wonder to become a star teacher, the class language fun, pronunciation and intonation ups, and downs, to attract children’s attention. Pay attention to correct the pronunciation of children in time, and make targeted guidance after class evaluation. Children with the teacher relaxed and happy, fruitful. Real good teacher!”

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“Finally got the girl love the teacher, the class vivid and lively. Comments are also put forward according to their own, very pertinent, will always be on the Daniel class.”

“JASON very much like DANIEL teacher, but the teacher’s class is too difficult to make an appointment. The teacher is very relaxed, children can relax, these days the children cough very fierce, but still need to insist on the teacher’s class, teacher DANIEL is very courteous and accessible, class atmosphere is also very good, can continue to encourage children. At the end of the class time, the teacher and children chat, expand the contents of some textbooks. In short, I and the children are like you, looking forward to meeting with you every week, thank you!”

The final incentive that really hit home for me was Winning the Trip to Beijing. I really wanted to win the trip because that would put me in front of the parents and students. I won the trip to Beijing with VIPKID and it was one of the best company experiences that I have ever had. It gave me an insight into the company and a better overall understanding of the market.

So why am I telling you this?

VIPKID has over 10,000 teachers now. You need to take advantage of anything that puts you in front of the parents and students. You need to go outside your comfort zone and sometimes push your self a little harder if you want to make working online with VIPKID or other online ESL schools.

I try to help as many teachers as I can find an online ESL job online via my Online ESL Job blog but I only have so much time in the day. I want online ESL teachers to be successful teaching ESL online from home. This will give you more control over your career and at a later point, it will give you the work-life balance that you need in today’s crazy world.

I’m focusing my efforts to help online ESL teachers that are struggling to get booking and are having a difficult time making money teaching ESL online from home.  I’m offering One-on-One Consultation to help online ESL teachers get bookings faster so they can become successful.


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I want to help as many Online ESL Teachers as I can to become successful teaching ESL online from home. SIGN UP TODAY!

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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Curbing the Effect of Helicopter Parenting in an Online ESL Teaching Job


Online ESL Job

Quite simply, helicopter parents are the kind of parents that hover over students and sometimes even instructors, wanting to be involved and informed every step of the way and this may negatively affect children in an English online teaching class. These kinds of parents aren’t all bad; after all, they are demonstrating a genuine interest in their children’s lives and interests. If they are hovering around before, during or after class, they are also probably:

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  • Trying to understand the ins and outs of your lessons.
  • Curious about how their child is doing.
  • Figuring out the best way to help their child practice or prepare.
  • Making sure the child is staying safe.
  • Evaluating whether or not the child needs help outside of class.

But as every instructor of the ESL online teaching jobs knows, there’s a limit to how much hovering is helpful. When helicopter parents start to interrupt class on a regular basis, unintentionally encourage improper techniques or turn up the pressure on your student(s), it can be a big problem.

Helicopter parenting can develop for a number of reasons. Here are some common reasons:

Fear of dire consequences

A low grade, not making the team, or not getting a certain job can appear disastrous to a parent, especially if it seems it could be avoided with parental involvement. Many of the consequences [parents] are trying to prevent unhappiness, struggle, not excelling, working hard, no guaranteed results – are great teachers for kids and not actually life-threatening. It just feels that way.”

Feelings of anxiety

Worries about the economy, the job market, and the world, in general, can push parents toward taking more control over their child’s life in an attempt to protect them. Worry can drive parents to take control of the belief that they can keep their child from ever being hurt or disappointed.

Adults who felt unloved, neglected, or ignored as children can overcompensate with their own children. Excessive attention and monitoring are attempts to remedy a deficiency the parents felt in their own upbringing.

Peer pressure from other parents

When parents see other over-involved parents, it can trigger a similar response. Sometimes when we observe other parents over parenting or being helicopter parents, it will put pressure on us to do the same. We can easily feel that if we don’t immerse ourselves in our children’s lives, we are bad parents.

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Effects of Helicopter Parenting

Many helicopter parents start off with good intentions. It is a tricky line to find, to be engaged with our children and their lives, but not so enmeshed that we lose perspective on what they need. Engaged parenting has many benefits for a child, such as increasing feelings of love and acceptance, building self-confidence, and providing guidance and opportunities to grow. The problem is that, once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step in an English online teaching class. Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges.

Decreased confidence and self-esteem; the main problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires. The underlying message [the parent’s] over involvement sends to kids, however, is my parent doesn’t trust me to do this on my own, [and this leads] to a lack of confidence.

Undeveloped coping skills; If the parent is always there to clean up a child’s mess or prevent the problem in the first place, how does the child ever learn to cope with loss, disappointment, or failure? Studies have found that helicopter parenting can make children feel less competent in dealing with the stresses of life on their own.

Increased anxiety; A study from the University of Mary Washington has shown that overparenting is associated with higher levels of child anxiety and depression.

A sense of entitlement; Children who have always had their social, academic, and athletic lives adjusted by their parents to best fit their needs can become accustomed to always having their way and thus they develop a sense of entitlement.

Undeveloped life skills; Parents who always tie shoes, clear plates, pack lunches, launder clothes, and monitor school progress, even after children are mentally and physically capable of doing the task, prevent their children from mastering these skill themselves.

Dealing with Helicopter parents

Tracking Skills Progress

Similar to a report card, outline the items a student is expected to learn in your class along with a timetable for expected accomplishments. Then grade students as they progress. You can periodically (i.e. once every 4-6 weeks) pass out these updates to parents to keep them informed. Helicopter parents might be particularly interested to know if their child is progressing more or less quickly than his/her classmates, so subtly including this on the grading scale can be a big help.

Setting Classroom Boundaries

In general, as teachers engaged through the ESL online teaching jobs and trying to find a lasting solution to helicopter parenting; having parents stop class or get involved in the lesson is a risky measure. Not only can it slow down productivity, but it makes a stressful environment for the child and the teacher. If you allow parents to observe a class, it’s a good idea to create policies to guide their behavior- such as where they are allowed to observe from, whether or not they are allowed to speak directly to their children during a group lesson, etc.

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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Teach ESL Online Part Time into A Full Time Job


Teaching English to Chinese students online is a multi-billion dollar business and is expanding as more Chinese citizens take interest in learning the language through the Internet. There is a high demand for teaching children online at a young age where neural plasticity is at its strongest to develop linguistic skills in multiple languages. Many American and European companies desperately flounder to stay competitive with these online Chinese companies in terms of pay and quality. I honestly felt a little resentful to know how much time I was dedicating for much lower wages at other companies and higher demands. ESL Teachers are in demand in China and the Internet is being utilized to teach children all across China to help improve their English proficiency. Some online ESL companies require more experience than others but an applicant can discuss extracurricular activities that he/she might have had that would be relevant to the job.  Most of these online Chinese ESL companies pay up to 25/Hr with added bonuses, referral incentives and pay raise. The only downfall with most of these Chinese companies is the lack of hours. Students generally sign up for online ESL classes from 6-9pm on weekdays and varying peak hours on weekends (Beijing Time).  This leaves a lot of downtime for teachers who want to pick up more classroom hours throughout the rest of their free day. I wanted to find a solid company within my own time zone (EST – America) that I could add additional hours to a non-compete clause that would allow me to work for other companies.

For those interested, I have two companies worthwhile to apply for to reach a full-time employment position:

  1. DadaABC

Application: APPLY NOW 


This is the Holy Grail in terms of consistent hours as there is an overflow of online ESL students each week. A good idea is to set your schedule from 6-9pm (Beijing Time) 5-7 days out of the week as this is the average workload for employees within the company totaling in at 15-21 hours. However, you may pick up more if desired and there are no limits. DadaABC pays up to 25$ an hour based on your TPR demo performance with bonuses incentives and promotions. There is less training in the company but there is a great staff that is very responsive and a pristine technical crew to help with real-time classroom problems. The non-micro managerial approach is great with the less administrative focus on main classes and more on the trial classes. This gives the teachers free range in their lessons to adapt their unique teaching styles.

  1. Varsity Tutors


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Varsity Tutors was the perfect supplementary job for DadaABC with in-person meetings spanning from 20-24$ and online tutoring around 15-22$. The consistency of the classes was better than other companies from my experience as well which was very appealing. The in-person meeting software locates students who need help within your radius for tutoring opportunities with ranges from 5-20 miles that you choose.  This provides great incentives for online ESL teachers who want to get out of the online realm once in awhile and acts as a hybrid approach to classroom instructing in both domains. Moreover, there is no non-compete clause that discourages applicants from holding another teaching position. The pay is TWICE A WEEK which is awesome compared to the once a month routine we have all grown accustomed to at other online ESL companies. Some of the big names flounder in comparison to the flexibility of Varsity Tutors and I have found this to be a great auxiliary job for aspiring ESL teachers at an excellent wage that compliments the pay schedule nicely.

APPLY to Varsity Tutors  If you have any questions please email me at!

For those outside of the United States, there are many reliable platforms. This should be the strategy for any aspiring online ESL teacher – Find a great Chinese company that provides a competitive wage like DadaABC, VipKID, UStalk, 51Talk, BoxFish etc. and link it up with another online ESL company within your time zone.



Teach ESL Online from Home

How To Get A Job Teaching ESL Online


Online ESL Job

Teaching ESL online may be an extremely rewarding job. It’s thrilling to observe folks who don’t speak English slowly and learn how to make use of the language to convey it via teaching. Just a couple of decades ago, in the event that you were an English as a second language teacher, you either needed to work with the school district or abroad educating kids. Teaching methods have developed a whole lot thanks to new technologies and academics now who teach ESL online in their spare time from home.

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Locating an ESL teaching position that is online is possible, however, it will take determination. First, get an academic degree of some kind. Most online language schools would rather have an academic degree when searching for candidates, but in addition, they know that lots of ESL teachers have been teaching for years, thus you could forgo the bachelor’s degree condition if you have ESL teaching expertise. It wouldn’t hurt to get ESL certification. Regardless if you have ESL teaching expertise or not, certificate validates ESL teaching skills. ESL certificate classes are offered at universities and local schools. You may also locate certificate classes online at sites like i-to-i TEFL, UNI-Prep Institute’s TEFL certification, or International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT) .

Next, write your curriculum vitae out and jot down your teaching experience. Write out if your teaching expertise is with all the preceding, adults, teenagers or kids. Also state if your experience is in the public, corporate sector or any translation work you’ve done as well. You also want to include your certifications, education and computer expertise. Don’t forget to prepare your computer equipment to make certain you have a reliable high-speed access to the internet, a headset, a mic plus a quality webcam. Test all of the Internet network devices to make certain they work right. Browse the internet job boards like ESL Authority,, or to find the best suitable job teaching ESL online. Try to find ESL classified ads which might be particular to teachers which are online.

Finally, start applying for online ESL jobs that best fit your circumstances like hours, student type, and pay. Then start sending out your resume. Also, visit ESL community groups like Teach ESL Online Anywhere in Facebook  & Dave’s ESL Cafe, ESL Job Project or ESL Teachers Board at which you can post and talk about companies looking for online ESL teachers. Also, review classified ad offering on-line ESL jobs. Browse the internet for ESL schools like Lingokids or WonderKids. When looking for teaching jobs try to find the Online ESL schools website to contact them directly. Occasionally online ESL teaching jobs are not being advertised for by the online English school but have a few positions which are open. If you find a potential online ESL school send them a copy of the curriculum vitae plus a cover letter stating your curiosity about working with them. Review online ESL job ads and online ESL schools to increase your probability of being contacted. Be consistent when putting in an application for online ESL teaching jobs. Also, you will have to do a lot of follow-up with the online ESL schools. Some of them might cancel your interview multiple times but you just have to keep following up to get to the interview stage. I hope this helps.

Happy Teaching!  Teacher Daniel

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Motivating your Online ESL Students when Teaching English Online from Home



Online ESL Job

Inspiring online ESL students are among the most difficult challenges when you teach English online from home, but lighting the fire is crucial to ensuring active online ESL students. Here are four things to motivate students for a more exciting online ESL class for students and teachers alike.

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1# Share your excitement: If students don’t find your online ESL class intriguing, they are unlikely to spend the energy it takes to really engage with the material being taught. Sparking this interest starts with online ESL teachers sharing their passion with students.

Some Parent Feedback from my classes:

“The teacher’s pronunciation sounds super safe, always energetic, enjoys teaching. But has very sincerely pointed out what needs to be strengthened. The teacher also appropriately expand some extra-curricular content, very good!”

“Very patient, infectious, good atmosphere.”

“Alan’s best favorite teacher, more and more interactive, more and more lively and interesting class, class is getting harder and harder”

2# Encourage your students: Use these words of encouragement when you teach English online from home. On average I use about 10 or more encouraging phrases in a 25-minute class. Here are some of them: Wow, that was great!, Wow, nice!, Excellent!, Excellent job!, Love it Awesome!, Very good!, Great job!, Wow, you got it!, You are doing great!, You are getting it!, Way to go!, Awesome Job!, and Nice!.

3# Have a reward system: Have a reward system outside of what your online ESL school has. It keeps your online ESL students motivated to learn. I have 5 main rewards systems that I use when I teach English online at home. I have monkeys, frogs, zoo, fish, and happy face rewards systems. I know others that do this via a green screen but right now I’m trying to keep it simple.

4# Get to know your students and let them into your life: I have taught over 2,300 students with VIPKID in about 530 days. I would say most of them I know if they have any brothers or sisters, what city they live it, what foods they like, some of their hobbies, etc. My students know about my life too.

These are the 4 key elements that you need to teach English online at home. Online ESL teachers need to have all of these key elements in each of their classes every time. Students have to feel your passion and know that you truly care about them.

Here are some more Happy Parent Quotes:

“Daniel teacher will use an interesting way to guide children to repeat, strengthen memory, not boring.”

“Daniel teacher class atmosphere is active, patient teaching will interact with the child to ask questions.”

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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Essential Pronunciation Practice when Teaching English Online from Home


Online ESL Job

Online ESL students must understand others when they talk in English. For ESL learners who are challenged with pronunciation, this is harder in practice. Which is the reason it is certainly essential for you as an online ESL teacher to include pronunciation practice when you teach English online from home, rather than only correct pronunciation errors on the fly. There are ways to make practicing pronunciation a bit more fun.

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1# Verb Endings pronunciation is something that’s especially troublesome for some students. There are 3 possible sounds for the letter S. First, review them /s/, /z/, and /iz/.

  • Words that end with the /s/ sound: cups, sleeps, cooks, walks, students, writes, and months.
  • Words that end with the /z/ sound: wears, gloves, plays, says, rides, crabs, drives, and clothes.
  • Words that end with the /iz/ sound: boxes, buses, rises, churches, sandwiches, dishes, pushes, changes, and ages.

Video: Good review of /s/, /z/, and /iz/

This is just a simple  Exercise 

2# Conjugate Third Person Singular – Is expressed using he, she, or it. The basic rule is added -s to the base form of the verb.

  • Swim: I swim, you swim, he swims, she swims, it swims we swim, they swim.

Also, verbs that end in -sh, -ch, -o, -ss, -x, and -es.

  • Touch: I touch, you touch, he touches, she touches, it touches, we touch they touch.

Finally, verbs that end with -y and a consonant before it, ies.

  • Dry: I dry, you dry, he dries, she dries, it dries, we dry, they dry.

When I teach the above, I sing it and then the online ESL student sings it. It is a lot of fun. Mimicking is a vital part of pronunciation practice, that’s, you model a word and pupils repeat by copying the same stress and tone.Then do a reading exercise that has /s/, /z/, and /iz/ verb endings. Finally a fill in the blank picking the correct verb like swim or swims or do multiple words in the same exercise. Also, you can do a listening exercise by saying the word and the student spells it.  

3# Verb Exercise: Say a verb and ask the online ESL student to say it in the 3rd person singular. Here is a fun, challenging exercise for online ESL students who are comfortable with the phonetic spelling of terms, or online ESL students who are not, but who can figure it out.

4# Another Exercise: Among the things individuals need to know is that though you’ll find 26 letters in the English alphabet, you’ll find just 44 sounds, which the number of letters in a phrase cannot be the same as the number of sounds. The word bat has 3 sounds and 3 letters, but batch has five letters and 3 sounds. Divide the blank PPT into six columns and at the top of each write 2 sounds”, 3 sounds”, 4 sounds and so on till 6 sounds. Give online ESL students a list of words and ask them to put each in the correct column. 

You can increase the possibilities for understanding through practice when teaching ESL online from home.  Much of this is listen and repeat practice but add in reading with fill in the blank, spelling, and picking out the correct sounds. Do it in a fun way so it isn’t boring. Also, Tongue Twisters are interesting and excellent for pronunciation exercise. That is a good way to help online ESL students to practice the longer ones.

Here are some quotes from Happy Parents”

“Baby said that this is a very like singing teacher!”

“The teacher very carefully, the correct pronunciation of the child, to encourage children to sentence output.”

“Very serious and responsible teacher, serious error correction, repeatedly strengthen the ability to listen and speaking, professor of a lot of knowledge, thank you teacher Daniel!”

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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Don’t Fail to Teach Phonics Blending when Teaching English Online from Home


Online ESL Job

For many children, phonics teaching is the root of education to read. In this article, you’ll learn the need for sound spelling, blending, and dictation in phonics teaching. When teaching Online ESL students, they need to learn how to decode and comprehend the connection between written and spoken the language. Some online ESL teachers believe that it is hopeless to meet such numerous distinct needs simultaneously, but over the last few years, teachers have learned to use specific strategies which help different online ESL students to meet these goals.

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Firstly, that irrespective of their degree, online ESL students may reap the benefits of explicit instruction in phonics, or the connection between letters and sounds. Though phonics should never be the only component of literacy education when teaching English online from home, give your students a firm foundation in phonics and they will be better equipped to decode unfamiliar terms, be more powerful spellers, and eventually be more fluent and independent readers.

When teaching English online from home, online ESL teachers should use an extensive range of approaches to work on phonics with Online ESL students. Probably the most crucial aspects of phonics are sound spelling.

#1 Sound spelling refers to transcribe speech sounds into written language, whether the sounds are in circumstance. Online ESL students who can correctly spell out sounds poss a strong phonological consciousness, sounds connect to one another and operate in the word as well as syllable level. Here are some fun ways to transcribe speech sounds into written language:

  • Example: Sort images based on the initial sounds, center sounds, or ending sounds of words, then write the words in such a manner as to emphasize the sounds they share.
  • Also, listen to books, poems, and songs, then jot down the letters and sounds they hear.
  • Most games involving listening to producing rhymes, all the while discussing the manner the rhyming syllables are spelled.

Emergent readers frequently need several possibilities to spell out the initial letters or mixtures in words, whereas more experienced readers and writers are willing to work on more advanced areas, like spelling ending or center sounds, or spelling polysyllabic words.

When you teach English online from home you can include the strategies above into your daily teaching if it isn’t in the online ESL curriculum that you are using.

I focus on Phonics when I’m teaching to make sure the students are saying each part of the word phonically correct. Here are a few quotes from some of my student’s parents:

“Three consecutive classes with Teacher Daniel. Although the teacher is not particularly funny, the teaching experience, pay attention to the child’s mouth, pronunciation, but also with the child appropriate to expand knowledge. We like the teacher very much!”

“Very patient, pronunciation standards, daughter likes.”

“The teacher is very good, his sound is very big, and the child interaction is very good, this is the most successful class, the child finally dares to speak loudly, the teacher corrects the wrong pronunciation unceasingly, satisfies.”

Happy Teaching! Teacher Daniel

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