“What Ifs” in Teaching

I am always filled with “what ifs?”  Especially in teaching.  I started my application with Outschool a bit ago, but my “what ifs” filled me until two months had passed!  I realized if I had just done it when I started I could have been teaching this whole time.  Now that I have entered the platform I am STILL asking, “what if?”

“What if I make classes and no one signs up?”

“What if too MANY students sign up and I am overwhelmed?!”

“What if I have IT problems and I give the learners a bad experience?” 

We all have what ifs, but what can we do about them?  

I also work for VIPKid, and I had these same questions before I started with them.  It even took me a year before I finally applied!  It was Angela’s kind words and videos that convinced me I could do this, that it could change my life.  And it did!  I’m happier, I am supporting my family more, I can breathe easier.  I occasionally berate myself for not doing it sooner, for not solving my problems myself sooner. But I always say, “I can only do as much as I can do.”  I wasn’t ready, I couldn’t manage it. I am so happy I finally did.

As I was having all those, “what if” questions, I was still teaching my VIPKid classes. I had open timeslots that people weren’t booking.  I had some very busy days and was overwhelmed. I had IT issues and figured them out.  I was having a great time teaching WHILE experiencing all of those “What Ifs” from my Outschool concerns.  I realized that I CAN do it!

I’ve learned to write down my “what ifs”, to talk them out, and to get past my own self doubt (OK not really).  But I have learned that those are the steps I need to take when I am ready to tackle them.  I’m still working on planning my classes, I’m still figuring things out, but I have a plan. 

When I start to avoid things I know I want to do because of the “what ifs” and the “what abouts” I have learned to make a list.  I also do this for any type of everyday thing that I am distracting myself from.  I am a list maker.  Am I a list completer? Ha, no.  But it’s there, reminding me of what I can work on. 

Do something, a little thing, then check Facebook for the millionth time (I have also learned to set timers on my distractions!).  Move on to something else you can do.  Do what you can, when you can.  It will get done. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay.  Keep working on it.  

Here is a list helper I created.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to fit in the box.  It doesn’t have to be a big problem.  See if it can help you get past your “what ifs.”  I’ll keep trying to get past mine too. 

I’ve taught for VIPKid for 3 Years. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

In 2017 VIPKid was the answer to so many of my problems. I needed a source of income, desperately. But I needed a flexible job, one that let me choose my schedule, and I needed to be home with my little kids. That criteria made it difficult to find a job, so my search took a long time and most jobs that DID fit that criteria were too good to be true.

VIPKid sounded too good to be true, as well. I didn’t tell anyone about it until I’d done it for a month and got paid. I thought it was a scam the whole time. I got booked for my first class and still didn’t think a student would show up. But, he did.

I worked the whole month and loved it, but didn’t think I’d get paid. But, I did.

I would work from about 5-7AM, then my husband would need to leave for dental school and I’d step in and take care of my kids for the rest of the day. Between teaching for an hour or two in the mornings and doing a few longer shifts on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, I was able to make an extra $1000 per month, give or take.

It. Was. Life-changing.

A lot has happened since then. I started sharing about VIPKid with others who asked about flexible, consistent jobs that don’t have start-up costs. I started a YouTube channel to help others learn the teaching style to help them get hired. The company brought me to China because of how many people I’d helped get hired. I got to meet my students in person and experience Chinese culture first-hand. I became a brand ambassador for the company and attended their conferences to meet other teachers.

My world was very orange, and very fulfilling.

A lot of changes have happened within the company since then, as well. They’ve added more subjects to their curriculum, grown their teacher and student base like crazy, and hosted virtual meet-ups and conferences to help teachers connect during the pandemic. They are continuously evolving and keeping up with the changes in technology and the needs of their students and teachers.

I honestly haven’t always loved the changes they’ve made. I’m an advocate for teachers first and always, and sometimes I get frustrated at business decisions that I perceive as a hindrance to the teachers’ growth. But I still hold that VIPKid provides one of the best opportunities for teachers to work from home, set their own hours, and make a meaningful impact in the lives of children around the world.

If you want to become a VIPKid teacher, I’d love to help you out. Send me an email to thevipkidcoach@gmail.com and we’ll get you started!