Mar 11, 2019

Work From Home as an Online ESL Teacher for Qkids

Disclosure: Referral links are used in this post. If you apply using my link or referral code, I will be compensated if you are hired. Affiliate links are also used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here. 

Why I Chose Qkids

When I went to college, I was single and expected to stay that way for a while. I planned on teaching English as a second language in China, so I majored in Asian Languages and Literature, minored in English, and also received a TESL Certificate.

However, life had other plans and I ended up meeting my husband in college so I ended up working part-time in retail while my husband worked full time. I switched to being a stay at home mom shortly before our daughter was born. Now that she is two and I find myself missing the extra income, I started searching for work at home opportunities, preferably something I was interested and have experience in, which is how I came across teaching ESL online.

In my search, I discovered that there are many ESL companies, so I did a lot of research before choosing which ones to apply to. VIPKid is probably the most popular, but their scheduling sounded really strict and I heard it can be hard to get hours as the parents pick the teachers. I did apply for Gogokid, but when it came to scheduling an interview, I always got an error that there were no dates or times available, so I gave up on them. I've also heard that they are similar to VIPKid when it comes to scheduling. The other two companies I applied for were Qkids and Dada, which I heard back from around the same time.

I did both interviews and I just really loved Qkids. I originally planned on doing both Dada and Qkids, but Dada's pay was not nearly as good (they offered me $16, but I had to cover bank transfer fees, which are quite expensive) and they wanted me to do a lot of training on my own (watching videos) with no pay, whereas Qkids paid me for my training after I was hired. Also, Dada's platform wasn't as fun, it's more like a power point presentation, and it requires a lot more prep work. It just wasn't worth the pay.

Teaching With Qkids

Schedule/Hours

Qkids hours are Mondays - Sundays 5:40 AM - 8:10 AM EST, and Fridays and Saturdays 7:40 PM - 10:50 PM EST. They do have holiday hours where they will open up more evening classes, but those last for only a couple of weeks.


Being a stay at home mom, I chose to do three classes in the morning, every day of the week, so I teach the 6:20 AM, 7:00 AM and 7:40 AM EST classes Monday to Sunday. That is the set schedule I sent them, but I am able to request off as long as it's 5 hours before class with no penalty, which is way more flexible than other ESL programs.

However, unlike other ESL companies, they do require you to be available to work for 12 classes a week, but you do get to choose which hours you are available. Others don't require this much time commitment (Dada only wanted 4 hours minimum).  


Payment

Qkids pays $8 per 30-minute class, (Basically $16 an hour, better than any part-time job I've ever had!), and $4 base pay for standby lessons (approximately 10 minutes with no teaching required). If your standby converts, then it counts as a class, so you'll get the $8 pay instead. All pay is in US dollars, even if you are Canadian. 

There is a $1 performance bonus, which depends on how well you taught the class, so that could you get you up to $9 per class.  

If you teach 15 classes per week, you can get an extra dollar per class. Please note, you have to be scheduled for 15 classes (standbys are included), it doesn't count if you have availability for 15 classes. Basically, there is the potential to earn $10 per 30-minute class ($20 an hour).

Payment is directly deposited into your bank account. There are no bank transfer fees as Qkids covers those, so you keep all the money you made. Teachers are paid once per month, no later than the 15th of each month. For example, before or on March 15th I will be paid for all the classes I have taught from February 1st to February 28th.

Please note that you are expected to enter the classroom 3 minutes prior to class (5 minutes prior highly recommended) and you have to do evaluations after class (takes less than a minute, no typing required!), so your pay isn't exactly $16 an hour. Some find this deceiving, but it's still the most I have ever been paid for a part-time job. The most I've ever made prior to this job was $10.50 an hour, so to me, this is very good pay. Plus I enjoy this job!

Also note, there are currently no opportunities to earn more than the $10 per class, so your pay will never increase no matter how long you have been working with Qkids.


The Classes

The Qkids teaching software is amazing! There is very little work and prep needed for each class. Of course, when I first started, I would put in the extra time because I was still learning all the games and activities. Now that I have been working for a month, it's so easy. I just quickly preview my classes for the next day to make sure I know what I'm teaching and if I should grab any props (takes about 5 minutes).



The information for each class is provided and there are teacher notes on each slide, so even if you haven't had time to preview the class, as in the case of standbys, you are still able to teach! I was really anxious for my first standby as I don't like the idea of not being prepared, but once I started teaching, it wasn't so bad, and I even got lots of positive feedback from the parents! After that, I got more confident and started prepping a lot less for classes.


The characters are also very cute, which many of the children will know. Momo Monkey and Koby Koala are the main characters. There are a bunch of other characters, but they seem to be hit or miss as students don't familiarize themselves with those characters as much as they aren't in every lesson.

The Students

You will be teaching up to 4 kids per class, ages range from 4 to 12 years old. Expect to see new faces each time as classes are randomly assigned. Unlike other ESL companies, Qkids picks the teachers instead of the parents.

Also, note that age doesn't always coordinate with level as each kid's English level varies. I've had 6-year-olds and 10-year-olds in the same class.

Classes are usually fun. The majority of students love to participate, talk, and "show and tell" (show off an item they have at home, usually a stuffed animal or drawing).

However, one of the downsides of teaching with Qkids (and probably ESL online or any online class in general), is that there are some situations that come up that you can't really control because you aren't physically present and the kid is usually at home (crying kids, parents yelling, parents smacking their kids, etc), but these instances are rare and should always be reported.


Application Process

Qualifications & Requirements

In order to be eligible to work as a teacher for Qkids, you must be able to meet the following requirements:
  • Reside in the United States or Canada
  • Native English speaker
    • Neutral dialect/tone. No heavy accents. 
  • Bachelor's degree in English, Language and Linguistics, Education, or TESOL/TEFL 
    • OR Bachelor’s degree and TESOL/TEFL/CELTA certificate - Must have a serial number so they can verify completion of the certificate program
    • OR Certification or license from department/license of education for teaching in the US or Canada
  • Experience working with children (previous teaching or tutoring experience, babysitting, nannying, homeschooling, a mom, etc.)
  • Either PC or Mac
    • specific system requirements:
      • CPU: dual-core 2.0GHz or above
      • CPU model: i5/i7 series for laptop or i3/i5/i7 series for desktops
      • Memory: 2Gb or above
      • Graphic memory: 512Mb or above
      • System: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 or MacOSX
    • For Mac, the processor needs to be i5/7, more than 1.5GHz.
    • Also note: Chromebooks, iPads, tablets, and Linux operating systems are currently not accepted, as they are incompatible with the Qkids software.
    • I currently have an Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, which works very well!
  • Stable internet connection using an ethernet cable
  • Webcam - either an internal webcam that’s built into the computer or an external webcam (I have a Logitech HD Laptop Webcam C615)
  • Noise-canceling headphones with a microphone  (I use a Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset, so comfortable!)
  • Be able to work 6 hours (12 classes) per week (this is the minimum time commitment, but you may teach more)

The computer specs are very important. Originally I applied with my computer, but they emailed me saying it didn't meet their requirements, luckily my husband's did and I was able to move on. So your computer has to meet their requirements or you won't even be considered. This doesn't mean go out and buy a new computer as you don't even have the job yet, but maybe see if you can borrow a friend's or family member's to go through the hiring process, then if you're hired, consider getting a new computer.


How to Apply

To apply for a teaching position at Qkids, you will need to submit the following required materials:
  • Resume
  • Availability
  • Screenshot of computer specs
  • 1-2 Minute Long Introduction Video: Introduce yourself, your current location, educational background, and any experience teaching or working with children, and read a short children’s story. You can record your video right on the application (Don't worry you can redo it as often as you want!), or you can upload your video to your application as a link through YouTube or Google Drive.
    • Note: Your video cannot be longer than 2 minutes so you will want to either pick a short children's book (I did "Are You There Little Elephant") or only read an excerpt from a children's book. (If you have kids, you'll probably have plenty of books to choose from, if not, check out your local library or borrow from a friend or family member!)

Hiring Process

Step 1

Submit your application (see above list).

Step 2

If Qkids likes your application, they will email you back with an invitation to start the hiring process within 3 business days (they do not work weekends).

This part of the application was a little nerve-wracking as they like to use an app called WeChat to communicate. Unfortunately, I couldn't get access to it, and many others have the same problem. Luckily, they have started using an app called QQ International to communicate and I was able to get that one to work on my phone. It was smooth sailing from there. If you have issues with getting either app to work, they now can communicate through the Qkids app as well, so just let them know if you are having issues.

Step 3

Demo Interview 1

In Demo Interview 1, you will spend most of your time demonstrating that you know how to use the Qkids teaching platform. There will be some interview questions, but it's mostly checking to see that you understand how the games and tools in the program work, as well as being able to check sound and video.

Prior to this interview, your Qkids trainer will have you download the Qkids program to your computer. There will be some training videos available for you to watch, which will fully prepare you for your demo. There will also be a practice classroom that you can enter and practice using all the tools.

Be prepared to "teach" a little. Though the mock class is done in Demo 2, your trainer will have you pretend a little when demonstrating that you know how to play the games.


Step 4

Demo Interview 2

In Demo Interview 2, you will have a full question and answer interview session. After the interview, you will do the mock class (think of it as role play). This can be a little awkward as your trainer pretends to be a little kid but will switch back to an adult when they want you to move on to the next slide as well as give feedback after each game or activity.

Prior to this interview, you will have access to more videos and another practice classroom so you can be fully prepared to teach the mock class.

Step 5

If you pass Demo Interview 2, you will then move on to trial classes and background check.

You will teach anywhere from 2-5 actual classes with students (I taught 5 before getting my contract, so don't get nervous if you hear others only had to teach 2. Each trainer is different.). You will receive feedback from your trainer after your trial classes. It is important to review their feedback as they will be watching to see if you improve in your next trail class(es).

You will be paid $8 per completed trial class, whether you end up receiving an offer at the end of your trial period or not.

Step 6

Hired! If you pass all the above, you will be offered a 6-month contract to work as an online ESL teacher with Qkids.

Apply Now to be a Qkids Teacher

Please use my referral code when applying: UJWKVS

By using my referral code I will be able to help you along the application and training process. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at: diana@forevermylittlemoon.com

27 comments:

  1. I've always thought this would be such a fun job. A very rewarding job to teach language!

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  2. I was just researching about QKids this weekend. This post is very helpful. I've done VIPKID hiring process and did get hired, but getting hours is just like you said in your post - very hard to get. I've been with them a couple months and haven't booked one student yet. Sounds like QKids has a good process for teachers being able to get hours.

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    1. Yes! With Qkids, the schedule is randomly assigned, so it's pretty fair. All teachers have something scheduled each week. When I first started it was busy season and I never had a day off, now I get 1 or 2 days off each week, but am still pretty booked for the slots I have available.

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  3. This sounds like an awesome opportunity. I don't have a Bachelor's degree in English though (mine is in Biology, with a Master's in Environmental Education). This would be a great way to make some money from home. I would apply if I had the right degree!

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    1. Your bachelor degree doesn't have to be in English. You'll just have to get a TESL or TEFL certificate, which there are quite a few online courses. Groupon often has discounts for them as well.

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    2. Online certificates for those? How cool is that??? Honestly, this sounds like a GREAT opportunity, and your review is so thorough and informative! Thanks for sharing your honest take on this great program, as well as the others you considered alongside it!

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  4. I am actually an Esl teacher in Japan and thinking of getting extra money by teaching online. Do you have to lesson plan at all?

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    Replies
    1. I believe you have to be a US or Canadian resident to apply for Qkids. If you're just teaching abroad, I think that should work though as I know many teachers who travel and still work for Qkids. The lessons are all done, so you don't have to plan at all. A lot of teachers don't, plus there are Standby classes where you can't prep at all, so they are designed for you just to jump in and go. I personally like to review the lessons before class just so I feel more prepared, but only takes me 5 minutes, so very little prep.

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  5. Wow... this sounds like a great idea. I know a couple of people who will be interested in this. Thanks for the information.

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    1. You're welcome! If they have any questions, they can feel free to message me at diana@forevermylittlemoon.com, I would be happy to help them with the process!

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  6. This sounds like a great online job to make some extra income. Great post!

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  7. Thanks for sharing all the details! Great post!

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  8. This is a great opportunity for those who love to teach. Thankful for such opportunities. :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this! I've always wondered about doing something like this!
    xoxo carolyn @ mychicobsession.com

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  10. This is such a great option for a part time job! Love it!

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  11. This seems like such a great opportunity to work from home and rewarding at the same time. I wish they would expand to other countries as well, because currently you have to be in the US/Canada to teach.

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  12. I have been wondering about this. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  13. Such an amazing opportunity! I once had a job that permitted working from home and it was the best thing ever. I can only imagine how rewarding it must feel to be helping so many children. Keep being a light in this world for the future!

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  14. Such a great working option! I didn't even know it existed. I am not good with kids but I do know people who would call this opportunity blessed

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  15. Oh wow what an amazing opportunity this is for sure. I would love to give this a go xx

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  16. thank you for this detailed post on QKIds.. My only problem is the PST time slots for most of these online teaching sites. :( I hope I can figure out a balance and find one

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    1. PST is hard for sure due to the time differences. Our morning here is there evening in China, so finding later slots is hard as kids are going to be in bed, and then they have school during the day. I believe there are some adult programs, which may have later times as adults would stay up later. I can't think of any off hand, but you may want to try looking into teaching adults instead. Best of luck!

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  17. It must be so easy for you to teach right from the comfort of your home, right? I love how QKids don't have such a tight schedule and still pay well for the hours spent. Who wouldn't love them?

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  18. Looks like you can get good money with this one. It is so popular to many people already. Something better to consider. I really want to teach when I was younger.

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  19. This sounds like a great way to earn money from home. I love jobs like this to fit in around the children.

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  20. I've definitely wondered what it would be like to teach like this. You explained it well. So, if you don't have a Bachelors in English, you just have to get that TESL certificate?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, correct! You will need a BA and TESL certificate.

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