The first class I was booked to teach for VIPKID was a trial class. I had no idea what I was supposed to do in a trial class and I was NERVOUS! I read a lot of Facebook and YouTube commentary on trial classes. I should have just tried to take the Trial Workshop given by VIPKID, but my class was coming up too fast.
The number one fact that helped me relax about these classes was I found out that you are not expected to finish all of the slides in time. The goal of a trial class is to assess the level of the student’s English ability and to have lots of fun, so that they will sign up to be a VIPKID. I also realized that these trial kids have never taken a VIPKID class before and they are just as nervous or excited as you are as their teacher. They may have never even spoken to a native English speaker before!
Some of the students are very young. I have taught trial classes to kids as young as 4 years old up to 12 years old. To find out their age before class, click on the info tab. This tab will tell you how old they are and if they have taken a computer placement test to assess their English level. If they have taken the test, use this level for your starting point. If there is no computer placement test, use the suggested level that was booked.
During the first few slides of a trial class, you are supposed to assess your student and decide if you need to move on to an easier lesson or a more difficult level. You can go in the classroom and practice this before class. Click on documents, uploaded by me and pick the level you desire. The levels are not in order when choosing them, so you have to know which one you want to go to. So check the lessons out ahead of time.
The easiest way to change the lesson is to have the student speak to you about the slide you are on and while they are interacting, you choose a new lesson. It is easy to do this as they speed through the A, B, C’s at the beginning of the lower level lessons. I don’t think the students can see you changing the lesson until the new slide comes up. Don’t be nervous to change the lesson. If the student is advanced, you will finish really fast and need to move on to the next lesson anyway. Remember time is not a factor…fun and correct placement is the goal.
The trial classes that I have taught the most are Level 2 Unit 1 and Level 2 Unit 4. You will be able to do these 2 lessons in your sleep eventually. I would look over all of the trial lessons just to be familiar with them, so that you are not unprepared if you need to move up or down a level. I really like Level 2 Unit 7 because you use your face for the props the entire time and it breaks up doing “Hi my name is _____.” and “This is Lisa.” or BIG “A”, small “A”!
Teachers have varying opinions on trial classes. I like them! They are fun and gave me lots of practice before I had Major Courses booked. The best part about trial classes is that if your trial student decides to join VIPKID, you get a $5 bonus! You can also make an extra $2 a class if the trial is booked on short notice (which they usually are, if you have your 24 hour option clicked on). If your base pay is $8.50 and you add $2 for short notice plus a $5 sign up incentive plus $1 extra for more than 45 classes plus a $1 on time bonus- You could potentially make $17.50 for 25 minutes of your time! That sounds good to me!
There is one downside to trials. There are a lot of student no shows, which you only get paid half of your base salary for, but you only have to sit through the class for 15 minutes (which is half your normal class time). So hopefully you get enough of the $17.50 trial classes to cover the $4.50 trial classes!
So relax and have lots of fun and load up on TPR (total physical response) for your trial classes that have no time stress included. You are the face of VIPKID to these new students, so show them your best and maybe you will turn them into regular students in your class. Happy trial teaching!