Sometimes, having fun with my blog means talking about something I enjoy that isn’t related to writing. Today, that topic is Qkids, an online program that connects native English speakers with Chinese children who are eager to learn the language.
I have been teaching for Qkids for almost 3 years, and there is literally no better job (in my opinion) for college kids, those who already work but have time in the evening and/or morning to spare, people who need a job with a flexible schedule and stay-at-home moms. This job is an absolute blessing in the uncertain times brought about by the virus, and I feel like now is a great time to talk about it and possibly point some people who may desperately need work to this opportunity.
Before you read on, I do need to let you know that Qkids is looking for native English speakers who live in the United States or Canada, and they prefer teachers who speak clearly and do not have strong accents. Accents can make words sound totally different to a child learning English, which is a complex language to begin with! I live in the United States on the east coast, so keep that in mind when I mention times of day and some of my opinions on teaching for Qkids.
What is Qkids?
Qkids is a platform that connects Chinese children who wish to learn English with native English speakers. You don’t need to know Chinese to teach with Qkids, but you do need to love kids since you’ll be teaching them! You teach using provided lesson plans from the comfort of your office desk, each lesson is 30 minutes in length and the available slots for lessons change according to the time of year. When school is out, more lessons are available. Now, because of the pandemic, there are an unprecedented number of time slots available and teachers needed, so now is the best time to apply!
What is a morning/evening of teaching lessons like?
It’s 7:00 AM . You wake up to the ringing of your alarm, yawn and boot up your computer. Your webcam and headset are already set up, and you know you have a reliable internet connection. You brew some coffee, do your thing to look presentable and appropriate and sit down at your computer to open the Qkids desktop application.
You look at the clock. It’s only 7:30 and your first class is at 7:50. Good, you have time for a YouTube video or a news article.
You look at the clock again. It’s 7:43 now. You know that if you want to get that timeliness bonus, you have to log into the class 5 minutes before it starts. You watch the seconds tick down to 7:44:30 and log into the class, adopting your brightest let’s-do-this smile and preparing to be a role model and teacher to these children.
Four faces smile at you from the four webcam feeds at the bottom of the application. “Hello Teacher!” they call, and your smile grows wider.
“Hello everyone! How are you today?” You make sure to speak clearly but you don’t have to be too careful, because this is a Level 7 class and they will be able to understand a majority of what you say as long as you keep your sentences simple and use words from previous classes that you’ve taught.
The class is a breeze and 30 minutes are up before you know it. You give each kid a cute little sticker on the last screen, wave goodbye one last time and log out of the class.
Your next class is in five minutes, so you just sit back and relax, sipping your coffee until it’s time to log in again.
Then you’re done. You can go to the store, fix your kids breakfast, go to work, read a book or do anything else your day requires.
In the evening, you can hop online again to teach some more classes. You can start teaching at 7:50 PM and teach as late as you want, then call it a night. In the mornings, you can start teaching as early as 5:50 AM.
It’s up to you, and you love that. You love how much flexibility this job gives you, you love waking up or ending your day to the smiling faces of adorable Chinese children and you love that extra income.
Best thing about teaching for Qkids?
For me, it’s the flexibility of the hours. You can email a class coordination manager and update your regular availability anytime and teach more or fewer classes. If you need a little more money to pay bills next month, you can take some more class slots. If you’re feeling a little tuckered out from the early/late hours (remember, China is 12 hours ahead of the United States’ east coast!) you can take some time off, and you don’t even always need to send an email to do it. Qkids has an app on which you can request off from classes 24 hours in advance. You can take a day off, or a week, or a month—but you will need to email management to take off a full month.
Worst thing about teaching for Qkids?
Self-employment taxes! When you work for Qkids, you are treated as a freelancer under a 6-month contract (renewable, of course—I’ve been doing this for 3 years). Also, filing taxes when you work for a foreign employer can get complicated.
What’s the pay?
Qkids pays $8 per 30-minute class. In addition, you get an attendance bonus of $1 for each class you taught in a week as long as you teach a minimum of 15 lessons, and you get a performance bonus of $1 per lesson based on family review. To put this in perspective, if you teach for 4 hours each day, you are never late and families give you good reviews (be cheerful, happy and dedicated and they will!), you can earn $2000 a month.
What are the requirements?
I’m not here to explain the process of getting hired, but I do have something important to mention here. The requirements are:
- Eligible to legally work in the U.S. or Canada
- Bachelor’s degree in any major OR senior in last semester
- Teaching license or English teaching certificate (TESOL, TEFL, CELTA, ESL) required before lessons assigned
- Candidates without a certificate can qualify for a fast track TESOL voucher to be completed before signing the contract
I have a degree in Computer Science, but I’m good with kids and I smile a lot so it doesn’t matter that I didn’t study education in college. You won’t find “senior in last semester” on their website, but it’s true. They will consider you if you make it clear that you have only a semester or so left and you have the transcripts to prove it.
The last point is what’s important. As of a few months ago candidates are now required to have a teaching certificate, but Qkids might be willing to pay for you to get one. They did for me! I’m taking International Open Acadamy’s entirely-online $119 120-hour TESOL course for free. Qkids gave me a voucher code because they value me as a teacher, and if you apply and they feel that you are a strong candidate, they may give you one too! It will NOT take 120 hours. I am 30% through my course and I’ve spent maybe 5 hours on it so far. It’s just reading and multiple-choice 7-to-10-question exams, nothing stressful or complicated, and it has useful, interesting information.
Great, how do I sign up?
Follow this referral link so they know I sent you! If you choose to look over the Qkids website first, you can use the referral code WRRFPA when you are ready to proceed and you are prompted for a current teacher referral code.
Best of luck with the interview process! Don’t forget to smile a lot, speak clearly and highlight your experience with kids. You got this, and stay healthy and safe!
I’m happy to answer any questions in comments!
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