Welcome to VIPKid, new teachers!
Many new VIPKid teachers struggle with getting regular bookings (or sometimes ANY bookings) in the beginning. I get it. TOTALLY. I signed my VIPKid contract in December of 2017, didn’t have my first booking until March 2018 … and didn’t teach an actual student until May! Eek!
But don’t let that freak you out! First of all, my experience with getting started at VIPKid seems to be extremely unusual. Plus, I did just about everything wrong that it is possible to do wrong during my first few months. Now, I teach 3-4 afternoons per week, I have a bunch of regular students, and I teach pretty much whenever I want. So even though I had a really rough start, it has gotten A LOT better.
But … don’t do what I did! I want to share with you all of the mistakes that I made at the beginning of my VIPKid experience, so you can not make them. Learn from my mistakes! Don’t put yourself in the same frustrating and discouraging position that I did! Here’s what I learned (by making all the possible mistakes as a new VIPKid teacher):
7 years. Today is the day we literally thought would never come. We had been told, repeatedly, and by those who should know, that 7 years at the IAEA was the absolute, no questions limit for anyone without a permanent contact (and those are incredibly rare). It was one of the few things that everyone KNOWS about working in a place where do much is fickle and uncertain. So, we were SURE we would be “home” by now. Well, 7 years, and a few small rule alterations later, and here we STILL are.
I don’t have an answer yet to the question — when will we be home? I’m not sure. I can’t rely on the rules and regulations to tell me, because those seem to be oddly flexible at the moment. We will come back, but I don’t know when.
In the meantime … we’ve built a beautiful life here in Austria. We’ve made this our home. We’ve adjusted to so much — the language, the culture, raising a family in another country, being at “home” in two different places while also feeling like we don’t quite fit in either. We’ve made wonderful friends, had incredible experiences, and continue to enjoy this big adventure.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave, deep underground, possibly on another planet, and somehow you STILL haven’t heard, the United States is having an election this year, and, unbelievably, it’s somehow more of an insane, media-fueled circus freak show than usual.
If you’re an American, living abroad, please, PLEASE don’t let being far from home stop you from participating in the process this year. If you want it to be as easy as possible to vote, check out this site:
You Should Vote
(I have nothing to gain by this, just trying to help out. Also, yes, I know it’s been about 1,000,000 years since I’ve written anything. I’m hoping that will change soon, now that the kids are back in school, but it’s also true that my purpose in writing this blog no longer matches my current situation as well as it once did. I started it as a record of “adjusting to life abroad”, and now, having been here for 5 years, I’m not sure we’re really “adjusting” anymore. Anyway, there will be more, hopefully soon. In the meantime, please register to vote if you haven’t already.)