An inside look at a VIPKid In-Person Coaching event
See original published work at https://theschoolhousemommy.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/an-inside-look-at-a-vipkid-in-person-coaching-event/
WHAT IS FAST PASS?
The underground metro screeches to a halt on a Saturday morning. The doors open and a scattering of individuals enter the train. It’s quiet, a sharp contrast from Toronto commuter morning rush during the week. About midway down the train a woman in a bright orange with the letters V-I-P-K-I-D written in bold white print down the arm, finds a seat. She rides the train all the way down to Union Station, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. The CN tower peaks through the tall buildings that surround her. She is an orange speck on the city streets. She walks to Wellington street. The building she enters towers up towards the sky, and on a brick wall in silver lettering, says 95 Wellington West. “Hello, I’m one of the coaches for the V-I-P-kid training event,” she informs the security guard at the front desk. She rides up to the fourteenth flour. As she begins setting up the room for the fast pass event, she takes a moment to glance out the window, enjoying the little adrenaline rush she feels looking straight down on the street below.
VIPkid is an online company, so what business does it have hosting these in person training events for applicants interested in the company? Why make the trip into the city to attend an event meant for a company that boasts location independence?
FAST PASS IS A FREE LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
Step by step workshop designed to help you develop nine key skills
As a new applicant to VIPkid, you will be given access to a portal with several tabs worth of resources from the company designed to help you learn and exceed as a new VIPkid teacher. Sometimes these resources can be overwhelming, especially with the amount of “extra” resources available online. Many eager applicants spend hours watching YouTube videos, and reading blog posts, and sometimes the information can be inconsistent or out of date. The fast pass managers have designed this four hour workshop to introduce key concepts in manageable chunks, and are constantly updating the program based on new information sent from head office in Beijing. The focus is on nine key skills, which include: adaptation, pacing, energy and engagement, TPR (Total Physical Response), student output, modelling, appropriate language, phonics, and extension.
Focus on transferable skills
As I have said before, there are a lot of resources available for teachers looking to work for VIPkid. Some individuals are able to memorize the lessons required to pass the certification course, watch some YouTube examples, and implement them well enough to pass on the first try with very little extra work. The challenge is that once these teachers start booking classes, they become inundated with new lessons to memorize, students with different learning needs, and sometimes even negative parent complaints that lower their chances of future bookings. Though our main focus during Fast Pass is on the certification course, we do not teach to the test. We teach and build on skills that are transferable to any lesson plan. Fast Past applicants do not only go into the certification course with confidence, but also start teaching their first lessons with a firm grasp of key skills necessary to help them succeed.
Opportunities to practice and get live feedback from experienced coaches
In my opinion the greatest value that Fast Pass has is the one on one time with coaches gained during practice sessions. Over the course of the four hour workshop, I have seen a large amount of growth and improvements in every individual I have worked with. The big difference between practising at home and practising at a fast pass event, is that during fast pass coaches are able to correct and demonstrate on the spot.
FAST PASS PUTS A FACE TO AN ONLINE COMPANY
A lot of companies, both from Western and Eastern cultures, try and discourage their employees from fraternizing outside the workplace, fearing that over familiarization will create workplace drama. From my first encounter with VIPkid in 2015, the company has encouraged it’s teachers to connect and create Facebook communities. As the company grew and word got around at head office that groups of VIPkid teachers were getting together in person, the company celebrated these get-togethers, and soon VIPkid meetups became official events listed in weekly updates. Now VIPkid is recruiting some of the more active community members as community ambassadors. Fast Pass, beyond being a training event, is another attempt to put a face to an online company, and some of the coaches also volunteer their time to set up meetups with other teachers.
FAST PASS WORKS TO INTEGRATE FEEDBACK FROM HEAD OFFICE AND CERTIFICATION CENTER TEACHERS
Quite a few of the coaches recruited to run Fast Pass events are either certification teachers. On top of having an open communication system with changes at head office, the Fast Pass team is always receiving, and incorporating feedback from its team members. When Certification Teachers have comments on aspects that might improve fast pass events, these suggestions are passed on and implemented.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today! If you are an applicant and interested in attending a Fast Pass event, it is so simple and FREE! First, fill out an application form. Next, hop on over to https://vipkidevents.splashthat.com/ and sign up for the coaching even near you! They are all over the United States and also in Toronto, Canada.
Once you attend you will be fully equipped and ready to rock your certification class! Good luck and happy teaching!