Welcome to my blog! And if you’ve been here before welcome back!
I thought it would be about time I share with you how I’ve been supporting myself as a blogger and supplementing our household income as a work at home mom.
Running a blog and a Youtube channel isn’t cheap or easy. It does take some money, even if you keep it under $500 a year with the cost of your domain name and subscriptions like Buffer, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other services to keep things running smoothly as a solopreneur/ mompreneur/ entrepreneur.
Even running ads on social media can cost hundreds of dollars and all you’re trying to do is get people to visit your blog and read it.
Even if you aren’t a blogger or YouTuber, you can do this pay for a college course and/ or your books, school supplies, or for your meals, or anything. You can do this without even leaving your dorm.
So, I’ve been doing this job for over a year and just the thought of stopping gives me a knot in my throat because I love it so much.
It’s fun! It’s cute! It’s easy! (As in no traffic, stay in your pajamas, flexibility, no penalty for calling off, etc) And this job has tons of laughable moments.
I work for Qkids!
What is Qkids?
Qkids is ESL online company based in Xiamen, China.
With Qkids, you teach English to children in tween the ages of 5 and 12 years old. In one classroom you will only have up to 4 students and it works like you are using Skype. So, everything is live and right there. Sometimes, you just might get some as young as 3-years-old and some as old as 15-years-old. Are they breaking any rules? Not really. Just as long as you aren’t staring at a grown man claiming he’s 12-years-old.
I began teaching English with them back in August 2017 and I’ve been with them ever since. I’m not sure when and if I’ll leave.
The Pros of Working For Qkids: (In random order)
1. They have their own platform and teaching materials.
You don’t have to buy any materials to teach with. Their platform is very easy to use and has the cutest graphics to keep the attention of the children and the teachers.
Most teachers buy props from either Target, Amazon, or even the dollar store. Props are a good way to help the children open up and understand the material just a bit better. These are better to use for the lower levels and the phonics lessons.
At the level that I currently teach, I don’t have to use props as much as I did when I started.
2. The Ability to Move up to Teach Higher Levels.
Does it pay more? No. However, the higher level lessons are less repetitive and you are much less sing-songy, which makes it easier on your throat and vocal cords.
Also, you are more likely to have children who may understand you more and you will understand them better.
The higher level lessons involve themes and characters from American movies, books, and tv shows and some from Chinese literature and media that they would recognize as well. I’ve taught lessons that were from/ based on …
The Wizard of Oz
Snow White (Yes, I know it’s originally a German fairytale.)
The Martian (2015 Film)
Notice that the astronaut’s name is “Matt”. Cute!
3. You Get Paid on Time and in Full. ($16 to $20 per hour)
You have the option of using direct deposit or Paypal.
You get a base pay of $8 per 30-min class.
You get a $1 bonus for each class attended.
You get another $1 bonus for your rating from the parents.
During the Summer you have the potential to complete up to 9 classes a day and you can work 7 days a week.
4. You’ll Be Assigned a Really Helpful and Encouraging Trainer.
Most teachers I know have really awesome trainers that will help you improve and even vouch for you if a parent leaves an unfair rating.
Your trainer will be the one to refer you to teach higher level classes, as well. And you will have a trainer that you can use gif and emojis with and still be treated as a professional.
5. If you are a person of color and/or have an accent, Qkids DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE!
I don’t know if I can say that loud enough. I know most of us who were looking at jobs like this wonder if we would even be considered because we are dark skin or even have an accent. There are some companies out there that will purposely exclude people of color or people who look of Asian descent.
If you know English well and can teach it with enthusiasm, you’re most likely to get hired.
6. It’s Easy to Take Off Work.
If you feel for any reason that you won’t be able to do your classes, you email them and send them a message on WeChat about your upcoming absence. The sooner the better.
7. No Costly Penalties.
Unlike other ESL online companies, Qkids doesn’t charge you for missing classes. You can lose points that count toward your attendance bonus, but you will not lose hundreds of dollars if you miss a class or a class is canceled for technical difficulties.
Since I’ve been with Qkids, I’ve received training bonuses, prizes from their live Christmas party on Facebook.
Twice a year they select experienced teachers to visit China and participate in their Qkids Bootcamp. They will pay for expenses and give them a bonus! I have yet to go, but one day I will.
I almost forgot to mention that if you are or were a Qkids Teacher you can earn referral income for every teacher you refer you can earn an additional $100 per person to complete training and begin teaching.
The Cons of Working for Qkids: (In random order)
1. The early and/ or late hours.
The children are on Beijing Time (BJT) and DO NOT do daylight savings. Depending on the time zone you live in, the classes can be difficult to get up for and/ or stay up for. If you live in Colorado, California, or even Hawaii you may live in the “struggle time zones”.
When I first started I was in the EST zone and now I’m in CST, that hour made a difference during the winter months and it was hard. Possible but hard.
2. When they take a vacation, so do you!
The Chinese celebrate many festivals and holidays throughout the Fall and Spring. That means that when the offices are closed, THEY ARE CLOSED. The staff at the office don’t play about their vacation.
In addition, when they have a holiday or a festival, the children most likely won’t be available to take a class with you either.
What does that mean for us teachers?
That means no money is coming in. No classes, no money! That also means that you may have a shorter paycheck.
On the flip side, when classes are available, they are most likely to give them to teachers with seniority. So, if you stick around long enough you’ll be considered more than the newbies.
3. You Need WeChat to Communicate With Your Trainer.
This isn’t that big of a deal. Except recently they started requiring teachers to have someone verify them as a friend on the app. Depending on who you know or don’t know, this can be easier said than done. It helps to follow Qkids on facebook and/ or join another Qkids group (of hired teachers) and have someone verify you there.
4. They Don’t Take Out Taxes.
That means that when and if (some folks don’t) you report your income during tax season or quarterly, your bill to pay will be higher. If you start later in the year, this won’t be so bad.
5. The Pay is Once a Month and After the First of the Month.
I’m hoping they will change this soon. Maybe they could offer the option to get paid bi-weekly for teachers who have been around 6 months to a year or more.
This makes it hard for those of us are a little more dependent on this income, but this makes one budget their money a bit better.
Also, you can schedule you monthly blogger subscriptions around the time you get paid.
6. You Need A Bachelor’s Degree or Be Currently Enrolled in a Four-Year Program.
This isn’t as big of a problem as you think. Even some coursework completed is allowed for some teachers. If you have experience with children you may still be considered to come aboard.
7. Nit-picky parents. They’re the ones with the child who won’t stay put but claim we weren’t encouraging enough. Or they will say that their tech problem was our fault, even though 3 out of 4 students could hear loud and clear.
*There used to be more, but they are always upgrading and improving their software, some of the old cons aren’t there anymore. I’ll update the minor list when I find more.
To read more about Qkids, visit their blog by clicking here.
If you have any questions, please ask me and I’ll be glad to help every step of the way. Just think of me as your American Trainer.
Qkids really is one of the best companies a person could work for. There is an encouraging community among the teachers that really do want you to do well.
There are several Qkids Teacher communities online that are willing to help you. If you need help picking which one, again I’ll be glad to help.
Message me anytime on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll respond asap.
Until then, follow my blog to stay posted on tips on how to succeed with Qkids and improve as a teacher. And a YouTube Channel is soon to come.
Talk to you soon!
Ebony/ CoilySue86/ Ebony Glass Co.