I am on two years (updated) of working for Qkids and I was able to come up and consistently update a pros and cons list of working for this particular ESL company.
I’ve mentioned these pros and cons in a previous post, but I wanted to single out the pros and the cons for those who want the nitty-gritty details of why or why not someone should work for Qkids.
The Pros of Working For Qkids:
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. You can use props for the older students, but most will show how unenthused they are by your puppets and silly hats.
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 (Update: I think they are phasing out Paypal).
You get a base pay of $8 per 30-min class.
You get a $1 bonus for each class attended if you have attended 15+ classes that week.
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.
This doesn’t mean that students or their parents won’t have comments about your skin tone and/ or hair. I’ll explain more about how to handle this in another post.
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.
*Update: Now you can just cancel via their app. It helps to do it at least 5 hours before your classes begin.
It is possible to take months off and still be able to come back. There are mothers who take time off after having a baby. They can still earn referral income and then go back to work. This also applies if you have an injury or illness.
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”.
***There is a new law in California concerning independent contractors. Read more about it before applying. This new law may hinder you from getting hired with Qkids and some other online ESL companies. (December 2019)***
When I first started I was in the EST zone and now I’m in CST (now back in EST), 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 as 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.
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.
*Update: It is now required that you obtain a TESOL certificate. You can find an inexpensive course on Groupon. I obtained mine with International Open Academy.
You can click here to read more about the requirements to become a Qkids teacher.
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.
Bonus and not so minor Con!
8. You can only live in the U.S. or Canada. I don’t know how I could have forgotten this part. You could have been born in the U.S. and have moved or are traveling, but they want the teachers to be based in the U.S. and in Canada.
*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. Or fill out the form below. 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!