Social media can be a great thing. For those of us who work from home, it can provide a great sense of community. It can also be a great source of knowledge!
I want to offer my warning though. I tell new people that going to Facebook for answers can be like going to Web MD for a headache. If you’re not careful you can get overwhelmed and feel like it’s the end of the world!
To help get you started, I’m going to list the many groups that I belong to. Most require you to be a VIPKid teacher already, but all will have people willing to help you get started if you’re looking for a mentor. I’ll list my top four first, and then the rest in alphabetical order. More than likely, if you have an interest, there is probably a VIPKid group for you. If not, then I would encourage you to start one!
VIPKid Education (Official VIPKid Group)
This is the only page that VIPKid moderates. They have a “VIPKid Advocacy” team that includes VIPKid staffers as well as members of the builder’s program that are Community Ambassadors. This is a good source of “official” information. If there are outages or issues, there are often announcements here as well as in the Houtong. If you have a problem that you’ve been unsuccessful resolving via ticket, this might give you another avenue to get assistance. That said, with almost 30,000 members, there can be a lot of negativity. Sometimes teachers can feel unsupported, and it’s important to remember that with so many members, the VIPKid team can only moderate a certain amount.
VIPKid Positivity and Praise
As a perfect complement to the official page, I adore the VIPKid Positivity and Praise group. It’s easy to tell that the main purpose of this group is for positive support. The content is all uplifting, and if you are having a problem, you are promised kind, caring input. Mocking and rudeness would not be tolerated, although you never really have to worry about it. If you join this group, you are looking for positivity.
VIPKid Google Slides Group (Official)
I’m in this group almost every day. This group is actually larger than the “official” group, with over 33,000 members as I write this. This group is for teachers who use google slides as a teaching tool in their classrooms. This is an AMAZING tool, and it’s totally free. There are currently over 6,400 rewards and props for every (?) lesson with VIPKid. You get access to the Slidekick app and all of the files by being a member of this group, and there is also a free planner, feedback, and lots of resources to help you get started.
VIPKid – Videos and Props
This is a group of over 28,000 teachers, and it’s one of the best places to find printable props and rewards. This group was started by Jennifer Anderson, the “2-D Prop Queen” and it is an amazing source for things in your classroom.
Other VIPKid Facebook groups
In alphabetical order, here are the other groups that I am somewhat active in. There are a few groups that aren’t regularly updated that I didn’t include. This is just a drop in the bucket. There are many more amazing groups I encourage you to check out. But I hope this gives you a starting point!
- 3rd Shift Teacher’s Lounge – this is one of the smaller groups that I’m in; however, it’s a good one. With only 42 members, the admin of this group is one of the most business-minded people I know. She has very good advice about websites, branding, and social media in general. I’ve learned a lot from this small but mighty group.
- All Things China for ESL Teachers – the admin of this group is Daniel Cai. He lives in Shenzhen and offers to answer any questions. It’s a great group to get translations or to ask questions about Chinese culture. He often posts sights and sounds from “a day in the life” so this is one of the more unique groups to get to know Chinese culture.
- Christian VIPKid Teachers – This group has over 5,000 members. Some posts are normal questions/community posts while others are related specifically to topics of faith.
- ESL Teacher Props and Gift Ordering Service – This is a great place to order swag for yourself or gifts for your students.
- Feedback Panda Users – VIPKid – for those of us who adore Feedback Panda, this is a place to share tips or get answers.
- Nancy Taylor’s VIPKid Teacher Group – This is another space where teachers offer peer-to-peer feedback on common questions.
- OBSessed: VIPKid + OBS – this is a group specifically designed for teachers who use OBS to display digital effects in their classroom. There are probably other similar groups for teachers who use ManyCam, CamTwist, or other programs. But there are lots of tutorials and Q&A to help if you are starting to use this software.
- Team Black Part Time VIPKid Teachers! – This group was formed during the paintbucket challenge by teachers who teach part time and so didn’t qualify for the more aggressive challenges. It’s a supportive environment for part-timers, but all are welcome!
- VIPKid: 7 Baby Steps To Financial Freedom (the Dave Ramsey plan) – There are almost 4,000 members in this group. It’s specifically for VIPKid teachers who are following the Dave Ramsey plan. They are not open to discussion about other financial strategies, and the topics are all financial in nature. It’s a great place to find support if you are working through the program.
- VIPKid – All About Taxes – this group gets really busy every spring. 🙂 I would caution you, please don’t take advice from Facebook over that of an accountant or tax professional. But if you are looking for info on what other teachers do, you can certainly take a peek here.
- VIPKid Branding Yourself – This group was designed to help teachers who are trying to improve their branding. You can get good, objective feedback about your profile pictures, videos, and more.
- VIPKid Chinese – Say What?? – This is a group with around 14,000 members. It was started by Ed Nace, who has written several books about effective communication as an ESL teacher. This is a great place to go for help interpreting unusual feedback or understanding more about Chinese culture.
- VIPKid Community is one of the larger groups I’ve seen. It has almost 18,000 members. I haven’t seen any specific “goals” of this group, but it’s just another group for teachers to share ideas.
- VIPKid Digital Nomads – I am not a digital nomad; however, my first two referrals are! One immediately moved to Spain, and the other hops around Europe (although she may be in Africa by now!) I come to this group for advice to help them.
- VIPKid Health and Wellness – This is a group dedicated to helping teachers stay healthy. It’s hard to stay healthy when you are working an irregular schedule (sometimes nights.) This is an amazing group that offers exercise, eating, and general health tips.
- VIPKid Meetup Hosts – If you are interested in hosting a meetup, this is a great place to get or share ideas!
- VIPKid Meetups Unofficial – the group for those of us who love meetups!
- VIPKid Mental Health and Wellness has over 1,000 members. It’s another very positive and supportive group. It’s a safe space for members to share personal problems and very real issues that they may be facing and get support from their fellow teachers.
- VIPKid Online Teacher’s Lounge has almost 9,000 members. This is a relatively new group, and it was designed to be a drama-free place to share ideas.
- VIPKid Referrers (Not So Anonymous) has around 1,600 members. It’s a place to keep up with the latest hiring processes, and some of the top referring teachers in the company share their tips and tricks. I find this a very helpful group if you are interested in referring new teachers.
- VIPKid Teachers – Digital Effects Users is a group for those of us who use digital effects. That could include Google Slides, Stars 2 Apples, Many Cam, OBS, CamTwist, etc.
- VIPKid Teachers: Tips and Tricks has around 11,000 members. The purpose of this group is to get and share tips and tricks for VIPKid lessons, the company, classroom setup, and organization.
- VIPKid: Using Chinese Social Media – if you are interested in using WeChat or Weibo, this is a great starting point.
- Where’s My Student? (VIPKid Teachers Only) – Honestly, I’ve never found another teacher in this group, but I keep hoping. When you join the group, you create a hashtag for yourself. You can then sign your T-2-T feedback with it. (I’m #TeacherAmeliaU.) That way if you share a student with another hashtag teacher, you can go to this group and find them to communicate!
- VIPKid Regional groups – I’m going to lump these together because these will vary based on where you live. I am a member of four:
Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
If you are a new teacher just starting out, don’t panic! You do not need to join any of these to be a successful VIPKid teacher. All the information you need is provided in the Houtong and the weekly updates sent by VIPKid. It’s just nice to know that communities are out there, though, if you want them! I should also give a shout out to **VIPKid Newbie Teacher Island ** – while I am not a member there, I know that they accept all teachers or prospective teachers, and I’m a big fan of the founder, Teacher Lauren. So it’s always going to be a good one to add to your list.
If you have any questions, please reach out and let me know. I’d be happy to help, wherever you are in the process. Just contact me!