My VIPKID Classroom & Essentials
Welcome to my VIPKID classroom! Here you will find my overview on how to set up your classroom and a few essential items you will need. If you are already a teacher (especially elementary) then you most likely already have everything you need! Click here to get started!
To clarify, when I first started, I didn't buy ANYTHING other than a $20 headset. As the lessons picked up, I started to purchase a few more items. You truly do NOT need to spend a lot of money to get started. My suggestion would be to do as much as you can without buying props and then you can see what items you want/need for the majority of your lessons.
Background: Keep it simple! It should be educational. My first background at our old house was literally just the alphabet from the back of the children's book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and a piece of paper that said my "teacher" name (Teacher Stacey). We just moved and now I'm teaching in our kitchen so I wanted it to look like the background fit into the space a little bit more, so I got this cute sticker map from Amazon and hung up a whiteboard underneath it. I've seen plenty of people create a corkboard with their background on it, prop it up on the back of their couch and wala! It can be discreet and out of the way!
Lighting: Most likely, you will need to put a lamp close by to make sure that you are bright enough for the students to see you! I usually close the window shade next to me because the sunlight can sometimes create weird shadows on the screen.
Outfit: Technically you can wear whatever you want as long as you look professional and put together. Personally, I didn't want to have to think about it and the company used to require teachers to wear orange, so I went to Walmart and picked up this cute orange striped dress for $10. I keep it with my classroom and throw it on right before a class!
Reward system: In the beginning, I cut out 5 stars (the same ones you can see above) and I would just stick a piece of tape on the back and when I went to reward the student, I would just stick it to the wall. To make my life a little easier, I decided to get a magnet strip on Amazon and then I taped tiny magnets to the back of the stars. I plan to make a few new rewards to spice things up (other people do princesses, icecream, mermaids, trucks, etc. etc.) and I think I'll just move the taped magnets to those!
Props: 99% of my props are just printed out pictures taped to popsicle sticks. And to be honest, at the moment I use the same 20 props for all of my lessons. In the next couple of weeks, now that we are settled in our new house, I plan to add a few more to the mix. But my point is, you do not need much to get started. I've been gaining followers and getting consistently booked using STARS and a handful of props. Other teachers have like a hoarders nest of props, but I personally do not think that is necessary. A little creativity can go a long way by drawing on a whiteboard and acting out words. In addition to the printed props, I do occasionally use my daughter's stuffed animals and other toys. And we happened to have a microphone at home so I whip that baby out for singing songs with the Level 1 kiddos, but you could also use a spoon or a pencil and just pretend it is a microphone. Finally, I purchased a box of alphabet letter cards and a set of foam alphabet letters from Walmart! In Level 1 you will be teaching the alphabet so it is helpful to have a prop to show them. You could just as easily write those letters on a whiteboard!
Organization:To store my printed props, microphone, headset, whiteboard, aka everything I need for class, I use this standing organizer which I already had in my middle school classroom. I have seen them at Sam's Club for a LOT less money than Amazon. The great thing about the standing organizer is that to prepare for maybe a round of early morning classes, I can use one drawer per lesson to get the props/letters ready to go!
I'm definitely a little Type A when it comes to organization so I did also purchase a drawer set for my alphabet. Typically you will teach two letters at a time during a lesson, so I find it really easy to just pull out the two drawers that contain the letters I need. Completely unnecessary, but great if you like being organized :) Let me know if you have any questions!