If you are new here, we have an ‘in the spotlight’ series where we take a look at international schools, language centres, online teaching companies and more who provide International education. We take a deep dive into the company and provide an honest reflection to help you make make more of an informed decision on whether its somewhere you would like to teach (and quite possibly have your children learn).
In today’s spotlight we take a look at GoGoKid an online English learning provider who recently starred in our top 10 Best Companies Hiring Now To Teach English Online.
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GoGoKid...Who Are They?
GoGoKid is a fast-growing company which is making waves in the ESL teaching circuit. Based in Beijing, China, the company was launched in the year 2018. GoGoKid provides one-to-one online classes in English to young students in China. In the past two years, the company has been one of the major hirers in the segment.
GoGoKid has more than 1000 employees. The company claims that it is in the market to achieve its ambition of integrating technology and education to bring about a change in the English language skills of young students in China. The company’s mission statement states that its objective is to ensure that the English language skills imparted by the institute helps students evolve their “creative and critical thinking skills.”
GoGoKid is headquartered at Haidian district in Beijing. Owned by ByteDance, one of the most valuable global unicorns involved in the business of content creation, GoGoKid made waves during its launch in 2018. With its stated aim of creating a global learning experience for students in China, the company went on a massive hiring spree in North America. Teachers were lured with high salaries. Soon there was a team of professional, experienced and qualified ESL teachers from US and Canada who signed up with the company as independent contractors.
With one-to-one online language classes and regular feedback to students based on a rigorous analysis of learning patterns, GoGoKid aims to equip students with not just English language skills but also to sharpen their analytical and critical thinking in the language. GoGoKid’s virtual classrooms are based on an advanced AI technology. The platform uses algorithms, big data and other new technologies to provide a better learning experience to its students.
The Application Process To Teach English At GoGoKid
If you are interested in applying to teach English online with GoGoKid? Here is a peek into their application process.
1. Complete an online application:
Log onto the GoGoKid website and sign in. You are asked a few basic details to complete the online application form. This is nothing complicated about the form, though the questions do seem designed to weed out applicants who do not have teaching experience or credentials.
2. Schedule an interview:
Once you sign up, you can schedule an interview on the company website. Do remember that the interview is given a lot of weightage in the recruitment process. Prepare yourself thoroughly. Be sure to highlight your experience and skills in ESL teaching. The interview process also includes a demo class. This too is critical to the interview process. Your teaching skills in the demo class are gauged on the following parameters:
- Application of reward system for students
- Use of teaching props to make the class interesting
- Ability to explain content in a simple and coherent manner
- Technical ability with the platform and tools provided by GoGoKid
- Percentage of lesson objective fulfilled
- Your subject expertise
- Teaching techniques & presentability
3. Attend an orientation program:
GoGoKid recenty changed their interview process and the new process now includes an orientation quiz, one-to-many live training session and one-on-one mock class training session. The entire orientation process can last up to 2 hours. There will basically be a series of videos about the company and you will be given tips on how to use the platform.
The one-on-one mock training class is of one-hour duration. You will be introduced to the GoGoKid classroom and how to operate within it. A GoGoKid recruiter or teacher, who is your mentor during the class, will give your feedback about your performance. The one-to-many live training session is conducted by a member of the GoGoKid Workshop team. It familiarises potential teachers with the best ESL strategies as defined by the company.
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4. Submit the paperwork:
You have to upload documentation attesting to your credentials and qualifications. This includes a background check, your teaching training certificate and college degree.
5. Sign the contract:
GoGoKid normally offers a six-month contract for teachers. You are now an independent contractor for the company. The contract is renewable after review on expiry.
A decision regarding your recruitment will be taken by the company after the interview and demo class. The results are normally sent by e-mail. If you are selected as a teacher on the GoGoKid platform, the next step is to attend the orientation course and submit the paperwork.
Teacher Brett explains the new interview process at GoGoKid
The Qualifications You Need To Teach Online With GoGoKid
- The GoGoKid website lists only one qualification for its teachers – having a college degree. This is absolutely non-negotiable for the company. According to the website, this is their commitment to students and their parents. It is clear from the tone and language that you have no chance of getting on the platform if you are not a graduate. There are no exceptions to the rule.
- An unwritten rule is that you have to be North American. This is not specified in the website. But industry insiders as well as ESL teachers who have detailed their experiences on various forums indicate that the GoGoKid almost exclusively hires American and Canadian teachers. At the very least, you have to be a native English speaker for your application to be considered.
- A TEFL or similar ESL certification maybe an advantage. Again, the website does not indicate any preference for it. However, it is expected that an ESL certification will soon be mandatory for all Chinese companies including GoGoKid.
- While there is no explicit advisory on the website, one of the questions you have to answer in the online application is whether you are legally allowed to work in the United States. This indicates a preference for those who have the requisite visa to live and work in the US.
GoGoKid also specifies technical requirements which its teachers have to adhere to. They are as follows:
- Computer with at least 4GB RAM, Intel Core i3 and above
- High definition camera, internal or external
- A headset with microphone
- Wired DSL internet connection of 20Mbps
- Chrome browser
How Does GoGoKids Teaching Platform Work?
Make your video profile:
Once you are on contract with GoGoKid, the company will upload your profile on the teacher’s portal. Take the time and effort to make a good profile video, you could get some tips from our article titled how to create a teacher video resume. This is because until you will start getting repeat students, your profile will determine your bookings. Parents make the bookings on the platform and they will take the call depending on your profile
Schedule your class timings:
You can sign in to the portal to schedule your classes. GoGoKid allows you to work as much or as little as you want to. You can also pick your own timings. However, the largest student traffic on the platform is from 7 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 9 pm on weekends. It makes sense to schedule your classes during these hours to get more bookings.
Preparing for the lesson:
Each time slot is of 30-minutes, though the class duration is of 25 minutes. The lesson plans are provided by GoGoKid. This makes it easy for you to prepare for the class. The proprietary curriculum is interactive and fun. This is important as you will be having a one-to-one class with students as young as 4-12 years old. The platform allows high activity levels in the classroom.
Students and teachers can interact verbally and in writing or through various characters that form part of the classroom scene at GoGoKid! Anecdotal experiences on chat forums and blogs on the internet indicate teachers have a lot of flexibility within the lesson plan. As long as the lesson objectives are obtained, there seems to be little interference.
Feedback & Parent Interaction:
Teachers are not expected to interact with parents. The feedback and interaction with parents are handled by the company. But you do have to provide feedback after each class. With lesson plans also provided by the company, the commitment for teachers is basically just the class room activity that takes place per day. This frees up your time considerably. You also have more flexibility with your daily schedule and routine.
How Much Can You Earn Teaching Online At GoGoKid
There has been some disquiet regarding the payment mechanism initiated by GogoKid for its teachers. The plus point is that you can earn between $14-$25 per hour. However, the amount you earn is linked to a rather complicated credit score system.
As a GoGoKid teacher, there are two components to your package. The first is the basic pay. This is fixed between $7-$10 per hour depending on your credentials and interview performance. The variable component is decided by your credit score. The parameters for deciding your credit score are your punctuality and regularity in taking classes, the feedback by parents and number of classes taken. Each of these factors are awarded points. Your base credit score is 100.
If you earn 110 credit points you get an additional 110 percent of your base pay. The more credit points, the higher your income for the month. If you earn the maximum credit points, your earnings per hour can be as high as $25. If your base credit score drops consistently, your contract can be reviewed or terminated.
In addition, the company has a package of incentives and bonuses for teachers. This includes:
- A $10 bonus if a trial student signs up with the company
- Teachers are also paid up to $120 for referrals
- There is also a signing bonus
- Teachers get additional payment for contests and workshop activities[ii]
- There are quality incentives for teachers who visibly enhance their lesson preparations
If this sounds complicated, here is a quick summary:
- Base pay is between $7-$10
- When you sign up, you have a credit score of 100.
- The more points you earn, the higher the credit score.
- For example, you earn 1 point when you take 3 classes. One five-star review from a parent adds an extra point to your credit score.
- When you reach 110 points, you will earn your base pay +10 percent
- When you get 120 points, your monthly income will be base pay + 25 percent
With the base pay, credit score payment and incentives, GoGoKid is one of the highest paymasters in the segment. However, there has been a lot of negative reviews about the company’s payment mechanism in recent times.
The credit score system, which received a lot of praise initially, is now getting considerable flak in online reviews. The general consensus among GogoKid teachers seems to be that the credit score system worked well in the initial days. However, there has been some issues with transparency and changing policies in the last few months as highlighted in Glassdoor.
The company has been accused of making the credit score system extremely complicated. This makes it difficult for teachers to calculate their earnings over the month. Reviews and comments by GoGoKid teachers online indicate that there is a sense of disappointment with the payment issue.
Teachers who started with the company in its initial days are now earning less than they used to. With the complicated calculation of scores, most teachers are unable to figure out where they are falling short. There are complaints that the company has introduced new and unjustifiable parameters to calculate credit scores.
Taking into account all of the above, lets look at the pro’s and con’s of teaching English online at GoGoKids
The Pro's To Teaching English At GoGoKid
- The application process is extremely easy
- It is one of the best paying online learning companies
- The company is open to paying the top scale in the base pay if you have the credentials and experience. This is unlike several other companies, which are reluctant to pay the higher base pay.
- With lesson plans provided, teachers have a lot of flexibility and free time.
- You can make your own schedule and decide the number of hours you want to work. There are no minimum mandatory hours you are required to work.
- The one-to-one class format makes class management easier
- The proprietary platform used by GoGoKid has been appreciated by several teachers. It has been described as interactive and fun. The activities make lessons more interesting for the students.
- GoGoKid is a new entrant in the market. Teachers signing up can expect a great career path as the company grows. New roles like curriculum designer or subject experts are bound to open up.
- Workshop activities and contests for teachers give you the opportunity to earn extra money.
The Con's To Teaching English At GoGoKid
- The platform has several very young children as students. Keeping 4-to-5-year olds engaged in a class can be quite a task. GoGoKid is a platform for teachers who are used to teaching students in the age group of 4-12 years. Teachers used to older students may have adjustment issues.
- As it is a new company, there is a sense that GoGoKid is still working out its policies and rules. This creates a certain degree of uncertainty in the work environment.
- GoGoKid allows parents to book teachers. This would mean that you are not guaranteed classes, affecting the hours of work and payment.
- Since the platform is new, you may have unbooked time slots. However, the company does offer a 60 percent payment for unbooked slots, if you set your schedule well in advance.
- The credit score system is seen as arbitrary by several teachers
- Several online reviews indicate that GoGoKid is becoming increasingly unfriendly to teachers with their new quality assurance monitoring program. Interference in the classroom has resulted in an unpleasant and uncertain working atmosphere for teachers.
- The new credit policies have seen several teachers reducing their commitment with GoGoKid. This has created a negative buzz in the market regarding the company.
- Teachers sometimes face IT issues for which they are docked points
Reviews Of GoGoKid Found On Indeed, Glassdoor & Youtube
|Review Criteria||Rating (1 = Bad, 5 = Excellent)|
|Pay & Benefits||3.7|
|Recommend to a friend||59%|
|Positive experience during job interview||17%|
|Getting an interview call on online application||100%|
Reviews From Youtube
Should You Consider Teaching At GoGoKid?
Critics of the company – and there are quite a few online – claim that the company has tried to grow too fast. In order to achieve its goals, the management has tinkered with its hiring and payment policies several times. This has resulted in a lack of transparency and clarity, leading to an exodus of teachers in recent months.
But GoGoKid managed to attract a lot of professional talent when it was launched. Even today, several teachers describe working in the up-and-coming company as an exciting experience. After all, you get a chance to grow with the company. Also, GoGoKid uses cutting edge technology to educate young students in a fun, interactive manner.
The animated characters which can be made to sing and dance, power point slides and the use of props make teaching a lively experience. The one-to-one classes, excellent pay and flexibility in work hours are some of the advantages of working with GoGoKid.
Since the platform still has to attract optimum number of students, bookings may be low. However, given the higher pay and the fact that it is a growing company, it might be a good career move to get onto the GoGoKid platform. You can easily manage your time and availability schedules to work for two ESL companies!