I teach a LOT of trials! Some people love them and some hate them. They work VERY differently than your typical VIPkid class.
It’s essentially a sales pitch – kids get to “try out” one VIPkid lesson (or two, or three… depends on the day, it seems!) and if you sell it well, you get a $5 conversion bonus.
The great thing is they are the same. Always. You get a rhythm, you have your props ready and off you go. I’ve taught Pre-VIP trial class so many times my own kids sing those songs in their sleep! It’s a great way to polish off your rapport-building skills because that’s the goal of these classes! If you’re a brand-new teacher, they can also be a wonderful way to start building your base of new regular students. Because you’re not competing with other teachers, these kids will often return to you if you’re their first ever teacher! But trial classes are treated a little differently:
- You do not have to finish the slides. Take the pressure off! One high-conversion rate teacher said he often stays on the “hello” slide for a full 5 minutes or longer of each class! Don’t worry about finishing the class. I very regularly skip the sentence portion of the lesson (“This is my mom”) and focus on one-word vocabulary. The goal is to help the kid feel successful! Tip: write down the slide order so you’re not scrolling through the slides. That looks bad. Just use that little box in the bottom corner to type the slide you want to go to so parents have no idea you skipped something!
- If the kids are late or do not show up, different rules apply: you only need to wait 15 minutes (regular classes you stay the full 25 minutes even if there’s no student). When you leave at the 15 minute mark, just choose “other” and write it was a student no show. However, if it is a student no show, you only get 1/2 pay. This is a huge reason a lot of people don’t like teaching trials – that half pay can add up fast as it’s pretty normal for trial students to book and forget about it. For myself, though, I’m always happy for a paid break between classes so I don’t usually mind!
- Parents are often heavily involved in trial classes – they’re the ones you’re selling to, so encourage their involvement! Thank them for their great support (even if it was overbearing). Don’t make a fuss if there’s more than one kid taking the lesson. It’s against the rules, but today is all about the sales. Let the LP know in the comments and they’ll address it with parents for future classes.
- They can be changed at any point in time – once you’re booked for a trial class, there’s no guarantee which class or which student will show up. Even after you’ve entered the classroom, they can change it all on you! I keep a shoebox on hand full of my most used trial class props (for all levels) so I’m not scrambling if there’s a last minute change.
At least 3/4 of my trial classes taught so far (and there’s been hundreds) are one of the lower level Trial 3.0 classes – there’s a lot of overlap between the three so rather than having specific props for each, I have a combined printable that covers all of them.
Beyond those, I also am getting more of the new Trial 6.0 jungle class – you can find printables for them here.
I also often use the introduction props for my youngest students.
What I love about these props are flashcards that go with the lesson – that’s why there’s a “B” with a ball and a “B” with a bed, depending on the lesson. I have a few bonus flashcards that aren’t in the lesson, but can help extend when you have extra time or a kid who can handle more (and what mom doesn’t want to hear that her kid was so smart he learned EXTRA in today’s class!)
I love 2D props, but I don’t rely totally on them – I blow up balloons for colours, have a stuffed puppet that comes out for the little ones and a framed family photo I use for the family.
Beyond flashcards, I also magnetize the cake and candles (cheap dollar store magnets on the back work for me!) and use different fruit clipart as both a reward and an extension for the level 3 students.
As always, my printables are free for personal use and use in the classroom. Enjoy!