Protecting and Building Your Online ESL Business

This speech was given on January 25, 2020 at the “Georgia Loves Dino” conference in LaGrange, GA. Thank to my sweet friend Melissa Miller for asking me to come. The audio and video is not the best quality but you can still hear.

Special thanks to Kristina Garcia for being my camera-gal!

Teaching ESL online is not just a hobby or a side gig; it’s your business. So treat it like a business! Build it and protect it.

These are the books, groups, courses and other links mentioned in the speech.

My website,

FB groups

VIPKid Teachers Wanted –
VIPKid Teachers Hired –
VIPKid Friends –
VIPKid Chinese – Say What? –

Books – full disclosure, some of these links are affiliate links and if you purchase them, I may make a little bit.

Ed Nace lived in China, taught ESL and speaks Mandarin fluently. He has written the Bible on writing meaningful feedback and has tools to help you write it quicker. Check out his website:

“Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World” by Zach Dykchtwald

“Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve” by Lenora Chur

“It’s All Chinese To Me: An Overview of Chinese Culture, Travel & Etiquette” by Pierre Ostrowski

Amy Porterfield “Online Marketing Made Easy”…

If you have not applied yet, please use this link to apply:

If you’ve already applied and did not use a referral code or link, I can help you more if you add my code to your application. You can do so by going on the VIPKID website where you signed up (the portal) and clicking on “My Account” in the top right corner. Where it says, “Add referral code,” please enter code PENNY0008 (Penny zero zero zero 8).

You must add this before you do the demo lesson. If you already used a referral code or link but they are not helping you, you can’t switch but you can create a new account. Use a new email address and phone number and my link so I can help you!

As my referral, you get my personalized help, access to private coaching sessions and to the exclusive VIPKID Bootcamp on my website with extensive training materials to help you through the process.

Once you apply with my link or add my code, please email me at so I can send you the information to help you through the process. VIPKid no longer shares your email address with me so you have to email me.

Other videos to help you: Understanding the VIPKid teacher style…

VIPKid Journey Las Vegas Recap

July 11-14 I went to the VIPKid Journey conference in Las Vegas. It was amazing!

Here’s my recap of the weekend and why you should go to the next Journey, no matter where it is!

I’m including my notes from several of the sessions here.

Opening Key Note Speaker: Zak Dychtwald “Young China Group”

Zak is American but has lived in China for about 10 years and speaks fluent Mandarin. He studies the newer generation of Chinese and sees how they are changing due to technology, work opportunities, global influence, and increased economic prosperity.

337 million people have been born in China since 2000. That’s 10 million more than the entire population of the US.

180,000 VIPKid classes every day.

Instead of asking “where are you from?” The better question is “when are you from?” That’s how important it is to understand the new generation.

America’s GDP has grown 2.5 since 1969.

China’s has grown 27 times.

The older generation in China grew up with the motto “eat bitter” and “security.” This is the idea that they expect their life to be bitter and hard but that they will endure it to make a more secure future for the coming generations.

The younger generation lives in the moment and has learned to play with free time and consumerism.

1 in 3 foreign college students in the US are from China. China graduated 8.5 million from college this year.

4-2-1 demographic. 4 grandparents, 2 parents, 1 child. Little emperor concept. Funnel for love, attention, resources, expectations into this one child.

All the hopes, expectations and dreams of the grandparents and parents is now being funneled down to the kids. Along with the pressure.

Average life expectancy used to be 40. Now 65.

Mobile generation

Crossing the river by feeling the stones. The idea that you’re supposed to try and expected to slip and fall.

Mobile payment transaction in US is 1 trillion rmb. In China 60 trillion rmb. Everything is paid for with Wechat.

About 12% of Americans create original content for social media each week. In China it’s 33%.

Pride – easternization

Modernization equals westernization.

1996 Atlanta Olympics was the first experience in which many people in China had the chance to see an American. US won 51 gold and China won 15.

2008 Beijing Olympics. Known as the coming out party for China. US won 28 golds, China won 51. Finally seeing themselves as powerful

We give them a chance to build a bridge of empathy and compassion every day in class.

Zak Dychtwald “Young China Group”

This is his book. I’m going to read it soon.

Cindy Mi – CEO and Founder of VIPKid

We’re here to listen to you our teachers.

Goals for the future of VIPKid, more diversity and choices for our students therefore more teaching opportunities for our teachers.

She lives in an apartment in the office building for VIPKid. These are the office cats. She’s been training to run marathons.

We’re connecting cultures to make learning accessible to all students. Humanity is empowered by technology.

In the field of education and online communities we will see even larger growth.

This is a link to the video on Facebook live:

Dr. Liu, head of education for VIPKid. He was the head of TOEFL. Just started with VIPKid.

Our goal is to move our students from being high level English Learners to high level English users.Your role as a teacher is not only a teacher. It is facilitator. You facilitate conversation. You are a peer having a conversation with them. Your role as a counselor as you keep the student awake in class. You are cheerleader: you need to constantly engage the learner.

Teacher identity: not formed in one day. It is formed daily.

Julia, head of Student Experience, brought her twin 11 year olds to explain the student side of the portal.

The student’s portal
All the options the student has for activities to extend their Major Course lessons: Digital library, Themed readers, Comic Stories, Virtual Field Trip, Learning Extensions, Soft Skills, Review Book, Free Video
Example of a digital library reader
Galaxy Store: this is where they spend their stars. They can purchase pets, space ships, accessories, etc.
They earn energy stone after each lesson and other tasks. They can exchange them for SWAG, toys, and other cool stuff.
I don’t know how many energy stones they get per lesson but this RC car is 18,000! That’s a lot of lessons!
They can personalize their Dino avatar with clothes and accessories purchased with gem stones.
The Greeting Card station. Please reply to your greeting cards from the kids! They use their precious energy stones to send them.
3 takeaways from the parents.