Updated: Oct 28, 2019
I have been teaching ESL online for over three years now and have had the unique opportunity to work for several companies over the years. Some I've loved, some I've hated, and others were great companies but just not for me. I'm going to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly for some of the companies I have worked for over the years. Please keep in mind these are MY unique experiences, with any company you will find people who love it and people who hate it. Each of us are looking for something different when searching for an online ESL company to work for. Also by the time you are reading these reviews it is highly possible things have changed within the companies so be sure to check with someone currently working there for more updated information. I am happy to refer you to any company I am currently working for! Below is my review for Gogokid:
Gogokid Company Information:
Gogokid is a newer company that came onto the scene in the summer of 2018, they had been engaged in planning and beta testing for months prior to the official launch with a small group of teachers and students. They are a subsidiary of Bytedance, which is a huge tech company in China that was looking to enter the education market. They have made huge marketing efforts including tv ads, print ads across the country in airports and subways, a famous spokesperson, and even a campaign in Chinese Pizza Hut restaurants. They teach students in a one-on-one classroom for 25 minute lessons.
Curriculum: I have really enjoyed the Gogokid curriculum. They have an Interactive platform that allows you and the student to write/draw directly on the screen as well as click on various things in the lesson to make them move or talk or sing. The platform also has various tools like a whiteboard and face filters you can put on yourself or the student. They seem to be continuing to make improvements in both the classroom as well as the teacher and student portals.
Payment: The pay is very good! They pay anywhere from $7-10 base pay per 25 minute class, with a possible 10% or 25% bonus on top of that. And teachers coming in with a high level of education and experience ARE able to attain that $10 base pay right from the start, unlike many companies that put it out there but never give it! Even those without top degrees and experience typically get a higher starting pay then many of the other bigger named companies. They also offer $120 per referral and additional milestone bonuses if you refer more teachers within a three month period and a $10 bonus if a trial student you teach signs up for the program.
Gogokid has had various incentives, bonuses, contests, and games allowing teachers to earn extra money since they started, which is a nice offering.
Room for growth: As Gogokid is still a young company and increasing rapidly, they have had many opportunities for teachers to grow within their company. Thus far, they have offered positions like trainers, brand contributors, standby teachers, curriculum editors and others. I would expect this to continue as they grow over the next few years.
Although several changes have been made over the last year, most have been in the favor of the teachers or to try and better the experience for both students and teachers. They have seemed to welcome and seek out teachers feedback.
I have found the teaching community to be positive and helpful, especially after the initial bumps of a new company seem to be resolved. Several teachers have created communities on social media where they share ideas, offer free props and rewards, and even have contests and prizes for participants.
Gogokid has thus far been very open to teachers being teachers. They do not need to follow a strict script and are not micro-managed when teaching. As long as the objectives of each lesson are met, teachers have a lot of freedom as to how they will use the lesson slides to get there.
Gogokid offers a paid training class to their new teachers to get them used to the Gogokid platform. They also offer numerous free workshops on various topics and provide prizes and rewards for attending the optional workshops.
When they first began hiring teachers in the summer of 2018 there were frequent complaints of low bookings, I did not experience this but many did. However, they did offer subsidy pay (paid 60% for all opened peak time slots even if they were not booked) in the first contract to account for lower bookings. They also closed the scheduling page for two weeks in September 2018 for updates/maintenance with no notice which effected any teachers who had not yet opened their schedules for that time period.
Gogokid is a "parent-booked" company, so while I prefer this type of company because I tend to do well, many people do not like having to rely on a parent finding and choosing them from thousands of teachers.
They have a large population of very young students, many starting at 3 years old. This requires a unique skill set and level of creativity that many do not have as well as a high energy level to keep the younger students engaged.
The payment portal is not sufficient to completely track everything in real time, which means many additions manually from home office each pay period. At the moment the payment portal has been completely removed since teachers are on two different contracts. Teachers do not get a breakdown until after pay day on the 15th, any errors are paid in a secondary payment the following week. I have not had any issues with my direct payment, a few referral bonus issues were resolved in a timely manner. Several teachers have developed tracking spreadsheets you can use to keep your own records.
IT help leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn't seem there are enough IT employees to help solve classroom issues. Most issues I am able to resolve and problem solve myself within the classroom so this hasn't bothered me. And if IT does not arrive and help solve the problem, as long as you stay in the classroom for the full class time they seem to mark the class in your favor. However, for those teachers that are not tech savvy and rely heavily on IT support this is an issue.
I have seen complaints about the lower level curriculum lacking enough PPT slides, I do not feel that way as it is geared towards very young students, but if you are uncomfortable extending and adapting to the student it may be an issue for you. Other teachers have mentioned they do not like the project classes, personally these are my favorite classes as they are mostly free talk lessons, but you may not be comfortable with these types of classes.
Depending on your particular issue communication may be difficult due to the language barriers with the staff answering your ticket. Many issues are resolved quickly without issue, but if it is something unique or more difficult to explain you may face some back and forth to get it resolved.
How can you apply:
If you are interested in applying to Gogokid I am happy to help you, it is by far my favorite company that I have worked with to date. You can click below to apply or visit my website for more information. Be sure my unique referral code is in your application so you can receive all of my resources and tips for the interview (4GZJ7GKA).