Protostar Education is based out of Seattle, WA with satellite offices in Hong Kong. The staff are exceptional and the work practices are what you would expect in a US based company. Teachers have all major US holidays off as well as Chinese holidays.
Teachers are also allotted two weeks of unpaid vacation time off without penalty. Emergency time off and sick time are taken as needed but with a loss of $1 attendance bonus per class. The company books students ages 4-teen and typically 1-4 students in a class but I have never had that many at once with Protostar.
My typical class is 1-2 students. No props are required and no over the top acting. It is your class to teach as you wish as long as the objectives are met. There is no booking war or competition between teachers to get students. The company assigns the students to teachers who are open to do demo lessons. If the student decides to sign a contract with Protostar, the demo teacher automatically gets them as a regular student as long as the teacher has the class time open that the student is requesting.
Some students will sign up once weekly and others twice weekly. I find that my regulars have usually renewed with me month after month and so there is stability. Since my hire date, I have been consistently booked demo classes or regular classes.
I teach three classes per morning and five days a week. The hiring process is pretty straight forward. Application --> Demo lesson-->Test demo-->Contract-->Zoom-->start teaching. The demo lesson is done with a US based teacher. All materials are provided. You will have part of a phonics lesson, early reading lesson and an advanced lesson. Usually just two slides per level. The interviewing teacher will change her age and ability as you move through the demo lesson.
Typically the interview is around 40 min with 10 min of that time spent on the demo. The platform used is classin. The interviewer is looking for technical ability in using the platform and ability to teach. In particular they want extensions for the reading part above the prompt questions on the slide. They also want a clean, child friendly background. Dress professionally and wear makeup with lipstick. The lipstick allows the interviewer to see your lips while speaking on camera.
I also tell people who are interviewing to invest in an external webcam. It brightens and sharpens the video quality tremendously. Once you have completed the initial demo, you will be invited back for a test demo. It is the exact same materials but they are looking for the teacher to add any corrections they suggested in the feedback. The test demo lasts about the same amount of time as the initial demo. After that, it's just signing of the contract and attending the zoom class. There is no prep required for the zoom class. It is just informational for the teacher on policies and procedures as well as teacher portal sign on. Once you've completed the final step you are ready to teach.
One year of in class experience required and some online experience preferred.
The company books the students and the teachers. There is no competition. If you do the demo and are open to take the student for the days/times requested, then the student is yours. Otherwise, they go to another teacher.
You will have feedback once a week per student. Typically, I spend 10 minutes on feedback per class. I keep a google drive of lesson feedback which I pull up and change specifics for the student based on our lesson.
Classin is what we use for teaching lessons. Initially there was a learning curve, but now I love it. I screenshare youtube videos, pictures of vocabulary words, and games online. I have created my own games and use tools within the platform such as the dice, multiple choice answering machine, timer, turn selector, etc. There are also built in rewards so you do not need a secondary reward unless you want to do so. You can use manycam in addition to classin which is nice.
1-4 but typically I only have 1-2 students. Rarely, do I have three and that is typically a demo student they add to my regular class for a lesson only.
The communication is exceptional. I feel like they are my friends. I have access to anyone in the company at any time. There are monthly zoom meetings that teachers can attend and speak to the company directly about problems or suggestions on how to do things better. They also offer free training on zoom that is hosted by teachers who see a need and volunteer to train others. As a new teacher, they set you up with your own communication group where you have direct access to the IT person, the corporate staff, and class tutors who are all assigned to you personally. The response is typically almost immediate when messaging the group via wechat or from within classin. The class tutor assigns homework, tests the kids on their end and help them to succeed. They monitor attendance and are very quick to call the home to see where the student is or to report naughtiness, IT issues, etc to the parents.
You are free to take two weeks off with one month's notice. There is no penalty. You are also free to call out sick or for personal time as needed. They have always been more than understanding. The penalty is the loss of the attendance bonus of $1 per class for that month. You have all US and Chinese Holidays off.
Students are ages 4-teen and located in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
Click on the link to apply and use the name: Mary Franklin as the referral
Practice, practice, practice. Make sure you know the demo material and platform very well. The company is highly selective and that gives us exceptional teaching staff. There are only 100 teachers hired on. It is a small company and we are all booked solid. They hire on as needed but only once the current teachers are full. They are careful not to overhire.