Teach ESL online through SayABC's interactive platform with pre-uploaded National Geographic lessons.
They are owned by VIPKID but have more flexible hiring policy when it comes to nationality.
- SayABC provides international learning experience for 5-12 year old children in China.
- The format is one-to-four classes – teach four students at once through the video platform.
- Lesson plan is provided for you.
The basic requirements are:
1. Native level of English
2. Hold a Bachelor’s degree or above
3. Hold a teaching certificate like TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, State Teaching License or education related degree
4. 1 year teaching experience would be preferred (optional)
– Tech Requirements
Earn up to $19 ($15 base, and $4 bonus per lesson based on attendance and productivity) per 40 minute class
Base pay: $13 – $15 per 40 mins
Incentive: $4 per class based on the attendance record
Overall range – $13-$19
Potential income with SayABC
90% of their teachers teach 4 classes per day, earning an income of USD $84 per day.
- $8 per converted trial class student
- Refer a friend to teach and earn a generous bonus
SayABC Hiring Process
- The interview takes place on the teaching platform.
- The interview will include a short demo to showcase your teaching abilities.
- The materials are available to you before the interview.
- This is a very short demo where you teach your recruiter.
- When you pass the interview you will receive an email explaining the next two steps.
- One will be a self guided orientation that gives you an opportunity to understand how they want their material taught.
- This will take the time because they are short videos that are followed by short quizzes.
- The second step is an evaluation class of 40min with students (between 1-4).
- The materials are available 24hours before the class for you to review.
- You will receive an email with what they like and didn't like about your class.
- If you don't pass, don't worry you will be able to book another evaluation class on the website.
- You can do it right away or wait as long as you need.
- After a successful evaluation class you will provide your bank information, additional forms and chose your class slot time.
- Although there is no minimum hours they do recommend that you chose Homeroom slots.
- The Homeroom classes are on two days . These take scheduling priority.
How to Get Hired? (8 Step Process)
Step 1 – Before you apply…
Before you go ahead and apply to the website, a couple of key points:
In the video it states that, the company will take you if you do not have a Bachelor's degree, however, this has now changed and you do need a degree.
I highly, highly suggest that you go out and get your ESL, English as a second language teaching certificate. You can do a TEFL, a TESOL. Those are the most common, those two. You can do it through Groupon. There are ones that are as cheap as $20, and you can do it in a weekend.
But I highly recommend that you get your teaching certificate. Why? Because other people are applying and you want to have something to say that…
“Look, I'm a good candidate for this job. Take me. I have this qualification.”
Your ESL certificate never expires and it kind of just gives you a rung up on the ladder. Also, make sure that before you apply, make sure that you have some kind of teaching experience or teaching English to second language learners experience or with kids.
Most of us without even realizing it already have the experience. Don't worry if you're not a teacher or have a formal experience. Don't feel like you have to be a teacher or a mom. I am neither. I am a scientist and I don't have any kids yet, but in college I did tutoring. I tutored young children to make some money.
When I was a microbiologist, I also had interns that shadowed me and I had to teach them, so that counts. I also participate in some volunteer work teaching on a volunteer basis, and I use that as my experience.
On the off chance that you truly don't have any experience in that, go out and get some before you apply.
Go volunteer or go teach in an after school program or in a community center. You do need to have some kind of teaching experience.
Once you have the qualifications you want, your certificate, your experience, you get to apply.
Step 2 – Apply
With many of these online companies, you apply online. You go to the company's website, the link is below, and there is where you apply:
You don't send anybody your resume, you can apply directly there on the company's website.
You go to the website, there will be a place that says “Apply Now.” You apply with your email address. Just make sure that it's an email address that you want forever, because this is going to be your forever login.
That's what your login will be for when you become a teacher and throughout the interview process, so make sure you choose a good email.
Create your email, your password, you create your account. Once you fill in that information.
Then you have to fill out all the jazz, your name, your experience, a section to upload your CV.
Usually I say resume, but when it says CV it stands for curriculum vitae, which is your resume. It is mandatory. You do have to upload some kind of resume.
Again, if I were you, I would tweak your resume to be directly towards an English teaching position. Like I said, I'm a microbiologist by profession, but you better believe that my volunteer work and my tutoring were at the very top and featured in that resume that I submitted just for them.
So, tweak your resume to reflect your teaching experience and your experience with kids.
If you have a teaching English certificate, they want you to upload a copy of that. If you have the paper or the PDF they sent to you when you graduated the course, that's fine. I just uploaded that to the system. Or if you have a physical certificate, just take a picture of it with your cellphone and upload that picture.
There will also be a section to fill in your Skype name. It is mandatory too. Maybe you don't have a Skype, so you go out and create one.
They want you to fill in your Skype because when you do get hired, which hopefully you will, they use Skype a lot for communicating with their teachers for now.
Be sure to fill in all of your information very complete, and then you can hit submit.
Then you wait two business days. Don't freak out. I was waiting and checking my email every hour, but I didn't realize they take 48 hours. I think I applied on a Tuesday and by Thursday I got the email inviting you for an interview.
That brings you to step three…
Step 3 – Sign up for your Interview/Demo
You get an email saying yes, you've passed the application process, we'd love to invite you to interview with us. Now you can choose the option to do it live or a recorded interview. What's the difference? Nothing.
The same techniques, just one will be with a person one on one, and the other will be recorded, but you still need to pretend that you are talking to a person. Ask the question and respond.
If you're doing the recorded, of course you would introduce yourself in the first five minutes.
“My name is Danielle, I went to X school, I have X experience, and I have X certificate.” Things like that. A basic introduction, and then you will pass onto the demo.
If you are doing the recorded, just do the same tips as I would do live, same techniques. If you want to know what techniques are, I have another video for that, it's below, on tips to pass your interview, some techniques that they're specifically looking for:
But regardless if you do live or recorded, it's the same principle, so be sure to practice, practice, practice.
About Your SayABC Demo:
Beforehand when you apply for your interview, they will send you an email with a PDF, a 32 page PDF, and it has three different PowerPoints in it for a level zero, a level one, and a level two. You do not do all three. You get to pick which one you want to do.
So, don't freak out. “Oh my gosh, how am I going to do this in 15 minutes?”
No, it's not that. You choose one of the three and that's the one that you will demo. No matter what, go and review that PDF they send you, practice all three, and then you choose which one you think you do best or which one you feel the most comfortable with and that's the one you go for.
Your demo is to be 10 to 15 minutes. Again, when you practice, regardless if you're doing live or recorded, make sure that you're timing yourself to ensure that you have the proper pacing. They're looking for that.
Here are three videos for each of the levels
Level 0 – SayABC Demo Class
Level 1 – SayABC Demo Class
Level 2 – SayABC Demo Class
Step 4 – Wait for you Interview/Demo Result
After your interview, don't freak out. Wait, again, another 48 hours minimum.
If you interview on a Friday, it's 48 hours business days, so don't expect that you're going to hear, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, I'm going to hear.
If I don't hear, “Oh my God, I didn't get it.” No, it's two business days. So, if you interviewed on a Friday, that means you wait Monday, Tuesday. By Wednesday you'll have your result. Again, wait two days. Don't worry, don't stress out.
Step 5 – Schedule and Complete Your Training Session
Yay, hopefully you've passed your interview.
Your next part will be to schedule your training class. What is this?
They set you up with a current SayABC teacher or trainer and they're going to walk you through the platform. By the way, on the interview, don't worry too much about manipulating the platform. That's what this training is for.
Your trainer will show you how to skip slides, turn off a students mouse, move the students into the screen, interact with the students, how to press play on the audio, how to give reward cards. All of those things will be covered in this training session.
You don't have to really prepare, just show up, but if you have any questions about the platform or the process, that's a good moment to do it, in your training session with your trainer. They will be very happy to help you.
Step 6 – Evaluation Class
If you are from VIPKID like me, that would be what you would think is your mock class, but it's different from VIPKID, because your mock class was with a VIPKID mock class mentor, which was another teacher who just had to pretend to be a kid and you taught them.
With Say ABC, it's a little different. They throw you to the wolves. Your evaluation class is a live actual class with four or less, but usually four students. You're teaching them a normal class.
They don't know that this is your evaluation class, so it's a real live class, which I actually think is a little better than the VIPKID one with a mock class mentor, because it kind of threw me off pretending to teach an adult like a child the whole class.
This one, it's real kids and it's show time.
They just let you hit the road running. But a key tip is unlike a one on one class, you have four, so make sure that you are giving each child individual attention.
Make sure you're spending time to give each individual student a chance to answer and participate. Another thing about your evaluation class, you are paid for it. For the 40 minutes, you will get paid the base rate of $15. They do pay you for that.
Here's a video on 7 tips to pass your SayABC evaluation class:
Again, step seven, guess what you have to do?
You already know…
Step 7 – Wait for your Evaluation Class Result
After your evaluation class, you have to wait another 48 hours or two days minimum. Don't freak out. Relax.
After your evaluation class, you can have one of two results. One is that you passed, woohoo, and you can get to go sign your contract, or option two is that if you did well but not good enough, that they think you can do better, they will give you a second chance to do your second evaluation class.
They will let you know what you did wrong if you didn't pass. They'll give you points of your good and your bad and what they want you to improve on, which is nice, so that you know what they're looking for.
They will give you a second opportunity to do your second evaluation.
Now on to step eight…you are a teacher. Well, not yet. You have to sign your contract.
Step 8 – Sign Contract and Upload Paperwork
They send you their contract. It's a three month contract as your pay rate, the incentives, the trial conversions, all of that is really laid out very well, so take your time to read that. They're going to want you to submit your banking information.
They need your bank number, the routing number, and your beneficiary name, your name, who's getting paid, your pertinent teaching certificates, your diploma, all of that jazz.
From what I hear, they do not do a background check as of now. Maybe this will change in the future, but that's all they require for now.
They also want some kind of identification, a copy of your passport or your drivers license, and they want you to fill out your W9, the tax form for an independent contractor.
A lot of people ask do they need your social security number. They don't ask your social security number for SayABC itself, but in the W9 form, there is a part where you do have to fill out your social security number.
Then you send your documents all back in and you are officially on board.
That's it for now. That's what I know about the hiring process from start to the finish. It was a very intense hiring process, although I'm not opposed to the hiring process because if I was going to pay a stranger halfway around the world to teach my kids, I would hope the company had done quality control, so I do appreciate the quality control.
Comparing VIPKID with SayABC, I would say it was much easier getting hired with SayABC. It was a little bit more easy going.
Like I said before, the vibe of SayABC, I find they are a bit more relaxed and teacher friendly or more understanding, at least for now. They probably might change in the future. Who knows? If and when they do, I will try to update you guys as much as I can.
That's it with Say ABC about the hiring process. I hope this is helpful for you. I hope it helps you know what you're getting into. Overall, I think they're a great company. They're growing and they're really trying very hard.
How Much Can You Earn as a SayABC Teacher?
What’s the first question you ask when you’re considering applying for any new job?
If you’re like most people, it’s probably something along the lines of ‘how much does it pay?’.
Unfortunately, when it comes to online teaching jobs like SayABC, the answer to this question is seldom straightforward.
There’s usually no guarantee of consistent bookings, which leaves you guessing how much you’ll really take home each month. On top of that, you’ll often have to think about tax, bonuses, and other factors influencing your ‘true’ pay rate.
To help you to get a clearer picture of how much you can earn as a SayABC teacher, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the SayABC pay rate.
SayABC Basic Pay
The SayABC basic pay rate is $15 per 40-minute class. That’s the minimum amount you can possibly earn for teaching a class, excluding all bonuses.
That’s actually a very respectable rate even without the bonuses, as it averages out at around $22.50 per teaching hour – emphasis on the ‘teaching’, as you’ll almost certainly have a break in between classes.
SayABC Booking Rate
That basic pay rate is no good if you never actually get any teaching hours though, so the natural next question is ‘how many teaching hours will I get with SayABC?’
Well, you’re not given a fixed-hour contract, and you set your own schedule, so there’s no guarantee of consistent bookings. That being said, according to the official SayABC website, 90% of SayABC teachers can expect to teach four hours per day. This means that you can probably expect to earn $60 per day.
The maximum number of classes you can teach per week is also capped at 32, which means you can earn $480 per week, maximum.
SayABC Attendance Bonus
On top of your basic pay, all teachers are eligible for a generous attendance bonus of $4 per class. To get this, you need to teach 9 classes in a row without any absences.
That’s pretty easy to achieve – you just need to do your job. Therefore, you can pretty much expect to get it for almost every lesson, which brings your total SayABC pay rate up to $19 per 40 minutes ($28.50 per hour).
But the fun doesn’t end there…
SayABC Trial Class Bonus
The SayABC trial class bonus is an additional incentive given to teachers who teach a student for a trial who then signs up for a course.
Per converted student, you earn an additional $8.
The trial class bonus is less of a given, so I wouldn’t recommend accounting for it in your budget. Some months you might get no trial class bonuses, and in others, you might get 10 or even more. It really depends on:
- How good your teaching is
- How many trial classes you actually teach
If you don’t account for it, when you do get a trial class bonus, it’s a nice treat!
SayABC Referral Bonus
A final bonus to mention is the SayABC referral bonus, which you can bag by referring friends or family members to the platform. For every person that applies to and starts teaching with SayABC, you earn an extra $100 (or more, depending on the number of referrals each month).
SayABC Conversion Fees
A final thing to take note of when estimating how much you can earn with SayABC is any financial deductions you might incur.
The first thing to consider here is conversion fees.
SayABC pays out in dollars, so, if you’re in a country outside of the US, you’re probably going to need to convert that to a different currency. That comes with fees.
SayABC pays out by direct bank transfer, so your bank will usually convert it for you automatically. They’ll use their own exchange rate but it will usually be (slightly) weighted in their favor.
This means that the conversion you get from Google might be a bit optimistic. All banks are different, though, so it’s worth contacting yours to ask about fees and exchange rates for international payments in different currencies.
SayABC and TransferWise
TransferWise might be a good option for reducing fees when receiving your SayABC pay. You can check out the TransferWise guide here.
With SayABC, you’re also hired as an independent contractor, so you’re responsible for your own tax. Again, all countries have different tax laws, so I can’t give you specific numbers there.
Here are some tips I can give you though:
- Remember that your total taxable earnings will usually include any other jobs you have too, so add your SayABC pay to any other full-time or part-time job income you have.
- Remember that, even if you’re living in a different country, you may still have to pay tax to your home state
- Some of your income will be bonuses, so make sure you know how bonuses are taxed in your home country.
If you’ve not got time for all that, and you’re just looking for a rough estimate of your total income after deductions, maybe take off around 20% of your wage to account for conversion fees and tax. That might be a little pessimistic, but it’s better to underestimate than overestimate! This is not financial advice – always seek professional help when organising your finances.
SayABC Maximum Earning Potential
Taking all of the above together, here’s how your maximum earning potential looks:
- A maximum hourly rate of $28.50 per hour
- Plus trial class conversion and referral bonuses (probably $100 or less per month)
- Minus a little for tax and conversion fees
- A maximum weekly cap of around $750 based on maximum allowed teaching hours.
What are some PROs and CONs of SayABC?
PROS of SayABC
1. The interactive platform.
SayABC offers a unique classroom experience for students and teachers with the company's interactive platform. Students can listen to songs, play games, draw on the screen, and even participate in competitions with their peers. These tools augment the learning process by providing opportunities to practice critical thinking, repetition reading, and the best part–the students are learning while they are having FUN!
They hire teachers based on their teaching ability…and not on their race, religion or background. This is a very important thing to note in the growing online teaching space as SayABC seeks to right the wrongs of other companies with their diversity.
3. The class size
SayABC allows between 1-4 students to enroll in each Homeroom. It might sound overwhelming for someone used to teaching one-on-one, but I found it to be a welcome change. As the Homeroom progresses, the student groups become a little community and they enjoying learning English with their friends. For a teacher, it requires a bit of organization to ensure that you dedicate equal participation time to each student, but a group setting seems to inspire more engagement and lots of laughter during the lesson.
4. The USD pay scale.
With SayABC's USD pay scale, many teachers no longer have to worry about “losing” money due to the declining value of another currency. SayABC's payment structure is simple: Teachers can earn up to $21 per regular class and $22 per class as a substitute teacher. There are no more questions about what your check will be on payday because the system keeps a running total after each day of work.
5. Friendly Support
Being able to communicate with the SayABC headquarters in a friendly and efficient way is something that really makes them stand out from other companies…where the support system can be frustrating at best!
CONS of SayABC:
1. They need an app.
If teachers are accustomed to the convenience of reviewing schedules, requesting time off, and checking in and out for work on a phone, they will miss that with SayABC. The company has an app in development but the release date is unknown. SayABC is great about communicating your schedule and new announcements by email, but for everything else you'll have to open the program on your teaching device.
2. The Help Desk communicates through Skype
Instead of chatting with IT or Help directly in the SayABC platform, teachers first submit a help ticket through the classroom then wait to be contacted with the resolution via Skype. This is not to say that this process doesn't work, but for teachers already concerned about computer performance while running the teaching platform and ManyCam, having one more program open is objectionable.
3. The lesson must be completed during class.
SayABCs lessons contain approximately 30 slides and teachers are expected to complete the lesson in 40 minutes. For teachers trained to work at the student's pace, this is a change of practice. After you account for the titles, greeting, rules, and goodbye slides, there are about 25 slides of content that must be covered during the lesson, regardless if each student has made adequate progress on previous material.
This last comment is less of a “con” and more of an opportunity to put your teacher super powers to the test:
4. Learning curve for new teachers adjusting to 4 students in class
There is no gradual transition from one-to-more students, so there may be a bit of a learning curve with this dynamic. Parents and SayABC expect each student to receive equal time interacting with the teacher and on-screen activities, so tracking participation and rewards is very important.
The company tries to match students at similar English levels but there isn't a way to account for personalities. It can be challenging to provide equal time for a confident student and an insecure student, or between those students who seek attention and those who shy away.
5. Students talking at once
Inevitably there are activities that seem to encourage students talking over one another and coloring the screen at the same time.
Thankfully SayABC offers blanket options to silence the speaker/turn off the mouse/send a reward that you can apply to the entire class when things get a little disorderly!
How does SayABC Compare to Other Companies? (SayABC vs DaDa)
A company with similar hiring policy and pay to SayABC is DaDa. The major difference being that DaDa's classes are 1-on-1 as opposed to teaching in groups. You can see a snapshot to how they compare below: