- What is Magic Ears?
- Is Magic Ears Legit?
- How Does Magic Ears Work?
- What is Required to be an Online ESL Teacher?
- Other Qualifications: Do I Need A Degree For Magic Ears?
- Magic Ears Application Process
- Passing The Magic Ears Trial Class
- How Much Money Can You Make With Magic Ears?
- How Do I Get Paid on Magic Ears?
- Magic Ears Hours
- Magic Ears vs. VIPKid and Other Teaching Companies
- Magic Ears Pros and Cons
- Final Thoughts: Magic Ears
If you’re an online teacher or looking to become one, you’ve probably spent a significant amount of time looking for the best site to focus your efforts. However, one of the best platforms out there today is one you may not have heard of. A fun and interactive live teaching program known as Magic Ears is earning rave reviews from both teachers and parents.
If you’d like to expand your teaching career and bring your work-from-home income to new heights, Magic Ears may be just what you’re looking for. The question is, is it really all it claims to be? In this Magic Earns review, we’ll take a closer look at this company to see if it’s truly one of the best options for your online teaching career.
What is Magic Ears?
Magic Ears is an online English class provider specializing in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to Chinese children. The company was founded in 2016 by 3 Chinese parents who were unhappy with the current options on the market for their children’s English education and decided to create their own. Magic Ears believes that all kids should have access to the benefits of learning English as a second language, in order to better compete in the global economy.
Is Magic Ears Legit?
Although they are a newer addition to the online ESL market, Magic Ears is a very legitimate company. In fact, the company recently merged with VIPThink and hopes to expand both platforms in order to improve access to online Math and English education.
From kid-friendly branding to an active teacher support group on Facebook, the culture of Magic Ears is like that of a family, and the company is committed to the development of both their students and their teachers.
How Does Magic Ears Work?
Magic Ears uses a 4:1 ratio for all of their classes, as a way of ensuring the best value and most successful outcomes for both students and teachers. Classes last 25 minutes, and the company’s main focus is on children between the ages of 4 and 12.
All Magic Ears classes are conducted via online video conferencing software with fun interactive capabilities like songs, games, videos, awards, and slideshows.
The curriculum, slides, and other materials are provided by Magic Ears, so all teachers need to do is prep for their class, teach, and complete their student evaluations.
What is Required to be an Online ESL Teacher?
The education and qualifications required to become an online ESL teacher will vary from agency to agency. Typically, companies prefer to hire native English speakers from the United States and Canada. They believe that children can benefit the most by learning English from a native English speaker. In addition, a specialized teaching certification such as TESOL or TEFL is typically required – and is recognized by employers all over the world.
You will also need a reliable computer with a recent Windows or Mac operating system, a high-quality webcam and microphone, a strong internet connection, and a quiet space in which to work.
Other Qualifications: Do I Need A Degree For Magic Ears?
Magic Ears requires that applicants have a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject) or an official college transcript showing that they are currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree.
In addition to a BA degree, you will need an ESL certification. However, if you do not yet have a certification, Magic Ears offers a convenient online 120-hour TESOL course. This course can be completed for an additional fee of just $20.
As with other online English teaching platforms, native English speaking applicants are given priority and applicants must be from either the U.S. or Canada.
Previous ESL teaching experience is strongly preferred, but not required!
Please Note: At the moment, Magic Ears has put a pause on hiring teachers from California due to recently enacted state self-employment laws.
Magic Ears Application Process
This entire Magic Ears application process will typically take somewhere between 3-5 business days.
Step 1: Apply – The first step in the hiring process is a quick and easy online application that takes just minutes to complete. This application will ask you such questions as your name, location, education and teaching background. After completion, you should receive an invitation within 2 business days to complete an interview. If you do not qualify, you will receive a message at the end of your application letting you know.
Step 2: Interview Demo – At this point, you will move on to an interview demo. Also refered to as the mini demo, you can choose from either a live 5-8 minute interview or a recorded 3-5 minute interview. If you choose to complete the live interview, you will be “teaching” a Magic Ears team member as if they were your student. Applicants who choose to record their own interview will act as though they are teaching an invisible student.
Step 3: Teaching Demo – If you pass the interview process, you will move on to a full trial demo of between 10-15 minutes. This is your time to shine! For the demo, you will be asked to teach an actual student, and your lesson will be evaluated by trainers. If you do not pass this section, you may be allowed a second chance to try again with feedback.
Step 4: Background Check – The final step before approval onto the platform is a background check. This background check should be returned within 1-2 business days.
Step 5: Sign Your Contract – If you complete the entire hiring process successfully and are selected to join the platform, you will receive an official offer from Magic Ears. To start, you will sign on to a 6-month minimum commitment which will be reviewed every 6 months to determine contract renewal.
Passing The Magic Ears Trial Class
Magic Ears provides plenty of training material to applicants before this step, so passing your trial class should be a breeze. (In fact, you can even join the Magic Ears Q&A Facebook Group and ask for a mentor for additional help!) Here are a few interview tips to help ensure you get hired:
Show Passion – Teachers who have successfully been signed to the platform suggest that the company likes to see a certain level of energy and enthusiasm in their applicants. For your best chance at getting hired, amp up your energy levels and put as much passion as possible into your live interview and teaching demos!
Use Props – Magic Ears recommends using at least 2 props per class. To impress your evaluators during the hiring process, come to your interview or trial class with props already in hand.
Sing (or Dance) Along – During the interactive portions of the class, teachers are often expected to help young children stay involved by singing or dancing along to the music. Your interviewer or evaluator will likely be looking for you to remain engaged every step of the way.
Be Professional – It is important that you treat your interview process and trial class like a real teaching experience. Do not eat or drink during class, talk to others off camera, or do anything that you would not do in a typical class or meeting. Be mindful of background noise, your surrounding settings, and other elements to your video.
Be Yourself – If you look for Magic Ears teacher videos, it can be a bit intimidating once you see the level of energy and enthusiasm they display. It is important to be yourself in your interview and trial class, and let your own unique teaching style shine through. Although they do value a passionate teacher, at the end of the day Magic Ears wants you to be authentic and genuine.
Decorate – Magic Ears loves to see their teachers “get into” their teaching experience. If you like, you can decorate the room behind you like a classroom with a colorful poster or wear a bright name tag. Your evaluator will likely be impressed that you went the extra mile to engage with your “students”.
Practice – In order to appear confident and knowledgeable during your interview and demo class, practice with a friend or family member. In addition, the more you can familiarize yourself with the Magic Ears teaching platform, the smoother your class experience will go. Being able to demonstrate a proper working knowledge of all the tools incorporated into the platform is sure to help you pass your trial class.
How Much Money Can You Make With Magic Ears?
The big question every teacher wants to know is how much does Magic Ears pay? This is especially important if you are weighing your options and comparing different ESL companies.
The good news is that the pay rate at Magic Ears is very competitive, and some teachers find that they can earn more on the platform than with other popular brands like VIPKid. In addition to a base pay rate of up to $26 per hour, teachers can earn bonus payments for teaching during peak hours or showing up to class early.
The more completed class slots you have under your belt, the higher your base pay rate will be.
In addition, if you are looking to earn some extra cash, Magic Ears offers an affiliate program where you can earn money for approved teachers who sign up to the platform using your referral link.
An average part-time income earned by Magic Ears teachers seems to be around $1,500 per month. Of course, this will vary depending on how many hours you choose to work.
How Do I Get Paid on Magic Ears?
Every month, you receive payments for the previous month’s classes. These payments will begin processing by the 3rd of the month, and you must sign and submit your payslip by the 8th in order to receive your payment by the 10th.
You must have at least $50 in earnings to receive payment. Payments of $50 or less will be combined with the next month’s earnings, and payments between $51-100 can only be received on PayPal or combined with the next month.
As an independent contractor and not an employee, you will be in charge of handling all your own taxes and benefits.
Magic Ears Hours
Magic Ears has a dynamic scheduling system based on the hours when their Chinese students are most active. There is a 12 hour difference between the EST time zone and Beijing’s time zone.
The hours available for teachers to work include:
- Weekdays: 5am – 9am EST (5pm – 9pm BJT)
- Weekends: 9pm – 9am EST (9am – 9pm BJT)
- Holidays: 9pm – 4:30am EST (9am – 4:30pm BJT)
Teachers are able to choose their own schedule and set their own time slots of availability. Magic Ears recommends that teachers try to work at least 10 hours per week but does not set any minimum hourly requirements. Your base booking rate will vary depending on the hours you book. Magic Ears pays teachers a higher rate for working during peak hours.
Magic Ears vs. VIPKid and Other Teaching Companies
The benefits of working for Magic Ears include a flexible schedule, the ability to create instant bookings, the ability to work from home, a plethora of free training resources for teachers, and a lenient cancellation policy.
It can be easier to get approved for Magic Ears than VIPKid and other teaching companies that require classroom teaching experience. Unlike those platforms, Magic Ears does not require any relevant work experience and places more emphasis on certification, a Bachelor’s degree, and your live teaching evaluation. Magic Ears requirements are very fair and it is easy for even a brand new teacher to get started.
Many teachers have begun moving from VIPKid and other platforms to Magic Ears as a way to replace or supplement their teaching income.
Magic Ears Pros and Cons
A quick search brings up blog posts and video reviews by dozens of satisfied Magic Ears teachers, along with a few dissatisfied people who have moved on to other platforms.
Here are some of the pros and cons that come up often in Magic Ears reviews:
Pro: All-Inclusive – The Magic Ears teaching platform and curriculum really stand apart from the crowd as being one of the most convenient, easy, and fun ways to teach English to kids online. With everything included, there is much less thought and preparation that teachers need to put into their work outside of class.
Pro: No Booking Minimum – One thing that many teachers like about Magic Ears is that there is NO booking minimum. This means that you can teach as little or as much as you would like, and your schedule can look different each week or each month. In addition, you can take an extended period of time off during your contract as long as you give notice at least 14 days in advance.
Pro: Generous Pay – With base booking rates of up to $26 per hour, Magic Ears pay is very competitive and even higher than other popular teaching platforms, especially once bonus pay is factored in. Teachers can earn more for showing up to class early, teaching during peak hours, and earning top evaluations.
Pro: Teacher Support – As previously mentioned in this review, Magic Ears is very committed to their teachers. The company strives to make things as easy as possible for current and potential teachers to succeed and thrive on the platform. Online training videos, 1-on-1 mentorship, a success manager, and 2 different Facebook groups for both prospective and active teachers all contribute to the feeling of community that Magic Ears teachers enjoy. Support staff is also always available via emails or Magic Ears own internal messaging system for any questions, concerns, or tech issues.
Pro: Cancellation Policy – Teachers with Magic Ears also have positive things to say about the company’s generous cancellation policy, one of the best in the industry. As a Magic Ears teacher, you can cancel your classes at any time without any sort of consequence or financial penalty. In addition, if your student cancels, you will still get paid as long as you wait in the classroom for them.
Con: No Consistency – While most Magic Ears teachers enjoy the platform’s flexibility, some teachers may not like that class assignments are random, meaning that you will likely never see most of your students more than once. For teachers who enjoy online teaching for the individual bond they can make with their students, Magic Ears really fails to deliver an opportunity to make any kind of meaningful connection.
Con: Teaching Style – In addition, Magic Ears classes are very high-energy and often require lots of call-and-response and TPR style teaching (involving frequent gestures and facial expressions). This style of teaching, although fun, is not for everybody.
Final Thoughts: Magic Ears
If you are an online ESL teacher looking for the next great opportunity to further your career, it would definitely be a good idea to give Magic Ears a try.
If you have the education, teaching certification, and vibrant personality needed to get through their screening process, Magic Ears is a fun and easy way to make a decent amount of money teaching English online. Even those who have already found success on teaching platforms like VIPKid may benefit from giving Magic Ears a try.
Have you ever worked for Magic Ears? Let us know your experience in the comments section below!
Magic Ears Review
Comparison to Alternatives
Magic Ears is an online company that aims to partner Chinese students with native-English speaking teachers online to allow every student access to the benefits of learning English. Magic Ears is an all-inclusive teaching platform in that it provides all the tools necessary for each successful lesson. Additionally, there is no booking minimum, teachers can designate their own schedule, and booking rates go up to $26 per hour. Does this online teaching opportunity sound like the right job for you? Learn more in our complete review of Magic Ears.