Magic Ears Review – Should You Teach English Online?
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 for teaching online is one you may not have heard of. A fun and interactive live teaching program known as Magic Ears is earning rave reviews from teachers and parents.
If you’d like to expand your teaching career and bring your work-from-home income to new heights, the Magic Ears platform may be just what you’re looking for. The question is, is it all it claims to be? In this Magic Earns review, we’ll look at this company to see if it’s 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 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 legitimate company. The company recently merged with VIPThink and hoped to expand both platforms 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 developing its students and teachers.
How Do Magic Ears Work?
Magic Ears uses a 4:1 ratio for all of its classes to ensure the best value and most successful outcomes for both students and teachers. Magic Ears books classes for 25 minutes, and the company’s primary focus is on children between the ages of 4 and 12.
All Magic Ears classes are conducted via video conferencing software with fun interactive capabilities like songs, games, videos, awards, and slideshows. Magic Ears provide the curriculum, slides, and any teaching material their staff needs, so all teachers need to do is prep for their class, teach, and complete their student evaluations. Each class has up to four students, and the number of students vary based on demand.
What Is Required to Be an Online ESL Teacher?
The education and qualifications required to start teaching with Magic Ears vary from agency to agency. Typically, companies prefer to hire teachers from a native English-speaking country like the United States and Canada.
They believe that children can benefit the most by learning English from native English speakers. In addition, a specialized teaching certification such as TESOL or TEFL is typically required – and is recognized by employers worldwide.
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 workplace to work on the online teaching platform.
Other Qualifications: Do I Need a Degree for Magic Ears?
Magic Ears requires applicants to have a Bachelor’s degree (in any subject) or an official college transcript showing that they are working towards a Bachelor’s degree. In addition to a BA degree, you will need an ESL certification. However, Magic Ears offers a convenient online 120-hour TESOL course if you do not yet have a certificate. 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 the U.S. or Canada. Previous ESL teaching experience is strongly preferred but not required!
Please Note: At the moment, Magic Ears has paused hiring California teachers due to recently enacted state self-employment laws.
Magic Ears Application Process
This Magic Ears application process will typically take 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 for your name, location, education, and English language teaching background. After completion, you should receive an invitation within two 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 referred to as the mini demo, you can choose from a live 5-8 minute interview or a recorded 3-5 minute interview. If you decide 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 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 10-15 minutes. This is your time to shine! For the demo, you will be asked to teach an actual student, and trainers will evaluate your lesson. 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 and teaching classes is a background check. This background check should be returned within 1-2 business days.
Step 5: Sign Your Contract – If you successfully complete the entire hiring process and are selected to join the platform and teach students, 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 six months to determine contract renewal.
Passing the Magic Ears Trial Class
Magic Ears provides plenty of training and teaching materials to applicants before this step, so passing your trial class should be a breeze. (In fact, you can 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 – Veteran 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 as an online English teacher, 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 two props per class. Come to your interview or demo lesson with props already in hand to impress your evaluators during the hiring process.
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 – Treat your interview process and trial class like a real teaching experience. Do not eat or drink during the course, talk to others off-camera, or do anything you would not do in a typical class or meeting. Be mindful of background noise, your surroundings, and other video elements.
Be Yourself – If you look for Magic Ears teacher videos, it can be intimidating once you see their level of energy and enthusiasm. It is essential to be yourself in your interview and trial class and let your unique teaching style shine through. Although they value a passionate teacher, at the end of the day, Magic Ears wants you to be authentic and genuine. You have to show that you can teach the students and help them have so much fun, as Magic Ears prides itself on making the learning experience fun.
Decorate – Magic Ears loves to see its 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 – 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. Demonstrating a proper working knowledge of all the tools incorporated into the platform will help you pass your trial class.
Finally, ensure you have a reliable internet connection and a good laptop before you begin teaching.
How Much Money Can You Make With Magic Ears?
The big question every teacher wants to know is how much do Magic Ears pay? This is especially important if you weigh your options and compare different companies in the online ESL industry.
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 online ESL companies 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 want to earn some extra cash, Magic Ears offers an affiliate program where you can make money for approved teachers who sign up to the platform using your referral link.
The 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 to receive your compensation 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 wages, and costs between $51-100 can only be accepted on PayPal or combined with the next month.
As an independent contractor, not an employee, you will handle all your taxes and benefits.
Magic Ears Hours
Magic Ears has a dynamic scheduling system based on the hours their Chinese students are most active. There is a 12-hour difference between the EST and Beijing time zone.
The teaching hours available for teachers to work include the following:
- Weekdays: 5am – 9am EST (5pm – 9pm BJT)
- Weekends: 9pm – 9am EST (9am – 9pm BJT)
- Holidays: 9pm – 4:30am EST (9am – 4:30pm BJT)
You can choose your own schedule and set your 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. Also, during the summer breaks and holidays, you can get more class slots.
Magic Ears vs. VIPKid and Other Teaching Companies
While there are many options for online teaching and tutoring jobs, Magic Ears is becoming an increasingly popular choice in the ESL teaching community. The benefits of working for Magic Ears include a flexible schedule, creating instant bookings, working from home, a plethora of training resources for teachers, and a lenient cancellation policy. Also, you don’t prepare teaching materials for your online classes as the curriculum team handles it.
It can be easier to get approved for Magic Ears than VIPKid and other teaching companies that require prior teaching experience in the classroom. Unlike those platforms, Magic Ears does not require relevant work experience and places more emphasis on certification, a Bachelor’s degree, teaching skills, and your live teaching evaluation.
Magic Ears’ requirements are very fair, and it is easy for brand-new teachers to start. As a result, many teachers have begun moving from VIPKid and other platforms to Magic Ears 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 and 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 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, teachers need much less thought and preparation 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 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 competitive and even higher than other popular teaching platforms, especially after bonus pay is factored in. Teachers can earn more for attending class early, teaching during peak hours, and making top evaluations.
Pro: Teacher Support – As mentioned in this review, Magic Ears is very committed to its 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 successful manager, and two different Facebook groups for prospective and active teachers all contribute to the feeling of community that Magic Ears teachers enjoy. The support staff is always available via emails or Magic Ears’ 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 anytime without consequence or financial penalty. In addition, if your student cancels, you will still get paid if 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 not team the same students in your next class. For teachers who enjoy online teaching for the individual bond they can make with their students, Magic Ears fails to deliver an opportunity to make any meaningful connection.
Con: Teaching Style – 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 be a good idea to try Magic Ears.
Suppose you have the education, area native English speaker, teaching certification, and vibrant personality needed to get through your screening process. In that case, 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!