Welcome to Magic Ears
They are a recent startup in the online teaching space that are implementing an aggressive growth strategy to meet the demands of their students. Basically, they need teachers and if you have the right qualifications they want you. If you’ve been looking for a place to get started teaching online, Magic Ears is an excellent choice. Let me explain in this content how it works, how much you’ll be paid, how to apply and most importantly how to get hired.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Side note, you need to be a native English speaker from a country where English is considered the dominant language.
The starting pay is $18 to $24 an hour. This amount is including the various bonuses they offer which you can expect to get by simply doing your job well. Unlike a website like VIPKID where you have a rating based on parent feedback and the parents book you, Magic Ears offers ranks for its teachers and these ranks influence how many hours you can actually get.
New teachers are simply ranked as freshman. Those teachers who move beyond this entry level of freshman and are then ranked as Juniors. Once a teacher is at the junior rank, they will receive a raise with each new contract!
Teaching Job Requirements
Magic Ears has a few standard requirements in order to get hired and start teaching. The most important ones are:
- You’re a native English speaker from America or Canada
- You have completed at least a bachelors degree from an accredited university.
If you fail to meet these two basic requirements then you’ll have to look elsewhere. Again, as we stated in our online teaching pay and hours guide, any online platform where they pay over $20 an hour are always going to have the basic requirements.
Next, in addition to being a native English speaker from North America with a degree you’ll also need some sort of experience teaching. Most people get hung up on this thinking they need to actually be a school teacher in order to apply.
Not the case.
For example, VIPKID has no issue if you could have experience being a coach or you’ve done some sort of volunteering. We worked with someone who was an accountant who volunteered with Junior Achievement (a program where you teach a class on money to middle schoolers) and they got hired with no issue.
Magic Ears is the same. You’ll need to say you have at least 1 year of experience working with kids (preferably 2 years). If you put down that you have 0 years of experience they won’t bother. This is not implying you should be deceitful however. If you don’t have the experience, do what you need to do to get experience working with kids then apply.
Teaching is a skill. One of our contributors, Bradley used to interview prospective teachers for VIPKID back when you had to do a 25 minute mock class and it was SO EASY to tell the people who had no experience teaching compared to those with actual ESL experience and classroom experience.
To put it bluntly, you’re a liability if you have no experience because if the parents and students are not happy they will simple leave and go to another platform.
An additional requirements for Magic Ears is to be available a minimum amount of hours per week. For Magic Ears this is only a minimal 1.5 hours which equates to 3 classes. This is not demanding at all, but it does make taking a true vacation a bit difficult as you’re always going to have to teach each week no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Where something like VIPKID has no weekly minimum anymore (but they used to require a 7.5 hour a week minimum and you had to write in telling them if you needed to take a week off!).
Lastly, the duration of the contract is also a standard 6 months. It’s also preferable you have a TEFL certificate.
If you have to, you can take time off with Magic Ears, simply inform them 14 days in advanced. Unlike a job you don’t ask for permission. If you need to take a week off, simply tell them and you’re good to go.
Magic Ears also has a few technical requirements to be aware of too.
1 – You need a good connection to the internet. The want a minimum of 10 Mbps upload and download, you can check you speed here. Will you could get away with wireless, but Magic Ears tends to be a bit bandwidth heavy as you could be teaching 4 students in one classroom.
2 – Have a good classroom environment. Your background should be kid friendly. No laundry in the background or junk on the floor. Clean and professional. Lastly, have good lighting. If you’re based in America you’ll need to have a good natural light for early morning classes. It’s a good idea to get a book light that can fit right onto your laptop. If give your face a nice natural look.
3 – You’ll need a headset and a web cam obviously. Check out our guides on the best headsets for online teachers.
4 – Props! Magic Ears would like you to have at least 2 props. Props may sound silly, but this is a standard requirement of most online English teaching platforms. Checkout our guide on the most essential props for online teachers.
All the material for class is provided by way of interactive slides though it is again expected for you to have various teaching props to make the classroom more fun and engaging.
What Does Magic Ears Pay?
Now for the part you’re really interested in. How much does Magic Ears pay?
The base pay is 9 to 11 dollars which is based on your interview. Then you have the participation incentive which you get by entering the class AT LEAST 8 minutes before your first class and teaching the lesson within the allotted time. In other words you can have back to back classes, but YOUR first class you should enter the classroom and be ready 8 minutes before the scheduled start time.
This is a a good practice anyways as with any online teaching platform you should turn on your laptop 15 minutes before class so can avoid any problems with the internet or your laptop. Next up is the peak incentive time. Chinese students like to learn after school, so there is a core 2 hour time period that is in the most demand. If you teach during this time you can get a bonus. Lastly is the performance incentive. This is simply based on your teacher supervisors.
So while the advertised pay is up to $26 an hour, most teachers are making $20-24 an hour with Magic Ears in practice.
How does Magic Ears Pay Me?
You can opt for a bank transfer, PayPal or AliPay. You are paid on the 10th of every month.
Hiring and Interview Process
Understanding the MagicEars Portal & Platform
Booking Classes and Hours
The company and not the parents book the teacher with Magic Ears. Also, YOU must give your availability week to week, the sooner the better. For top performing teachers this may be a deal breaker as it is more beneficial to have the parents book you. None the less, if you’re worried about not getting enough hours you don’t have to worry as much with Magic Ears. Your not guaranteed to get booked ALL the hours you want however. Your booking hours will increase as your rank increase. The rank increase is based on a percentage of supervisor & parent feedback. All new teachers start out as Freshmen rank and have limited slots open.
After you teach your first 10 classes, you will rank up to a level known as Benchmark. The advantage of this is that you can open a full schedule, but your actual booking rates will be low. After that rank is the rank of Junior where you’re booked 50-60% of the time. After 100 classes you can rank to senior if you’re in the top 20% of teacher feedback, and you’ll be guaranteed 80% of your open slots to be booked. The last and most coveted rank is Magic Master and it is reserved for those in the top 5% of feedback and has 100% of opened slots guaranteed.
So Magic Ears is an ideal part time gig or as a compliment to another online teaching platform.
For the actual class, it’s a 25 minute lesson with between 1-4 students. The classroom is an interactive environment where students can draw and move items. The teacher has the ability to mute the functionality of any student at their discretion.
Parents give feedback for the class taught. But before the feedback reaches you, it’s first reviewed by a teaching supervisor to make sure the complain was fair and justified. If it was, they will tell you so you can improve future classes. Negative feedback does count against you. It’s not the end of the world. Not every parent is going to like your style of teaching, but as long as the majority of the feedback you’re getting is positive and your supervisors are happy with your performance, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Ready to get hired?
If you made it this far and think Magic Ears is for you, let’s get started with the hiring process. Here is what to expect:
First give yourself 2 weeks to a month to be up and running with Magic Ears.
Submit your application. Include your resume, experience and TEFL certificate .
Schedule a demonstration class. Like an ESL job or online teaching gig, you need to demonstrate that you have the skills required to be an online teacher. With Magic Ears you can either do a live in class interview or you can record a demo of you teaching a class. You’ll be given the slides and material before hand so you can prepare. Make sure to have props, good TPR (total physical response) and high energy. Not clown like, but just happy and positive.
Once you pass the demo you’re almost done! Now it’s time for some training. Magic Ears as 1 on 1 classes and multi-student class. You’ll need to under go training for both.
1 on 1 class – For this training you’ll be in class with an instructor who will help you prepare for an actual class. They will cover policies and expectations as well give you an opportunity to practice teaching.
1 on 4 class – In this training environment you’ll be in class with two instructors who will again give you an opportunity to practice teaching as well as tell you the expectations required for this classroom.
Trial class. Once you complete the training you’ll participate in a paid trial class. This is an actual class with an actual student. The goal of the trial class is to evaluate your performance. The person who will evaluate your class will be the same person you had your demo class with.
As with the demo class and any online class for that matter you’ll have access to review the class material before hand so you can prepare as needed. If you pass the trial class you’re hired!
Sign your contract, complete a background check and start opening hours! You should open hours at least 2 weeks in advanced and you should open at least 5 hours a week if not more. Again, Magic Ears book you and not the parents so it’s important to start teaching class and getting good feedback so you can be promoted in rank so you can get a hire base pay and more consistent bookings.
Is Magic Ears for you?
As with all online teaching companies they need to vet you first to make sure you’re not a liability who will damage their reputation. Once you make it through the hiring process and have established yourself, it’s a simple matter of opening hours each week and teaching. It’s a process to get hired with any platform but it’s totally worth it because once you’re established you just teach and go.