Magic Ears is a relatively new online teaching company providing online English classes for Chinese children. Magic Ears connects North American teachers with Chinese students through interactive lessons and high quality curriculum. This work-from-home job is a great solution for anyone looking for a flexible schedule and to grow with a small online teaching company.
What is Magic Ears?
Magic Ears is a new player in the online teaching game, but they are growing quickly! Magic Ears was established in 2017. Here is a direct quote from their website:
With innovative technology and high-quality teachers, Magic Ears provides fun, interactive and efficient online English learning experiences to 4-12-year-old children in China. All teachers working with us are native English-speakers from USA/Canada with a Bachelor Degree or above. Also, Magic Ears dedicates itself to providing an enjoyable environment, which allows teachers to excel and grow with us together.
Magic Ears provide a 1v4 platform with 1 teacher and up to 4 students in different cameras in different locations. The classroom is fun, fully interactive and the teacher has great control over the students capabilities and functions.
What Are Magic Ears Requirements?
- North American (US/Canada). Passport holder and eligibility to work in US/Canada. You can live in other countries.
- Bachelors degree (or in progress) at minimum.
- Teaching or teaching-related experience.
+ They also will ask about your teaching certification if you have one, any ESL background, TESOL certificates, etc…
What Is The Pay?
Their pay is higher than most companies. They advertise $22 – $26/hour with bonuses. Here is a chart from their website that explains the pay structure and what you can expect. They have raises at each contract renewal depending on your performance and rank within the company. It is important to maintain their bottom lines, which are:
- Teaching With Passion. This means showing energy and ‘passion’ in your classroom. This is not a blues clues show, but your energy and excitement needs to be high.
- Class Progress. This is about moving at a good pace, not skipping material and finishing on time.
- Zero Noise Policy. This means managing 4 children’s sound by muting and reporting noise when it happens.
Ok, you wanted to know about the pay. Here it is!
You can expect to come in at at least $9/class (base pay) and if you have a teaching certificate/ Masters, experience, then you will come in at a higher rate. The participation incentive is easy to obtain – just show up 8-10 minutes early to your first class. This is a way for them to avoid Teacher No Show’s. The peak time incentive only comes into pay if you open 60+ classes in one month. This may be hard to obtain in your first month because they will start you out slowly with availability and bookings.
You will be paid via Paypal or a bank of your choice. Payments will be deposited on the 10th of the following month (ie: October’s pay will be deposited on the 10th of November).
What is the Application Process Like?
Their application process can take a little longer than other companies. This is because they offer something quite unique and different than their competitors. You are given lots of support through the process and their is mandatory training that you will be paid for (and you wouldn’t want to miss this anyway!) before you are hired. Their classroom is different than most and because there are up to 4 students, there is more to learn regarding class management, time management and noise control.
***Side note: It took me about 3 weeks to have everything completed. This was fine for me as I am still working for another company and was teaching 4-5 hours/day while applying to Magic Ears.
This is a great diagram showing the application process:
- Application: The application stage is a normal screening to make sure that you fit the basic requirements listed above. If you do, you will be invited for an interview.
2. Interview: The interview is a chance to show your teaching. They do not care if you know how to use the classroom features and will not expect you to use the 1v1 feature. You will not be expected to mute microphones or enable/disable writing tools. They just want to see you teach. Can you teach with passion? Can you show them that you are excited about online learning and making the class fun for your students? It is a basic lesson using some of the structures from their real lessons like “role playing”, a video, and some basic interactions. The interview takes place in their normal classroom. You will be the teacher after they walk you through some slides about what they are looking for and their policies. Make sure you have at least 2 props, and an educational background with good lighting. You can watch some good videos on youtube about lighting. They will be checking to see that your wifi is stable and that you have the basic requirements to run the program. Show up with your best smile and energy!
3. 1v4 Platform Workshop: If you pass the interview, you will be invited to a 1v4 platform workshop where you will be in a classroom with up to 3 other teachers who are also training. I was the only one in mine so it was sort of like a 1v1! They will give you some training, run through their policies, answer questions and give you their best tips for being successful. It’s a great opportunity to learn. You do not need to prepare anything except a little reading in advance. i really enjoyed this part of the process the most!
4. 1v1 Mentor Training/Demonstration: After this you will be invited to a 1v1 which is sort of like a Mock class if you teach for other companies. You will have to teach 2 lessons. Both lessons are 8 minutes in length and will be with your Mentor who will give you feedback after both. After the first one, you will get feedback and you are expected to implement that in your second lesson. The second lesson is where it all counts because this is the one that is sent off to HQ in Beijing for final evaluation and decision. So, use the feedback from the first one, and do a great job in the second one.
5. Trial Class: After passing your mentor training and demonstration (Mock), you will get to schedule your trial class which will have up to 4 trial students in it. They will be evaluating your trial class and so you should treat this as part of the interview process and do your best! After evaluation you will either be hired or you will need to do a 2nd trial class.
After passing this, you will upload documents, sign your contract and create a short bio about yourself for parents. Your schedule will have limited slots available in the beginning. Be patient, they start you off slow for good reason. They want to make sure you are comfortable and that you are meeting the bottom lines.
What Does The Curriculum / Classroom Look Like?
If you have worked for other companies, like VIPKid, you would know that many other companies provide curriculum that has a theme, but offers multi-disciplines across that theme. For example, you might be learning about the family, but you will be doing Math problems, Social studies, Reading, Conversation practice, and others all in one lesson. Magic Ears has a slightly different approach in that they don’t jump around across multi-subjects in one lesson. In general, there is more repetition and practice with everyday conversation.
Here is what your classroom opening screen will look like:
*Note, there would be up to 4 different cameras at the bottom of the screen. So far, in this class only 1 student has shown up.
You can see that the classroom is colourful, fun and not cluttered with buttons, but you still have lots of control. Here is another snapshot of one of the slides:
You can move the cameras around the classroom as well to encourage conversation, role playing and to focus on one or two students at a time. The STAR feature in the Magic Ears classroom is the 1v1 button at the top which enables the teacher to talk to 1 child in large screen side-by-side and work on pronunciation and conversation. You can also drag up more than 1 child when saying a big goodbye or hello! This is a really fun part of their classroom.
Magic Ears Teaching Hours:
Magic Ears is always adding to their schedule. As of October 2018, this is their current availability for teaching:
What Makes Magic Ears Unique?
- Secondary Positions: As you rank up in the company, you will have a fuller schedule and the opportunity to apply for secondary positions. You must have taught 200 classes to be considered for these and you need to be in a top percentage of teachers who have good ratings with parents. Positions could be in the area of social media, interviewing, training, workshops, etc…
- Ranking Up: This is still a small company. Since it’s small you have the opportunity to grow with them. They recognise teachers commitment and progress in the company. As you teach more, and get better you get recognised by “ranking up” through various levels. You can rank up when you can hit the 3 bottom lines consistently and hit a certain amount of classes.
- Referral Program: Currently Magic Ears is offering teachers $10 for every qualified application. So, if you refer someone who only applies but does not interview or doesn’t get the job, you will still get $10. The first 3 successful teachers that you refer who teach 10 classes will get you $40 / teacher. After that, you will get $60 / referral. On top of the $10 for the application, you can make up to $70 for each person you refer if they are successfully hired and become teachers.
- Support + Community: Online teaching can be lonely but the Magic Ears ‘family’ really consider themselves to be a family and they are extremely supportive of each other. They have a great Q & A Facebook Group that you can join today and ask questions and get supported. They also have a great facebook group for hired teachers. You will not need to wonder how things work or have your questions unanswered. They are very hands-on and available through Skype or through Facebook.
- Positive Cancellation Policy: Magic Ears assures you that you will not need to teach while sick. Due to the company booking teachers for the students, they have more control over who is teaching the classes. If you are sick, they don’t want you teaching so they will just give your class to someone else. They also have standby teachers which seems to be like “substitute teaching” if you come from a normal school system. I think this is one of their incredible positives because in the event of emergency or sickness, you will be taken care of.
- No Secondary Rewards: They do not require secondary rewards in Magic Ears. Each child can be rewarded trophies which are really fun to give and I usually give around 7-8 per class to each child, both individually and as a collective.
- Minimal Feedback : They do require feedback but it is only around 3 sentences per child about the positive things they did as well as a few words that they can work on pronouncing. That’s it. Super simple and not time consuming.
Is Magic Ears Right For Me?
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t? They are offering something different because of their focus on passion and energy as well as teaching up to 4 students at a time. This is quite different to the other companies I work for which is a 1-1 platform. I have to say, I was hesitant at first and I didn’t really enjoy my first few classes. Their training was definitely sufficient in the application process and I felt comfortable to teach but I felt overwhelmed in the beginning with 4 kids. I was worried about noise and giving each child enough attention. However, what I have found is that the kids are having so much fun in class because of the interactivity, fun videos and really cool games that have been developed for review and reinforcement. In addition, the 25 minutes flies by! You are busy with the teaching and managing the class and you don’t have a chance to get bored!
If you want something different and a higher pay than most companies, then give Magic Ears (ME) a try ! There is no harm in applying and you will quickly know if it’s something you will be interested in.
If you would like to apply, please use this link to submit your application. I will email you as soon as I see you on my referral list.
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