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Magic Ears Review 2021: Is Teaching for Magic Ears Worth It?

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Magic Ears Review

Magic Ears logo

Magic Ears is an online teaching platform, where any native English speaker can teach students in China. The platform targets students aged 4-12 years with a comprehensive, long-term study plan. Magic Ears offers you as an ESL teacher a work-at-home opportunity along with the flexibility of setting a minimum and a maximum number of classes you wish to take.

Legit & Safe

Earning Potential

Application Process

Payout Process

Pros

  • Work from the comfort of your home
  • Constant support and assistance available
  • No cancellation penalty
  • No doctor’s note is required for a sick leave

Cons

  • Only hires native English speakers
  • May not hire a native who has a specific dialect, or certain people of color because the management does not view them as ‘native’ in the stereotypical sense

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What is Magic Ears?


Magic Ears is an online teaching platform, where any native English speaker can teach students in China. 

The platform targets students aged 4-12 years with a comprehensive, long-term study plan. Magic Ears offers you as an ESL teacher a work-at-home opportunity along with the flexibility of setting a minimum and a maximum number of classes you wish to take. 

Beyond being an online teaching portal, Magic Ears also host a virtual university for the teachers. You can buy complete TESOL courses of up to 120 hours for as little as $20 – $30. 

This is a great opportunity for you to excel in your teaching career because holding an ESL and TESOL accreditation increases your value in the long run.

How Does Magic Ears Work?


One of the best things about Magic Ears is that curriculum designers set curriculum for your classes. However, you’re free to spin it your way to engage the students your way.

Students in China log-in to their computer during specified time slots of 30 minutes each. The time can range throughout the day, from early morning to late at night. But peak hours are from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Beijing Time on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends. 

Peak hours students log-in (Beijing time):

Time of the day
Weekdays7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Weekends 9:30 am – 9:30 pm

You as a teacher have to log in 10 minutes earlier and show up on camera 30 seconds before the class starts.

This is ensured by the support staff, who call to check up on teachers to make sure you don’t fail to show up on time. 

Classes on Magic Ears last for up to 30 minutes and are held in a maximum group of 4 students per teacher. 

What’s more you as a teacher are only responsible to manage the class during that 30 minutes. You don’t have to mark or assign homework, engage with parents, or plan their lesson plans since the development coach manages all of this.

At the end of the 6-month contract, Magic Ears evaluates your work and renews your contract if they find it satisfactory.

Is Magic Ears Legit?


Magic Ears is a legitimate platform, providing what they promise – a reliable platform with students to teach English.

The platform has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and a score of 3.7 out of 5-star rating on Glassdoor

Reviews teachers left on Glassdoor show that they like the payout. However, some teachers state that it was hard for them to acquire students in the beginning. Overall, 67% of teachers would recommend Magic Ears to a friend.

How Much Can You Earn Teaching for Magic Ears?


Magic Ears pays a base pay of up to $26 an hour. But there’s also room for bonuses. If you show up 10 minutes early to class, you receive a bonus. 

And if you perform well, you receive a bonus which ranges based on the case and there are no set amounts or terms to get a bonus. 

Since you can pick up as many courses as you want, you can gradually increase your income as per your needs. Obviously, the more hours you teach, the more you’ll earn.

How Does Magic Ears Pay You?


You can choose to receive your money either via PayPal or bank transfer. And if you choose PayPal, Magic Ears will cover the PayPal transfer fees.

Magic Ears releases payments on the 10th business day of the month covering the work for previous months’ classes.

Note that Magic Ears doesn’t handle the taxes and it’s something you should work out yourself.

Magic Ears Requirements for Teachers


In order to start teaching through Magic Ears, you should meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a  bachelor’s degree in any field (ongoing or completed)
  • Have an ESL accreditation (negotiable)
  • Be a native English language speaker (non-negotiable)
  • Be willing to commit to a minimum of 6 months of work  (non-negotiable)
  • Have prior teaching experience (negotiable)

Magic Ears Teacher Job Details


As a Magic Ears teacher, you’re required to complete the following tasks:

  • Take classes regularly and punctually
  • Ensure you cover the syllabus given to you
  • Cover the training you’re being assigned to
  • Be open to feedback and make adjustments accordingly
  • Work during the Beijing time zone
  • Have a fast and reliable internet connection

How Bookings at Magic Ears Work?


Since everything is managed by the Magic Ears staff, once parents book classes, they distribute the students into classes of 4. They then assign each class to teachers who are available.

A minimum of 10 slots per week is recommended to teachers, but not mandatory. So you can always talk to the support team and let them know your availability. If the minimum is reached, you can also take up stand-by classes as substitutes or replacements for other teachers.

This way, you don’t have to interview the parents or seek students to teach yourself.

How to Start Teaching for Magic Ears?


Step 1: Fill Out the Online Application Form

Obviously, the very first step to getting started with Magic Ears is to fill out the online application form

At this step, you’ll be required to set up your teacher account with your email address and a strong password. 

After that, you’ll need to fill out detailed information about yourself, including:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Contact number
  • Citizenship
  • Residency
  • Your teaching experience
  • Your educational background
  • If you have any language certificates

Step 2: Complete a Mini Demo

Once you’ve provided all the information about yourself, you’ll be required to complete a mini-demo. The purpose of the mini-demo is to get more information about you.

Now, you have 2 options to complete a mini demo:

  1. You can submit a pre-recorded interview of 3-5 minutes
  2. You can participate in a live interview which takes between 5 and 8 minutes

Step 3: Do a Trial Demo – a Mock Class

After the mini-demo, you’ll need to watch trial videos to prepare for the mock class. The mock class is like a real class, but shorter (10-15 min) and is supposed to evaluate your teaching skills. 

Step 4: Pass a Background Check

One more step before your application gets reviewed is to pass a background check. The company runs this check on all the teachers they recruit. All you need to do is consent to it.

Step 5: Wait for the Approval

At this point, the Magic Ears staff has all the information about you to evaluate your application. You may have to wait around 3 to 5 days to get approved as a teacher.

You’ll receive an email notifying you of your approval status. So make sure to check it.

Step 6: Sign the Contract 

Upon approval, you’ll receive a contract template which you should sign and send back to the company.

After being hired, you’ll also get some materials that will train you for the classes and you’ll also be assigned to 1 or 2 slots only.

It may take up to 3 months to get fully settled and be able to opt-in for as many slots as you wish.

Magic Ears Pros & Cons


Pros

  • Work from the comfort of your home 
  • Constant support and assistance available
  • No cancellation penalty
  • No doctor’s note is required for a sick leave

Cons

  • Only hires native English speakers
  • May not hire a native who has a specific dialect, or certain people of color because the management does not view them as ‘native’ in the stereotypical sense

Magic Ears Alternatives


Magic Ears vs. Cambly

Cambly is one of the best alternatives to Magic Ears. Just like Magic Ears, Cambly also offers work from home opportunities with no mandatory prior experience. But compared to Cambly, Magic Ears offers a more convenient working environment by providing an extremely supportive staff who’s always ready to answer any of your questions.

Magic Ears vs. Italki

Similar to Magic Ears, Italki doesn’t necessarily require a completed degree and provides training materials after hiring you. However, Italki pay is relatively low – $8 – $12 per hour – compared to Magic Ears’ pay of up to $25/hour.

Magic Ears vs. VIPKid

VIPKid is also a popular alternative to Magic Ears which also provides detailed training materials and allows you to work from home. But the average pay at VIPKid is $7 – $9 and it also has some controversies for censoring teachers. 

Is Magic Ears Worth it?


If you’re looking for a platform that provides you leads and you’re okay with teaching a fixed curriculum in a fun way, joining Magic Ears is definitely worth considering.

Moreover, as you’ve seen from this Magic Ears review, the platform cares about its teachers. The company not only provides a support team that is always ready to help you in any way you need but also strives to help you level up your skills by offering various training programs.

Magic Ears FAQ


Do I Need to Prepare Teaching Materials?

No. The Magic Ears will provide you with all the teaching materials you might need.

Do I Need to Communicate with Parents?

No. Your only responsibility is to teach the students.

Do Teachers Always Teach the Same Students? Do Parents Book us?

Parents book classes, not the teachers. The students are distributed in classes by the Magic Ears team and you’ll get assigned to several classes based on your availability.

Are there any Restrictions on My Location to Work with Magic Ears?

No. Since Magic Ears offers a work-from-home opportunity, you just need a fast and reliable internet connection, wherever you are.


Magic Ears

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