Sept. 2020 UPDATE!
Magic Ears is now hiring OUTSIDE of the US/Canada – yes, that’s right. Read all about it on my Magic Ears Announcement blog post which will update you on 3 major changes to the company and the hiring process!
Magic Ears Highlights:
- Company books classes
- Teach up to 4 students in 1 class
- Flexible cancellation policy
- Group classes (up to 4 students)
- Hires only North Americans
- No secondary reward required
- Accepts applicants with a degree in progress
- higher than average starting base rate
About Magic Ears
Magic Ears is a newer online ESL company, founded in 2016 but now have offices in Beijing, China & Nashville, Tennessee. They provide English lessons to Chinese students ages 4-12. Their platform is unique and interactive and they focus on fun and student engagement. Magic Ears is focused on providing access to English classes to all students. By using a small group class situation they are able to reach more children! This is a direct quote from their website:
Magic Ears is an innovative online English learning platform for students ages 4-12. With a relentless focus on the long-term, our mission is to bring a global classroom experience to every child and to provide the best online career opportunity for teachers.
Magic Ears has high expectations for its teachers and they hire qualified teachers who are interested in growing as an online ESL teacher within the company. Apply to Magic Ears if you are interested in growth and working with a company that is emerging in the market with some very unique qualities, unlike other online ESL companies.
Magic Ears Teaching
The Magic Ears classroom is highly interactive and engaging for their students. Magic Ears teachers are required to teach “with passion”. This means that, in general, they are looking to hire teachers who are energetic, passionate and display excitement to teach in their classroom. The platform lends itself well to energetic teaching because of the interactive features. Teaching up to 4 students also means that you need to be engaged with what is going on and working to involve and incorporate all the students in the lesson.
What are Magic Ears Bottom Lines? (aka Teacher Code of Conduct)
Magic Ears has 3 bottom lines that they expect all teachers to follow all of the time. They are:
- Teaching with passion
- Class progress
- Basic classroom management
Teaching with passion:
Magic Ears wants to see you teaching with passion. This means using TPR, props, smiles and energy in your classes. We want the students to have fun and for them to see the teacher having fun. Use facial expressions, gestures and lots of excitement while teaching. They want you to use lots of enthusiasm while teaching and to create a really fun and engaging classroom with your students!
You are expected to keep an eye on the classroom progress and make sure that you are arriving at certain slides at certain times in the class. They do not want you to finish too early or going overtime. You are expected to complete the class between: 25 – :28 minutes. They have target times that they would like you to hit certain parts of the lesson. Don’t worry though, they have lot of training for this and support to help you pace effectively.
Basic classroom management:
When teaching multiple students, you are expected to keep control of the noise and background sound coming from the student’s cameras and classrooms. Please make sure that you are muting appropriately and when necessary. Noise control can be difficult in group classes but when you start to learn what to look out for and how easy it is to mute and block the camera, you will become a pro in no time! You will learn more about this in your Magic Ears training.
Magic Ears Training
There are lots of resources for training, not only for the hiring process but also for teaching on their platform. They have extensive resources to help you understand what is expected and how you can be successful on their platform. One of their initiatives is Magic Ears University.
Magic Ears University
Magic Ears University is a professional development opportunity for all online ESL teachers. They are on-demand classes where you can learn the origins of the online ESL industry, gain new skills and refine your current ESL techniques! Currently, there are 3 courses:
- Teaching ESL online (Free)
- Teaching with Magic Ears (Free)
- ME 120 Hour Advanced TESOL course (Paid)
Head over to Magic Ears University to learn more!
Magic Ears Requirements
The Magic Ears teacher requirements are as follows:
- Native speaker from the US or Canada
- Bachelor’s degree (although University students in their final year can be considered)
- Experience & Teaching Certificate required (Get this TESOL below for only $19)
Computer & Internet Requirements:
- Laptop or desktop computer
- Headset with a built-in microphone
- Windows or Mac operating system
- CPU: I5 4th Generation (models with suffixes M, HQ and HK etc.) and above
- At Least 4GB RAM
- Download: minimum 20 Mbps
- Upload: minimum 5 Mbps
- Wired connection (ethernet cable) is strongly recommended
- Download the Magic Ears software app for your computer
- DingTalk app for communication
These devices DO NOT work:
Computer: Other devices, such as Chromebooks and iPads, will NOT work with the Magic Ears platform.
Processor: Models with a Y suffix will not work because these models are representative of low energy consumption machines. They can cause a lot of issues with the platform, including lags and loss of platform functions. Also, A10 generation and below will not work for AMD processors, nor will Radeon or Pentium processors.
The Magic Ears Application process is as follows:
Magic Ears Interview Demo Tips:
For your Magic Ears demo, it is very important that you show “teaching with passion” and showing energy and a love of teaching students in your demo. Here is a great video explaining how to pass your Magic Ears demo and understanding the process and what they are looking for:
In addition to the above, here are some further tips for passing your interview:
- Lighting: have excellent lighting in your classroom and make sure that your face is clear and well-lit without shadows and dark spaces
- Props: Magic Ears loves props – make sure you use at least 2 props in your interview and use a variety
- You do NOT need a secondary reward with Magic Ears
- TPR: you should be using a lot of TPR to help your students understand the vocabulary and sentences
- Magic Ears loves highly energetic teachers and you need to show your passion and enthusiasm for teaching during your demo
- Vary the tone and pitch of your voice to keep things exciting for your student
- Unlike other companies, Magic Ears likes transitional language between slides and amongst interacting with the students (ie: Alright, let’s see what’s next!)
- Most of all, have fun!
Magic Ears has the following hours available. All times listed are in Beijing time, which is also known as “China time”. Make sure you understand what times those are in your time zone.
9:00am – 11:00am
5:00pm – 9:00pm
M-F: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
S-S: 9:00am – 10:30am
Here is a good time zone converter if you would like to know the teaching hours in your time zone.
Magic Ears Bookings
Bookings at Magic Ears is based on the company booking your classes for you. It works on an algorithm of assigning your classes based on your rank within the company. Keep reading for information about their ranking system. They start you off slowly so that you are comfortable with their style of teaching and their platform. After teaching a few classes you will have a review and can potentially rank up to higher rankings. This will, in turn, result in higher booking rates.
Magic Ears Ranking System:
Your bookings are based on a ranking system. The higher your rank, the more bookings you will receive. There are various criteria in place to help you understand how to rank up and achieve a higher book rate. The teacher ranking system is made up of two main factors:
1.Overall Performance Value
This is the number that is visible in your teaching portal and is comprised of three elements :
- the conversion rate for trial students (40%)
- refund and make-up class (40%)
- parent feedback (20%)
2. Coach Review & Evaluation
When a teacher’s OPV reaches the rank-changing line, your coach will be notified automatically via the system and will set up a meeting with you to decide if you will rank up or not and provide positive feedback to help support your improvement.
There are 4 ranks in the Magic Ears ranking system:
- Softmore (all ME teachers start here)
- Senior (min. 100 classes taught)
- Magic Master (minimum 500 classes + 1 contract)
Magic Ears Cancellation Policy:
One of the great features of working for Magic Ears is their lenient and flexible cancellation policy! There are different types of cancellations:
These would be the kind that happens up until 10 minutes before class. Each teacher is allowed 2 (two) emergency cancellations per contract period. Teachers can only cancel part of all of their remaining bookings.
You would follow the same process for canceling a regular class booked class. Once a standby class is canceled, you will not be in the standby list, and the slot(s) and Peak Carrots will be removed after the cancellation.
In the event that you need to cancel your classes, they will be transferred to a no show penalty on your payslip. You are allowed two no show penalty removals per contract without showing any evidence! This can only be applied for removing the penalty for one class.
Teaching on Standby:
Standby teaching is an option with Magic Ears that offers the most flexibility. Standby teaching is when you are available for teaching at the last minute. Many companies will call this short notice availability. When a teacher cancels a class for whatever reason within 24 hours, the class becomes available for a standby teacher to grab. This ensures that students are never without a teacher, even in those last minutes.
Standby classes will appear in your teacher portal 24 hours in advance and you will just need to click “Apply Standby” in order to take that class. There are procedures in place starting from 6 minutes prior to the class start time for you to confirm that you are available and able to teach the class. You will have to wait in the classroom up to 10 minutes after the start time even if no one shows up.
Standby pay is amazing! You will get $5 for being available even if no one shows up. If you do secure a standby class and teach it as scheduled, you will receive $2 plus your regular base pay. These standby slots also count towards your peak hour incentive pay. They are also great ways to fill in those holes in your schedule when you are starting out as a new teacher.
Magic Ears Pay
Your Magic Ears salary is based on a base pay and bonuses. Magic Ears has an advertised salary of $18 – $26 / hour (or $9 – $13 / class). Remember that classes are 25 minutes long.
They have a new base pay policy in 2020 that is clearly defined in the image below. The more qualifications and education you have, specific to English and education, the higher your base rate pay will be. As well, experience teaching Chinese children on an online platform like VIPKid or Gogokid can also help.
Magic Ears has two available bonuses for teaching:
- Peak Time incentive which awards you $1 for each class taught if you open 60+ peak time slots per month. You do not need to teach these slots, but you must have them available.
- Participation incentive is $1 for each class after arriving to your 1st class 3-10 minutes before the start time.
- Standby classes: These are paid an additional $2 for a successfully booked and taught standby class in addition to your base rate. If you are available for a standby class and it becomes a no show or you are not needed, you will be paid $5.
- Referral bonuses: If you successfully refer a teacher, Magic Ears compensates you for recommending quality teachers to their platform. You will be paid $50 for your first three teachers and then $70 for any subsequent teachers. A successful teacher is a hired teacher who has taught 40 or more classes.
How does Magic Ears pay you?
You will be paid on or by the 10th of each month which will include only the previous month’s classes. You have the option of having your pay deposited to your Paypal account OR bank transfer. Many teachers use services like TransferWise which cuts down on transfer costs and gives better exchange rates.
How do taxes work at Magic Ears?
With Magic Ears you are an independent contractor and therefore you are responsible for your own income reporting and paying your own taxes. Plan to set aside a portion of your Magic Ears salary to make sure you are prepared for tax season!
Magic Ears Reviews
When searching on the internet for reviews on any company, you are going to find a mix of positive and negative. Typically, those that are upset or disappointed with something are going to speak the loudest. Keep this in mind when doing your research. There are pro’s and con’s to every company.
Here are some Magic Ears Glass Door reviews:
You can also check out Magic Ears Reddit comments on the Online ESL Teaching reddit thread.
Magic Ears is an excellent platform to teach on if you are looking for a lenient cancellation policy and a company that books classes for their teachers from the beginning. This is something that a lot of companies like VIPKid and Gogokid do not offer.
If you are interested in a comparison video of Magic Ears vs VIPKid vs Gogokid, please check out this video: