Are you looking to make some extra money while knowing you are helping others? A fulfilling job that also offers flexibility? Then you may be interested in working for Magic Ears.
What is Magic Ears?
Magic Ears is an online platform that teaches students ages 4-12 English. The company hires teachers from across the globe to deliver 25-minute classes to 4 students (1-4 model).
Unlike a typical teaching position, you do not communicate with the parents. Magic Ears handles communication and other formalities. Compared to other companies that offer English classes, Magic Ears is known to have one of the most competitive wages.
Along with their base pay, there are many opportunities to earn more money – up to $26/hour!
The curriculum and lessons are provided by the company, so as a teacher you follow the lesson plan and make sure not to skip any slides. Since the students live in China, you may find yourself teaching lessons very early in the morning or late at night.
Classes are offered 7 days a week.
The beauty of this is that you get to choose when you would like to teach. You have full control of your work schedule – which means you basically can earn as much income as you like.
Magic Ears does require the following for those interested in working for them:
- Speak English at an idiomatic level
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in any subject, or be a student actively pursuing a bachelor’s degree (must provide official transcript)
- Hold a 120-hour ESL Certification*
- Plus, ESL/teaching experience preferred
- They also offer a fully accredited Advanced TESOL course for $20.
The application process is straightforward. Click here for more information on booking classes, applying, interview tips, and payment options.
As someone who loves to educate and interact with children, I thought it would be great if I could gain some first-hand advice from someone who works for Magic Ears.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kari, a former 2nd-grade teacher and mom to 4 kids. Here is her interview.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you started working for Magic Ears?
My name is Kari Bruderer. I am the mom of 4 wonderful kids and wife to an amazing husband. My teaching career began 13 years ago. After graduating college, I taught second grade for 3 years in a brick and mortar school setting. However once I began having my own children, I stopped teaching full time to stay at home with them.
I wanted to still keep my teaching fresh and my license current, so I continued to teach 1-2 days a week for 8 years. I enjoyed being in the classroom but still getting to work each week and arranging childcare had its challenges.
In 2017, a friend of mine excitedly called and told me about a new company called Magic Ears. I found out I could teach children in China from my own home using their online platform.
Making money while staying at home sounded amazing.
Magic Ears has been a wonderful blessing and a life-changing job.
Can you describe what you do?
As an online teacher, I teach 25-minute classes on an interactive teaching platform that allows up to four students at a time. I open up teaching slots on my schedule for whatever days and times I want to work.
My bookings are confirmed around 24 hours before class time with an email and then I am able to view the lessons to teach.
The lessons are all premade so I don’t need to create anything. Only two props are required for each class. At the end of each lesson, I leave quick recorded feedback for each student that attended a class that day.
Besides teaching, I am a social media administrator for the different Magic Ears Facebook groups.
We started out 3 years ago with less than a hundred members in the groups. Now we have grown to over three thousand members in our Official Magic Ears family Facebook group and 10 thousand members in our Magic Ears Q&A group. Magic Ears has grown rapidly over the past 3 years. The Q&A Facebook group is a great place for those applicants going through the hiring process at Magic Ears.
There are many helpful teachers that are willing to mentor applicants along the way. The Magic Ears Family group is a group for hired Magic Ears teachers to discuss classes, share victories and reach out for advice.
Our official Magic Ears Facebook Page is a great place to see content and current news regarding Magic Ears.
Along with teaching and social media responsibilities, my kids have had the opportunity to do voice-over scripts for various characters for the past 2.5 years for Magic Ears. Their voice-overs have helped create hundreds of animated video lessons for Chinese Magic Ears students to use as supplemental material.
How long have you been tutoring for Magic Ears?
I have taught with Magic Ears for a little over 3 years.
How is the application process like?
Applicants will go to t.mmears.com to fill out the online application. This step only takes a couple of minutes. Next, you schedule an interview on the portal. You can choose to do a recorded interview or you can schedule a live interview with one of our interviewers.
You will need to complete a background check at this time and sign your contract to begin working at Magic Ears.
How can you book classes as a newbie?
Teachers can book classes by signing into the teaching portal. You simply click the days and times you want to work, then wait to see if they get filled. Opening slots during peak hours will help you get more bookings.
Peak hours are class times that are in higher demand for Magic Ears students. Bookings are only confirmed once you get a confirmation e-mail around 24 hours before class time. The confirmation email is sent out around 10:00 pm Beijing time each day.
Once your class(es) are confirmed, you can view the lesson in the interactive teaching platform online. Looking through the curriculum is important to do before class so you are prepared to teach.
Do you need to have experience in teaching to succeed in working for Magic Ears?
Teaching experience is always great. Something as simple as childcare, tutoring, etc is helpful. However, you certainly don’t need a teaching degree to apply to Magic Ears.
You need a bachelor’s degree or to be in the process of obtaining one. You also need to be a native English speaker from an English-speaking country and have an ESL certificate.
How much do you make at Magic Ears? How is the pay schedule?
Let’s just say Magic Ears pay is among the most competitive in the online ESL industry.
Magic Ears’ base pay is higher than most other companies. With bonuses/incentives you have the ability to earn up to $26.00 an hour. Payment goes out on the 10th of each month. You can choose to be paid via Paypal or bank transfer.
Speaking of schedule, how is Magic Ears in terms of flexibility in setting your own schedule?
Magic Ears is extremely flexible with scheduling! There is absolutely no class minimum, so you set your own schedule and work when it’s convenient for you. You can take off any days you need to and choose to work the ones that are best for you.
What are some ways you keep students engaged during lessons?
I use fun props during the introductions to grab the students’ interest before the lesson even begins. I use stuffed animals and action figures to say hello to each of the students and ask how they are doing.
I wear oversized colorful hats and headbands to get them to smile too.
During games and songs, I lip sync using my microphone and dance along the whole time to all the music. I call the students by name and move their screen to the center when it’s their turn to participate. I prefer to teach standing up so I’m constantly moving around.
I use voice variation to keep interest too. My favorite thing to do is react excitedly and give virtual high fives when the students do something well.
What is some advice you would give someone looking into teaching English through Magic Ears?
One of the best things to do when applying is to get a mentor! A mentor can help step you through the application process and give insight on what to do and what to avoid. By joining our Magic Ears Q&A group, many teachers are willing to mentor you as you go through the hiring process.
One of our bottom lines and requirements at Magic Ears is passion! Teaching passion, smiling, TPR(Total Physical Response), voice variation and energy are crucial to being a successful teacher at Magic Ears.
Using body language and hand gestures are imperative to eliciting responses to first-time language learners and making class successful. Imagine you are a host of a children’s television program and that will help you immensely as you interview and teach at Magic Ears.
Can you talk to us about the pros and cons of working for Magic Ears?
There are SO many pros to working at Magic Ears! I’ve listed some of my favorites below:
- No commuting to work – I am very grateful I don’t have to spend time driving, arranging for babysitters or leaving my house when it’s cold and snowy outside.
- No grading papers – When I taught in public schools, grading could take so much time!
- No parent-teacher conferences – I only teach lessons at Magic Ears. I never have to spend extra hours meeting with parents outside of class.
- No lesson planning – I never have to create lessons. This saves me so much time and energy. All the lessons are created by Magic Ears.
- Flexible Scheduling – There is NO class minimum. I can decide when and what days I want to work. I never have to request time off. I can take a day off whenever I want to. I am grateful to never miss out on my kid’s events or family vacations. When I am tired or having a hard week, I can take time off with no questions asked.
- Teach anywhere – I love that my job can go with me wherever I go. I moved across the country over a year ago for a short time and still had the option to keep teaching. I have taught in a hotel room while on vacation before. We have teachers that teach in laundry rooms, bedrooms, garages or bathrooms. Your teaching space can be anywhere.
- Understanding cancellation policy – Magic Ears is extremely accommodating and understands that life happens. For whatever reason, if I have to cancel a class, I have 4 free cancellations a month with no penalty.
- Guaranteed bookings – Magic Ears books you not the parents, so you are always guaranteed to teach and don’t need to advertise to get bookings.
- Teach comfortably – This is another one of my favorite perks to working here. I can teach in my pajama pants from the comfort of my home office.
- Interactive platform – The Magic Ears platform is not your typical slideshow of lesson content. There are songs, games, activities and interactive features. I am never bored! I am dancing, moving and having fun right along with the kids. I can move the student’s and my own screen around to add interest, promote interaction and keep their attention. The platform also has pens for students and the teacher to draw on the screen. I can mute students or block their cameras for any inappropriate behavior which helps with classroom management.
- Finish work before most people wake up – I love being finished working for the day before most of my family is even awake.
- Free professional development classes – Magic Ears offers training courses each week for free. The classes aren’t required but are awesome resources to interact with other teachers and sharpen your teaching skills.
- Never just a number – Despite the thousands of teachers at Magic Ears, I have never felt like just another number here. I have always felt valued and appreciated. Magic Ears truly cares. The Beijing team listens and is always open to feedback or suggestions offered by teachers. I love the family feel in our Facebook groups and have been fortunate to meet teachers from all over the world.
- Growth – Recently Magic Ears merged with the second largest online math company in China to form one of the biggest and most successful online education companies offered in China. I feel that there are many opportunities for growth in this company seeing how successful they have been so far.
- Pay raise – Magic Ears gives the opportunity for teachers to get raises.
- Classes are typically taught early in the morning – Turning into an early morning person may be difficult to transition to for some.
- Bookings will open and close until around 24 hours before class time – You won’t be able to know your schedule until then. If you are the type of person that needs to have a set schedule in advance, that may be challenging.
- There may be holes in your schedule – You can open up 4 teaching slots in a row, but only 2 may be booked. You might have to wait in between classes to teach the next one.
- Passion is a bottom line to work at Magic Ears – While many enjoy this, for some it may be challenging to smile, show energy and be animated for all of your classes.
- Time management is another bottom line to working at Magic Ears – Teaching 4 students at a time, ensuring equal turns between students, covering all the lesson content and getting through a 25 minute class in the set amount of time takes practice. This also may be a challenge when teachers first start.
Thank you so much to Kari for her time. If you are interested in working with children and making a difference while earning some extra money, check out Magic Ears. The company is one of the top ESL education platforms out there. With an immersive curriculum, flexible hours, and competitive wages, online tutoring for Magic Ears is fun and rewarding!