Over the past few years, there has been a rise in programs such as Magic Ears that allow educators to teach remotely. If you have teaching experience, you may find that these programs are useful, as you can set flexible work hours. You don’t need to commit to sitting in a classroom with students for eight hours per day.
Remote tutoring sites are also useful for current teachers who are looking for ways to make additional income during the summer once their primary job goes on break.
If you’re interested in remote tutoring and teaching websites, you’ll find that there are many platforms available for you to do so. One such platform is Magic Ears. We’re here to provide you with a complete Magic Ears guide so that you can determine whether it’s the right opportunity for you.
What Is Magic Ears?
Magic Ears is an English as a second language (ESL) course for students ages 4-12. As a Magic Ears teacher, you’ll teach English to students in China.
According to the company website, their mission is “to bring a global classroom experience to every child and to provide the best online career opportunity for teachers.”
The company places teachers into a small learning environment, capping classes at a one to four ratio.
What Is the Teaching Experience Like?
The teaching experience with Magic Ears is quite straightforward, especially when compared with other ESL sites. Because classes are capped at four Chinese students to one English teacher, the digital classroom is personalized.
Educators teach one 25-minute class at a time. Magic Ears books in 30-minute segments, providing teachers an extra five minutes to leave feedback for students. Teachers do not work with the same students every class. Instead, teachers are assigned randomly to a class. So, the feedback session is quite critical.
Perhaps the most exciting part is that Magic Ears takes care of the curriculum for the teachers. No longer will you need to sit around on a Sunday evening trying to figure out what lessons you’re going to teach your students that week. Instead, Magic Ears provides the curriculum for you. All you need to do is show up online and begin teaching.
Furthermore, Magic Ears teachers don’t have to deal with grading homework or communicating with parents. The only feedback that teachers are required to give is during the allotted five minutes following a class.
What Are the Teaching Requirements?
The teaching requirements for Magic Ears are a bit vague. First and foremost, you must be a native English speaker from the United States or Canada. You must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Magic Ears also requires its teachers to have “some online English teaching experience.” However, Magic Ears also puts you through a trial class during the application process, so you could easily prove your competency.
Magic Ears also requires its teachers to pass a background check. Lastly, you’ll need a 120-hour TESOL Certificate to teach Chinese students online. This requirement comes from the Chinese Ministry of Education.
What Is the Time Commitment?
Magic Ears used to require minimum hours from its online teachers, but this is no longer the case. You can take on as many teaching hours as you’d like during the week. It’s certainly possible for you to take on enough hours that you are a full-time independent contractor, but it’s not required.
You can choose classes that best meet your schedule. Magic Ears will pay more if you work during peak times, such as between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. every day of the week, along with between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. These times are American Eastern Daylight Time. The time difference between Eastern Daylight Time and Beijing time is 12 hours.
Furthermore, Magic Ears has one of the more liberal cancellation policies of online teaching companies. Teachers can cancel their classes at any time, no questions asked. Other online teaching companies require you to provide a doctor’s note or something similar if you miss a course. Magic Ears stands out because they have a no-questions-asked cancellation policy.
What Is the Magic Ears Payment Process?
When teaching on the Magic Ears platform, you’ll receive a base pay of $9-$11 USD. The company will offer you a base pay rate before you accept your contract. Base pay rates vary based on your experience and credentials. If you’re a senior teacher, there’s a stronger chance of you making more on your upfront Base Pay.
You can also earn Participation Bonuses when teaching. Participation Bonuses do not exceed $1. The company awards Participation Bonuses to teachers who arrive three to 10 minutes early for the first class.
Magic Ears also offers Peak Time Bonuses to teachers as well, not exceeding more than $1 per class. You are eligible to receive this bonus only if you complete at least 60 courses per month during peak hours. You’ll retroactively receive $1 per Peak Time class that you taught.
If you maximize your time when working for Magic Ears, you’ll end up making anywhere from $9-$13 per class. If you teach two classes an hour, you’ll end up earning anywhere from $18-$26. Magic Ears says that this is 30% higher than the industry standard, although we found it to be about average when conducting our own research.
Magic Ears pays you as an independent contractor. This means that the company does not withhold taxes. You are responsible for the entire tax burden (the federal self-employment rate in the United States is 15.3%). If you have never worked as an independent contractor, it’s imperative that you know how to manage your finances so that you are not surprised by a substantial tax burden at the end of the year.
Magic Ears pays its teachers on the 10th of the month. They pay their teachers through PayPal or online bank transfer. The company will also pay any transfer fees that your bank charges, although teachers are responsible for paying handling fees charged by the receiving bank.
What Is the Magic Ears Hiring Process?
If you’re interested in working for Magic Ears, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the hiring process. You begin by submitting an application, which should take no more than five to 10 minutes.
Then, the site will take you through a mini demo class so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with its teaching platform. If you like what you see from the Magic Ears platform, you can then continue to a 30-minute training session.
After the training session, you’ll conduct one trial class. This is a full, 25-minute class where you’ll interact with Chinese children. If the company likes what they see during this live interview, they’ll then conduct a background check, which can take three to five days to complete.
Once your background check clears, you’re almost set to begin teaching. All you need to do is sign your contract and start signing up for classes. The minimum contract with Magic Ears lasts for six months. After six months, both parties can indicate whether they’d like to renew.
If you wish to take a break from teaching while still under contract with Magic Ears, the company asks that you provide notice at least 14 business days in advance.
Teaching Online Can Pad Your Wallet
If you are looking to teach English online to students abroad, Magic Ears is worthy of your consideration. With flexible schedules, little commitment, and decent pay rates, Magic Ears is a useful ESL option for teachers. You could easily make an extra couple of hundred dollars per week educating students remotely.
If you’re interested in other online teaching jobs, be sure to check out the Gig Worker Job Board. We’ve compiled a list of freelance and remote opportunities. You could quickly find and apply for a job that will provide you with the flexibility and convenience of working from home.