We get it. There are a lot of online ESL schools out there, so which one is best for you? Here we're going to take a look at some Magic Ears reviews from Magic Ears teachers.
Magic Ears is one of the more established and well-known companies in this space, along with VIPKid, DaDaABC and QKids.
And while it's all well and good to read up on the company's requirements, pay, and platform, what's truly invaluable—and hard to come by—are honest opinions from current employees.
Find out what teachers really truly think about Magic Ears, what the company does well, where it could improve, and things to keep in mind if you do decide to apply.
"They offer incentives when teachers are in demand. They offer professional development opportunities such as webinars, workshops and conferences. They support their teachers 100%."
My name is Morgan. I’m a mother of three (13, 9 and 16 months) and a professional photographer.
I have been with Magic Ears for just two months, but this isn’t my first online ESL company that I’ve worked with.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate them an 8. Overall, it has been a quick and painless process to get hired with them. However, sometimes the hiring process wasn’t that clear as they were in the process of revamping it when I was hired. Additionally, they have newer professional standards, such as no facial piercings and visible tattoos that weren’t required when I started but now are.
For me, it was rather easy to get hired. I know others didn’t have it so easy. I was hired through their fast track option. I did really well on my demo and was able to skip a few other parts of the process. From the time I applied to the time I taught my first class was only one week.
The absolute best aspect of working for Magic Ears is the forgiving cancellation policy. It’s a great fit for parents.
The worst part of the job is that the standards are very high compared to other companies. It can be hard juggling all the “bottom lines” while actively engaging a class of four students.
Overall, it’s a pretty good gig. It’s highly flexible. They support their teachers’ development, which is why their standards are so high, and they are always pushing their teachers to be their best.
I haven’t had any bad student so far. They are all pretty engaged, active and polite in class!
Classes are planned out but follow the same overall rhythm from class to class. It makes it easy to prepare.
One important quality in an online English teacher is being adaptable! You have to be able to adjust your teaching style for each student. Also, you must be adaptable with technology when requirements or policies change.
The most important piece of equipment is a headset. A good headset is EXTREMELY important for overall job comfort when you are doing several classes back to back.
For anything thinking about applying to Magic Ears, I would consider the difference between teaching 1 student at a time vs. teaching up to 4 students at a time. There is more energy required to teach and juggle 4 students at one time.
Additionally, if you’re looking to make connections with your students, it is unlikely to happen at Magic Ears since parents do not book teachers, the actual staff at Magic Ears books classes. It is unlikely you would have repeat students to foster long-term connections.
"My experience is a perfect 10! I have created some wonderful friendships and I feel valued by this company, both through pay raises and having my opinions heard."
My name is Debbie and I’m originally from up north, but now I live in Georgia.
I have taught for more than 14 years in both public and private schools and now online! I’m a mom of teen (and I’m surviving), and an adorable Cockapoo named Myles.
I have been with Magic Ears for 16 wonderful months.
My experience is a perfect 10! I have created some wonderful friendships and I feel valued by this company, both through pay raises and having my opinions heard.
I feel the hiring process is pretty comparable to other companies. (I’ve interviewed and been hired with 4 of them, so I know.)
Currently, you can choose to do a recorded or live interview, then you move onto training with a coach, and then trial class with real kids. Some teachers may be asked back to do a second trial if they feel they just had a few things to work on.
If you pass all of these steps, you’ll move onto the most exciting step… contract signing and background check. The background check takes 3 - 5 business days, but other than that the other steps can go fairly quickly.
Some teachers, who wow the interviewers with their skills and passion, can be invited to a fast track program, where they’ll be mentored by a member of the Beijing team and then can start teaching as soon as their background check clears.
If you don’t pass, you can re-apply in 3 months.
The best aspect of Magic Ears is the family feel of the company. We have a wonderful Magic Ears family page that hired teachers can be a part of. The respect just spreads from there.
I am in direct communication with some of the members of the Beijing team, and I met Casey Ma, one of the founders of Magic Ears, when she came to visit for a TESOL fair and convention.
The worst part is that I can’t meet the kids or my coworkers in person! But having WeChat and FB makes me feel a tad closer to my coworkers.
I have made Magic Ears my full time job. I love the communication, love the platform, and I love the possibility for teachers to continue to grow through feedback sessions with mentors and workshops.
Magic Ears really cares about their teachers and will support them as they continue to be great teachers. I teach from 6 am - 9:30 am EST. I am in control of my own schedule.
If I don’t feel well, I can reach out on DingTalk and tell the Cancellation group I’m sick and they’ll tell me to feel better. My classes are cancelled, with no penalty or guilt trip.
As for the students, kids are kids, no matter where you go in the world. A majority of them are focused and enjoy learning. I’ve taught kids from ages 3 - 12.
We don’t interact with the parents. I do see and hear them in the classroom and if we have to, we can just notify Magic Ears in the classroom through the Help button. They will be reminded that they need to be quiet in order to support a distraction-free classroom.
I can tell that some are very supportive as they talk throughout the lesson, or encourage them quietly near them. I have received some very sweet written feedback from parents and am thrilled when I do receive it.
All lessons are planned out. All we do is preview our confirmed classes 24 hours before and get a few relevant props ready.
We can have up to 4 kids in the classroom. The platform is extremely interactive. We can move the students’ screens around, bring them on the main stage regular-sized screens or enlarge them.
My favorite is bringing all 4 kids and myself on the stage, which creates a “Brady Bunch” look. It’s fun to act out the lessons’ vocabulary or just change up the energy of the class this way.
The three most important qualities in an online English teacher are:
- Passion for teaching (including TPR, hearing mispronunciations and knowing how to correct students).
- Willingness to accept feedback and make changes
- Understanding how to teach students a foreign language (patience)
For anyone who’s thinking about working with Magic Ears, I would suggest they connect with someone as a mentor, such as myself, who will support you and guide you.
Most importantly, you need to invest the time to make this work. Make sure you practice Total Physical Response and watch videos on it. Understand the importance of not using too much incidental language, and have some good, simple transitional sentences.
Learn how to keep to the teacher directions and how to extend if needed on the material.
Practice, practice, practice!
"If you experience any kind of emergency or illness, you simply let them know, and they take care of your classes and wish you well. No doctor’s note or proof needed! They simply trust you, and that means a lot to me, being a person with chronic illness."
I’m Carley! I live in San Antonio with my husband, who’s in the Air Force. I went to school to become a nurse but ended up finding a passion for online teaching when I had to drop out of school due to my worsening condition with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
I have been working with Magic Ears since December 2017.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate the company a 10! The classes are so much fun to teach! I love the curriculum and interactive platform.
Magic Ears also has an amazing cancellation policy. If you experience any kind of emergency or illness, you simply let them know, and they take care of your classes and wish you well. No doctor’s note or proof needed! They simply trust you, and that means a lot to me, being a person with chronic illness.
Here's a little bit more about my unique story that really underlines the company's sick policy, which is unparalleled compared with the rest of the industry.
As for hiring, I found myself really enjoying each part of the process. The interviewers and trainers were so kind and welcoming. I completed an application, interview, two trainings, and two trial classes in 2017.
Now the hiring process is much more personalized, and you can get hired as quickly as 48 hours after your interview if you get accepted into the fast track program!
The best part of Magic Ears is the teacher and staff community. They are amazing! It really feels like a family at Magic Ears, and there is such a positive vibe. I never expected to meet so many wonderful people and make lifelong friends!
Since students are in school and we work Beijing hours, there is a limit to how many classes you teach, and you’ll most likely have to wake up early to teach depending on your time zone.
Some teachers like myself were able to get secondary positions like interviewing, training, and social media, but openings for these positions have died down since the company has grown.
It is nice to wake up every morning and feel not only excited, but also motivated to do your job! I think about moments I have with my students throughout the day, and love connecting with the teachers and staff. It’s a very positive environment, and makes you feel like you are a part of something special.
Students are ages K-12. At Magic Ears, we have up to 4 kids in 25 minute classes. It is so much fun to watch them interact and learn with one another!
For the most part, we don’t know much about the parents. They’re not supposed to be in the camera view or talk during class, though it can sometimes be hard for them to not interact in class. You may see a mom hiding in the corner taking pictures/videos to share with friend and family! I find them to be as interested as the students sometimes!
All curriculum is provided, and you have 24 hours to preview the material before class time. The curriculum and platform design are amazing! The bright colors and interactive games/features keep students focused and having fun. Those 25 minutes go by fast!
The three most important qualities in an online English teacher, for me, are a willingness to improve, a passion for teaching, and being kind and patient.
In terms of equipment, you must have a decent computer! An i5 4th generation and above with no Y or U suffix will work great! A headset is a must to avoid any echoes or static sounds. Good internet speed and stability is important to ensure you have a smooth class. I would highly recommend using an Ethernet cord for internet stability.
You need at least 2 props per class, but these can be real life objects, flashcards, or your kids’ toys! Don’t worry, they will most likely be sleeping when you’re teaching so they are easy to grab!
For anyone who’s thinking about working with Magic Ears, I say come experience the magic for yourself! Join our official Q &A group on Facebook to interact with the teaching community and have a place to get official answers to any of your questions.
I also highly recommend applying with a mentor that will help guide you through the process!
"There are teacher-led trainings and workshops that are wonderful! Nothing mandatory, but why wouldn’t you take a free workshop or training? I love that they offer these! The teachers are all incredibly supportive of each other."
My name is Raquel, and I’m originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma, but now I live in Kansas with my husband and our 4 children.
My husband and I own a tabletop game shop and escape room. I have my associate’s degree in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in management.
I have very broad work experience, ranging from the US Navy, to 9 years in health insurance, owning my own brick-and-mortar business, and of course, I’m also an online ESL teacher for children in China. I help other people get hired and I have a Facebook group and a YouTube channel for this purpose.
I started with Magic Ears in April of 2019.
So far, I would rate my experience a 10! They have so much teacher support. They’re always very quick to respond and they offer many resources to their teachers. The hours are flexible and they have the best sick cancellation policy out there.
I didn’t find it difficult to get hired at all. Magic Ears has two different paths you can end up going. There’s the regular process, where you interview, do a 1v4 training and then a 1v1 training with a mentor and a trial class, and if you pass those then you move on to sign your contract. I was actually “fast tracked” and so I skipped the 1v4 training and was teaching within about 10 days from when I applied.
The absolute best aspect of working for Magic Ears is the flexibility! I open slots when I want to work, and there’s no minimum number of hours.
They also have the best sick/emergency cancelation policy out there! And they keep the teachers updated constantly about things going on within the company!
The worst part of the job is the EARLY mornings! I’m in the central time zone, so I often get up at 3:00 am to teach a 4:00 am class. In the fall it’s 2:00 am to teach at 3:00 am! The kids definitely make it worth it though.
This job is so rewarding! You’re helping kids learn, the teacher community is amazing, and the support from the company is by far the greatest I have experienced.
There are teacher-led trainings and workshops that are wonderful! Nothing mandatory, but why wouldn’t you take a free workshop or training? I love that they offer these! The teachers are all incredibly supportive of each other.
The kids range from age 4 to 15 (from what I have seen so far). When it comes to attitude, from what I have experienced, they are all so willing to learn. Plus they’re adorable! I can’t believe how incredibly smart they are.
Of course, you get a few kids who are tired, or having a bad day, but it’s at that point I make it my mission to make sure they had a great time in class and are smiling and happy at the end!
I don’t really have a lot to do with the parents. You get the occasional parent talking in the background and trying to help their child. When this happens we have a button that we push to report it and a message is sent to them letting them know that we can hear them. If we have any other issues, we just let the home office know and the company takes care of it on their end.
The company provides the curriculum for us and everything is done on a very interactive platform! They are a ton of fun! We're able to move our screens all around (ours and the students’), make our windows bigger and pull the kids up with us so that we can have one-on-one interaction with each of them when practicing.
The three most important qualities in an online English teacher are passion, patience, and the ability to have fun and be funny!
In terms of equipment, you need to have a computer, of course, that will run the software, but it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. I get most of my props from the dollar store!
So I would have to say a headset! There are a lot of them out there that work great, but you want to make sure that you not only have something with great noise cancellation, but also something comfortable! I often teach several back to back classes, and if you don’t have the right headset, your ears will start to hurt after a while!
For anyone on the fence about applying, don’t wait! Don’t be scared of feedback!
Magic Ears works hard to ensure they have the BEST teachers and they do this by reviewing classes and giving you feedback. They do have high standards, but don’t let that scare you!
They tell you what you do well, and what you can improve, not to deflate you, but to help you!
"They are in constant communication with teachers and they offer workshops for professional development. They always respond to my questions and listen to teacher input."
I’m Cia, and I like to call myself the ex-clinician turned content creator. I’m a marriage and family therapist by degree and decided to shift gears to dominate the online world with my creativity. I run both CiaEdwads.com and AchiveHerperfection.com and I write for major online publications.
It’s been a huge jump for me, but I love being at home, working on my multiple businesses and teaching as it allows me time to enjoy my daughter.
I believe that wealthy people have multiple streams of income, so I decided to join Magic Ears in April in order to increase my net flow.
I’ve applied to companies in the past, but Magic Ears by far has been the best company to work with. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give them an 8 because of their guidance during the hiring process and the guidance they provide after that.
They are in constant communication with teachers and they offer workshops for professional development. They always respond to my questions and listen to teacher input.
I was hired within a week of applying, but this was by choice as I needed to find childcare during my interview times.
I prepped by watching a lot of Magic Ears videos on YouTube and on the video pages on Facebook. I did a 10-minute demo with a current teacher and then a group session to learn the platform. In no time I passed my trial class and became a Magic Ears hero teacher!
I also thank my mentor as she helped to prep me with the resources needed to be successful. If you’re interested, I'd love to help mentor you so you too can become a Magic Ears hero! You can also email me at email@example.com.
I enjoy the interactive platform and built-in reward system! The students of all ages are a joy to work with. Even though I’m working early in the morning and late at night, the students’ energy always gives me the stamina I need to teach with passion!
The worst part of the job is probably the hours I have to work in the morning. I love sleeping in but I can no longer do this!
Working for Magic Ears is like going to play in a playground each day. You never know who’s going to show up and what new adventures you’ll get into.
There are kids that are ages 2 to 12! They all come with their own personalities! You just have to be able to connect and make their experience unforgettable.
Classes are super interactive because of the games and videos they provide on the platform. Never a dull moment with the Magic Ears community!
The three most important qualities in an online English teacher are patience, teaching with passion, and being able to correct. Having fun is great, but making sure our little learners understand the grammar and vocabulary correction is key!
As an online ESL teacher, having a laptop/computer with great memory and RAM to operate classes. Props are also super important to stress TPR and help understand student understanding.
For anyone thinking about applying, my number one tip is to ALWAYS have your personality show through. Magic Ears does not like the monotonous tones some teachers have. They like to know that the teachers are having fun while teaching, so the children can have fun as well!
"The teacher community is very supportive. Everyone works together to build each other up, and ongoing training is provided in multiple ways. I have grown so much as a teacher since I started."
Hi! I’m Katie. I am a married homeschool mama of three kiddos, and I work as an online ESL teacher for Magic Ears! I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I worked outside the home in ABA Therapy and Special Education for many years before leaving to homeschool and work at home. You can follow me on Instagram!
I have been a teacher with Magic Ears since January 2019. I currently mentor other teachers interested in applying.
I have worked for 3 other ESL companies, and Magic Ears is by far my favorite; however, no company is absolutely perfect, so I’ll give my experience a solid 9!
They treat their teachers well - we really are all like one big family. The curriculum is solid - fun, interactive, and always a good challenge for teachers and students alike.
Bookings are set by the company, and they do ebb and flow with the time of the year, so sometimes they can be low, but that is the same with any company. All in all, it has been a great experience! So good in fact that I’m signing my second contract today, and with a raise!
It did not take me long to get hired at all. You submit your information, have an interview with a member of the Beijing team, training, and then teach a trial class. If you pass all of these, you’re in!
The best part of this job is the students! While I enjoy getting to know regular students as you do at some other companies, it’s exciting here to meet new students every day. The 1-to-4 aspect is fun and energetic, too, and it’s amazing how they can build a little community in just 25 minutes.
I would say the worst part of this job is when bookings are low, but really, that happens everywhere. Be aware that beginner teachers (freshman) start with a lower booking rate, but you can rank up quickly and booking rate increases as you rank up.
To be completely honest, I love my job. The Beijing team is great - they’re supportive and encouraging and open - and it’s fairly simple to reach them!
The sick policy is awesome - no documentation needed and there is no penalty for sick or emergency cancellations. This is because we use standby teachers to take over when others can’t teach their classes, which is just one of the ways in which teachers support each other.
The teacher community is very supportive. Everyone works together to build each other up, and ongoing training is provided in multiple ways. I have grown so much as a teacher since I started. If I’m grumpy or sleepy before class, teaching our ME students is always a good way to turn a frown upside down!
If there’s one thing I’d improve, I’d say there are some slides in some lessons where the teacher guide is vague or confusing so more guidance is needed there. I often see screenshots of certain slides in our Facebook group asking for help or clarification.
Most of the kids are between age 4 and 12. They’re like any kids are anywhere. Some come to you ready for class, attentive and excited to learn - other times they are grumpy and just don’t want to be there. It’s our job to teach them all, and differentiate instruction in such a way that each student has the best learning experience every time they attend a ME class.
Classes are a BLAST. The curriculum team really has done a great job. We follow interactive slides, with a short teacher guide included on each one. Teachers must preview their lessons before class to prepare and ready at least two relevant props to use. There are up to four students per class and they last 25 minutes each.
You will need a computer that will support their platform, a headset, a webcam, a mouse, and an Ethernet cable is also very helpful. Some teachers go crazy with props (like me), others are minimalists. It’s good to at least have ABC cards, a puppet, and a whiteboard handy. Most of my props have come from the Dollar Store! You need to have good lighting and a fun background, too.
Also - these are not pieces of equipment, but you do need a bachelor’s degree and a TESOL certificate!!
It really is one big family made up of people from all over the world. The team really supports teachers and cares for their students. When I woke up really sick one morning, all I had to do was send in a message on my phone to ask them to transfer my classes. I received a nice message back saying something like, “Please do not worry, teacher, and get well soon!” I truly feel valued at Magic Ears.
For anything interested in applying. check out their YouTube channel. Magic Ears has solid expectations for teachers and their videos will help you do your best in your interview and trial class and beyond.
Be prepared for constructive feedback, and do your best to heed any advice you are given. A good place to start is our Facebook group for prospective teachers.
"The best part of Magic Ears is the fact that I can live anywhere in the world and make a good income. That’s an insane level of freedom, and I don’t need a work visa. I can go where I want to go and teach and do something that I enjoy."
My name is Aurora. I’m from western Canada and I recently graduated from university with a degree in English. I had some teaching experience before Magic Ears, mostly as a volunteer while traveling. In addition to teaching, I also work as a freelance copywriter.
I have been working with Magic Ears for 9 months. I actually started when I moved to Portugal 9 months ago with my partner as he’s getting a master’s degree here.
I actually didn’t know anything about online ESL before that and I was desperate for a job in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and didn’t have a foreign visa.
I was looking for things I could do online and I kind of stumbled upon the whole online ESL industry. I really gravitated towards Magic Ears because of their sick policy and I really liked their platform and they seemed like one of the most “together” companies. Anyway they fast tracked me so I started working with them pretty quickly.
I have had a really good experience. I would rate them a 9.
In terms of hiring, I was very fortunate and I did not find it difficult to get hired at all. I sent in a recording and there were preliminary questions to make sure you have a degree and a TESOL certificate. I was asked to send a demo lesson in and then I was fast tracked, so they offered me to started teaching 2 days after that.
Honestly, I was terrified because I had never done it before but I kind of just pushed through and I had my first live class. Then I got feedback and it was a super positive experience. They were very encouraging.
I definitely studied a lot before my demo class. I watched every video on YouTube that I could find, I memorized all of the bottom lines and I practiced with myself, I recorded my own classes and watched them to make sure I was doing everything right.
I think my lack of experience actually helped me because it made me very trainable in the specific things that Magic Ears was looking for. For anyone thinking about applying, I would definitely stick to those bottom lines in your demo lesson, and also smile as much as possible!
The best part of Magic Ears is, for me, just the fact that I can live anywhere in the world and make a good income. That’s an insane level of freedom, and I don’t need a work visa. I can go where I want to go and teach and do something that I enjoy. A close runner-up is the sick policy.
On the “negative side,” you have to be able to wake up and have lots of energy. You have to be somewhat of a morning person.
Overall, it has been a very positive experience. There have been times of doubt, especially when you get a low rating. When a student gives you 1 star instead of 5 stars, that would be the worst part of the job. But whenever I have a concern I can contact the teacher support team and they’re always amazingly helpful.
There are a few aspects of their platform that I think they could improve but I know they are already working on that. It’s an amazing portal that’s always improving. I always see changes and they’re always updating the curriculum to make it better for students and teachers.
You get shy students and excited and energetic students and everything in between. I find that most of my students are 4 to 6 years old who just love their Magic Ears classes and are so happy to be there, which makes my job so much better.
The classes are a good balance of pre-plans. We have teacher directions for every class and then we can expand on those in any fun and educational ways that we like. I really like it that way, being new to ESL online, because it gives me a firm foundation of what to do but allows room for creativity as well.
Something many people might now know about is the amazing teacher development team we have. I don’t know how it is in other companies but I have made really nice connections with the teacher development employees and I always have felt really good after every session. They’re always so helpful and kind and insightful and encouraging. That’s one of my favorite parts of the company and it’s not something that Magic Ears really advertises.
To anyone thinking about applying, I say go for it, because I love it. Don’t be afraid, because I know it can be nerve wracking, especially if you’ve never taught online ESL before. But I would say be brave, have fun and be yourself! Don’t be afraid to be goofy and always stick to the bottom lines!
"Most of all I love the flexible schedule. I can work when I want and still have much of the day available to my family. They also offer a solid pay rate as well as incentives."
Hi! My name is Claire and I live in Arizona with my husband, our 2 kids and 3 dogs. I worked as a primary school teacher for many years, but when I had my kids I started looking for ways to be able to spend more time with them. Magic Ears’ online teaching platform allows me to do just that!
I have been a Magic Ears tutor for just over a year, and I absolutely love it. I would give them a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. I love teaching online, even though it’s a totally different experience than face-to-face teaching, but most of all I love the flexible schedule. I can work when I want and still have much of the day available to my family. They also offer a solid pay rate as well as incentives.
Getting hired was not that difficult for me, but I have a lot of teaching experience. I was fast tracked through the interview process, so I was able to get started pretty quickly and the entire experience was quite smooth. Like with anything new, there’s a learning curve, so you have to get used to the teaching platform, the 1v4 ratio, etc.
The best part of teaching online with this company is definitely the feeling of community. Magic Ears teachers are like one big family. There’s a ton of support, I feel like I’m being heard, and any questions or problems I have are resolved pretty quickly.
I don’t know that there’s a “worst” part of this job, but if I had to choose one thing I don’t like, it’s definitely the hours.
Since you have to align your schedule with Beijing time, I have to wake up pretty early. This obviously depends on where in the world you live, but most online ESL jobs are like this.
The 25-minute classes go by really quickly. Most of the kids I have had to teach are very well behaved and Magic Ears provides you with all of the teaching material, you just have to review it and prepare for the class. I put on a smile, take out my favorite props, and time just flies!
From what I understand, Magic Ears is always looking for native English speaking teachers, so if you meet the minimum requirements, I encourage you to give it a go!
Although there are other online ESL companies and ESL tutoring opportunities, I did a lot of research beforehand and felt most comfortable with Magic Ears. I certainly don’t regret my decision!
"Something people might not know about Magic Ears is it’s one of the highest-paying online ESL companies in the industry. They really seek out quality teachers because they have very high standards."
My name is Michelle and I grew up in rural Tennessee, where I went to college. I became a Head Start teacher working with kids ages 3 to 5; however, 2 years ago I decided I wanted to shift my focus to ESL.
I researched and found an online company, International TEFL Academy out of Chicago, which really offered what I was looking for. After completing the course and a practicum in a refugee center, I traveled to Italy to be a live-in English tutor for a family.
When I got back to the states, I knew I wanted to transition my career over from the classroom to teaching online. That’s when I started my online adventures!
I have been with Magic Ears for 9 months. I applied with the company in October 2018 and taught my first class in November 2018.
I would rate Magic Ears a 10 out of 10! I taught with another company along with Magic Ears and to compare the two is like night and day. Magic Ears has such direct communication with their teachers, something that was hard to come by with the other company, and I never feel like a number at this company.
Their teaching platform is so vibrant and cutting-edge. As a teacher, you really can make the students feel like they are inside the lesson and story. I also love the connections that Magic Ears promotes with their teachers. They really want teachers to connect with one another through their social media platforms.
For me, someone who comes from an education background and who is rather outgoing, the hiring process was pretty easy. I had a live interview and a demo lesson via the Magic Ears platform with an American interviewer accompanied by feedback.
Then I had training on the Magic Ears platform via video. After this, I had time to prep for a live class with students. Following a background check and contract signing, I was hired!
The hiring process has changed slightly since I began in October, however it still follows a format of interview/demo, training, and a trial class with live students.
The absolute best part of working with Magic Ears for me is the flexibility in scheduling. Most companies require you to work a set schedule, but with Magic Ears you’re never tied down to certain days. I love that if something comes up in my family or social life, I’m able to adjust my teaching schedule quickly and easily to take off the time I want.
The worst part of the job is the ebb and flow in bookings. Some months are just slower than others, such as Chinese New Year in February or when students are taking exams in June and July. The booking rate slows down for everyone and it can be frustrating if you don’t have another source of income.
I would describe Magic Ears as the easiest job you’ll ever love! As someone who’s worked in a live classroom, the students are a dream at Magic Ears. For the most part, they are excited about learning and engaging with you.
The content is not overly complicated and once you get used to the early hours, the rest of your day is open. It’s the perfect combination of cuteness and appreciation for education.
It’s hard to say what they could improve. They used to have some communication problems with spreading changes in policy, but that has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few months. Now they send out a weekly newsletter via email with any changes, making it easy to communicate to the entire company.
The average age of students is 4 to 12. They often take lessons from their home, although you get the occasional child taking lessons in a car or from a remote area (I once had a student taking class while in the hospital).
The students are very enthusiastic and friendly. Some of them are very serious in the upper level classes. I am always impressed with their dedication and level of education.
The good thing about the classes is they all follow a basic format according to level. This means you are never surprised and it works out well for pacing your classes. The graphics are amazing compared with other companies, and our mascot, Bonny, is super cute.
Our lessons center around Bonny and her friends (we have several families of children, parents, and even grandparents) that do all sorts of things together like go to school, take vacations, and learn about their home. The classes are fun with interactive games and there’s even teacher directions that give you step-by-step instructions.
Something people might not know about Magic Ears is it’s one of the highest-paying online ESL companies in the industry. They really seek out quality teachers because they have very high standards. They also really care what their teachers think! The staff in Beijing is easy to reach and they ask for our feedback on lessons, which really makes you feel valued.
My best advice for a new teacher, or someone thinking of applying, is to check out the YouTube channel and Facebook group for tips and tricks. Magic Ears works really hard to create quality videos that cover everything from lighting and props to funny videos about what life is like for online ESL teachers.
Also, it’s okay to make a mistake! I learn the most from trial and error. I’ve taught over 700 classes with Magic Ears and I still have classes that don’t go perfectly. Sometimes a prop doesn’t work out like I thought it would or the students don’t understand my instructions well.
The important thing is to go with the flow and keep pushing through. If you’re passionate about the job, the kids will notice no matter what prop you show them!
"I have always felt appreciated and valued. They really invest in their teachers (so many workshops and trainings!) and Beijing staff communicates with us often. You don’t have that at other companies."
Hey there! My name is Brittany, and I was born and raised in southwest Missouri. I currently reside in a small town near Joplin with my husband and two children, ages 2 and 4.
I’m a certified English teacher and a few classes short of my Master’s degree in Literacy. I taught high school English for two years before leaving that position in May to start working for Magic Ears!
My official first class was on June 2nd of this year, so I’ve been with the company for just over two months, although I’ve taught over 350 classes, so it feels a lot longer!
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would give them a 9.5. Overall, I love every aspect of Magic Ears! My one complaint is that the rating system can be very frustrating and discouraging, especially for new teachers. Even that only docks it half a point for me. I absolutely love everything else about the company: flexibility, teacher trainings, scheduling, content… the list goes on!
I was hired before they revamped the hiring process in July, but for me, it was a seamless process. I sent in a recorded demo, and my hiring manager, Halo, walked me through the rest of the process. He was so friendly and kind! I will say, if you want to get hired, getting a mentor is a MUST. They are very selective in their process, so you must know what they’re looking for to get in with the company. There are many of us who are excited to help prospective teachers, like me! Check out my Instagram for more info!
As for the best parts of working for Magic Ears, I have a huge list, but my top two are
1. I have always felt appreciated and valued. They really invest in their teachers (so many workshops and trainings!) and Beijing staff communicates with us often. You don’t have that at other companies.
2. THE CANCELLATION POLICY! With young kids and Midwest weather, a lenient policy is so important!
The worst part of the job is probably the rating system. As a teacher who has dealt with a myriad of ratings and who is confident in my abilities, it doesn’t bother me anymore, but as a newer teacher it can be really discouraging. The great thing is that our success managers review all 1-2-3 star ratings and will reach out if there’s something we need to do to improve.
Overall, my experience has been absolutely amazing. I love everything about Magic Ears and I can’t wait to see where my journey goes with this company. I ranked up to senior teacher, was featured in a Facebook live with our Nashville team, got casted to help out with YouTube videos, and am hosting the KCMO meet-up this September... after only two months!
There are just so many opportunities with this company, and if you work hard and keep a positive mindset, you can grow so much! I’ve been so blessed.
Our students vary. My first month, I had mostly level 1, with varied ages of 4 to 7. These students are so bright-eyed and fun! They are excited by English class and love to just have a good time.
Recently, I’ve had a lot of levels 2 and 3, so more kids ages 8 to 12. These ones vary. Some students are very serious about their studies and have a no-nonsense approach, some are so funny and love to have a good time with it, and there are a few who don’t really want to be there at all, but it’s rare! I love our students and I can truly say 99% of the time I’m sad to say goodbye not knowing when they'll be in my class again!
Classes are FULL energy from start to finish! There’s a lot of interaction and fun going on. It’s one thing Magic Ears prides themselves on, so it’s so important if you’re interested in this company that you are energetic, passionate, and can make lessons your own and FUN!
They’re all planned out, but we all put our own personal spin on them. That keeps it from becoming monotonous. We aren’t allowed to skip slides, but our deliveries are different for sure.
One thing that makes Magic Ears stand out is the booking process. It’s completely computer-based. Rarely do I have the same student twice. This keeps it exciting for all of us, but also sad in some ways because we just click so well!
The booking system is based on rank. So Magic Masters get a full schedule, seniors get a high percentage, and juniors get a decent percentage. These also depend on demand and bookings. This can be a shock to teachers who come and expect a full schedule. That won’t happen, but with hard work and grabbing standbys, it certainly is within reach!
For anyone thinking about applying to Magic Ears, my advice is to get a mentor! This is crucial. The percentages for those hired with a mentor are so much higher.
Check your computer specs before applying. It can be a bummer to make it through and find your computer isn’t compatible. Make sure you have a lot of energy and positivity.
"Stop being skeptical, stop procrastinating, stop hesitating to send in that resume. I took the leap and changed my WHOLE LIFE with Magic Ears, and I would do it again in a heartbeat."
My name is Sierra. I’m a career woman turned stay-at-home mom. My husband and I were blessed with our first child on February 7 of this year. Her name is Persephone. She’s named after the ancient Greek goddess of spring and Queen of the Underworld. We call her Perse (pronounced Percy) for short.
Before our happy bundle arrived, I was very career-driven. I have 2 bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree. I was a human resources director at a local hospital employing approximately 200+ employees and caring for 100+ patients.
The sad truth was that I was stressed, anxious, and underappreciated in my work. After four blissful months of maternity leave, I knew I could not return to the 9-5 “rat race.” I had to find a way out.
I have been with Magic Ears since March 2019. I found them while I was on maternity leave and searching for some form of remote work that would allow me to stay home with my daughter.
I’ll be honest, I was very skeptical of the legitimacy of the company. I had seen advertisements for it, VIPKid, Qkids, and all of the other online ESL companies. But I still wasn’t sure that what they promised was true.
I decided to take the plunge and try them out while I still had 2 months of maternity leave left. I figured if I couldn’t make enough to support my part of the financial burden for housing, groceries, bills and more, then I would simply return to my HR job.
Well, not only did I meet my financial goals - I exceeded them! I resigned from my job as an HR director and have stuck with Magic Ears since. I am now a senior teacher and Zoom trainer for the company!
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would rate Magic Ears an absolute 10. They have been kind, supportive, encouraging, and all-around friendly. Whenever I have issues with technology or emergency cancellations, I simply reach out to the team via email or DingTalk and they respond quickly and with compassion.
I did not find any difficulty in getting hired. I will admit that the hiring process is extremely different since I was hired. China’s government regulations now require certain background checks and 120-hour TESOL certifications be completed BEFORE teaching classes.
When I was hired, it took approximately 5 days. I applied, interviewed, and did my 1-on-1 training within 24 hours. I taught my trial class the next morning. However, because I taught my trial class on a Friday morning (which is a Friday night in China) I had to wait until the weekend was over to get the results of my trial. If I had not had to wait for the weekend, I would have completed the entire hiring process within 48 hours.
It’s hard to say what the best part of Magic Ears is. I love so many aspects of the company as a whole. I love their payscale. It is one of the highest payscales available in this type of job setting. I love that they create their bookings schedule in a way that coincides with other companies. Many teachers use multiple companies, and can now keep slots for ME and other companies open on the same day because of the way ME sets theirs up.
ME even made their early attendance bonus available as long as you sign in to your class 3 minutes early so that teachers coming from another company would still receive it.
I ABSOLUTELY love their cancellation policy. I have used it multiple times for weather, tech issues, and for my baby (you cannot predict a 6-month-old). The cancellations have varied from more than 24 hours in advance to literally 2 minutes in advance and I have never received a penalty!
If I had to choose, I would say the best part of Magic Ears is the company’s caring attitude. They not only have a passion for educating children in China, they also have compassion for their teachers.
For example, I had to use the emergency cancellation policy for my daughter when she got stuck in the bars of her crib. I keep her video monitor beside me while I teach so I can keep an eye on her after my husband leaves for work in the mornings.
Exactly 2 minutes before class started I saw she had rolled and gotten her arm stuck in the bars. She was barely 3 months old and still getting the hang of rolling. She could not get out and was screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. I messaged the cancellation team on DingTalk.
They immediately relieved my classes and assigned them to a standby teacher. I was able to go to my baby and have that 30 minutes to calm and care for her instead of having to watch her struggle in pain while I taught.
The best part? Magic Ears Cancellation Team reached out to me the next morning asking me if my baby was doing okay. Talk about truly caring for their teachers!
I think the worst part of the job is the bookings. Magic Ears does all of the legwork for their teachers when it comes to bookings. No need to film a video advertising yourself. No need to market directly to parents in hopes of being booked. ME automatically books you based on your rank within the company.
While I love that I don’t have to spend so much time advertising myself, I do have to say that it is a disappointment when bookings get low. And yet this isn’t Magic Ears fault in any way whatsoever! Something that happens to companies within the online ESL industry. Holidays and vacations can cause low bookings, so it is always advisable for teachers to have a backup income source if they need it.
Overall, my experience with Magic Ears has been extremely enjoyable.
If they could improve anything, it would be their feedback system. Teachers are required to leave feedback for each student after class. When you have 4 students in a class and teach 9 classes in a morning, that quickly equals up to 36 evaluations and A LOT of extra unpaid computer time.
There are programs and services out there like BlaBla Commentz that allow teachers to write their feedback more easily, but they come at a cost. For teachers who are like me, with a tight budget, it would be better if there was another, more efficient and time-saving way to complete feedback without any extra costs.
Magic Ears officially serves kids aged 4-12, however I have seen students as young as 3 and as old as 15 before. The general attitude really depends on the student. Like in an average classroom, there will be really good students and then some naughty ones as well. I have never had any students truly misbehave during the lesson.
I find the Magic Ears platform to be so much fun. It’s almost like playing a video game on the computer, but in a lesson teaching format!
You receive your confirmed bookings 24 hours in advance, giving you 24 hours to review the lesson and prepare any additional props you may need (teachers are required to have a minimum of 2 relevant props for each lesson). The only way it could be monotonous is if you get the same lesson multiple times.
I’ll be honest, I’ve taught the “My Uncle” lesson so many times I could probably teach it in my sleep. But I still have fun teaching it to the students because of the games we play with it.
Besides the amazing cancellation policy, compassionate Beijing office, great pay, automatic bookings… the only thing people may not know is the amazingly tight-knit teacher group that is available on Facebook.
There are currently two groups. One is the Magic Ears Q&A group. This group was created for any individuals interested in the company or going through the application process. People can learn about the company and get some great tips and tricks for acing their interview. Many people also find mentors to guide them through the whole process by using this group.
After a teacher is hired on with the company, they become eligible to join the Magic Ears Family group. This group is created by teachers, for teachers. It is a platform for teachers to ask questions, get answers, find support, learn tips and tricks, vent, laugh, and more.
I participate on this page each day, not because I am obligated, but because I truly enjoy helping other teachers (as they help me) and making friends while doing so!!
If you want to apply, my only advice would be to just do it! You won’t regret it. Stop being skeptical, stop procrastinating, stop hesitating to send in that resume. I took the leap and changed my WHOLE LIFE with Magic Ears, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
My name is Vanessa and 've been with Magic Ears for a year and a half. I'm currently a Magic Master with the company, which means I interview and train new applicants and help people get started.
There you have it: the truth about Magic Ears from more than a few teachers willing to share their honest opinions.
If you're seriously thinking about becoming an ESL tutor, don't miss our insiders' tips for teaching English online. And if you're leaning more towards to VIPKid, read these VIPKid reviews before you do anything.
What will you do? Will you apply? Will you keep looking? Tell us in the comments!
Photo credit: Carley Clagg; Teacher icon attribution: ProSymbols from Noun Project
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