What: Teach English to Chinese kids

Expected pay: $18 to $26 per hour

Husl$core: $$$$$

Commissions & fees: NA

Where: Nationwide 

Requirements: Must pass screening interview; have high-speed internet and a computer that can handle Skype communication; credentials preferred, but not required. Must speak English on an idiomatic level.

Review: Magic Ears is one of several sites that aims to teach English to Chinese kids between the ages of 5 and 12. As with the others, teachers are expected to work from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Beijing time during the work week, and in the mornings on weekends. Because teachers are in the U.S., working on Beijing time is likely to mean that you’re working in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning. If that suits you, Magic Ears pays a bit better than the other two English-teaching gigs. Specifically, Magic Ears pays $9 to $11 per half hour in base pay and offers $1 hourly bonuses for showing up a few minutes early and for teaching at peak times, as well as a less well-defined “performance bonus.” Comparatively, QKids pays $8 – 10 per half hour, including bonuses; VIPKID pays $7 to 9 per half hour.

Teachers also say that MagicEars site is more hands-on in giving you advice about your teaching style. (Like the others, the curriculum is set. What you add is personality and props.) Teachers either love or hate that extra advice.

The site also will pay you to refer additional qualified teachers to Magic Ears at a rate of $10 per resume.

Since the job is almost identical to the other teaching positions and this one pays more — and has many good reviews — it gets our highest rating in the category. However, there is no prohibition against signing up for all three, so we’d suggest that you also check out QKids and VIPKID.

What their teachers say: (From Glassdoor)

I have been with ME for 8 months now and they are nothing short of phenomenal to work for. They not only care about the students but they truly care about their teachers. They put so much work into listening to us and to making us better teachers. They are always reachable and when you speak with them they are pleasant and respectful. They answer emails in a timely manner. They never penalize you for being sick!

I absolutely love working for Magic Ears! They are friendly, accommodating, helpful, fair and kind. I have felt welcome ever since I got hired. I get paid great! The company provides helpful feedback and always has the teachers best interest. I love how inclusive Magic Ears is. They have a very diverse teacher pool.

I joined MagicEars in January and things have been very good for me. Here I am treated like a human being but not just a number, and I feel like I’m surrounded by support and love all the time. There was one time that I had to take care of my daughter and had to cancel my classes that day in last minute, MagicEars staff was super supportive and gave out all my classes WITHOUT ANY PENALTY or even a word of blaming. This is definitely something they should keep doing Being a single mom with 2 kids, it really meant a lot to me. And also the staff is very friendly and helpful, I still remember after my 60th class I got a call and I was panicking at the first because I thought I did something wrong. But they just really wanted to know how I have been feeling this whole time and listened to my concerns and suggestions. I ‘ve never had this conversation with my former company whatsoever. And the chance of growth at MagicEars is real and mentionable, 2 weeks after I was upgraded to a senior teacher I got an offer to do training for them and that allows me to fill in more time. I’m even considering working for them full-time not far in the future.Show Less

They micromanage and watch every class very closely. Among other things, they complained that I spin in my chair and they didn’t like the way I extended the material on the slides. For example, I asked one kid if they liked ice cream. They said not to ask them if they like ice cream. Let me say that with my other company I have taught over 3,000 classes and have a perfect 5 star rating with the parents. I have been doing this for over 2 years now. I have never had a single complaint about “spinning” in my chair. I have never received anything but positive compliments about my ability to extend the material and practice conversation with the students. Another con is that they want you to be in the classroom 10 minutes early as part of the bonus. The thing is, this is not just part of the bonus, it is an expectation. If you are not there 10 minutes early (I could only be 5 min early because of teaching classes with my other company), they will blow up your phone. They want you to be on camera at least 30 seconds early as well. Another con is that the platform is very buggy. Sometimes the camera won’t open, sometimes the students can’t see the slides. When a class is not able to be taught due to issues with *their* platform, a teacher is not compensated. To add to this, I got a terrible virus on my computer right after I downloaded their teaching app. I had to reinstall Windows and lost a lot of my programs.

Competitive pay. Diligent feedback. Great online portal. Friendly staff. Particular about details, will point out even little areas you need to improve (but this makes sense because it is clear MagicEars really is trying to have some of the highest standards in the online ESL industry). Also the hiring process takes a while, but again they are working to be the best and they want to make sure you will fit well with the company.

You will not have a chance to teach if you are a person of color, country, cowboy-ish or other ethnic looking people, or with “slight accent” that Management biased classified as a non native or neutral speaking. Do not support companies like this in our country. Stay away.

MAGIC EARS RESPONSE: We do our best to treat every candidate fairly and equally. Candidates are equally evaluated based on personalities and teaching skills they present during the application process. We are currently

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