This post was sponsored by Magic Ears.
We post quite a bit of content here on the topic of ESL tutoring. It's one of the most popular work from home niches around, and there are always plenty of jobs available. Today, we had the opportunity to get some direct, first-hand information on the subject from an ESL tutor named Bailey Flores who agreed to answer some questions for us.
Bailey works for Magic Ears, which is one of the more highly regarded ESL tutoring companies. The site pays very well (typically $18 to $26 hourly), offers flexible scheduling, and usually has plenty of work available, which means some people are able to depend on Magic Ears as a reliable primary income source.
Magic Ears is best known for their 1-on-4 classroom system. This arrangement is exactly what it sounds like — each teaching session involves one tutor working with four students simultaneously. The setup helps mimic a traditional classroom experience, and it allows Magic Ears to offer better prices than many of their competitors, making the service much more accessible to lower and middle income families.
Another thing that sets Magic Ears apart from other ESL teaching companies is the curriculum, which apparently strikes a good balance between structure and flexibility. Tutors are never at a loss for what to do, and they are given enough leeway to develop their own creativity and natural teaching styles.
If problems do arise, Magic Ears has a coaching team to answer questions and give guidance on how to improve.
Magic Ears TESOL Certification Options
Although Magic Ears does require a TEFL or TESOL certification to qualify to teach, they do offer options for you to become TESOL certified through them. Magic Ears University offers a 120 Hour TESOL course ($20) as well as a Teaching English Online course ($15). Or, you can purchase a bundle which includes both courses for only $30.
Also, Magic Ear's TESOL course is fully accredited and can be used at other companies or brick and mortar classrooms around the world. It's not accepted at just Magic Ears.
The interview with Bailey is below. This interview covers a number of these topics and several other interesting aspects of the work you do for Magic Ears.
Magic Ears Teacher Interview
How long have you been teaching for Magic Ears?
I’ve been with ME exactly 2 years. I started in June 2019.
Can you let us know a little about the requirements to become a Magic Ears teacher?
We require a Bachelor’s degree or current enrollment in a Bachelor's degree program and a TEFL or TESOL certification. We also require that you are a native English speaker from a Native English country. Magic Ears requires high energy and passion for teaching children. There is never a dull or boring moment in a Magic Ears classroom!
We also require the three basic TPR (total physical response) hand motions- speaking, listening, and praising. Since there is a language barrier, TPR helps the student understand what the teacher is wanting, and it helps the class flow much better.
What was the hiring process like overall — did it run smoothly, how long did it take from applying to start working, etc.?
The hiring process is very quick! My hiring process ran very smoothly. I scheduled my interview for a few days out so I could practice and prepare more. Some choose to schedule it the same day!
I watched a lot of YouTube videos so I could really learn the Magic Ears style. I did my interview, and the next day I found out I passed! I signed up for my trial class, and right after that I signed my contract and had my first booking!
I was really pleased with the communication and the hiring process.
Can you offer any application/interview tips to applicants who are interested in working with Magic Ears?
Definitely prepare! Review and practice the slides before your interview and demo. Bring lots of energy and smiles to your demo. Practice your TPR so you’ll be ready in the demo. Don’t let the nerves make you forget to use your hands! Change up your voice for more engagement. Bring fun props. Magic Ears classes are FUN so bring lots of fun energy to your interview and demo.
What sort of equipment is a must have in order to successfully do the work?
Here is the equipment needed:
– Computer: Windows desktop or laptop later than Windows 7 // Mac desktop or laptop later than MacOSX 10.11
– Processor: CPU I5 4th Generation, models with suffices M, HQ, HK, and above.
– Memory: 4GB and above
– Internet speeds: 20mbps download and 10mbps upload are the minimum internet speeds. *An Ethernet cable is strongly recommended for internet stability.
Is Magic Ears a flexible opportunity for people who want to work from home?
Magic Ears is a very flexible job for people wanting to work from home. I have 4 elementary school age children so our schedules are constantly busy around here. Magic Ears offers a fantastic cancellation policy, and there are no minimum hours needed to work per week.
I chose Magic Ears for the flexibility. It was a must for my busy family life.
Can you give some insight on the earning potential — is this something a person could do full time, or is it more of a part time, side earning opportunity?
The growth at Magic Ears is fun and challenging. Magic Ears has a ranking system and everyone starts out the same rank. As your Overall Performance Value score improves and as you have more one on one guidance with your coaching team and take more teacher trainings, then teachers can rise through the ranks. The higher the rank, the more bookings you get. There are also chances for raises during each contract period, no matter the rank.
There are plenty of teachers that do this full time. I choose to remain part time because of family life. Most people enjoy working for ME part time, as a side gig. We have a lot of teachers that work here in the mornings and then head to their full-time jobs. But what I love is that if I need to jump in full time to provide for my family, I’m able to. The flexibility and convenience are amazing.
What is your favorite thing about being a Magic Ears teacher?
Where do I start? My favorite thing about Magic Ears is getting to connect with children a world away every morning. I love seeing their faces light up when they learn a new word. I love when they’re so happy to show me their toy. I love seeing their mom or dad cheer for them. I love the connection. I also love the connection with the other teachers. I have made so many friends from all over the world at Magic Ears.
The Magic Ears saying really is true: Oceans Apart, Connected by Heart. I feel that connection with our families, the Beijing and Nashville team, and our teachers. We are a family at Magic Ears.
We hope this gives you some great insight if you've been considering signing up as a teacher for Magic Ears! If you're interested in this teaching opportunity, you can go here to get started.