I work for both VIPKID and Magic Ears and I am going to review Magic Ears by comparing it a bit with VIPKID. 🙂
I have worked for VIPKID for about 10 months. I am fully booked and I enjoy it. However, they will never give me a raise, no matter how highly I am rated by parents, because I do not teach enough peak time slots. (I can’t because of my full-time teaching job.) So I decided to give myself a raise by looking into Magic Ears. They pay a little more per class. Base is $9 per class to start out and $10 if you have an ESL certificate, 5 years of experience, and a 4 year degree. You get $1 bonus per class if you arrive to the first class of the day 10 minutes early, and another $1 bonus if you open 60 class slots per month. (Just by opening them, you don’t have to get booked to get that bonus.) So starting off, you can easily make $11-$12 per class.
Like VIPKID, the classes are 25 minutes and are scheduled on the half hour. There is a teacher portal and you open up times you would like to teach. They want you to open up at least 10 slots per week. They have less available times than VIPKID because they are newer. As they gain more students and teachers, more time slots will open up. The times you can teach are 6:30pm-9:00pm BJT every day and 10:00am-11:30am BJT Saturday and Sunday. (Friday and Saturday night for Americans.)
VIPKID is one-on-one, whereas you can have up to 4 students in a ME class. This takes some practice but it is fun once you figure it out because you can have the kids talk to each other as part of instruction. They can learn from each other! It’s cute.
The platform for ME is much more interesting. It is interactive so the students can play games, draw on the screen, etc. The teacher can play sound clips and videos. The platform is not online like with VIPKID, you download it on to your computer.
With VIPKID, the parents book you. Some teachers are very popular and some get no bookings. With ME, the staff books you based on your “rank” and your performance. As you rank up, you get more classes. You grow in rank by teaching well and getting good feedback, and by hitting a certain number of classes. I have stopped referring people to VIPKID because so many people are not getting bookings. With ME, once you are hired it is likely you will get booked within hours. You many not have many classes that first few weeks, but you WILL get booked.
Magic Ears is about a year old and is still experiencing some growing pains. Their platform is really neat but can sometimes be buggy. But they are always working to improve it. I have noticed that they are always working to improve the company based on teacher suggestions. This means a lot to me. I like VIPKID, but I am just a number there. At ME, I am valued as an individual, hard-working teacher.
One thing that is FANTASTIC about ME is their illness/emergency policy. If I am sick or have an emergency, all I have to do is tell them before my scheduled classes and they will assign them to a standby teacher. With VIPKID, I would just have to teach sick unless I had a note from a doctor, or face a harsh penalty.
ME also has opportunities to advance into secondary positions. This is possible at VIPKID, but is unlikely because they have almost 40,000 teachers. At ME, it is still in the hundreds. Some of the positions include: social media manager, interviewer, mentor, recruiter, Language Camp voiceover star, workshop leader, etc. People in these positions can work during more day hours because they are often working with other teachers. This is a big draw.
Overall, I have enjoyed working for Magic Ears. They aren’t perfect, but I feel like they really care and they want their teachers to succeed. They listen to suggestions and often enact change based on these suggestions. I think their curriculum and platform are fun to use.
Right now they only hire people from the USA or Canada. They would like you to have an ESL certificate, but if you don’t have one, a degree and/or teaching experience should get you considered. If you apply, DEFINITELY do the intro video they ask for on the application. They really look for high-energy, happy teachers the kids will enjoy.
Happy teaching, everyone!