Magic Ears (ESL) How do I get started?

by Posh Mom Mel — on  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , 

Magic Ears- What do you need to get started? (FOr ANY ESL Company)

  1. A simple background for your class. (You do NOT have to go crazy at first.) Some even use a plain white background which is completely acceptable for most companies. There are many companies sharing their very decorated backgrounds but this is not necessary especially wheh you are first beginning. I’m successful but live in a small apartment, so an outlandish background is not possible. I need to be able to move it if necessary.

  2. Especially for Magic Ears…Especially for Magic EarsLighting is VERY important. If you do not want to buy special huge lights lean them toward your face and take off or angle the covers if necessary. This will greatly increase the lighting on your face.

  3. It MUST be quiet when you teach. Limit the distractions. (Noise cancelling headphones with noise cancelling mics are extremely helpful.)

  4. Camera: Having a very good camera is so important. Get a more advanced Logitech camera. These cameras can make your lighting appear better even when it isn’t. I was given a new camera (Aukey) and noticed a big difference from the camera on my laptop. I have less lights but the lighting is better and it’s not even the best camera you can purchase.

  5. Limit the distractions: Post the rules on your door, get rid of your doorbell, turn off your notifications for programs on your computer and your phone. (Again Noise cancelling headphones with a noise cancelling mic will help these be less noticeable if you forget!)

  6. Reward system: You need to have rewards systems for many companies. Magic Ears DOES not require or seem to encourage this. For other companies I’ve preferred to use gel clings which stick on their on to pictures I place in sleeves made of plastic for ease of use. This way I don’t need velcro, glue, or tape :).

  7. Props: Keep it simple when you get started. The amount of props you use is based on your teaching style. Some companies require tons of props. If this is the case I recommend gel clings (available at Target in the cheap section, walgreens, cvs pharmacy, etc..); inexpensive flash cards. These can be purchased at the dollar tree, office depot, books a million, target (especially before school starts), etc… Many people make their own but I found them to be so inexpensive to purchase some myself without all the printing and laminating.
    If you have children, use their books or toys! Some teachers post photos of hundreds of dollars worth of props. This is not necessary. Fewer props and more TPR are just as fun! I left the brick and mortar classroom to have less stress not MORE WORK!

  8. Make sure you keep a relaxed teaching environment

  9. Feedback: For Magic Ears I have notes on different classes and have my feedback ready. I can add extra notes for each student if needed. Many teachers take notes but when you have back to back classes with 4 students per class this is time consuming. I like to be finished with feedback in between classes. If it’s 1-1 students it is easy to jot a note down here or there in a notebook or using a note system on your computer. For 4 students it is NOT so easy to leave detailed feedback for each one.

Here are some free feedback tools to help you with your feedback for each class.

BlaBla actually costs money. I do not use it because I do not want to pay for it :). Magic Ears heavily pushes it but to be honest it’s probably because if someone signs up with your referral link you get paid or free access. It does keep track of students and lessons for you with the feedback. There is usually a trial offered to try it out. Some teachers really love it.

  1. It is OK to drink (water, juice, tea etc.) in the classroom but NO eating. Just try to time when you are drinking in class. I recommend having a cup that’s fun, to be part of the classroom environment :).

  2. Teaching Environment: Standing desk or comfortable chair Don’t teach from the bed, car, outdoors, and sit up straight. (Yes I’ve heard of teachers getting in trouble for not sitting up straight enough.) I know some teachers have taught from cars in certain situations and draped things over the seats to cover up that they were in a car. FOr Magic Ears you will not be penalized for Emergency things such as outages, etc… For other companies you may be and this is why teachers will go sit in cars to avoid these charges.

  3. Encourage students. Come up with 4 to 5 different phrases you can use to encourage your students. I encourage my students using phrases about 15-20 times in a 25-minute class.