There are a handful of tips and hacks you can use to improve your experience teaching for Magic Ears —a great webcam, intelligent lighting, a headset with microphone…and fun props. What if you could hire someone else to do your job for you, but you’d still get 100% of the pay? That’s what a great prop can do for you.
In addition to making your job easier, using props with your Magic Ears classes will ensure that the parents, students, and managers view you as an excellent teacher – something that will help your rankings and pay.
In short, using a prop when teaching English online is like using a cheat code playing a video game: it makes everything easier.
Our Magic Ears hiring guide included a deep dive into all Magic Ears requirements include the fact that the company recommends that you use two props in each class. With so many lessons across different ages and abilities, it’s easy to see how this can get complicated.
Enter our list of the best Magic Ears props.
The teaching props on this list are not only fun, but they are also versatile in that you can use them in any lesson. Having these props will get you out of any snafu (including short lessons, problematic students, and difficult concepts) that you may encounter with Magic Ears.
Our Favorite Magic Ears Props
Teaching online without a dry erase board is like eating hummus without a cracker to put it on—don’t do it! The utility of a dry erase board cannot be exaggerated: it is indispensable because it can be used in each and every class and you can simply wipe away your previous lesson, and you’re ready to start all over again for the next class.
- Get a magnetic one so you can easily stick it to the wall behind you!
- Write words for students so they can see you write a letter.
- Good for drawing.
- Consider using wet erase markers–they do not smudge.
The best news is that whiteboards are affordable and even splurging on a double-sided model won’t break the bank!
Clear Shoe Rack
Trust me on this one – a shoe rack is great for holding up props like flashcards.
This is so handy that once you start doing it, you’ll kick yourself for all those days you lived without it. At a glance you can see what props are in each pocket. Imagine all the time you spend digging through your opaque purse looking in the shadows for a small item like lip balm.
What if your purse were clear?
That would make life easier, but the only drawback is everyone will see inside your purse. For your teaching station, it’s all pro and no con. It makes life easier.
And while we’re on the topic of shoes, getting up and down during lessons was causing havoc on my feet so I ended up investing in a super nice pair of teaching shoes – worth every cent!
Depending on where you live, you wake up early to teach and maybe you’re still feeling sluggish.
Fortunately, Magic Ears has, hands down, the most interactive and engaging teaching platform (and I’ve tried several!).
Part of Magic Ears’ mission is to make online learning fun that they want the teacher to be fun as well. Put more life into your classroom with puppets! A puppet can smile and jump and dance when you don’t have the energy to blink.
Not only is the American flag useful in many lessons, but also it says, “USA tutor,” in an instant. Any time you’re teaching something that Americans say differently from Chinese or British, you can hold up your USA flag and say “in America, we say “soccer.”
Get yourself a pillow in the shape of a sun, or a picture will do as well. You’ll be surprised how many times you use it in class. Use it for yellow, use it for the time of day, use it for hot, etc.
Instead of printing props and wasting ink, stop throwing out junk mail magazines and instead save them to cut out pictures from junk mail. There are tons of great photos in there you’ll use in your classroom.
Doll with Body Parts
Sometimes teachers get in ticklish lessons where we need to teach body parts. When you’ve got your webcam oriented just right to capture your head and shoulders, it can be a challenge to show your feet, your toes, your knees.
Get a small doll like a barbie or ken doll for body parts. With this doll, it’s easy to demonstrate walking, kicking, knees, feet, dancing, etc.
How are you gonna teach without a microphone?
I’m not talking about the microphone on your headset, but a toy microphone.
You will use it every single day.
You could cup your hand behind your ear like every other teacher does to prompt the student to talk, but using a realistic toy microphone or a colorful toy microphone will make you stand out from the sea of other teachers.
All things being equal, some students will choose you because you’re the teacher with the neat microphone and they want to “talk into it.”
Since at Magic Ears you teach up to four students per class, it’s fun to point your microphone at the student so they can see they’ve got a microphone at their face!
Like the sun prop, you can teach a lot of things with a tape measure – length, width, numbers, shapes, tall, small, size, length of sides. You probably already have a tape measure in your home, so you’ve been sitting on a great prop without realizing it!
Bonus Tip: Don’t want to go out and scout for Magic Ears props?
Don’t want to wait for a teaching prop to be shipped to you?
That’s not a problem…
…when you have a 3D Printer! Instead of going out to the store and searching for props, you’ll just have a 3D printer in your home and you can print ANY prop right in your home.
I’m not talking about a piece of paper with a picture of a love seat on it. I mean you will print a real love seat. Oh wait, you’re teaching modes of transportation today? No problem–manufacture a pogo stick. Ferris wheel? Child’s play.
If you don’t have a 3D printer, then the next best thing is a basic classroom printer, Manycam or Sparkocam. Though Manycam is more well-known, some very experienced teachers prefer Sparkocam. This will work well for you only if you have 6GB of RAM in your computer.
Manycam, Sparkocam, and a 3D printer all share the same benefit—you can manufacture props on a whim, and be the prop queen (or the prop king), all from the comfort of your home.
This post was written by Jonathan, a Magic Ears recruiter and mentor. More people are applying to Magic Ears every day and using his referral link will ensure your application moves to the front of the pack.
Once you’ve applied, Jonathan is officially your mentor and can help you through the interview, paid training, and will be available to you to answer any questions you might have.