“Are teachers magic?” An ELT conference plenary by magician Doruk Ülgen

The title of this year’s Istanbul Çevre Schools ELT Conference was ‘The Magic of Getting the Best Out of Students”, so the Henry Brothers decided to explore what the two trades of magician and teacher have in common. And to do that we called on the services of a professional magician, Doruk Ülgen, who turned out to be fluent in English as well as extremely talented at his craft.

We based the talk on the Ten Golden Rules of Magic as set out in Doruk’s book on magic “Sihirbazlık Kitabı.” Here you can see a video clip of Doruk performing tricks to illustrate Rules Number Three and Four.

The rest of the rules are listed below. You may decide which of them apply to the teaching profession. Have fun!!

Number One – Get the audience on your side.
…In an audience at a magic show, just as in a classroom, there are always hecklers, people who want to show off or interrupt or generally be noisy. But if the magician can show that he is in control of the activity the interruptions will be less. Defend before they get the chance to attack!!

Number Two – Practice, practice, practice.
Magic tricks can’t be perfected overnight, a good routine takes years of practice…

Number Three – 30% is content, 70% is presentation.

If you do them well, the audience will love even the silliest tricks. If you do your work with a smile on your face and lots of enthusiasm people will have a good time.

Number Four – Remember that the audience will want to examine closely what you’re doing.

Number Five – Manage your audience, take control of them, involve them, and get them on your side.

Number Six – Never do the same trick twice during a performance.

Number Seven – Never give away your secrets.

Number Eight – Be natural. For example if the magician has an object hidden in his hand then his hands have to sit naturally or people will immediately know something is wrong.

Number Nine – Cover up your mistakes.

Number Ten – Have a logical sequence, and in particular plan to finish on a high note, with a grand finale, because the last thing you do will be the one that people remember.


About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to canmoorcroft@gmail.com or paul.zarraga@gmail.com
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6 Responses to “Are teachers magic?” An ELT conference plenary by magician Doruk Ülgen

  1. kylieliz says:

    Ha! This is great!! Hmmmm . . . think I need to consider this some more as I’m preparing!!
    Wonder if a hat and assistant would help as well?

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  3. Hilal says:

    I totally agree with number 1-2-3 but just noticed that I must improve my skills in number 10 which is very important. Thanks a lot for sharing these magic tips. I’ve been reading your blog since MLT conference in Ankara an I like your posts and crazy ideas like pung chu:)

  4. Pingback: Our blogroll. Who are these people? | The Henry Brothers' Jim Jam Slam

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