Dedicated to my trainers and fellow Celtees.
As the two-year mark of my Celta completion approaches I contemplate on the joys, tears and most importantly, learning adventures I experienced. For those of you who are new to the teaching world the Celta stands for ‘Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults’ and unlike many other teacher training programs it allows you to equally explore both the theoretical and practical side of teaching.
The course is usually offered two ways, either a one month intensive course or four-month part-time course. I chose to take the part-time route as opposed to the intensive because I still wanted to work whilst studying and have extra time to digest any new information without resembling The Walking Dead! In hindsight, I feel that I definitely made the right decision.
I had been out of the learning process for quite a while and was nervous and anxious before I started. I felt just like many of my students must feel (and this was in my native language!) as I apprehensively entered a room full of strangers. However, although I did start off haunted by nightmarish stories I had heard from previous Celta candidates, I soon realised that my experience was to be very different. Many say it was due to choosing the part-time option that I was able to breeze through (or because my parents are both Celta graduates and I was able to pick up more than a few helpful hints from them!) but I truly believe that is only a fraction of the reason. Having confident and organised tutors, friendly and helpful classmates and clear, concise guidelines is what allowed me to learn, absorb and at the same time enjoy the course. My team came together like a mini army and tackled the course as a solid, united force. We shared teaching ideas, worksheets, proofread each other’s lesson plans and gave each other reassuring nudges when needed.
We learned that, contrary to popular belief, the purpose of a teacher isn’t solely to relay information, it’s also to encourage and inspire the learner and to present information and convey a message in the most effective and fun way possible. Similar to when you indulge in a piece of quality chocolate or good cup of coffee, people around you can sense your happiness and satisfaction. This also strands true for the student-teacher relationship. They will subconsciously mirror your enthusiasm and excitement (or lack of!) towards the learning process. I believe this to be true for any subject being taught, whether that be cooking, horse riding or learning a new language, the teacher is always the key to progress and success. Ultimately my fellow Celtees and I not only gained insight into what makes a better teacher but also first-handedly learned what it takes to create a better student. Text and words will certainly provide you with in-depth knowledge of a subject but it’s delving into the shoes of one who is directly involved that will allow you to truly learn what works and that’s precisely what the Celta helped us to do.
Although I had aimed for a higher result I was content with, and expected no more than, a strong PASS at most. So opening that brown envelope and seeing ‘PASS B’ stamped on paper was surreal and unanticipated for me. I can’t begin to thank those who encouraged and coaxed me through this life-changing experience enough. From grammar tips to confidence boosts and endless proofreading sessions I am blessed to have had a strong support unit backing me all the way.