So it’s been almost three weeks now since I completed my CELTA course here in London (yes, that is Legoland in the image) and I think now I’m finally recovered enough to share my experience of that crazy month!
Now if you are thinking about doing the course, I have to be honest – it is hard and extremely time consuming. Do not underestimate the amount of work you will need to do, particularly if you are doing the one month intense course as I did – it’s named “intense” for a reason. Between writing assignments, detailed lesson plans, creating materials, teaching and attending input sessions, I really had no time for anything else during that month aside from a bit of late night stress crying and some toast when I got in.
Managing my time was the part that challenged me the most as there really is just so much to do. Being organised is definitely the key and I’m so glad that I kept my notes and filing clear and up to date which really helped me a lot. My own confidence was also something that was really challenged as we were required to teach on our second day of the course. While it was at first only a 20 minute lesson, it felt like an absolute life time. Again, being organised in lesson planning was essential, especially when it came to teaching areas of grammar that I was weak in myself. Despite the organisation though, the stress of the intensity and the lack of sleep cannot really be fully avoided and so make sure that you have a supply of chocolate and tea throughout.
It wasn’t however all doom and gloom and stress, not at all. Rather, the course helped me to develop not only my teaching skills, but also myself as a person. The course has really prepared me for the challenges of the EFL teaching world through both the assignments and the requirement to teach meaningful and solid lessons (that you’re graded on) every other day. I had never taught before, and was at first very nervous, but the constructive feedback from the tutors on my development really supported me and helped to develop my overall confidence in myself and my abilities despite the stress and nerves.
What I did not anticipate getting from the course was such a good group of friends. While we all were of different backgrounds, experience and age groups, the intensity of the course really brought us together as a group and we had some really good laughs. Even though we often poked fun at eachother, everyone was supportive and we all helped each other to develop and learn.
In all, the course was a success despite my tears and I’m pleased to say that everyone in our group passed! While it was hard, now I have caught up on my sleep I can see that it was definitely worth it and look forward to finding out where it can take us all.
If you’re thinking about taking the CELTA course (or have already done it), I’d love to hear from you. If you have any questions or similar experiences/advice please feel free to comment below 🙂