With the starting date within reaching distance I have a mix of perceptions running around my mind. I have spent a great deal of time preparing for it – I’m enthusiastic to get into it yet I still feel I may not be doing enough to prepare. A consequence of this feeling comes from reading article after article suggesting of how, let’s say “traumatic”, this course is supposed to be. I use this word as I’ve often heard stories of students breaking down during the course, a tad OTT? Or is it? According to a lot, it isn’t. Little bemusing as I thought the aim was to support and guide not leave one standing like a deer in headlights. Should I mentally prepare as well?
Although the intensity is often the focal point of previous CELTA graduates’ comments, so follows how most would definitely do the course again – given the friendships, memories shared and overall training. This has me questioning : is it a case of just enjoying the process? Whilst in Italy I met an ex – colleague and friend of mine who had just completed the course for a discussion over coffee – surprisingly, he started things off with saying “forget having any free time” it’s not intense, is it mate? He went on to talk about how these CELTA trainers were at the top of their game. Something to aspire to. Such elegeant teaching, almost in art form. This is the beautiful side of CELTA – learning from those who have, to some degree, mastered the art of teaching. He had been an EFL teacher for nearly 10 years. This sparked my curiousty.
A comment he made clear about the course is that it doesn’t matter wether you’ve been teaching for a life time or starting out, the aim is to demonstrate what they teach you. In some respect, he mentioned, it’s better to be starting out compared to a wealth of experience as we all know, old habits die hard. Obviously don’t go into the room robotic, add your personality to the lessons but evediently display what the trainers have taught you. Even if you hold a different opinion. Doesn’t matter. Overall, he had a lot of positive praise about his time doing the CELTA, except for one aspect he abhorred : bullying. Trainer bullying. This is why I’ve failed to mentioned my friends name. You see i know this guy pretty well and he’s not afraid to let his opinion known when he sees something he doesn’t agree with nor dislikes. He mentioned to me that on a couple of occasions he intervened during the input sessions with his own comments regarding certain topics and it wasn’t taken in the right light. He didnt think much of it until it came to the trainer feedback – he was obliterated, shamed and made to feel worthless by one of the CELTA trainers. Verging the edge of withdrawing. This part of the course I fail to understand. It was normal to receive feedback, students do. Until the rest of the class noticed the bollocking he had just received and comments were made after class. Leadin to a private discussion with him and the other teachers. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing? Besides this he said it was the best teacher training course he’d ever done.
In order to prepare a little more, I’d really appreciate some of you here on WordPress to get in contact with me to chat about your experience doing it. I don’t bite, just a teacher wanting to do his best.
Thanks for reading, hope to hear from some of you.