Pre CELTA thoughts 

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. 
Liam.  

  

So, what’s new? 

Evening all,
Thought I’d just drop by and give you an update. Hope you don’t mind 😁 

The winter fog looms large over the city this evening which has prompted me to write this post. Recently teaching has been mayhem. Gotta love that pre( mid-november? ) christmas mad dash to the finish line which comes back around every year no matter where you work or what you do but hey ho let’s work our asses off. I’m sure im not the only one experiencing this, right?  

I currently teach in a private language school and work as a Cambridge examiner in italy, specifically in a small city named Ancona located on the Adriatic coast. Wonderful place full of  imbedded culture and mesmerising landscapes which never fail to make me reflect but over the last month my mind has been wandering off into different places in the world. Let me save the keys the battering and tell you that barcelona is constantly on my mind. There’s something about that city which cries out to me – a place where things are happening, people are going places, the like minded are coming together and the weather doesn’t seem to let you down ( when you grew up in the UK and finally discovered what the sun is this becomes an important factor 😉) and consequently in the future I would like to hunt  down a job over there. Seems to be full of schools. 

Any of you teachers out in barcelona ? How’s life? 
Happy sunday to you all. 

148 pages into open – Andre Agassi 

What a book. Hooked from the first and have been glued to it right up to this page. This is a quick, spur of the moment post but I just wanted to say one lesson that I’ve learnt from these 148 pages is that discovering your own personal identity can feel like a mystery at times. 

This is something Mr Agassi keeps coming back to – identity. I had me thinking – how would I identify myself? What characterisitcs make me – me. I’d like you to do the same. Ask yourself – what characterisitcs make you – you?  He also delves into his deep relationships, his brother – personal trainer and again I took a step back and began to think about how connected I am with those close to me. 
Fuck books are amazing. 
Hope you’re all good and progressing.
Peace! 

Tefl/celta qualification – what’s your story ?

Tefl teachers of the world your input would be greatly appreciated.
Recently I’ve been trying to suss out where in the world is the best place to take either a tefl or celta qualification as I’d to like to do so. I’m yet to come across something that has truly stood out…
All that’s happened is that I’ve been bombarded with advertisements from specific websites… No personal stories which is what counts with this kind of thing.

Please leave a comment and tell me all bout it! I’m sure there are others in a similar position so you’d be helping them too.
Thanks!

Liam.

 

Surprising lessons from kids 🇮🇹🇬🇧

Ciao tutti!

So here’s a little update of a summer camp that I’ve just finished. Doing this a second time round taught me all kinds of lessons but one still stuck from last year –  kids can either be the cutest little angels or … In the end I had the time of my life connecting with them and teaching them.

Cutest little angles


Or.. 

I would like to add it felt a little compulsory to do the Gareth bale celebration after England’s victory over Wales yesterday.
Kinda felt like this …

So what did we do ?

Here’s an insight into a few things.

This was a basketball summer camp so I designed a program around this. Teaching them some of the key vocabulary we use in English when we play basketball but also everyday words they will need once the camp is over.

With the young ones..

Ages 6-7  group of 12

Using my iPad for visual support I had them sit in a group and explored body parts, questions in the present simple related to everyday things.  Once I felt confident they had learnt the words we then took it to the court to play a game.

Shoot em – two teams lined up opposite eachother facing the basketball hoop.  Once I blew the whistle 1 player from each team had to shoot, if they scored they would come over to me and answer a question related to the vocabulary they had learnt previously.  They’d get a point for every correct answer and the first team to reach 10 points would win.

It amazes me how much better they learn by being in a kinaesthetic learning environment. It’s got me questioning how I can incorporate much more of this style into my everyday lessons.

Ages 8-10 group of 30.

Trying to control a group of 30 children eager to play sports is like telling that fat chick not to eat that last chip. It ain’t gonna work.

In order to learn countries and nationalities I had them pair up and gave them a country. They had to learn the name of their country + nationality + language after this they would be called up to the court to play against an opposing country. Once they came on the court to me for the jump off they would have to tell me their information + their competitors.

Me : alright boys. Country ?

Kids : Brazil

Me: nationality ?

Kids: Brazilian

Me: language ?

Kids : Brazilian


We played it like a tournament to keep the competitive fever there and this worked a dream. They were cheering like crazy and made it a great game.

There were plenty of other groups but this is a quick post to share what I have been doing recently and to give those of you who have never done a summer camp a little preview.

The scariest lesson I learn after this summer camp is that some people never grow up. Once I’d finished my morning teaching at the summer camp I would see similar characterisitcs in older people and it kinda scared me to think that some people never change!  In fact some of these kids had more to say than adults hahah.
Anyway if you’ve ever done a summer camp of something similar share your thoughts below and let’s have a discussion.
Peace!
Oh… There’s always that one kid which loves you and insists on having a selfie

He looks like my bloody son hahaha.


Connecting as teachers. 

Maybe I’m just not taking the right route but unfortunately the small town I live in there seems to be a lack of tefl teachers sticking around so I’m finding it difficult to discuss and share ideas.

Teaching is forever changing and it’s interesting to discover new techniques and tips that other teachers have come across through out their daily teaching and there are ones I have found that work well.

If anyone knows some blogs or you are a teacher yourself and want to connect. Let’s do it.

My mind is exploding with stuff I have learnt from teaching adults and kids and I want to share it and discuss.
Let’s connect!