The vast majority of trainees pass their CELTA course but fact is, it is extremely intensive. Follow these tips from CELTA trainers to make the course that little bit easier …
- Clear your diary for the duration of the course. You are adding stress to an already stressful time if you have anything else going on.
- Be aware of the intensity of the course. Make sure childcare is in place if you have children and warn partners that they might have to take over the cooking & cleaning for a month if that’s normally your job.
- Brush up on your own language as much as possible before the course starts. The more you can do before the course begins, the better as there won’t be much time during the course to think about language. This is especially valid for native speakers as they haven’t necessarily learnt the grammar before.
- Be open to feedback. Try not to get defensive, go home and think about what your tutor has said. If you are still struggling to accept the feedback once you’ve given it some thought, you can always discuss it with your tutor again but the initial disappointment or anger will probably have gone by then. See Dealing with Feedback for more on this.
- Be organised. Keep your portfolio up to date; make sure you have stationery supplies so you do not have to go out shopping when you could be working on lesson plans; start writing lesson plans as soon as possible and make sure you are on top of written assignments.
- Write everything down. To start with there is a lot to take in but if you have written things down, you can refer to it at a later date.
- Try and transfer knowledge from input sessions to teaching practice. Put the theory into practice as soon as you can.
- Learn from peers as well as tutors. You will all be slightly different in the classroom and there might be trainees with some classroom experience. However, a teacher with experience can still learn from someone who is new to teaching.
- Check through written assignments before handing them in. You will be asked to resubmit if you have typos or small language errors in your assignments. If you are a non-native speaker, think about getting a native speaker to check your work through.
- Collaborate rather than compete with your peers. It’s not about who gets a better grade, but rather about supporting each other.
- Enjoy it!
More useful tips and much more in: The Ultimate Guide to CELTA. Have you got any other tips you could add?