Looking back on some recent CELTA courses and thinking about trainees who have done well and those that have struggled, there is one thing that is particularly noticeable – being able to put feedback into practice quickly is key to doing well on the course. Let’s look at a couple of examples …
After each TP, trainees receive both oral and written feedback from their tutor as well as oral feedback from their peers. Trainees are given points to work on and the idea is that they focus on these areas when writing their next lesson plan and delivering their next lesson. As a tutor, I would expect these points to be included in the trainee’s teaching development aims on their next lesson plan. By highlighting these as teaching development aims the trainee is not only confirming that they are taking feedback on board but it also reminds the trainee of what they need to do in the lesson to show he/she is capable in these areas. The aim is that trainees are graded “to standard” in all 44 criteria by the end of the course.
Trainee X does this, which means after each teaching practice he/she can be given new points to work on and quickly develops his/her repertoire of teaching skills.
Trainee Y, on the other hand, although having accepted the tutor’s feedback after teaching practice, “forgets” it when writing his/her next lesson plan. This means, when the tutor looks at the lesson plan and watches the lesson, she finds herself having to write the very same criteria on the points to work on. This means, other criteria points have to be put on hold. Frustrating for everyone involved!
Tips to ensure you’re progressing:
- have your previous lesson plan and feedback in front of you when writing your plan
- make sure you know exactly what your tutor means with certain comments to ensure you can improve in that area. If you’re not sure- ask! Your tutor will be happy to help!
- when you are given areas to work on in a tutorial, try and include these in your next plan
- ask other trainees if there is a particular area you are struggling with- they may have developed a strategy that they can pass on
- find your notes from input sessions on that area or do some reserach. For example if you are not sure of the different stages of a reading skills lesson, you’ll most likely find it in your notes/ on handouts. Alternatively, ask a peer who has already taught that type of lesson.
Try and be more X than Y- you’ll make your life on your CELTA course so much easier!