I recently read a complaint from a CELTA trainee who had just finished their course. I feel a couple of things that came up need to be addressed here, to ensure future trainees don’t make the same mistakes as this individual did.
Don’t shoot the messenger!
Remember that anything your tutor is telling you to do is taken from the CELTA syllabus, we tutors find ourselves repeating some things more than we would like because some trainees find it difficult to believe that particular criteria are important to incorporate in their teaching.
When you embark on a CELTA course, you should understand the criteria by which you are being assessed. You must accept that you have to show that you are capable in ALL criteria to be able to pass the course. You may not like some of the criteria but you still have to show you can do it. Resisting is not going to help you pass.
NB The CELTA criteria will be available for you to read and understand at any time, if you are unsure what the criteria are, ask your tutor.
Jump through the hoops!
Sometimes we have to jump through hoops to reach our ultimate goal. Presumably you have decided to do a CELTA course because you want to learn how to be a good teacher of English as a foreign language? If this is the case, you must be willing to learn methods which experts before you have developed. That is not to say that you can’t adapt these methods to suit you and your style of teaching once you have passed the course but if you want the CELTA certificate you’ve got to do what Cambridge English Language Assessment requires you to do. Resist at your peril!
Don’t let it fester!
All good CELTA tutors are approachable and their aim is to help you to pass the course. There is no point in waiting until the course is over and then feeling so disheartened that you feel the need to complain. If there is something you disagree with, approach your tutor to discuss it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, your tutor will be able to explain why you are being asked to do something and will almost certainly be able to point out the specific criteria it relates to. If you don’t feel like you can approach one of the tutors, start by asking other trainees, perhaps they can help you. Maybe you will feel more comfortable talking to the other tutor or the Course Director, whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself. Letting your grievances fester will lead only to your own suffering, talking to someone will almost certainly lighten your load.
Don’t bring everyone down with you!
Whilst it is important to air your grievances, please don’t try to rally the troops and get everyone on your side. By forcing other trainees to accept that you are right and the Tutors/Course Director/Cambridge English Assessment are wrong you are likely to alienate yourself. More often than not, other trainees will listen and agree with you just to shut you up. If you follow the advice above, you are sure to finish the course a lot happier than if you don’t.
Have you had any complaints about a course? When did you complain? What was the outcome?
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