Think back to your first day as a new, doe-eyed teacher, to that first morning or afternoon, when you timidly made your way to the classroom, nervous yet eager to impart knowledge and wisdom. Now envision this: before you’ve had the chance to take that final deep breath and walk in, the classroom door flings open, and a student runs by without so much as acknowledging you. Another soon follows, also intent on ignoring you. Wait, it gets worse. Once inside, you don’t know where your materials are or what to do with them, you lose your train of thought every five minutes, distracted by your students who are glued to their phones and eventually start counting the minutes until the end of class. You take comfort in the fact that it was only your first day and tell yourself that things can only get better. Only that they don’t, and, before you know it, some ten years have passed and you feel trapped in an endless cycle of mediocre lessons.
So one day, you take to the Internet in search of a quick fix. And, I can tell you right now, considering my own experience, there isn’t one. There is, however, a face to face course, the Cambridge CELTA, which can reignite your passion for education or, alternatively, provide you with a first year teaching survival kit, depending on your needs and experience. During the CELTA course you can expect to learn the basics of different teaching approaches, classroom management, effective lesson planning and materials development, as well as to become aware of your strengths and celebrate them while, at the same time, addressing weaknesses in your practice, supported by your peers and tutors. Following your CELTA experience, ie, the mental and emotional rollercoaster ride you will be on for the next four to twenty weeks, depending on whether you enroll in the part-time or full-time module, you will be able to walk confidently into any classroom, either in your country of origin or abroad, and teach effective and engaging lessons.
I have taken the CELTA early on in my career and can honestly say, it has made all the difference. This course has provided me with the core principles needed to successfully teach a wide range of levels and ages, from children to adults and from CEF A1 to C1, as well as with wonderful opportunities to continue my education in the UK and teach abroad.
The Cambridge CELTA is therefore, beyond the shadow of a doubt, a must for anyone interested in pursuing a rewarding, long-term teaching career. So, at this point, the only question remaining should be which CELTA course provider to contact. There are numerous options across the globe, some from schools with long-standing tradition and others from up-and-coming centres, all equally qualitative, as only establishments accredited by Cambridge English are permitted to deliver the CELTA course. Bearing this in mind, you’re in good hands, no matter where you decide to go. Of course location, price and personal preferences will tip the scale one way or another in the end, but, what matters most, I feel, are the course tutors and educational facilities, as they can make or break your lessons during the course and strongly impact your overall result, making the difference between a PASS, PASS with MERIT, PASS with DISTINCTION and even FAIL grade.
In terms of the above aspects, I can vouch for Shakespeare School, the place where I have started teaching, and where, six years later, I continue learning and growing, alongside a group of dedicated professionals. Should you decide to join us for the CELTA course, you will have the chance to learn from highly skilled mentors who, having extensive expertise in teaching and teacher training, will offer you the principled guidance and emotional support necessary on this strenuous, yet enriching experience. A wealth of resources, such as access to numerous reading materials, high-speed internet, an interactive white board and a projector, is also offered by the school and complements the tutors’ forthcoming and empathic manner.
See you there!
Teacher Diana Graur