When my colleagues told me about CELTA, I felt motivated and interested. I had no idea how it would change my career and my life.
I searched for some information about CELTA and read some reviews and stories of those who took CELTA.
And here is my story of CELTA experience. You may find it interesting or motivating to see what changes I had in my life.
To begin, CELTA was one of the most challenging courses I have ever taken in my life. However, the rewards have compensated the intense pace and the stress of the course.
I started CELTA with the experience of having taught for more than 7 years. I believed that there is nothing I would learn in the course. I was so confident that I told my colleagues at school that I was applying for the course only because I needed the certificate.
The first lesson I taught was not successful. Though I was sure it was a very good lesson. My trainer gave me very detailed and specific feedback on the lesson I taught. He criticized my instructions and checking questions. He told me that I was not very careful about them, and that would cause some problems if I had to teach in a classroom where people would not understand my native language.
This feedback opened a new perspective for me. I started to be very careful and scrupulous in giving instructions. Later in my career, when I became a teacher trainer and mentor, I planned a special session about giving instructions. In short, it opened my eyes to how I had to teach different levels. I understood that a teacher’s language would significantly vary depending on what level you had to teach.
After the first rotation, I had to teach different level students with a completely different focus on learning aims. I thought that I had understood the main teaching principle. However, I found out that although I had improved my instructions and CCQs, I still had to adjust the materials to the interests of the students who had already studied the language and had some background knowledge and skills.
I learned to adjust my pace and teaching methods to different learners, and especially when these learners are adults, and you cannot play a lot of fun games to entertain them. Adults are more demanding and result-oriented.
And most surprisingly, even later, when I started to train groups for soft skills, I still used the skills that I had gained from CELTA. I was training VET and HEALTH care specialists for some project, and the feedback my company got from these trainees was extremely positive. Later my boss asked me to help other trainers to train the way I did.
As my second area of expertise is business training, I had to give different sessions on business. You will find it hard to believe, but I used the teaching methods and techniques in completely different situations and training sessions. All of them worked very well and effectively.
Lessons I learnt
I learned not only to teach more effectively and professionally but also to deal with stress and lack of time.
I had stressful moments when I wanted to give up and return to my routine work. And there were a few more people who did so. But, I promised myself that I would go to the end and get the certificate. I learned to manage my stress and openly talk about my issues to the trainers and peers. I learned to dig deep into the problem and find ways to solve it.
I learned a very good lesson for me. I understood that too much confidence will lead to nowhere as there is always something to learn and improve. I mastered the skills I needed to use later in my professional life.
What happened to me after CELTA
When I received the certificate, I left my job at school and went into adult education. For me, that was the best choice I could make as I was much more comfortable and confident when teaching adults. I knew exactly what I was doing and could visualize the targets I wanted to achieve.
The career I pursued later has proved to be rewarding and amazingly satisfying. I was invited to different schools to teach adults. I was even offered to write language materials for new teachers to teach in classrooms.
Adult teaching and soft skills training became so much intervened in my major activities that sometimes I find it hard to differentiate between them.
CELTA improved my teaching skills in general. I learned to feel the class atmosphere which is absolutely crucial for your teaching. You cannot teach a productive lesson if you do not have a calm and energetic atmosphere. And it is you who should be responsible for creating such an environment.
I started to notice details which can make a big difference. I learned how to monitor students when they are working. I understood that standing all the time in front of the class does not make you a good teacher.
I learned to give constructive feedback to the students about their progress identifying and focusing on the areas that need more improvement. This later helped me to work with business trainees as well.
I learned to have Plan-B in case Plan-A does not work. Having Plan-B helped me a lot in my personal growth plan, and the achievements that I have now as a blogger, teacher trainer and CELTA certified teacher are thanks to the skills I acquired during CELTA course.
And this blog will not be enough to write how much CELTA changed my life from a very confident and unprofessional teacher to a modest, growth-driven, self-assured, and lifelong learner.
And here is what I want to say in the end:
CELTA will definitely change your life in many aspects, and I am telling this to you because it has changed mine.
This article was originally published in Sep-2019 and was last updated in Jul-2020.Author: Lusine Stepanyan