CELTA: A Great Way to Challenge Your Brain


Update: As of today I’m 4 lessons, 1 lesson plan, 4 stage plans, 1 Focus on the Learner Assignment, and several other ‘input’ sessions down.

No problem, though, because I only have 3 more assignments, 4 more lessons, 4 more stage plans and 4 more lesson plans to go! I definitely thought this was going to be a rigorous course, which it is, but I also thought it wouldn’t be quite this time consuming or difficult. Naivete can be a biting quality.

The classes have been incredibly rewarding, though, and I am beginning to feel more confident and organized with each lesson I teach. I go back and forth debating whether 6 classes a night of several different levels or this CELTA course is harder. I’m not certain. I’m also not sure how much progress is made or even how progress is made in the long-term. I hope one of our last lessons is about curriculum development because right now I could certainly find my way around running a classroom, but I’m pretty sure I’d have no clue how to build one lesson off the other. Just use the book? Boring!

Sadly, my time here thus far has been significantly less blog-worthy than I had originally hoped. To be completely honest, there are so many interesting aspects to this part of the country that I would love to explore in more depth. I’d like to walk through a few Moorish buildings and photograph the architecture to tell you about what I see. I’d also love to talk with some of the ex-patriots about their journeys here and lives today. I could live here for a year and not run out of topics to discover but the sad, solid truth is I’m so encumbered with my scholastic responsibilities that my creative instincts are taking a far backseat.

An insight into a day in the life of a CELTA student:

I wake up and walk, chatting and bantering, about 25 minutes to school with my roommates. We walk through our neighborhood, across the bridge and over the river, to the main part of town. Frequently we grab a cafe con leche and a pastry on our way. Once class begins, we’re consumed with school until we break for lunch in the afternoon around 12pm-1pm. We then return to class until about 5-5:30 each night either observing other classes or teaching our own. On the nights where I need to teach the next day, I will stay and prepare my materials and then walk home whenever I can get out of there. Once I arrive in my neighborhood, I pick up or prepare dinner and get back to work until bed. I find time in-between to text or call family and loved ones, but I have a fairly singular focus right now.

Another note, my classmates vary in age and nationality but the majority is in the 20-25 range from either the US or UK. We’ve all been able to find a friend or two in the group of about 19 of us that we spend time with when we can.

It’s weird bit it’s not as easy for me as I thought it would be. Most of my fears in the grammar department have been realized. I am picking it up quickly though, but I can tell you my brain will never be able to memorize gerunds, past participle, present perfect continuous, etc. and those are just the easy ones!

Those of you grammar freaks out there, don’t judge me. This stuff is hard and I don’t care what you say.

I also am not nearly as creative as most teachers. We have some people coming into class with props and their own pre-developed exercises and here I come walking in with reading activities taken straight out of the book! I just sit and pray that my lessons will be passing grades when I finish my presentations, so far they have been.

Going to do some more homework at a cafe. Loving working at a cafe with friends. Miss you guys! Halfway there!

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