post-CELTA thoughts

This post is a little late but… I survived!

As you may know from my previous post, I did a CELTA course last month and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The course was so enriching and I learnt so much and met so many like-minded people that I (almost) didn’t want it to end. For those of you thinking of doing the CELTA, here’s my experience of the four weeks to give you an idea of what to expect.

On assignments
Having to do four 1000-word written assignments can seem daunting at first, especially when they set the first one on the very first day of the course! But I actually found that the most difficult thing about the assignments was adhering to the word count. The assignments are designed so that it is extremely easy to write 1000 words on the topic. In fact, I ended up going way over the word count on some of my assignments, and anyone can tell you that it’s much more difficult to try to cut stuff out of your essay rather than to think up of new things to put in. As complying with the word count is one of the criteria to pass an assignment, I can tell you that I spent more than double the amount of time ruthlessly editing my papers to reduce the word count than I did writing them. Even if you have to resubmit any assignment, something that I was very lucky to avoid, the tutors will give you guidance and support on what you should do to pass it on resubmission. Stick to the rubric and don’t overthink, you’ll be fine.

On teaching practices (TPs)
My only tip here is to enjoy your TPs. I know that this is easier said than done; I was still nervous before each class, even right down to my final TP, and it’s hard to enjoy the class when you’re frantically trying to remember your lesson plan and trying not to slip up with the tutor assessing your every move. But, if you can let go of some of those worries and actually enjoy your TP, it will make your time on the CELTA a lot less stressful. As for making mistakes during your TP, don’t even worry about it. I learned more from what I did wrong in the classroom than what I did right – just aim to not make the same mistake twice! Also, if you can just relax a little you can focus more on the students and actually teach them, which is the ultimate goal of your TPs. I was grateful that my students were generally responsive and cooperative, which made my TPs more enjoyable. Remember that the students are there to learn and not to make your life difficult, so don’t dread questions from the student. Instead, acknowledge that this is a learning curve for both of you, and you’ll be able to not only help yourself grow as a teacher but also help your students learn something new. I personally miss all my students after the course ended, even if I only had them for a month.

On your peers
The course requires a lot of cooperation and teamwork with your fellow course mates; if you can get along with your peers, it will make your four weeks so much more pleasant and less taxing. I was very lucky to be in a team that worked well together because your peers will not only provide a help and support system during the entire course, especially with the teaching practices, but they will also make the whole experience more gratifying. Get to know them and open up to them; after all, you’re in the same boat together… more or less. My course mates were one of the reasons I didn’t want the course to end – I miss them all!

photo taken on the first week

On your tutors
Although it might seem like the tutors are there to give you hell-ish assignments and add to your already mounting pile of workload, they’re really there to help you get the most out of the course and give you support and guidance. If they set you extra work and tell you to do language or lexis analysis on top of detailed lesson plans, it’s because doing them will help you improve and make your teaching practices go a lot smoother. Don’t hesitate to seek help from your tutors if you’re really struggling with something. They might be busy people, but they will always make time to see you. Again, I was very lucky to have two wonderful tutors who were encouraging, professional, and made every day of the course a fun learning experience.

On time management
As I’ve mentioned in my last article, the CELTA is a pretty intensive course; it requires your undivided attention for the whole month. This means that you can’t be having other agendas while on the course; that includes full-time or even part-time jobs, family or friends engagements, personal or professional projects of any kind. Basically just drop everything and give your 100% to the course; as a reference, I spent my nights and weekends holed up in my room working on assignments and lesson plans for the whole four weeks. Abandoning your loved ones and any kind of social life for a month might seem a bit extreme but trust me on this, it will make your CELTA experience way more manageable. If you can balance your time well, you can really get a lot (and more) out of the course and it will really be worth your while.

photo taken on the last day

So what now that I’ve completed my CELTA? Well, at the moment I can’t really say for sure, but who knows maybe this qualification will open up opportunities for a job abroad. All I know is that it’s opened my eyes to the world of TESOL, and that’s a step in the right direction.

post-CELTA thoughts

9 thoughts on “post-CELTA thoughts

  1. Well, the CELTA course has certainly broadened your horizons. Who knows where this will take you? It does sound rather intense, I would struggle to cut off with two young children.

    When you are writing on topics that require great depth, it would not be difficult to hit 1000 words.


    1. Yeah it is pretty intense, and some of my course mates struggled with having to go a month without seeing their family, but I think the experience is really worth the effort, especially if you’re seriously thinking of pursuing an English teaching career.


  2. Erica says:

    Well, it looks like you took the CELTA course with a great group and that it tuned out to be a tremendously rewarding experience after all. Congrats on truly applying yourself. I know it is tough to spend weekends working instead of relaxing, but it is great you reached your goal. I hope this is just the beginning of an exciting and fulfilling journey.


    1. yup! I was so sad when it ended and had to say goodbye to all the wonderful people I met on the course. In a way, they kinda become your second family of some sort because you see them every day and go through the same struggles and achievements. Thanks for your encouraging words =)
      btw, I went to comment on your blog but the link doesn’t seem to be working for some reason…


  3. Rosary — I have to admit I was unfamiliar with CELTA so did a little research and there is actually a new course starting not too far from where I live. I do hope that your training will lead to a fulfilling new journey for you. You’ve put in the work — now time to reap the benefits.


    1. despite it being one of the most internationally recognized TESOL certificates, surprisingly not a lot of people know about the CELTA. There are centers all over the world and it’s becoming more accessible. It’s a great course for anyone looking to be an English teacher and I highly recommend it. Thank you for your kind comment =)


  4. Sushmita Thakare Jain says:

    Rosary, it’s good to know you loved what you had decided to go ahead with.
    It’s thoughtful of you to share your experiences so that those who are planning to go for the course can have an advice to look at.
    Shared it ahead 🙂


    1. yes, I went into the course with a goal to just enjoy it, though I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did! It was definitely worth the time, money, and mental investment. I wanted to share my experience so that more people are familiar with the CELTA and who knows, it might be of some help to those thinking of taking the course. Thanks for your comment =)

      Liked by 1 person

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