I’ve been very busy but I’m finally back with some Celta thoughts summing up weeks two and three. If you missed part one, you can find it here.
This is going to follow the same model of my initial post, where my ideas will appear as bullet points because they can basically be read in any order.
- In the first week of the course I felt like being the only Brazilian tutor might put me at a disadvantage. Maybe that was the so-called inferiority complex that Brazilians suffer from. However, I now think it might be beneficial, as I have the impression some teachers find me more approachable than my European colleagues.
- This is similar to something I mentioned in my first post, but there’s something special about seeing teachers reach their potential. On the flip side, it makes me sad when teachers don’t live up to expectations I have for them. Although the evaluation and marking has to be unbiased, I often find myself cheering for people to do well, which only makes it worse when they don’t.
- Konstantinos, my guest blogger this week, got an A at his Celta, and so did I way back when. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that getting an A is much harder than I imagined. Candidates need to be very independent from the beginning and keep their performance at a high level throughout the course. It seems to me at this stage that candidates are more likely to have ups and downs.
- During feedback today, I praised one of the teachers for her work on pronunciation, to which she replied: I just did what you told me to do. It may be surprising, but there are times when you tell or suggest teachers do things a certain way and then they do something very different. On the other hand, when a candidate uses one of your suggestions, runs with it and does something better than you’d have done yourself, the resulting feeling is just pure joy.
- Learning styles have recently come in for some criticism, but they are still part of the Celta course and one of the main areas in which teachers struggle in assignment two (this is a written assignment where they have to analyze learners, their mistakes and propose activities to help students deal with said mistakes). Doing well in this assignment usually involves identifying the students’ learning styles and linking that to the rationale for choosing certain activities.
- I was a little apprehensive for tutorial two, where teachers and tutors sit down one-to-one for a sort of performance review. As a tutor your job is to help candidates realise what they do well (they are often too hard on themselves), but also make it clear that there’s still room for improvement in other areas. In some cases it’s also important to make it clear that there are things they were supposed to be doing at this stage of the course but aren’t. Some of these things can be hard to take, but my candidates were really open to feedback, which is something I’m sure will serve them well in their careers.
- I had read elsewhere that week three is usually the most tiring in the intensive Celta course, and I think I agree with that. I woke up today feeling tired even though I’m sure I get more sleep every night than most of the candidates (if the time stamp on their emails with lesson plans are any indication). I believe the reason for this is twofold. Firstly, during the third week some candidates have to resubmit assignment two, teach lessons and start preparing assignment three. In addition to that, as one of the candidates told me today, lesson plans keep getting longer as procedures get more detailed and language analysis more thorough.
I should be back next week to wrap up this series and have my final Celta impressions.
Thanks for reading.