The course has come to an end and these are my final comments and impressions of running a full-time Celta course in São Paulo – Brazil.
As with the previous posts, my ideas will appear as bullet points because they can basically be read in any order.
- During this course we had three Teaching Practice groups with candidates rotating every week and a half or so. I found out at the end of the course (and this may be kind of obvious) that the candidates would discuss the tutors and their approach to giving feedback. One candidate told me she thought I was the ‘mean’ tutor because of my approach to feedback. Other candidates disagreed, and I don’t think I do it any differently than the people I learned from. I think I’ve said this elsewhere, but it’s important that candidates know whether their lesson were successful or not during feedback.
- Celta is a course designed for people who have no prior teaching experience. This course was an example as some of the candidates who got the best results had never taught before. However, I’ve come to realise that academic maturity really helps. For the third and fourth assignments candidates need to use reference materials and quote them in their text. If their style of writing is too informal or if they have no experience using quotations, candidates can struggle here.
- One of my goals for this year is teaching a wider range of input sessions during the Celta. I started that by asking to do the career development session at the end of the course, which was originally scheduled for another tutor. One of the things I wanted to address is the fear candidates have that if they want to teach abroad they can only go to Asia and not to Europe, as students there expect to be taught by native speakers. I’ve met plenty of Brazilians (my wife included) who have taught English as a second language in England. There may be visa issues but, in my experience, a qualified teacher can find a job anywhere.
- I worked with the elementary TP group during the whole course and it was really interesting seeing teachers having to adapt to it. Also, at the end of the course, I think these are the students who are the most grateful for having free English lessons. On the last day there was a cake made by one of the students and another one bought us chocolates. Students seemed genuinely happy. It was a great way to end the course.
- When I finished my own Celta course, I suffered something I like to call ‘the post-Celta blues’. I went back to work and missed the camaraderie from the Celta and receiving feedback after my lessons. Likewise, I’m feeling a little down today as for the first time in a month I won’t be observing lessons and giving people feedback. It may very well be that this feeling is going to change in the future, but I hope it doesn’t. Missing work is a sign that I love what I do.
Thanks for reading