CELTA Assignment: Lessons from the Classroom

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I decided to take the CELTA because it seemed like a fairly easy way to make some money while I traveling. However, a mere month’s exposure to teaching has given me the confidence to pursue teaching English as a serious career alternative, should I ever get sick of political antics and swindlers’ conspiracies. All through my life, people told me I would make a decent teacher. Now, I believe it. I believe it because I have braved the utterly nerve-racking schedule of assignment submissions and lesson planning and teaching without falling apart. Though I learned a lot from our wonderful trainers (full credits to Gabbi and Maureen) and my absolutely wonderful classmates, I really have miles to go before I sleep (literally).

A month is a very short time to learn something but it is admirable that all of us have had such a tremendous growth curve. Personally, I know I have become much more confident about standing in front of a classroom full of students and talking about the finer points of the English language.

Not many noticed it, but I avoided writing anything on the board the first afternoon we had Teaching Practice (TP) because my hands were shaking so vigorously. I have definitely come a long way since then. I have learned a lot from the critique and feedback by classmates and tutors, observation of peers and experienced teachers, and from self-reflection.

I discovered the very first day that it was important to establish a good rapport with the students and be comfortable talking with them. Observing Darin during his first lesson taught me a very valuable lesson – I learned it was important to engage students in conversation rather than assume the role of a traditional teacher. Though Maureen commented on June 23, the first day of TP, that I established a good rapport with the students, I really feel that I felt more comfortable from the second lesson onwards.

Observing Porter in the first week of the class was a big bonus. He was so much at  ease in class, so much at home. He made the students feel comfortable and involved his Advanced English students in the process of teaching and learning.

So what do you think?

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