CELTA Trainer-in-Training: Day 0

Most people come to this post for a list of all the CELTA Trainer-in-Training tasks. The list of tasks is at the bottom of this post or more conveniently, you can see it here. If you’re interested in the story, read on.

I’ve just completed my CELTA trainer-in-training and found that extensive and meticulous preparation before the course went a long way in ensuring I still got decent sleep and actually enjoyed the four weeks of CELTA.

During the course, I only worked about 12-14 hours a day, everyday (there’s no such thing as weekends on the CELTA), and my trainers repeatedly said I looked very relaxed and stayed on top of all the tasks easily. Imagine how stressful life would’ve been if I hadn’t done as much preparation as I had. Future CELTA T-in-Ts, read on to find out everything you need to do to keep your head above water during the course.

I’ve wanted to train as a CELTA teacher trainer for three years now – ever since I completed the Delta in early 2012. Foolishly, in 2013, when the opportunity to train as CELTA and YL ext. trainer was presented to me, I turned it down because I had itchy nomad feet! I’d been in Vietnam for nearly five years and had an urgent need to get out and go somewhere new. And so I ended up in Saudi Arabia where my teacher training dreams were quashed for the next year or so.

Finally, the opportunity presented itself again in June this year and I applied for the position of trainer-in-training.

The Interview

…was an hour long. The interviewers questioned me about my teaching and teacher training experience, how my teaching had evolved sine having done the Delta, what my thoughts were on training and my organizational skills. When I left the interview, I thought there was no way I’d get the job because I’d been so relaxed during the interview. At one point, I’d found myself with an arm draped over the back of the chair like I was in my living room. There was one more step in the selection process before I got the results.

The Observation

The MCT-to-be arranged an observation of my class the same day as my interview. Since having done the Delta, I’ve become pretty much  oblivious to having observers in my classroom but I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous for this one. It was an Elementary 2 class and I had a good rapport with the students but I was hoping my students would use the skimming and scanning skills I’d taught them in the last lesson. The lesson went okay, although I’d overestimated learners’ ability to use the reading skills in the way I’d taught them, so timing was all over the place. The observing MCT was happy with what she saw and I got very positive feedback from her.

The preparation

A week or so later, I heard that I had been accepted as trainer-in-training. The preparation for the course began straight away. The MCT gave me the CELTA trainer-in-training handbook and asked me to get started with the various tasks as soon as possible. I was also given the CELTA 5 candidate booklet and a course handbook for the trainees.

The Trainer-in-training handbook is essentially a tome of text and I had to go through it very carefully to find out all that I was expected to do. And it was overwhelming. I was still four weeks away from the start of the CELTA but I expected it was going to take all of that time to get all the work done, so I canceled an upcoming 2-week holiday to Hong Kong. Sigh..

Anyway, once I’d been through the handbook with a fine-toothed comb, I divided the tasks into three categories: Pre-Course Tasks, During Course Tasks, and Post-CELTA Tasks, and created the following folders and sub-folders on my computer. Also, I chose to house these folders in Dropbox so that I could access them from work once the CELTA started.

Folders you need on your computer, preferably in cloud (Dropbox/Google Drive) storage:

  1. Pre-Course Tasks
  2. During Course Tasks
  3. Post-Course Tasks

As you can see, to be a trainer-in-training involves a lot of work, as much as, if not more than the amount of work done by the course tutors and trainees I think :D. I certainly found myself working nearly round-the-clock. In the coming weeks, I’ll write more about each task. You can then click on each task to find out what it involves.


  1. Thank you for posting this! I’m starting my training on Monday and found your blog very useful! Do you happen to have a digital copy of the Trainer-in-Training Handbook? My MCT didn’t give it to me, and I now feel like I’m missing on something.


  2. I’m so sorry I’ve just seen this message from you, Aleksandra! I’m glad you found the material useful. I don’t have a digital copy of the T-in-T handbook, unfortunately – all I’ve got is a hard copy. I hope the MCT came through in the end and gave you a copy!


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