(image from: http://www.celtachina.com.cn/cambridgecerts.asp)
Monday morning and instead of being at CELT Athens for my CELTA course, I am at home, writing this blog post, realising that the course is over! So… that was it. 4 weeks have passed as if… Anyway, let me not go emotional, here!
What is this CELTA course, though? Well, one may find as many descriptions as s/he might want. I would like to share, though, two things about the course that I didn’t know and I found out while doing the course: The fact that success at the course is a personal and a group work, at the same time.
A Cambridge CELTA course is a personal issue
Obviously, there is enough written as to the structure or the official requirements for the course and I do not wish to recycle information, here. However, I would like to stress as much as possible that the CELTA course is a personal issue. Each person experiences it differently.
Imagine that for four weeks one must pause his/her life. Is this possible at all? There are times during the course that candidates are really stressed having to beat an unbeatable clock. It is during those moments that each candidate should leave his/her ego aside and help the person in need.
Also, there is no recipe as to how is the course going to be for a particular one person. For example, I was reading some suggestions like the above mentioned one (pause your life for a month, etc.). However, I did not pause mine: I was working, taking care of my house, my friends, and my partner, BUT I was sleeping 3 hours per day. Yet, this is me. This is the only way I can function and produce: I need to feel that my life keeps going.
So, what I want to say, here, is: follow your inner voice. Do the things that make you happy because these four weeks are challenging. The last thing you want to experience is an unstable personal life. Make sure that the others have understood that they must be supportive and avoid any “it’s complicated” relationships during the four weeks of the course.
A Cambridge CELTA course is, also, a group’s issue
There are two things that are very important when it comes to the Cambridge CELTA course and one’s performance: the tutors and the fellow trainees. A less than excellent relationship with one of them will result in struggle, disappointment, and complete exhaustion.
It is of vital importance for the prospective trainee to realize that s/he signs up to a 4-week course that requires military discipline. The only people who know what this means are either the tutors or other trainees. Which means that they are the only people to whom one may rest for help and support.
Also, while at the CELTA course, one is expected to spend 8-10 hours per day with the same people. The last thing that s/he might want is to make these hours miserable. Don’t add interpersonal relationships to the already packed set of issues that you will face daily.
A typical day at the Cambridge CELTA course is as follows:
Wake up, reflection, revision of theories/notes, go to school for input sessions, lunch break (which is actually revision time and/or reflection time), TPs (delivery and/or observation), reflection, submission of assignment(s), go back home, reflection, preparation of next assignment, preparation of next lesson, reflection, sleep.
NOTE #1: Reflection is a major component of the course. Do not underestimate its value.
NOTE #2: It might seem overwhelming; Well, it is! Stay fit, calm, and connected: You are not alone! There are many of us out there. If you feel so, contact your tutors, your fellow trainees, or ex-trainees.
NOTE #3: Once the final day arrives, you will want to start over, so… enjoy every second of it! You may read more detailed info on my other blog: Learning Lover!