A guest piece by “TEFLelastic”
I finished my CELTA about a two months ago and it was real shock, and in no way a pleasant one. Read about TEFL in The Guardian and it’s all “working holiday” and “see the world for free”. No one tells you about having to prepare lessons, read books, learn grammar and stuff like that.
I found it really stressful to stand up in front of a class of people and teach them. Why can’t they make it easier? Why don’t they give us Advanced students we can actually chat to at the beginning of the course- that’s got to be an easier way into it? Or, we could get our students watching a video for one of the lessons to give us a break. Or maybe start our lessons with just one student and then work our way up.
Anyway, I soon found out in my first teaching job that the stuff they teach you on the CELTA doesn’t work in real life. It’s all “get your students in pairs” or “get them in groups of three”. How are you supposed to do that in real class with 13 people?? Or “get them talking”, “low TTT”, all that crap. That’s all very well for the Pre-Int students on the course, but Elementary students can’t say anything in English, can they? I explained to my Elementary classes that they were going to concentrate on understanding me first and then get onto talking later, and they all sat there nodding and smiling and so that is what we did. Of course, the DoS didn’t like it because she’d gone through the CELTA brainwashing course back in her day too.
Also, all the stuff you get marked down for in your CELTA lessons are fine in real life. If you overrun, the students are just glad to get some free minutes of class. And who needs a warmer when they’re on the edge of their seats when you tell them what you think about their country?
Also, 1000 pounds for a teaching certificate?? I’m not asking to become a bleeding doctor, am I? What is wrong with these people? Why don’t they just make it shorter and cheaper? It’s all just a scam, I reckon. In my school there were four teacher trainers, including the school owner, and you could tell they were getting paid much more than the rest of us, doing their prep on their laptops and coming to work in suits. Nice little earner, I reckon.
So, don’t bother with the CELTA. It’s no fun, and there are loads of jobs in China you can get without it.
Click on the CELTA category below for much more on this qualification.