CELTA: Week 1

This is your brain on CELTA

This is your brain on CELTA

We threw a duck around in a circle on the first day, calling out the name of the person on the other end. It was a memory exercise ice breaker. After that it’s information overload and none of us remember too much. We learned how to say Hello, my name is Whatever, what is your name, nice to meet you in Ukrainian, we watched our tutor teach a class, and there was some other stuff I think…

The first day lasted forever, and by the end of the second day we felt like we had been there for ages. Most of us had forgotten who most of the rest of us were, what had happened since we arrived Monday morning, and what we were even doing there. Half of us taught our first lesson on Tuesday, and they kept saying they were horrible and it was so bad, and we kept telling them, No, no, you were fine, what are you talking about? And then you get up there in front of the students and it’s like watching a slow-motion plane crash in slow-motion. And then you look back a few years — I mean hours — later and it wasn’t really that bad.

And then the days roll by like centuries and more morning lectures drift by like icebergs and more teaching practices come and go like clouds, and, if you’re me, it’s your turn to teach last on Friday, and it goes pretty well.

You show your students a video of a polyglot walking back and forth on a bridge in a park enunciating Chinese, then hand them an exercise you stole from your tutor, telling the students they have crash-landed on an island and they only have a few minutes to grab whatever English study materials they can from the plane before it explodes, but the catch is, they have to agree on what to take as a class, but by the time the class is over, they can’t agree, and the plane explodes and you say, Have a good weekend!

And after some Friday night Mexican food that tastes like Thai, it’s the next morning and it’s up at 6 to start your writing assignment and find another grammar book and start reading all that, then you also have your lesson plan to do, your self-evaluation, and another writing assignment due this coming Friday, and it’s not even Monday yet.