Five weeks ’til CELTA

Welcome to…me! (It’s always awkward, starting up a new blog when you know there’s nobody out there to read it yet). So, let’s see…I’m publishing this thing five weeks out from starting as a CELTA trainer-in-training here in Boston. I want to keep this blog as a record of my thoughts, experiences, and (I hope!) development as a new CELTA course teacher trainer – a process I’m sure will be an extremely challenging and complex one as it unfolds. I really hope that keeping this blog/diary will help me through it all…and maybe even provide some kind of light along the way for a fellow traveler.

As a reflective EFL and ESOL teacher since 2004 I’ve written a few (now defunct) blogs and posted regularly on various teaching forums. I’ve enjoyed reading the proliferate ELT blogs out there on the internets and of course – perhaps most importantly – I’ve always sought out and valued ‘teacher talk’ in various staffrooms. That’s ultimately what led me to get into teacher training – I’m as fascinated by the way teachers think and act and learn as I am by how students do. This blog is a continuation of the same interest and engagement brought into this new phase of my career.

I’m extremely excited about getting started on my new job five weeks from now…I guess we’ll see how it goes!

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3 Responses to Five weeks ’til CELTA

  1. springcait says:

    Hi! I’m really excited to follow your blog. I’m currently doing 3rd week of CELTA and I’m over the moon. I’ll be happy to share my thoughts and ideas in respond to your posts. It will be great to know the CELTA from the other side and maybe it’s in store for me)
    I wish you enjoy the course with active and intelligent trainees!

  2. Matthew says:

    Hi Cait,

    Thanks for reading and saying hello. I’m now following your blog with interest. I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying your CELTA experience thus far and good luck in week 4!

    I’d say one of the common ideas in my thought process is the “synchronicity” (I guess you could call it) of teacher and learner – both in the language teaching/learning context and the trainer/trainee environment. We’re so much more alike than different, and have so much to share and connect through. To throw in a shaky metaphor, could we say the trainer/teacher is less ‘referee’ of the game being played than an informed teammate of the trainee/student. In basketball terms (yup, I’m a yank) maybe the teacher/trainer is the ‘point guard’, setting up plays, etc.? Not the coach per se, and not the GM.

    I think this has been one of the strongest points in my own teaching practice: I really make a point of situating myself on the very same level as my learners as a person and connect to them as equals. Yeah, my role is to facilitate and lead the class but that’s an expression of what I DO, not ultimately who I AM. Sometimes to a fault, perhaps.

    I wonder if I’ll feel differently after my training up and gaining experience as a CELTA tutor, but where I’m starting in terms of the ‘flavor’ of my perspective & identity is as ‘one of the guys’ – a TEACHER first and foremost- who’s maybe got some coaching assistant duties to do. I would like to be thought of as a trainer who ‘gets’ his trainees intuitively because I’ve been there, done that and – this is key – hasn’t forgotten just how it feels.

    I think I mentioned this above but one of the key things that has led me towards TT has been convos and dialogues with teacher-peers over the years in which we relate classroom experiences both analytically and emotionally (sometimes VERY emotionally) – and find our worlds and experiences profoundly overlapping and even, kind of, intertwining.

    The teacher’s experience! It’s just kind of endlessly fascinating to me.

  3. Pingback: An interview about teacher training with John Hughes – Muddles into Maxims

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