The following is a journal of one of our CELTA trainers as he goes through each day of the CELTA course. Here is what goes on behind the scenes in the very challenging CELTA program. Specific references to a particular group or time frame are not the most recent CELTA course. Click here for the previous article: Behind the Scenes of CELTA: Day 15 to Day 17
DAY 19: The CELTA Assessor
Yesterday we had the Assessor’s visit, always a slightly stressful day for the Course Tutor and a great relief when it’s all over. It is his job to make sure we are fulfilling all of Cambridge’s requirements, dotting all our t’s and crossing the i’s. Cambridge’s main concern is litigation and so we have to be able to prove we have done everything by the book. The Assessor makes sure we have and can make Suggestions or Recommendations to us if he feels we are not. Too many Recommendations and we’ll have Cambridge on our backs.
Fortunately, it all went off well and the Assessor could find no cause for complaint. We passed our Quality Control Inspection.
One of the things the Assessor has to do is watch Teaching Practice. This always puts a bit of extra pressure on to whoever is teaching, no matter how much we tell them that the Assessor is only interested in what the Tutor has to say and not in the lesson itself. It was the last lessons of the trainees today and I think they were beyond caring. They both taught lessons that were representative of their performance during the Course.
Today was the last day of assessed teaching; the last four trainees had to teach their final hour lessons and this evening it is all over, except for some administration to be done tomorrow.
DAY 20: End of Term
The feeling is palpable. All the hard work and late nights, the stress is behind us. Today is about addressing envelopes for results and reports and signing off the Portfolios and the infamous CELTA 5, which contains a record of each person’s performance. (This is kept in the school for six months in case Cambridge request to see it.)
It’s a strange moment. Suddenly we are faced with saying goodbye. Looking back the beginning of the Course seems months away instead of just four weeks, and yet it seems only yesterday that we were walking into the classroom on the first day. There always seems to be some sort of time warp on these Courses.
It’s weird as well how you work so closely with people for the four weeks, both as a tutor but also the trainees have come together and bonded; seen each other feeling stressed, supported and helped, maybe even offered a shoulder to cry on in the dark days of Week Three. You feel like you have known these people all your life and yet you might say goodbye today and never see anybody again.
Chances are some people will bump into each other again. I’ve been accosted by people I’ve trained in the most unlikely places: a mountain in New Zealand, a bus in Quito, and a street corner in Arequipa in southern Peru. Some I’ve ended up working alongside. Last year I watched one ex-trainee sail through her DELTA.
Next week a new batch of trainees arrives, but after two Courses on the trot I’m back teaching students on Monday and some of our other trainers will run the March Course.
About the Author
Rick Ansell is the Senior Teacher Trainer at Saxoncourt Teacher Training. He has been teaching English since 1985 and has been training people to teach English since 1994. He loves seeing people realise there is a better way of helping people learn than the ways they were subjected to at school. He also loves watching people come to discover their own language as they realise how and why they use it the way they do. When I’m not teaching, he enjoys mountaineering and is an active fell runner, competing regularly on the British hills.