Phil Wade has been kind enough to write a guest blog post and took part in the #youngerteacherself challenge. So, Phil, over to you!
What would I tell my younger me?
Before the CELTA
- Do the CELTA asap. Find the money, beg for the money or work more to get the money.
- Do a CELTA near your house so you can save travelling time.
- Stop your life for the 4 weeks and work, work, work.
- Aim for and get an A. You can do it but you don’t think you can.
- Don’t just focus on being good. find out what will get you an A and adapt.
During the CELTA
- Trust yourself and follow your instincts.
- Enjoy the teaching and the students will too.
- Don’t be a complete slave to your plans.
- Keep applying for jobs.
After the CELTA
- Prepare for a range of English classes.
- Don’t just redo CELTA stuff.
- Don’t follow every page of the book.
- Try to make grammar lessons more about explaining and practice. forget the fun and interactive stuff.
- Get into Business English asap.
- Do the DELTA after 2 years.
- Sign up for the MA TESOL after that and you can skip term 1.
- Apply to be an examiner and try different exams.
- Ask about teacher training and examiner training.
- Make and trademark something called an ‘app’ on smartphones and ‘elearning’.
- Produce and sell loads of apps and elearning courses for English then retire at 25.
- Look into and start a PhD before tuition fees get too high.
- Aim for a head of department job in an EAP section of a university.
- Balance teaching with research and writing.
Phil teaches English at university and in companies, writes elearning and creates ELT Social Media content. He is the author of the Business English Teacher Development ebook series (10 ebooks).
Thanks for writing Phil
Feel tired just reading your lists of achievements, as ever, Phil. I imagine you came back out of retirement voluntarily?
Interesting ideas – guess I missed the retirement at 25 but since I hadn’t started teaching ELT then it would have meant missing out on the wonderful experiences I have had. 🙂
Sadly, I didn’t get to retire at 25. Good job probably.
I started doing EAL support at 21 which set the ball rolling.
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This was very interesting to read as someone who has come from academic publishing and is about to undertake a CELTA, in order to try out the wonderful world of ELT to perhaps then move sideways into ELT publishing… Could I ask for any top tips for getting a Pass A on the CELTA? 🙂 I am not at all expecting such a prestigious pass mark, with my minimal (approx. 1 year!) ELT experience thus far, but I’d be very keen to at least try and aim for it 🙂
Thanks for the post, Phil and Joanna!
Sorry, I didn’t get an A. I think I got a C. Why? 1) I focussed on learning and developing and not the assignments. 2) I travelled about 4 hours a day to go to a good school. 3) Only 1 person got an A and she had literally no life. If you want an A, I suggest you try IH as they are famed for great grades.
About getting an A on CELTA:
1. You are unlikely to have any life while doing it. You need to examine the criteria at the back of your CELTA 5 very carefully, then do all the stuff it says, in depth. The research you’ve done already will give you a great head-start Rachel, as you’re already aware of a lot of terminology.
2. It’s nothing to do with focussing on assignments or teaching. You have to be consistent across the board, showing that you are basically able to act independently,
3. I’ve done 6 courses so far, and am yet to see an A. About 5% of candidates worldwide get one. This is based on objective criteria, and is nothing to do with the school you study at. This is the point of the assessor’s visit: to ensure standardisation. Otherwise, the CELTA would have little/even less value because it would be based on where you did it – the whole point is that that shouldn’t make a difference because it’s criteria-based.
4. There’s no point striving for it. It’s not worth it, and in the great scheme of things, all people care about is that you have the certificate.
Hope that helps,
The school I did it at gave jobs to anyone with an A. It seemed automatic as only a few did. We did OK as our tutors were good but not as good as IH it seems. When I got my first job, we had some amazing IH Celta grads who had either been amazing before, been taught to be amazing or had just picked it up quickly. The school DOS saw IH as the top of the top and looked for grads from there but rarely found them as they were in demand. I think it is the Cambridge/Oxford of TEFL. I did some of the DELTA there and got all the info and help I needed to get a good mark. I also didn’t fail which most of my colleagues did who went to a competitor.
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