Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Legend of CELTA - Quite like t'impress (Week 3)

As you may have guessed from the lack of posts, week 3 was quite a busy one on the CELTA course. It didn't help that I had a Creative Writing submission due in on Thursday.

On Monday, after the morning sessions those of us teaching on Tuesday were allowed to go home in the afternoon to prepare - we didn't have to watch the other teachers, which was a blessing. Of course, I wasted this time playing video games instead of working on my authentic materials lesson, which I mostly left for the evening.

On Tuesday, I did my lesson using a pamphlet for Edinburgh ghost tours - students had to read, answer questions on and respond to the material. The lesson went well and was followed by a tutorial with Boswell, which was about my progress in the course overall. We discussed my strengths and areas I needed to improve on.

On Wednesday we watched the other teachers in our group do their authentic materials lesson. We were also given teaching points for the following day, which was to be at the new level - Pre-Intermediate this time. This was the first instance where we'd be teaching a level without having observed the tutors doing it first. My first lesson was quite a simple integrated skills lesson - reading and listening, but I didn't have time to plan it the night before because of my Creative Writing assignment.

The Pre-Intermediate tutor had been Valmar when we started the course - the sarcastic and somewhat severe-seeming lady who I had my interview with. She'd gone on holiday from the second week, though, so another lady, who I'll call Mumsy, had taken over. I call her Mumsy because she has a very friendly, nurturing way about her, though this exterior does hide a bit of an edge. My lesson went fine, but my lack of planning showed a little bit. I was criticised for not doing a very good vocabulary analysis sheet - perfectly true, but something I just couldn't be bothered with on top of everything else we had to do. It was just frustrating because if it had been another tutor they would have known I could do the sheet but I just hadn't put a lot of effort into it that time because there was so little vocabulary in it and it was all easy to explain.

Thursday night was dedicated to Assignment 3, where we had to talk about our authentic materials lesson and change our plan to say how we would improve it, referencing a teaching resource. The whole idea seemed somewhat suspect to me - it assumed we didn't make the best plan possible the first time around. Which of course may well be true, but it wasn't putting a lot of confidence in us to be giving us an assignment saying, 'We know you're going to screw up, so here's how you're going to write about it'. I was torn for a while on what to write, and ended up erasing large chunks of edits when I realised my new plan was worse than the old one. In the end I think I did a good job, but I'll have to wait to get it back and find out if I have to resubmit. I haven't had to so far, so fingers crossed.

On Friday we had our teaching points for next week - all of them. This time we were expected to pretty much plan the lesson and materials ourselves using parts of the textbook as we saw fit. Our last lesson (Wednesday in my case) is a whole hour long, so we're firmly in the deep end on this one.

I haven't said much about the morning sessions for this week because they all tend to blend into each other. We had one on teaching a lesson devoted to vocabulary, one on future tenses and one on teaching beginners and advanced students. There must have been others but I can't remember them.

After lessons on Friday most of us went to the pub again, and we played some drinking games with the students, which was nice. I didn't get home until after 10. I'm going to miss this when it's done.

1 comment:

Anji said...

The one good thing you can say (I think so reading this) is that your students are co-operative. Good luck for next week.