Monday, 13 February 2012

The dreaded C-E-L-T-A

It really is amazing how much you can squeeze in to a week if you really try. Here I am, 1 week into my CELTA, aka a quarter of the way through, and it’s hard to believe exactly how much work I’ve done as well as how up and down I’ve felt emotionally.
Here, in a nutshell (because I have to get on with a lesson plan) are my CELTA highlights and lowlights so far:
I particularly enjoyed the first class we observed before we started our own teaching practice. I don’t think I will ever experience again someone teaching ‘dandy’ as a legitimate response to ‘how are you?’ I dread to think the trouble these unwitting Thai students could get in if they went to Coventry and tried to use it.  I mean, I understand the reason for introducing slang, but seriously?
I was absolutely terrified the night before my first lesson. I don’t think I could’ve slept for more than three hours, but then the next day I was so exhausted with being nervous, that I somehow felt a bit better. Lee likened the lead up to the teaching to how it feels before you go on stage, coupled with the elation you feel afterwards.
My first class went alright; I had to teach types of clothes, my favourite part being ‘underwear,’ which the students all assured me they never wear to a football match. Never? I know Thai’s are different to us, but that’s a bit extreme. I set an activity to decide if items of clothing should use a/an or ‘a pair of’ before them. My explanation was that we use ‘a pair of’ due to there being two trouser legs, two lenses in your glasses, etc. This led to an interesting conversation between two male students over whether it is ‘a pair of bras’….
Class number two was slightly less nerve racking, but not by much. The highlight of this class was the resident monk writing ‘pray’ as one of his hobbies on his worksheet. I’m not too sure God sees it like that, but whatever.
The lessons where we are the students have been grueling, but interesting at the same time. We all had to write on the board one reason why lesson plans are good. Lee was last and most things had already been written, leading him to add ‘because they look pretty’ to the list of answers.  I wonder if I’ll pass if I just decorate my plans with flowers and stuff around the borders.
On a lowlight note, I truly had no idea how intense this course is. I can go from happy to desperate in a matter of minutes, and I actually nearly cried in one of my planning sessions with the tutor. But at least I didn't actually cry I suppose.
Well that’s it from me: I’m far too busy and exhausted to think of anything else to say. Tune in next week to see if I’m still sane!

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