Teaching Notes for my CELTA ESL Class

First week.

I was tired and could not get good sleep in my noisy and busy apartment. I didn’t have a good place to study either.

I felt like the days were an exhausting jumble of teaching, observing, and lessons plus lesson planning when I had no idea what I was doing.

I felt like I couldn’t organize my notes because I didn’t have a framework of what we were doing.

Why isn’t there a textbook for this? Why this jumble of papers? Why can’t they explain the overall structure before they started teaching us details? Or did they and I couldn’t see the overall structure?

Second week.

I made a rule about sleep, once I realized how the lack of sleep was draining me and saw how Candice did in her teaching after three hours of sleep. I decided to have lights out from roughly midnight to 6 am.

I was beginning to sort out the structure of the days and lesson planning. I was getting more sleep. I started to connect with the students and continued to build relationships with the colleagues and tutors. I had some moments of enjoying the teaching.

By the end of the week, I looked forward to seeing the students and being in front of them. I passed the first assignment the first time and I got the impression in my two week review that Susan thought I had potential to take a Pass B.

On the weekend, I spent another massive amount of time on the second assignment. Without the distraction of changing my living accommodation, I’m hoping that tomorrow I can put in all the time I need on TP-5 and TP-6, plus get a start on the Focus on the Learner.

I have a handle on the class. I’m sure I’ll be tired when it’s over, but I’m looking forward to planning my post-course time traveling.

Going back, at the beginning of week 3, and re-reading the information about lesson planning seems invaluable. Like the lights are going on and pieces are falling into place.

Last night I had a setback when I got a gastrointestinal bug and missed my TP-5 along with a whole day of school. I’m not sure how this will affect me for the rest of the course. Once I recovered a little bit, I was able to get working on the last two CELTA assignments, Focus on the Learner and Lessons from the Classroom.

In the end, I passed all eight TPs (Teaching Practices), and only had to rework one of the three written assignments. I felt a great connection with my students and could see how much I would enjoy teaching in the future.

I taught a lecture about Stephen Hawking, who had died while I was there, to teach about the characteristics of people. The electricity had gone out in our facility and we were greatly challenged by the heat and lack of normal teaching props like the overhead projectors.

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