I completed my CELTA course in February 2015 at Lexis TESOL Training Centres on the Sunshine Coast. It has been an exciting journey so far and I am amazed at what I have gotten out of it in such a short time. It has opened up possibilities for me to work and travel in ways that I had not realised were possible. Also, having the CELTA certificate carries weight and a lot of employers specify that you must have this. After my course I went to the UK first and now I have been in Italy since September teaching young children in a small private school.
I came to English language teaching from a completely different industry. I was a professional opera singer and for 25 years had a great career. Then as I got older the work became less easy to find, as it tends to do in the arts, unless you’re world famous. So I took to teaching singing, but I found that frustrating, because teaching people to sing from a beginner’s level was not something I enjoyed. So I looked around for something else to do and teaching English as a second language was an idea that kept popping up for me. I had not long got my son and youngest child through high school and he was about to fly the nest, so I thought this would be a way for me to get income and travel the world a bit. Then by chance I was actually offered a job by a friend of a friend in Italy, provided I got the CELTA certificate.
There are ups and downs to my new career but the ups far outweigh the downs. The best thing has to be interacting with so many lovely kids. They are almost all keen and excited to be in my class. Also the collaboration with the other teacher at the school has been amazing. We work as a team and help each other out a lot. Also the owner of the school, who is a very experienced teacher and author of ESL books, has been great giving me awesome ideas that I would never have thought of.
The most difficult thing has been the preparation time. As I am inexperienced I spend ages preparing lessons, so I don’t get much free time! But as I am going along it is getting easier – they did warn us about this on the course. Also there are fewer books to follow for young children, so a lot of it has to be made up. But CELTA has given me a good base to start from.
I originally chose CELTA because it is the qualification that carries the most weight in the world of ESL, and also I was told that was the certificate I should have for this job! But the practical nature of the course really helped to get my feet under me. I liked the amount of learning that I did – all crammed into four weeks! The tutors were great and eased us into everything with a lot of humour…that always helps. Also the camaraderie between all of us on the course, and the fact that we helped each other out, made the course even more enjoyable. I also liked the location of my course…being so near the beach in Maroochydore was lovely and there were a lot of nice places to go out and find lunch – Ocean Street is amazing!
For anyone thinking about a career in TESOL I would say ‘do it!’. I’d also say that it is not an easy ride. There’s a lot of work and learning to do even after you have completed your qualification. But provided you are up for it, a whole new world will open up for you.
For more information on CELTA and TESOL courses visit http://www.lexistesoltraining.com/