August 2009

After 2 weeks of the CELTA course at IH Kraków

Sorry there hasn't been an update in awhile! We've been really, really busy taking the CELTA course at International House in Kraków.

The course is really intensive and heavily focused on practice teaching real students of English. Not unlike Fight Club, on the first day of CELTA, everyone must teach! But its only for 20 minutes (6 trainee-teachers share a 2 hour lesson). Besides the teaching practice, we also have input sessions to attend and written assignments to write.

On days that I have to teach, I arrive at the school at 8:00am to make materials for my class: handouts, posters, word blocks, overhead transparencies, etc. It frequently involves scissors and a glue stick. We have input sessions from 10:45am until 2:15pm. Then there is a lunch break until 3:15pm where everyone teaching meets with their tutor about the lesson they are about to teach. At 4:15pm the students begin to arrive. The lesson starts at 4:30pm and goes until 6:40pm. Afterwards, there is feedback with the other trainee-teachers and your tutor. That can last until 7:30 - 8:00pm.

Thats a 12-hour day at the school. If you have to teach the following the day, you will up another couple hours planning. Since we are in training, you have to produce extensive documentation about your lesson plan. Oh yeah, and there are written assignments mixed in there too! ;-)

Yesterday, I did my first 60 minute lesson. It took me about 6 hours to plan, produce all the required documentation and make my materials. Which, believe it or not, it quite a bit faster than it took me during my lessons for the first week! Of course, this is building us up for when we work real jobs where we will be teaching 3 - 5 hours per day.

Anyway, I'm done teaching for the week. Carrie has her 60 minute lesson today. And then we intend to have a relaxing weekend -- when we aren't writing the assignment due on Monday or planning our lessons for Monday (David) or Tuesday (Carrie)! ;-)

There's a couple cool videos/pictures waiting to be posted, including a review of a Bloody Mary done Polish-style, which we hope to put up soon.

See ya!