Day 73ish: CELTA. WK 3

Most intense and stressful week so far. Most of us spent the week with huge bags under our eyes, necking coffee, groaning, being unable to cope with usual amounts of stress.

Didn’t fail 2 TPs. Wrote audio script for TP6 overnight during lesson planning time. Still managed a ‘to standard’. Had PANCAAAAKES! Wrote assignment 3. Didn’t fail assignment 2. Sleep deprived. Fell into hysterics FREQUENTLY. Harmer’s hand technique. Lol. Did some classroom dancing. Learnt how to draw a dragon. Co-created incredible literary gem about dragons and mermaids. Drew comic strip about the adventures of the Enigmatic Electric Eel man and his sidekick Mr. Crabs, the sworn enemies of evil Sponge Bob Square Pants. Copyright’s mine. Back off, kids.

Had nightmare that CELTA trainer was hiding under my bed and standing in my room JUDGING me. Had to get up, turn light on, check, lock door. Hilair. Slept until 9am twice this weekend. Stayed up working until 2am regularly throughout the week. Weekend jaunt to Fuckin’-Awesome C. Midweek trip to 7/11. Ate roti. Was amaze. Pool is algae-filled but no-one’s had much time to use it.

Only 1 week to go then we get shoved off the edge of the known world into whatever comes next. Bit scared. Feels weird that in a couple of weeks there’ll be other trainees here, taking our place, using our classrooms, messing up our resources room, swimming in our pool, writing on our whiteboards, learning from our trainers. Stressing. Getting hysterical. Bonding. Poor, lucky bastards – they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.

2 lessons and 1 assignment to go (plus possible revisions for assignment 3).

Wish me luck.

Dragon story pic

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Day 60ish: CELTA WK1

CELTA. WK1. D1 – Beginnings

Slept through yoga. Toothpaste had ants in it. Brushed anyway – I’m not a vegetarian so why worry. Met trainers. Learnt some Arabic. Did CELTA stuff. Knackered by 5pm. Downed 3 cups of coffee and 6 custard pastry balls due to stress of discovering I’m scheduled to teach 45 minute grammar lesson TOMOZ. As if. Had caffeine headache. Back to classroom for practice observation. Wasn’t sure what I was supposed to observe. Made notes on things anyway. Made awkward cultural faux pa at earliest opportunity by writing name on whiteboard in RED PEN. Played board game with students. Felt happy. Ate dinner. Went to room to do homework and planning, dithered until early following morning.

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CELTA. WK1. D2 – First Teaching Practice (TP)

First TP is majestic in the scope and absoluteness of its failure.

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CELTA. WK1. D3 – Humiliation

Woke up with swollen eyes and no water for the taps, shower or toilet. Considered missing breakfast due to humiliation but Wednesday is Pancake day so forced myself. It reflected all the author’s disappointed hopes and dreams: THERE WERE NO PANCAKES.

First input session today was how to teach the type of lesson I failed at teaching yesterday. Not that it would’ve helped too much through the strange glaze of panic.

TP feedback introduced with the sentence “WE ALL NEED TO THINK OF WAYS TO HELP SARAH”. Lolz. Got good advice from CELTA-mates and a grade sheet that says I managed to scrape a pass for the TP. Hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

Coffee-time cakes were banana muffins. Stole an extra one for my fridge.

TP2 tomorrow.

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CELTA. WK1. D4 – Pancakes

Pancake Day finally happens but too stressed to enjoy it. These guys are NOT keeping to the food schedule and it’s fucking with my head.

Did TP2. Better than TP1 but still infinitely dull. Have lost ability to think creatively.

Dinner consisted of meat and inedible veg soup, which is a meal in itself, but also sweet and sour meat with rice. Two-dinner dinner. Win.

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CELTA. WK1. D5 – Cabin Fever

Shit-ton of work on horizon but accidentally had fairly relaxed day. Wrote non-self-flagellating self-evaluation before 10am listening to LCD Soundsystem on max to prevent any accidental thinking. Input session on CCQs and phonetic alphabet. Ate weird mystery cake at “patisserie” time. Had second two-dinner dinner. Have put on approximately 74 stone since arriving due to enforced eating schedule. Can’t miss a meal because we’ve already paid for them. Still don’t understand why we sometimes get two dinners for our dinner. NOTHING MAKES SENSE. The water’s back on.

After TP (not mine) we went for BEERS at a pub called “Dog & Bone”, English-style, racist and sexist posters in the toilet for your reading pleasure. Leaving the complex was immense. Realised we’ve been in the same place for an entire week. Cabin fever.

Tomoz AM we’re doing a trip to Fucking Amazing C, then doing assignments and planning until our eyes fall out. Sunday will be more working, hopefully finished in time to take Sunday PM off. TP3 on Monday.

Bleedin’ eck.

Bloody love it. Hate it. Love it.

You stay classy.

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CELTA. WK1. D6 – PIZZA NIGHT

First day off. Woke up at 7am. Swam. Went for 20min jog. Hard. Hot. Worked on lesson planning for 2hrs; assessment for rest of day. THE REST OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAY. Hours and hours and hours. Lunch at computer in resources room.  Stepped away at 6pm to go to shop for coffee, fizzy drinks and beer. Came back. Kicked group work-sharing/pizza-eating session into action. Pizzas were the size of wagon wheels. Talked through our work listening to Bob Marley – it was like being back in last week with all the terrible dancing at the Reggae bar, except not.

Communal working’s the best way to do it – everyone together, nobody left behind. Work alone on this stuff for too long and you go crazy. Staring at the screen for two hours without doing any ACTUAL work.

Made surprising impassioned speech in support of the CELTA way of teaching: total immersion, no holds barred. Just like our students. Fuckin’ tough though. Learning Old Norse was a doddle in comparison.

Just past midnight. Washed pants in the sink. Tidied room. Damn tired. Brain active again and it’s a nice feeling. Or, at least, it is now. Wait until I fail my assignment – I’ll be spitting fire. Best do a bit more before I sleep. Tomorrow the fun continues. Aim: finish lesson planning in time for Sunday Walking Street market. Wild.

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CELTA. WK1. D7 – Only work exists

It’s past midnight. I can legitimately say that I survived CELTA, WK1.

Didn’t make it to Sunday Walking Street, obvs. It was a pipe dream. More hours than you’d ever believe could fit into a single weekend have been spent on assignment 1 and lesson planning and neither are finished. On the plus (or minus) side, the future perfect is now both my favourite and my least favourite of all the tenses.

Today was a hard day. Had anxiety dreams all last night: exciting dream adventures but also exhausting. Spent most of today distracted, unfocused, stressed. Did a small jog and had a float in the pool again this morning.

Back to delicious food but enforced mealtimes tomorrow. Input sessions start again. TP3 tomorrow afternoon. Assessment 1 for Tuesday. TP4 on Wednesday. Pre-work for Assessment 2 needs to be done by Thursday. Literally no idea where the extra hours will come from. Be fine. BRING IT.

EDIT: If I sound grumpy, it’s only because I’m tired. It’s hard but GOOD. The people are ace. And check out the pool:

Sunset over pool