Hi, my name is Shalini Jain and I am currently a Teacher of English at the British Council.
Having spent 12 years in the UK, most of them working in a typical 9-5 setting, I felt a change was long overdue. I imagined doing something more creative and rewarding in my professional life. After exploring a lot of options, I finalised on teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). I have always been a linguaphile and I felt that being an English Language Teacher would enable me to experience life in more than one language.
When I went through the work prospects, it was apparent that if you are serious about EFL, then a formal qualification is a minimum requirement. On exploring all the available courses, I surmised that there couldn’t be a more reputable course in this field than CELTA.
I decided to pursue this course through the British Council because it is a highly regarded organisation and I could connect with the values that the Council stands for.
The CELTA experience is all about ‘Focus’. There was no luxury to be a procrastinator or a perfectionist! The four-week period was one of the most challenging and yet rewarding times for me. There wasn’t a lot of ‘learning’ involved, as much as ‘unlearning’- of notions, perceptions, and skills to deal with people.
CELTA is all about ‘learning by doing’. We were teaching students from Day Two. It seemed daunting at first, but by the end of week one, we had started to learn the ropes of English Language Teaching (ELT).
Our tutors – Steven, Vandana, and Robin were our lighthouses! They demonstrated excellent models of teaching. During our feedback sessions, they offered personalised constructive input which enabled us to improve our teaching skills significantly.
There was a lot to be learnt from fellow CELTA trainees too. The class environment was rich because of people from different personal and professional backgrounds. It was not a competitive course at all, and everyone was supportive of each other. We bonded over colours, scissors and glue sticks like 5-year-olds!
On most days you feel like an android- sleepless nights, long days, living on caffeine shots and sugar rush! Even so, I would recommend this course as the best way to get a solid footing in the fascinating world of ELT.
CELTA has enabled me to reskill myself as a teacher and create a more rewarding career path. It has helped me regain a sense of purpose and achievement both professionally and personally.
When I interact with students of various nationalities, I gain an insight into different parts of the world. Through discussions with my colleagues, I unleash the power of collaborative working. By observing senior teachers and connecting with teachers across the globe, I draw inspiration to enhance my teaching skills.
It is ultimately a dream job and I want to teach in as many countries as I can.