It wasn’t easy, but I finished my CELTA training. I’m now qualified to teach people how to speak good Englandian (/ɪŋ’glændɪən/). Although I’d like to go with more of a NewZilnd approach, I often find myself Europising (/’jurə,pɑɪzɪŋ/) my language, which generally involves introducing myself as /ema/ rather than /ɪma/ and pronouncing ‘r’s that don’t exist in New Zealand.
The final week was somewhat of a struggle, and for reasons I don’t really wish to divulge, I ended up handing in my last two assignments a few days late. My final lesson got trash-talked by the tutor, but other than that, I’m pretty much happy with how it went. I think if they were assessing me on everything up until day 18 (the course was 24 days), I’d have gotten a really good grade, but I think now I’ll have to settle with just a pass. It was a really useful course and I’m sure my teaching has improved and will continue to. After my final class, we had a bit of a party with the students – everyone from the upper-intermediate class was there except for Merce, and from the pre-intermediates Mari Carmen and Maria Jose also showed up! It was nice to get to talk to them on a personal level and share some jokes.
I ended up doing my final lesson on the song Moonshadow, even though my tutor didn’t think it was a good idea. I didn’t have to time to find a new one and write a decent lesson plan and design new tasks for it. I made the song work in class, and I think the students engaged with it, but my tutor didn’t like it right from the start. Don’t get me wrong, she had valid reasons for not thinking it was appropriate for the level I was teaching, but I do think she closed her mind to it a little too early on (i.e. before the class even started).
I finished the last assignment this morning – it took me all of an hour – and handed everything in this morning at 11am. Kate, Simon, Penny and I retired to the Porxada square for drinks in the sun. Steve came out to join us, and so did Penny’s sister Anastasia. It was a super hot and sunny day, but not yukky sticky hot like Korea was. It was really just lovely. Kate, Simon and I went for lunch afterwards – Menu del dia – and were thoroughly confused by the menus until we realised they were in Catalan, not Spanish! The meal wasn’t great but the company was and it was nice to spend some time with my co-trainees with no stress hanging over us.
I got home full of determination to catch up on everything I’ve avoided in the last week – cleaning, cooking, washing, blogging, emailing, exercising, writing – and promptly fell asleep in the sun. Happyface.
Final comments on CELTA: it’s definitely worthwhile, but I recommend choosing the five week option (like the one I did) if you can’t find a part-time course. I don’t know how anyone gets it done in only four weeks. And yes, it’s overpriced, but I’ve resigned myself to overpriced education. It’s an unhappy fact of life. I receive my report within a week, and my certificate in a couple of months.
In other news, I’m not going to be teaching English at summer camps in England this summer as I thought I would be. I got a much better job offer, from Pax Lodge in London. Pax Lodge is one of the four World Centers of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and I will be taking the position of Guest Services Co-ordinator. It’s a six month live-in position, and anyone who knows me will be aware that I’ve been a part of the Girl Guides movement since I was a seven-year-old Brownie in 1992, and I love it. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to work for an organisation I care about that’s doing good things in the world. It means my teaching career is on hold, but for now, this is the better option.
Speaking of good things, tomorrow (5 June) is World Environment Day. I only just discovered this so I’m not yet sure what action I will take. I’ll probably do something really simple like walk around the neighbourhood picking up rubbish. A friend I met in Korea (Cliff) started a facebook group called Month Without Plastic in response to the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico (as if we didn’t have reason to dislike BP before). It’s going to be insanely difficult, but I’m willing to face up to the challenge. I dare you to try, too. Try even living a normal day without buying any new plastic. A week, even. Do the full month. I don’t claim the idea doesn’t have flaws, but I think, at least on a personal level, it will be an interesting experiment and we will all learn a lot about how big a part of our lives plastic plays.
I intend to blog about my attempts to not buy any new plastic from the 17th of June until the 17th of July. Keep an eye out. I’ll also be providing links so you can find out more information, and trying to settle into a new job at the same time (I start in late June), so check back.
Tomorrow I’m gonna do all that cookingcleaningwashing etc stuff, then get writing some more.