Once known as “the Paris of the North”, Warsaw has much to offer to visitors and is perfect for CELTA students who want a mix of tradition and modernity in their CELTA down time.
For those who are thinking about taking the CELTA in Warsaw, we have the inside scoop on the teacher training centre, the facilities and tutors…
About the CELTA Centre in Warsaw
With a centre that is currently the only authorised Cambridge Platinum exam centre in Poland, you can depend on a centre that offers teaching excellence and great support and facilities.
The Head of CELTA and Main Course Tutor, Milada Krajewska runs the courses with an amazing CELTA Tutors Team: Grzegorz Południak, Beata Palińska and Karolina Bekker, with priceless contributions from the centre’s founder Aeddan Shaw and associate CELTA Tutors, Amanda Davies and Adrian Post.
From the very early days, the centre’s vision for the CELTA course was to ensure an unforgettable team experience.
The team experience starts with a team of trainers who draw inspiration from working together. The centre is lucky to have a local team of tutors, all trained at the Warsaw centre by Aeddan Shaw.
The staff at the centre also travel and run CELTA courses outside of Poland, which can be challenging. Teaching is all about learning. As a result, there is a lot of idea bouncing and brainstorming in the tutors room and every single course is a bit different and better.
Most importantly, the staff has genuine fun working together, which translates into a great atmosphere that the trainees benefit from.
“A Team Adventure”
Milada, the Main CELTA Tutor at the Warsaw Centre, describes the CELTA experience as a “team adventure.”
“It all starts with the tutors but our ultimate goal is to create a team adventure for our trainees,” Milada told us. “CELTA is an emotionally and physically demanding course, and so is teaching as a career. And both the CELTA course and teaching are much more rewarding if you learn to share the experience with your course mates.”
That’s why we put as much work into designing the syllabus of the course as we do into creating an adventure-like team experience for the trainees. The course is so much easier (and way more memorable) if spiced up with little surprises, invigorating twists and turns, and frequent touches of humour.”
That said, we take CELTA seriously and we are quite demanding but this serious approach always comes with a friendly smile. Our secret sauce.”
The Warsaw CELTA centre has a diverse group of trainees, so the tutors decided to tap into that diversity to make a more engaging learning experience.
Each group of trainees is a kaleidoscope of different ages, cultures, experiences and personal talents. There are groups where a teacher with over a decade of classroom experience will work hand in hand with a homeschooling mum, a digital nomad, an aircarft engineer, a novice YL teacher and a recent American Studies graduate. The class structure ensures that the students complement (and need!) each other when the tutor divides them into TP teams. And then, it is a fascinating process to watch them gel and tap into each other’s potential.
Every single group feedback session, and the final one in particular, reveal how much they can learn from each other. The centre’s role is just to orchestrate the experience.
In the final feedback session, everyone is asked to draw (yes!) the visual representation of their course mates’ progress between the first and the last lesson. Each time, they are astonished by the multitude and depth of metaphors and insights. The more diverse a group, the more fruitful their training experience is.
Actually, it is a shame that language schools – obviously, for technical reasons – cannot offer group observations and group feedback to their teachers. The amount of learning that is born out of team observation and feedback is a humbling and inspiring experience for any tutor.
Is CELTA a good option for experienced teachers?
Yes, as long as the CELTA tutors have experience working with seasoned teachers.
At the Warsaw centre, the tutors have experience working with pre-service teachers, novice teachers and seasoned educators. And that’s a definite advantage.
How long is the CELTA interview?
CELTA interviews can take approximately 90 minutes. This time is needed to get to know the candidate and diagnose where they are at when the course begins and where they hope to get in 20 days. The candidates with minimal experience tend to depend on the tutors’ recommendations and guidance, which they are happy to provide. The candidates with substantial experience, on the other hand, have their own expectations, habits to unlearn, and habits to relearn.
Their job is to notice where their expectations meet the reality of their classroom performance and communicate that in a way that empowers them to fly higher, often in a style slightly different from the one they got used to over the years.
The concept of reverse mentoring, where a more experienced person learns from a total novice and vice versa, relevant to the trainees’ CELTA experience. Perhaps every Director of Studies could do a CELTA course at some point in their career: getting feedback simultaneously from their tutors (whose experience can be comparable to their own) and from their course mates with little or no experience in ELT may be a real eye opener.
Four of the centre’s tutors did their CELTA with an MA degree and 10+ years of teaching under their belts: When working with experienced teachers, they talk the talk and walk the walk.
Experience meets innovation
That’s the Warsaw centre’s motto. They always put out feelers to notice the new trends or tendencies.
One of the greatest challenges for CELTA trainees is time. Even if they are good at managing their time, there is never enough of it during the course. And sleep-deprived teachers can’t make the most of their teaching in the classroom.
So right now, the staff at the CELTA centre are in the process of redesigning the course timetable to devote more time to assisted lesson planning during the day, and minimize late night lesson planning. They want their input sessions to be even more hands-on and even more personalised. Less but better input.
And, most importantly, the tutors listen to feedback from the trainees. They have modified their teaching points, the sequence of assignments and the entire course schedule inspired by the feedback from their trainees. Well, feedback only works if it’s a two-way road.
The Warsaw Location
The atmosphere matters. And the premise helps to create the atmosphere. It is situated in the very heart of Warsaw, a short walk from the city’s landmark the Palace of Culture and Science and right across the street from a lush park, Mokotow Field. So yes, it is conveniently located. But there is more to this location. With us, you can do your CELTA course in the building which tells a compelling story of Warsaw’s wartime past and served as a location in the Oscar winning film, The Pianist.
Apply for a CELTA in Warsaw
If you are thinking about taking the CELTA at the innovative centre in Warsaw, all you need to do is complete an online application form and – bam – you have started your CELTA journey.
For anything further information, get in contact with a member of the StudyCELTA team.