I completed my CELTA in Strasbourg, France, and am currently spending a year abroad in Munich, Germany, working as an ESL teacher at Wall Street English.
CELTA prepared me for my ESL teaching career and I would not be able to teach without it. After networking with many experienced teachers and employers, I have understood that it is absolutely impossible to obtain a teaching job at a reputable organization without CELTA.
The reason for this is simple: CELTA gives trainees a comprehensive understanding of teaching methodologies, classroom management skills, an orientation of what to expect from language schools and other professional/employment advice. Furthermore, it gives trainees very practical work experience; you will be thrown into a classroom on the second day of your course! By the end of it, you will know exactly how to lead a class for 60 minutes or more, and take your students wherever they need to be on their learning curve.
I believe that well-educated teachers have the potential to continuously develop and learn from their ESL teaching environment and genuinely do a great job.
I don’t think students expect CELTA trainees to be perfect, but as long as they recognise that you are imparting valuable knowledge that is orientated towards achieving realistic goals, your CELTA teaching experience will be very enjoyable.
The most important advice I received from my trainers is that every student, class and classroom is different and it is very important to anticipate and prepare for this challenge. However, the diversity within the classroom and varied interaction among students is what keeps the job interesting for me and motivates me to go to work everyday. CELTA was really hard work. Sometimes my days begun at 7 and ended at midnight (study-school-teach-study) but it was worth it.
If I can give any advice, do your research before you enroll in a course and understand that the teaching market is very competitive, so after you complete CELTA, be prepared to work even harder to find a job. Employers will ask you to submit lesson plans, test you on elicitation techniques and give teaching demonstrations, all of which you’ll know how to do after completing CELTA!