3 month appraisal

It has been three months since I completed the CELTA and on Saturday, by my calculations, I will not be able to claim non-resident status as I would be in the UK for 46+ days in 2016.

This venture has cost £2400 so far without any sign of making an income. I have applied for jobs and voluntary positions abroad to be told, if I am told, I am qualified except black.

And voluntary positions here in the UK assume that a volunteer is giving up all their time and all their money for a reference after 3 months that likely won’t come. I am a bit disillusioned as I really expected to be in a different place right now.


That which gets in the way is the way.

‘That which gets in the way is the way.’

The Journey into Yourself, Eckhart Tolle quoting anonymous.

Where I am teaching voluntarily the staff are not being helpful. I am not sure why but I cannot get board pens or answers to my questions about the lessons these days.

Lesson Planning

I had my first scheduled lesson Monday this week however I had expected the students would be different to the students I taught the previous Tuesday – and they weren’t. However it worked out okay as they wanted and needed to review the present simple versus the present progressive.

I had a lesson plan ready but omitted the language analysis part as I had ran out of time. I think the best thing for the next lesson is to do that first after preparing the lesson materials.

Planning for Elementary Spanish speakers of English is more involved than I had expected. They struggled with articles (a(n) and the) which I was very surprised about and for a time I thought they were just pulling my leg. But after reading their section in Swan and Smith’s Learner English I can see why they are having so much difficult with things as even pronouncing /v/.

I am actively looking to incorporate collocation (Michael Lewis) as I don’t believe their is a trade off between fluency and accuracy. I am also approaching these twelve weeks in segments: first a grammar focus to instil in the students set collocation spoken phrases and build on that so that they can then read, write and listen with accuracy and understanding.

10,000 hours

Just had my first lesson in Dan Millman’s principle of breaking a daunting task into manageable bits. It was cover for another teacher’s first elementary level lesson for mainly Spanish speakers.

The lesson went well although I underestimated the students’ abilities. lt was a first to see the students make the same mistakes as in the past as I had only taught mixed nationality classes.

As it was my first lesson for a month I made the same mistake I made in my CELTA and got caught out with the staccato tempo of a student, causing a mistake in correction on my part.

My CELTA tutor said that the CELTA is like passing a driving test, “You have demonstrated you are not a danger to yourself or your students in the classroom”. Like anything worth doing in life, it’s going to take 10,000 hours.


I have given up on teaching abroad right now and have decided the best path to take is to volunteer here in the UK and use that as a platform to get work in Europe rather than jump straight into the deep end in Asia. It’s Dan Millman’s break up a large task into smaller manageable units advice being implemented here. Let’s see if that works better. Madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.