5 Golden Rules for CELTA Success

CELTA success is something that everyone wants to achieve, but not everyone realises the simple rules that make sure this happens.

Below are 5 golden rules to help you achieve success and pass your course.

If you keep them in mind, you can’t go far wrong.

1. Work Hard

This sounds like a given but many people come into the CELTA course underestimating the workload required to get through.

Hard work is the only ‘secret’ to CELTA success.

If you’ve managed to get accepted on the course, you clearly have the level of knowledge you need to succeed, but the consistent hard work required to finish is just as important.

As the course is relatively short, any lapses in effort can be seriously problematic. Therefore, adopt a consistent and committed approach and you will be well on your way to your CELTA certificate.

2. Remember Your Advantage(s)

Remember that coming into the CELTA course without experience can be an advantage, just as having years of experience can also help you.

If you have no experience, you’re more likely to take on board all that your tutors tell you without existing feelings on the “right way” to teach.

In fact, some experienced teachers from different disciplines struggle to get over their “bad habits” learnt elsewhere and are penalised as a result.

Again, to think of it from the other side, having teaching experience before starting your CELTA course is also beneficial.

This is because having the confidence to get up and teach, something which many inexperienced teachers struggle with, means you will have one less thing to worry about when you start.

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CELTA success

3. Avoid Comparisons

Following on from the point above, this idea should help to keep you level-headed throughout and stay  on the path CELTA success.

Looking at others on the course and thinking things like “Oh my goodness, they’ve got years of experience!” will not help you in any way.

At the other extreme, thinking about how much more experience you have than someone else will not help you, either.

This can cause complacency to creep in, which you cannot afford on as short and intensive a course as the CELTA.

Stay focused instead on your teaching and your students and implementing feedback from your tutors.

If you’re doing this, you won’t have time for negative comparisons and worry to creep in.

4. Be Thorough

CELTA success is often founded on people working hard but with that comes a thorough approach.

There will be times when you’ll think “I can just skim over that bit” but these small oversights can actually cause major problems for your lessons.

If you overlook small things, the difficulties that this can cause in your lessons can mean a loss of confidence or being shaken up for the remainder of your teaching practice.

5. Prepare to be Wrong

Achieving success on your CELTA will involve a fair amount of getting things wrong.

This might sound disconcerting for some of you but getting things wrong (and being told directly that you’re wrong!) is part and parcel of the course.

The main thing is not to let ego take over and remind yourself that your tutor is trying to help you develop as a teaching professional.

Personally, I hate getting things wrong, and doing so in such a public way was a major issue for me on the course.

However, realising that we all get things wrong helped me to see that it was another step on the journey to succeeding on the course.

Summary: 5 golden rules for CELTA success

So, to round up the key points:

  • Work hard throughout and you will be well on your way to CELTA success.
  • Remind yourself of your own advantage, even if that means not having teaching experience, it can still be a positive.
  • Avoid comparisons with others on the course as this does not help in any way.
  • Be thorough in all your work to avoid problems during your lessons and teaching practice as this can shake your confidence and impact on your performance.
  • Expect to be wrong – it’s part of the course. Just remember that you’re there to develop and learn and it will help you in future.

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Stephen Beale

After taking the CELTA back in 2007, I have since gained over 11 years' experience of teaching English in various countries. I have also worked in EAP for several years and like sharing what I've learnt along the way here.

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