James Egerton is a CELTA tutor at IH Rome Accademia Britannica and its satellite centres in Italy
How long were you an EFL teacher, and how long have you been a teacher trainer?
I'm still teaching alongside teacher training; this will be my ninth academic year in the classroom. I've been doing in-house teacher training since 2015 and qualified as a CELTA Tutor in March 2019.
Did you have a different career before EFL?
Only part-time university jobs – nothing that would constitute a career!
What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?
I hope my trainees leave the course with the confidence to be independent teaching professionals, and with the motivation and curiosity to continue developing their skills.
When you were an EFL teacher what did you like most, and how do you bring that into the classroom for your trainees?
What I (still) like the most about teaching is the amount that I learn from my students thanks to their life experiences and expertise, so I try to treat teaching as a two-way interaction. During a CELTA course, this translates into encouraging genuine interaction between trainee and students. It can be necessary to remind trainees not to leave their humanness at the classroom door, despite any nerves or stress they may be experiencing.
What advice would you give your trainees for successfully completing the course?
Be pragmatic about how much information you can absorb during the course i.e. you don't need to memorise everything from input sessions; help each other out; don't beat yourself up if something doesn't go perfectly – learn the lessons for next time and respect the learning process.
What advice would you give your trainees for an interesting and rewarding career?
Keep looking for ways to improve your knowledge and practices beyond the course. The end of CELTA is just the start line!