My TEFL story started when I was 10 years old. Having transferred from my primary school to another one in a different district in my city, I went to my first ever English lesson - and it was love at first sight. That day I firmly decided on my chosen field - and have more or less stayed with that career ever since.
My university years were filled with translations, lectures on English literature, reading English poetry, and teaching privately. After graduation, I worked a few odd jobs in magazines before joining BKC IH Moscow as a local organizer. This was a life-changing event for me, since the position allowed me to attend lessons there.
The quality of teaching has never ceased to surprise me. After each lesson, I would ask the teacher dozens of questions about their methodology, why we did certain activities and not others. One day, no doubt exhausted by my inquisitiveness, she asked “Lena, have you considered getting the CELTA training yourself?”. Well, why not, thought I?
The extensive CELTA course here in Moscow was as challenging as it was enjoyable. I loved every English and methodology filled minute. It provided me with more skills and competencies than years of my university education and gave a much-needed boost to my confidence as a teacher. My fellow students on the CELTA came from different countries and spoke different languages, but English - and our love for it - united us. We helped each other every step of the way, and our tutors set an excellent example of what a great teacher should be like.
I believe that doing your CELTA in your home city has its advantages, too: not having to deal with accommodation, transportation, etc issues, you have more time for assignments and research.
Fresh from CELTA, I joined IH Moscow as a teacher, and my TEFL journey began anew. Since that day there have been countless rewarding moments that make this profession so wonderful: shy students suddenly starting to communicate brilliantly, kids telling you they don’t want to go home and would like to stay for another lesson, adults and young learners both being amazingly creative with language - and so much more. I’m grateful to all the different centres I’ve worked in, since the staff and my colleagues have helped me become the teacher I am today (not a bad one, I hope!) and made my working life as pleasurable as it can be.
My love for this profession is evidently catching, for at least three of my friends have decided to become English teachers as well. Two of them did the CELTA course and loved it as much as I did. So if there’s anyone out there considering becoming an EFL teacher, I wholeheartedly recommend getting the CELTA - and savouring every minute of the course.
Teaching is one of the best professions ever, and having a reliable, solid foundation to build your career on will enhance your experience tenfold. And once you’ve achieved it - enjoy your classes! This is what our profession is all about.