For some, this post might seem a cliche. However, I decided to write about the issue due to the fact that this ‘rule’ is usually overlooked.
Many people who did CELTA or Delta have told me that it was really a bad experience. That wasn’t because of the nature of the course, their tutors, the pressure, the amount of work needed to be done, nor lack of knowledge. It was simply because of their peers.
I’ve heard about a lot of people who would fight during the course, or provide each other with destructive criticism, rather than constructive one. Or, not sharing materials with other peers.
During my CELTA and Delta, it was a privilege from me to meet friendly, kind, collaborative, and caring people (shout out to my CELTA peers: Tatyana, Fatma, Idil, Alper, Tevhide, and Taylan. And for my Delta peers Duygu, Romina, Ebru, Charles, Saoirsi, Basak, Maria, John, Nastya, Gamze, and Dilek.) We collaborated a lot and comforted each other when any of us had gone through a bad TP or was feeling stressed because of what was coming. We shared materials, resources, books, activities, plans, feedback, and food. I’ll always be grateful for them because they have made the courses an even better experience.
An important reminder
What you need to know is that you’re not assessed on how many times you answer a question, nor when you dominate a feedback or an input session. You’re not going to be assessed against your peers, and there’s no ‘the teacher’s favorite student’ here. Nothing of what I’ve mentioned will affect your grade.
You will be assessed based on your performance when writing assignments and teaching lessons against a list of criteria, that’s it. So, trashing your peers’ lesson will do no good for both parties. Nor hiding materials/resources would.
Another thing to add, is that helping other teachers (in this case your peers) is a kind of professional development. Simply because you’ll help them to overcome troubles, listen to how they react to an arising issue, and the list goes on.
A Final Word
Collaborate, and enjoy the experience with your peers so when you or they talk about their course later on, you will all have a smile on your face. Doing such a course is a great opportunity to meet professional, developing teachers, and you will probably be friends for life. In the end, it is only a course that lasts for a few weeks, so why not make those weeks count?