Tips on preventing burnout during your CELTA course

How to avoid burnout during the CELTA course?

How to avoid burnout during the CELTA course?

11.01.2024

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  • Cambridge English
  • Teaching qualifications
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

Teachers, you might have heard a lot about the CELTA course. It’s said to be very intensive. But what mindset should you have to cope with all the tasks and complete the course successfully?

We have asked our trainers and CELTA survivors what could hinder and at the same time help you go through training without unnecessary hassles.

10 cool tips from CELTA tutors!

In the right place at the right time

We have already talked about where it is best to take the CELTA course and whether there is a perfect prep center

So in addition to the place of study, it is very important WHEN you will be obtaining the desired qualification. You need to be as focused as possible on CELTA.

Therefore, if you are sick or recovering, divorced, or expecting a new family member, it is better to postpone the training.

Don’t underestimate the level of commitment

It is rather common for professionals to underestimate CELTA and the amount of work they  need to put in to accomplish it.

Therefore, they don’t make their workload less because they think that implementing a single course in  their daily routine won’t hurt as much. Of course, eventually, they regret their choice but nothing can be done.

That is why you should  prepare for CELTA by adjusting your schedule and rationally evaluating your time and effort.

If you don’t do that, you are likely to burn out within the first weeks.

Make your first steps in ELT!

Learn everything about CELTA

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

CELTA is a basic qualification for English teachers. So no one will demand the most creativity from you. Don’t waste your time finding or inventing new activities or creating new materials.

Your task is to plan simple but effective lessons using or adapting the materials provided to you by the trainers.

I remember spending a few hours planning my second TP to come up with a lead-in that lasted 5-7 minutes. It was a huge mistake because I didn’t have enough energy and time to plan the main part of the lesson, and I didn’t sleep until the morning.

Consequently, the whole next day was tough because I had no energy for communication with students and perception of theoretical inputs.

Why is it so important to plan a lesson?

Use other people’s experience and tips

When we are facing some challenging situations, we tend to feel as if we are the first people on Earth who have to deal with challenges like these. However, it is likely to be a false impression.

Therefore, if you feel like you have some knowledge gaps, or you don’t know how to organize your work properly, or whatever the case might be, don’t hesitate to refer to some of the best books on CELTA or teaching generally.

In some of our previous articles, we have already recommended the most useful options.

Your health comes first

Sleep and physical activity are the key to good health.

You need to be in good shape and a good mood while studying, so getting sick is not recommended :)

Make sure you get enough sleep and eat healthily.

However, this does not mean that you have to spend all your free time at the stove. Ask your family members to cook for you during the course, or consider delivery

The same goes for your physical shape.

During CELTA, you should not give up training in the gym or jogging. 

Do this regularly, but reduce the time you spend on it or the amount of training.

On the weekends, take a lot of walks in the fresh air, or go for a walk before bed during the week.

When I was doing my full-time CELTA, my peers and I tried to get out of the prep center for lunch to get our minds off of studying. Then, we returned for theoretical inputs with clear heads.

Take care about your mental health!

Ask your CELTA tutors and peers for help

If you are unsure when planning a lesson, feel free to ask the CELTA tutors what they think. 

They are usually willing to help and support ideas that help achieve the lesson aims. Even if the last are very simple or extremely creative.

Talking to a tutor will also help you avoid worrying, as you will share ideas with someone who will be observing your teaching practice.

Talk to your peers. 

First, you can abstract yourself from the constant worry about your own lesson plan. 

Second, when discussing other people’s lessons, you can get unexpected solutions and ideas for your own

Third, it will give you the feeling that you are not alone.

Learn from mistakes

I remember the day when my peers and I got our first feedback from the tutor and from each other. We were ready to kill each other, slam the door, and never go back to where someone dared to criticise our “perfect” lessons. Now I think about this situation with a smile.

No matter how hard you work, something can always go wrong. But if you knew how to do everything, then, perhaps, you would not be on the course.

If this has already happened, and you are doing your CELTA, it is worth remembering that mistakes are for learning.

During the feedback sessions with tutors and peers, you do not need to grow numb or defend yourself, but on the contrary, try to understand together what went wrong and why.

And then make some effort to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated in the lessons that follow.

More about peer correction in ELT

Don’t expect to be praised non-stop

We always start learning new things with a subconscious desire to be the best right away and be looked up to. However, in reality, we might face some share of criticism before reaching some great results.

Be ready that you won’t get praised all the time and don’t let your ego become an obstacle to improving your teaching skills.

Be attentive to all the recommendations and try to reflect on your work as much as possible.

Maintain order

During the course, you will have to take notes and you will collect a lot of materials. It is very easy to get lost in these stacks of information.

Therefore, ensure that all papers and electronic documents have their place.

Always read the tutor’s feedback before planning a lesson. This will help improve planning skills and work on problem areas. 

If you’re worried about not being able to remember what to do in class, print out a plan for yourself and mark it with coloured highlighters. You can also write each next step on coloured flashcards and hold them in your hands.

The importance of digital literacy in ELT

Plan your time

Time is one of the most important matters in CELTA.

You have to plan your time and start doing the tasks in advance.

You have to correctly fit CELTA into your routine and avoid feeling exhausted.

Even within the course itself you are going to constantly think about time.

I remember that at the beginning of the course everyone had a problem with timing. We wrote notices with the numbers 15, 10 and 5 and asked each other to raise them when there were 15, 10 and 5 minutes left until the end of the lesson, respectively. It helped a lot, and later everyone learned to keep up.

And while these tips may seem too simple, they will be very useful during the course and will really help you persevere to the end. So do not panic, and move forward with Grade University!

Do you have to be very creative during your CELTA course?

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko

    Author

    Teacher of General English & IELTS

  • Yulia Chorna

    Yulia Chorna

    Author

    DELTA Module 1, CELTA certified teacher of General & Business English

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