Meet Bettina – A Teaching House Alumni

 | Teaching House Nomads Blog

Meet Bettina—she wanted a change after working in Marketing for a few years, so she decided to go after her passion for teaching English! We chatted to Bettina about what it’s like undertaking the CELTA 100% online, what she loves about teaching and her advice for anyone who’s thinking about pursuing a career in English teaching—plus her best tips for finding a job after you complete the CELTA!

1) What’s your background and why did you decide to do CELTA?

I’m Bettina from Uruguay. I graduated in Communication and a few years later I completed an MBA in Spain. After working in the Marketing & Communications departments of different companies in both Uruguay and the UK, I reached a point where I was looking for a change. I had always loved English and enjoyed helping my family and friends whenever they needed to write a report for work or complete some exercises for their English homework. Although I really liked teaching, I always felt like I lacked the knowledge or skills to help other people better understand the language. So I finally decided to pursue my passion for teaching and I researched different TEFL options to find the best course for me. It didn’t take long for me to find out about CELTA and all the advantages it had over other TEFL courses.

2) How was the CELTA course? Was it as much work as everyone says it is?

Yes, CELTA does require a lot of work. I took an intensive course and it really is intensive! You are expected to give your full-time dedication to it, but it’s definitely feasible and worth the effort, especially with the support of all the Teaching House trainers throughout the course.

3) You did the course 100% online and now you’re teaching face to face. Are the skills you learned transferable from 100% online to face to face?

Yes, definitely! At first, I was concerned that due to the pandemic, I wouldn’t have any face to face teaching practice. However, once I started working in an actual classroom I realised everything I was taught throughout the CELTA course was applicable to both online and face to face lessons. The trainers did a great job at giving us loads of tips to recreate the actual classroom experience as much as possible and I felt well prepared.

Now I’m actually very glad I had the online experience, both as a student and as a teacher, as it has provided me with extra technical skills that are vital for the education system today.

4) What do you enjoy about teaching English?

Being a teacher is different from any other job. Every day is different and you never stop learning. Getting to know your students, understanding what motivates them to learn English, and helping them achieve their goals is a very rewarding feeling. I love seeing my students’ progress and planning different lessons according to the topics they enjoy the most.

5) You got a job pretty much straight away after CELTA. What tips do you have for people in your situation?

When searching for a job, having completed your Cambridge CELTA will already provide you with a huge advantage over other candidates holding different TEFL certificates, as CELTA is the one most employer’s value and request for their future teachers. Nonetheless, towards the end of the CELTA course Teaching House gave us lots of support with how to search for a teaching job. This was extremely useful, especially for those of us who had never taught English before.

One of the most important tips to me was how to update your CV if you had no or very little teaching experience besides the CELTA course. Don’t assume your previous work experience outside of teaching is not relevant. On the contrary, try to highlight what you’ve learnt from those experiences or what skills you’ve acquired that might make you a better teacher.

Another tip that I consider to be very important for non-native English teachers as myself, is to avoid seeing that as a barrier and instead see it as a strength. You’ve been through the process of learning the language at an advanced level, and that could help you understand your students’ struggles with the language and provide guidance based on your own experience.

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