So You’ve Completed the CELTA… Now What?
Congratulations on completing the most reputable course within the EFL teacher training industry! It really is quite a feat given that the CELTA is very intense. As a newly qualified teacher, you may be tempted to just “chill out” for a while, and that’s okay — you deserved it — but a big question looms in the background: what do I do now?
Finding a Job
Perhaps the most obvious answer is entering the job hunt. If you’re lucky, the CELTA program you’ve just completed will give you some good leads. You’ve already got a great head start on others by having a CELTA under your belt — something potential employers look for.
A good way to start is by figuring out where you want to go, and what type of institution you want to teach at, but don’t limit yourself too much in the beginning. You’ll need to learn the line between not being too picky and not jumping at the first opportunity thrown at you without asking plenty of questions.
Your first teaching job after completing the CELTA will hopefully be one of the most rewarding ones out of your career. You’ll be taking what you’ve recently learned, applying it, and finding your unique teaching style along the way.
Branching into Other Fields
There are so many exciting and interesting fields within teaching English, and every teacher should give at least each area a shot. Who knows? Maybe one day you could become an expert in that area.
Business English and English for Special Purposes are the two big branches that first come to mind. The latter is a broad term that can be further broken down into topics that have to do with things like academics, hospitality, aviation, medical, and technical English. Technically, business falls under this category as well, but it has become such a big industry that it deserves to be on its own.
As you know, the CELTA prepares you for teaching adults, but there’s a whole other side to ESL. If you went into the CELTA because you have zero interest in working with children, that’s totally fine, but if not, even more possibilities await you. Plus, chances are that if you work at a language center, you will be asked to teach some kid’s classes anyway.
Continuing Professional Development
No matter what you decide to do after completing the CELTA, continuing to develop professionally should be a part of it. Here are some ways you can do just that:
- Subscribe to English teaching journals and blogs (like the Shane English School Teaching Tips)
- Talk with other teachers and colleagues
- Reflect after your classes
- Review your course work one year after completing it
- Earn a secondary certificate (Young Learners and Business English are popular)
- Try your hand at DELTA
The possibilities here are endless. Your employer should offer workshops or monthly meetings for professional development, but if not, why not take the lead yourself and get something started? Or you could write an article for a journal you’ve been reading, start your own blog, or check out some books at the library and online about different teaching methods. Taking an online seminar or class is yet another option. There’s no limit to how much you can improve yourself. And remember, you will learn the most about teaching while you are teaching!
The CELTA may be over, but your career is just beginning!