I did my CELTA at 2016 at ITI Istanbul. At some point during our training, I gave feedback to the group at large that “being on the cutting edge of teaching on paper doesn’t matter much if you can’t get your TTT down.” Some of the instructors smiled knowingly, and the CELTA program continued peacefully on.
Then later in the program, I fell for the same trap that I’d arrogantly talked about to other trainees. Together with a DELTA candidate, I created a listening skills lesson employing dictagloss and a few other techniques we’d seen in that week’s demos. It was a risk to employ new techniques, and one that didn’t pay off. The lesson was, in a word, terrible. The feedback from the trainers was deservedly negative, and that lesson cost me in my search for something above a simple Pass.
I sometimes think about that very humbling moment. I think about what I should have done differently. And sometimes I’ve fallen for the trap of putting the blame on the DELTA candidate who worked on the lesson plan with me and gave me her thumbs up. But in the end, I was the one who gave that lesson, I was the one who took the risk, and I was the one who didn’t check themselves with common sense.
It’s not the first time that I learned that responsibility ultimately rests on the “doer’s” shoulders. However, it’s a vivid example that comes to mind when I make such decisions or get feedback from colleagues and superiors.