CELTA advice from Branislava Jovanovic

Branislava Jovanovic is a CELTA tutor with IH Almaty

How long were you an EFL teacher, and how long have you been a teacher trainer?

I’ve been teaching English since I graduated from university in 2003. I became involved in teacher training and development after I completed the DELTA course in 2007, working as a mentor for newly-qualified teachers and delivering in-service teacher development sessions. I became a CELTA tutor in 2011 and have since worked in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Mexico and Peru tutoring on a range of courses including CELTA, IHCYLT, IH 1-2-1, IH CAM, CELT P, Train the Trainer and Delta Module 1.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

No, though I was training as an actress. 

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I hope they will all become successful teachers and have rewarding careers. I also hope they will stay curious and reflective teachers so they can continue developing and improving their skills.

When you were an EFL teacher what did you like most, and how do you bring that into the classroom for your trainees?

I still teach English and what I find most rewarding is helping my students notice, track and feel good about the progress they make. The more they feel a sense of progress, the more motivated they become and the more likely they are to take control of their own learning. 
On the CELTA course, I help the trainees set goals and expectations for every stage of the course, reflect on their learning, measure their own progress and celebrate success.

What advice would you give your trainees for successfully completing the course?

To successfully complete the course you need to devote yourself to it so be organized, stay on top of things and don’t leave things to the last minute. However, remember that quality time is just as important so make sure your find time to relax as well. If you are stuck for ideas, ask the other trainees. It is important to work together as a team and support each other. Finally, keep everything in perspective: you will have great and not so great lessons but remember that you will learn from both. 

What advice would you give your trainees for an interesting and rewarding career?

Find a job with a school that has a culture of continuous learning and take responsibility for your own professional development. Reflect, experiment, have fun!