CELTA advice from Sally Muse

Sally Muse is a CELTA tutor at IH Newcastle in the UK


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

I have been an EFL teacher for 13 years and a teacher trainer for 5.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

I briefly worked for Barclays Bank in London but was quick to feel the pull of teaching so the bulk of my working life has been spent teaching English and training teachers.

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

On a very practical level, I hope to equip trainees with the skills, techniques and ideas that will help them as they move into teaching English post-course. On a more emotional level, I hope to light a spark of passion for teaching and studying language and so trainees can approach their teaching with enthusiasm, excitement and inspiration.

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

I am a bit of a geek when it comes to language so I enjoy exploring language with my students and making them see how fascinating it can be. I try to bring this into teacher training sessions too.

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

Come with an open-mind and willingness to try out the different techniques and approaches that your tutors will expose you to. Work hard and stay on top of the work load as there is very little time to play catch up. Listen to and act on feedback from tutors and try to enjoy the process. See it as a brilliant opportunity for professional development and rather than a source of stress and anxiety.

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

Approach your teaching career with enthusiasm and energy. Actively seek opportunities to take on new levels, new types of classes and new teaching contexts. This will strengthen your CV but also bring more variety to your work life.  Do ask for help when you need it and be willing and happy to share ideas with your teaching colleagues.