International House CELTA: Back to School

Today is Day 1 of CELTA. I woke up super early and began my walk to school. I was told to arrive at 8:45.

International House Mexico City is a super cute school. It is very historic on the inside with a wrought iron staircase and beautifully painted crown molding. They also have a rooftop patio where we ate lunch today.

Because I am German, I arrived at 8:35. Because I was in Mexico, class started at 9:15.  There is a cultural difference. Hah.

My CELTA class has 15 students total. We also have three tutors. The tutors are Ricardo, Richard and Orlando. Richard has been backpacking in the Himalayan mountains each year for the past 12 years. Orlando has lived in 10 countries and taught in 7 of them. The students in the class all have very unique backgrounds as well. Nathan was one of the students who sat in front of me. He is from New Holstein, Wisconsin. What a small world! 🙂 Jeremy is another one of the students. He is from Key West and worked as a captain for a commercial spearfishing company that specialized in lobster diving. His girlfriend is Mexican, which is why he would like to work here. Carrie is one of the students from the US who spent five years working in Baghdad as an English teacher. She said that she arrived there in 2008 when things were really dangerous. She lived above the school for the first six months and said she was lucky to get out alive. She taught many students, adults and government officials. The class also has 7 natives from Mexico, which will be helpful in the future when I have questions about immersion into Mexican culture. 🙂

We spent the first part of the morning learning about course expectations.

To pass the CELTA course, I will need to complete 4 WRITTEN assignments. I will also need to complete 8 LESSON PLANS and 6 HOURS of observed teaching. To plan lessons, our class was split into 3 groups. My group consists of Jeremy, Rebecca, Matt and Arturo. They are supposed to be my brothers and sisters for the next 4 weeks, since we will never change groups. We will be teaching classes to pre-intermediate learners and offering constructive criticism on each others lessons. For today, we observed a 90 minute lesson given by our tutor Orlando to real students in Mexico City.

These students are offered lessons free of charge, since we are their teachers and we are just learning as well. These students come from all different areas of Mexico and many travel from very far away to receive an English lesson here. Today we had 4 students. I spoke with Gabby and Aldo who are two of the students. Gabby is a Mary Kay makeup artist and many of her clients speak English. She would like to learn, so that she can talk with them more. Aldo is an actor and works on many television shows in Mexico. He was offered a job in Miami to be a television celebrity on the Spanish language network called Univisión. He would like to know more English before he travels to Miami in January. He also said I am the first Megan he met. He only knows Megan Fox. 🙂

Orlando’s lesson to the students was AMAZING. He really knows how to command a classroom and keep everyone’s attention. He discussed strange news articles to the students and helped the students learn new grammar and vocabulary. It was very well done. My assignment for tomorrow is to plan my first lesson and teach for 25 minutes to the class. My lesson needs to improve the learners ability to listen and retain information.

On the way home, I stopped at the store to buy a fresh roll for my turkey sandwich tomorrow. I will be eating lots of turkey for lunch if you read my last post. Hah.

Mexico City is also very friendly to the environment. I always feel like I am walking in the jungle when I am actually in the city. There are trees lining the streets and exotic plants everywhere! They also have separate trash receptacles and bike rentals on every street. Most are free of charge if you leave an ID with the attendant.

Mexico City is also very difficult to navigate. There is no particular pattern to the streets and they are very interwoven. It reminds me of being in Rome. On the way home, I turned on POPOCATEPETEL, instead of CACAHUAMILPAHonestly, they both sound like sh*t to me. Hah.

Anyway, I finally found my way back to Hostel Home. Ale was cooking something very INTERESTING in the kitchen again. It looked like falafel and rice with cilantro.

I went back to my room to find that I am the only girl in the hostel now. There are 13 guys here, so I will have the girls room all to myself. 😀

I am relaxing in bed now as the rain falls. It has managed to rain every night since I arrived, which makes for a peaceful nights sleep. I hope to finish planning my lesson now and get some sleep before Day 2. Only 19 more to go!

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