Done with CELTA and out of HELL-TA

After 30 days straight of 16 hour work days I can say my brain is just as fried as the Nasi Goreng I had for lunch…and dinner…for the past week. It was Olympic  athlete training for ESL teaching. It was TEFL boot camp. It was a HELL-TA.

Unspeakable things happened during this course so let’s just skip to the end…

The last day of class was unlike any other I’ve had before. I was given the honor of presenting certificates of attendance complete with a moving speech as students came and shook my hand or touched both of their cheeks to mine. Then there was food. so. much. food. students brought me home made bread, chocolate with almonds, and there were banana leaves filled sweet rice and chicken inside. The students were photo crazy and by the end of an hour my cheeks were twitching from smiling so much.


I wore my Indonesian formal wear batik dress. When I bought it I was told that it was a gown for saggy fat grandmas, but I knew with a belt it would be one of the less ridiculous batiks around (they can get pretty crazy).


Henny and Shinta (below) were two of the students in the elementary class that showed exponential growth in their ability over just 4 weeks. They had both been so extremely shy, but by the end of the course they were flashing sideways peace signs like Biggie and Tupac. This aspect of teaching is just so rewarding. You start out with inhibited, unsure students, and by the end they’re on their way to becoming a straight up G. My job here is clearly done.


7 thoughts on “Done with CELTA and out of HELL-TA

  1. Keep up the good work and keep us informed! You make it fun to read about the mishaps and accomplishments. Congratulations on your teaching boot camp. What’s next?


    • It’s going good. I have been traveling ever since I finished the CELTA, but as soon as I get a chance I will post a bunch of new stories of all the amazing paces I’ve been visiting in SE Asia!


  2. Hey Andrea, I came across your blog on a CELTA hunt – love your wit and observational writing. Would you recommend the TBI course in Jakarta? Anything you wish you knew *before* you signed up? It’s a choice between Istanbul & Jakarta at the moment so your opinion would be valuable. Happy travelling!


    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy reading my blog! I would definitely recommend the course in Jakarta as long as you don’t mind big cities. Not that you’ll have time to go out much anyway. The tutors were so helpful and attentive at all hours. I stayed on campus so I was a 2 minute walk to school which was so useful for working and as a bonus you got unlimited coffee tea and water as well as snacks brought twice a day. I think that the next celta there might be held at a different location but the tbi staff were really wonderful and the students that i taught there were so great and patient with the new teachers. I don’t know anything about Istanbul to compare but it was definitely great in Jakarta. Just be prepared for super long work days and the celta ruling your life for a month. I knew it was going to be a lot of work beforehand but wasn’t expecting 16 hour work days. It’s the most time intensive thing I’ve done and possibly will ever do.


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