After much research on how to improve and update my teaching methodology, I found the CELTA Cambridge program could offer me what I was looking for (Premium Quality in education). Plus Quito offers great hiking, climbing and trekking routes around the city where you can go up a 5.700 Mts. mountain and come back to the city the same day. Also if you're interested in the indigenous South American culture, you can find vibrant Quechua people and their traditions in this cosmopolitan capital city.
Edgar started his teaching journey in the Amazon jungle among the Yanomami people. Since then his teaching has given him much.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The tutors of the course assisted us in any possible way, they were absolutely helpful. The coordinator was always attentive even about the smallest details, and the coordinator of the institute provided everything we needed. We had this wonderful team of people at our service 24/7.
Talking about house and board each of us made individual arrangements according to budget and preference. Quito is a city that provides plenty of options, you can find a nice place in front of La Carolina park with volcano view for a surprisingly low price, or a shared apartment with local people for even cheaper. if you prefer a fully cultural experience you can get an accommodation with an Ecuadorian family, all of these from a walking distance to the institute. You can find many different restaurants, cafes and even a local market with typical food for a really cheap price next to the institute, weekend activities were also on us, and options go from sightseeing to volcano hiking or maybe just enjoying yourself in the many parks around the city.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
As one of the tutors advised me weeks before the beginning of the course, try to review the material and the course syllabus that will be sent to you, get familiarized with the Cambridge methodology (The more you review, the smoother the course will go for you and you will have more free time over the weekend to explore the city).
Take it easy, walk around the park after a long day of work, you can use the outdoor gym, or play some sports with local people free of charge. You could play soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, or run in the cross fit track. Local people will welcome you with open arms.
Quito is a wonderful multicultural city, there are people from many nations living and coexisting together in this valley surrounded by volcanoes and mountains. Don't miss the chance to live this experience to the fullest. It's OK to focus in the course because it will give you the chance to teach efficiently and to work wherever you chose to go, but those moments when you will feel overwhelm scape, walk around the city, take a bus and get lost, you will have the time of your life if you wish for it.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Days will go fast since the schedule is fully booked. Starting in the mornings with either teaching or observing your peers to provide feedback and support. The afternoons will be for lectures which will provide tools and theory to help you understand The importance of implementing the Cambridge method. You will get to observed an participate with the teachers of the institute, students will want to interact with you so you will get to know really nice people, sometimes I found myself in a class where there were people from 7 different nationalities. Enjoy yourself and don't be afraid of sharing your own life experience, people around you will want to know you.
Take nights to plan your lessons, prepare papers and review about the lectures, weekends will be busy but that doesn't mean you should stop going around, trekking or drinking a beer with locals.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Having many years of experience teaching, my biggest challenge was to admit I needed to change and incorporate new tricks into my teaching, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do so, but with open feedback from my peers and tutors I looked myself in an honest mirror and after confronting many ghost, I now feel I have changed for good, for the benefit of my students and for my personal benefit. The support was always there I just had to embrace the change.