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Thankmas Day Seventeen: Thank you Fiona and Jonny

Doing and actually getting an A on my CELTA (relevant post here) was undoubtedly one of my most memorable and probably the biggest highlight of the year and I wouldn’t have managed to finish it, let alone achieve the highest grade without my classmates”, I wrote yesterday.

But there are two so very important people I would certainly not have done the CELTA (let alone get an A) without, my CELTA tutors, Jonny and Fiona.

I posted about it before and from conversations I had with fellow teachers, I feel I was lucky to have such great tutors.

They were not just incredible teachers themselves (I observed them both delivering interesting, interactive, informative lessons so naturally they made it look easy, but trust me, it is not!) but amazing teacher trainers too. Our input sessions with them were always fun and varied, they managed to grab our attention every single time and we learned a lot from them (with some exceptions towards the end of the course when we were all exhausted and our attention span shrank significantly). Two superb professionals, who though quite different in their teaching methods and personalities, they are a match made in heaven.

What made a huge difference for me was their understanding, kindness and above all, empathy, a rare trait nowadays.

I cried in front of both of them on week one after I informed them my grandpa had died and they not only offered me a break if I had felt I needed it, but they checked up on me making sure I was OK.

They also helped me manage my anxiety which reached ridiculous levels during my CELTA- I haven’t felt that stressed teaching as a professional and I’ve been working with a large number of students, nothing beats CELTA-induced stress I guess-, especially Fiona. She had a way of bringing me back to the moment and somehow making me forget about stress even for a while.

I shared a special moment with each I won’t share, they are both quite personal , but I’ll never forget.

I’ll never forget as well that they believed in me enough to push me for that A grade. They didn’t have to do it, they took a risk and I’m over the moon I didn’t disappoint them.

So thank you Jonny and Fiona. Thank you for your advice and nurturing, your empathy and kindness, your love for that you do, your honesty (God I miss a no bull***t Fiona chat!), for believing in me and for all your hard work.

I wish I’d have spent more time with you, there’s so much more I could have learned!

Eleni

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