Here it is, my own list of things I wish I were taught before starting my job.
Manual double-sided printing
In some cases, like when your office printer is not smart and modern enough, you might need to do double-sided printing manually. It’s not as difficult as it seems. I just had to mess up once or twice before I figured out how to put the sheet back into the paper tray so that the other side print was situated the way I wanted. Easy-peasy!
I wish I did not have to waste the paper though.
Feel free to break the rules
The one rule you remember best after doing your CELTA is not to do things any other way apart from that way you’ve been taught. A year and a half after finishing my CELTA I was still using those massive and detailed lesson plans for every single lesson I taught. It only happened by accident that two weeks ago I realised I didn’t need them anymore. I forgot to print out my lesson plan and had to teach without it. It was much easier than I expected (I should thank the unified curriculum with prescribed lesson structure for this). Now my lesson plans are as minimalistic as possible:
I still have no idea why I haven’t tried it earlier. Habit is second nature indeed…
Frist aid kit
Always bring a bottle of water and painkillers with you into the classroom. Ladies will understand.
In the office
Make sure to get tissues. You might also want to have an infinite stock of plastic folders, sticky notes and paper clips. Oh, and rubber bands!
IT’S A MUST! If it also has a pencil and eraser in it, it becomes invaluable. Luckily, Japan has them everywhere 🙂
Teaching university students
University students are unique learners that have both teenager and young adults characteristics combined, which means that while you can expect a generally more mature attitude, it’s still worth adding some funny pictures and game elements (like o-hajiki, for example).