This is part of a series of posts showing you all the different ways you can approach the Cambridge Delta. They are designed to help you find out more about the course and what it involves, as well as helping you to choose the right way to do it for you, your lifestyle and the time you have available. If you’ve done the Delta (or any other similar higher-level teaching course, including a Masters), and you’d like to join in, let me know by leaving me a comment or contacting me via Twitter@sandymillin.
How did you do your Delta?
How did you arrange the modules?
Why did you choose to do it that way?
I did the Delta over a year or so, tackling one module at a time and moving house from Geneva to Hamburg in the middle. I started with module 3 because you need a class to use as a case study (I anticipated some time out of work after the move). Then I sat the module 1 exam shortly arriving in Hamburg. I studied with the Distance Delta for these two modules. Finally, I went to London for 6 weeks to do module 2 at International House.
What do you think you gained from doing the Delta?
If you had asked me that question immediately after completing the course I would have found it hard to answer. My head was so full of teaching approaches that for a while I was in a quandary every time I sat down to plan a lesson! Things get clearer with time, your brain needs some space to digest it all.
A year and a half down the line I think my answer is confidence.
I know that I have worked hard, have gained a lot of experience and that I have a grip on the theory that backs everything up. I know how to study by myself and I still try to do a little research before starting each new course. I want to make sure that I am utilising the methodology that will best help each particular student.
How much time per week would you estimate you needed to spend working on the Delta in the format you chose?
If you are looking at the Distance Delta, be aware that you will probably need a lot more time than they estimate on their website. I found I needed almost double their suggestion. This was a common observation on the participant forum!
What were the downsides of the method you chose?
Studying at home is not always easy. I remember having all my books spread out on the kitchen table and glancing nervously at the clock as it got closer to dinner time, knowing I would have to pack up and clear out the way! Of course there is also the issue of motivation.
Module 2 in London was difficult as I was away from my family for several weeks. And one should never, never underestimate how intensive it is! There were tears. I’m convinced that is the case on every full time Module 2 course (and the intensive Celta for that matter!).
What were the benefits of the method you chose?
I was able to combine Module 3 with work. And Modules 1 and 2 fit in nicely and kept me busy while I was establishing myself in a new country and did not have much in the way of work.
What tips would you give other people doing the Delta?
- Do your research, there are so many different ways to take the course, find out which route is really the best for you.
- Be aware that it will be intense and sometimes painful – always keep in mind why you are doing it!
- Revel in the chance to take time out and examine our profession, it is a rare opportunity.
- Consciously step back and watch your teaching improve!