Skip to main content

Case Study

Lecturer Laura McClelland reflects on her career journey with Belfast Met


Back in 2016 I decided that I wanted to travel and to teach so I enrolled onto the part-time CELTA course at Belfast Met. I was one of a tight-knit group of six trainees and had theory classes on Tuesday evenings and practical sessions every Thursday with our tutors Maeve Herron, Jenny Watters, and Andrea DaSilva.

Our group bonded very quickly, facilitated by our tutors who were a constant source of support and encouragement. CELTA armed us with the knowledge to become expert language teachers. It was the way in which our tutors treated us with respect and kindness that was the most valuable lesson of all.

Even after 6 years, I still ask myself ‘WWMD?’ (What Would Maeve Do) when my students come to me for guidance. Training to be a teacher at the College was a challenging, eye-opening, and rewarding experience, but most importantly, it was a lot of fun!

With my CELTA qualification in my back pocket, I headed off to teach in an English school in the beautiful city of Madrid. It was very easy to find a teaching role with my qualification, and my training gave me so much confidence in the classroom. After a few years in Spain, I fancied a change and easily found a teaching role in an English language centre in Dublin. My confidence and skills continued to grow, and I loved working in such a vibrant and multi-cultural city.

Family and friends eventually drew me back home to Belfast and, in 2021, I became a Part-time Lecturer in ESOL in Belfast Met. I walked into the staff room on my first day and was so relieved to see my CELTA tutors again - I knew I was going to be in safe hands! I am delighted that my tutors are now my colleagues, and I am really enjoying working in the ESOL department. And it is thanks to my lecturers’ unwavering support that carried me on that journey.

Laura is pictured here on a trip to Segovia during her time in Spain.

< view all case studies