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TERAKKI FOUNDATION INTERVIEW, NEED ADVICE

 
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aphexeffect



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: TERAKKI FOUNDATION INTERVIEW, NEED ADVICE Reply with quote

After reading many posts on the Terakki Foundation, and having an interview in coming up in a few weeks, I am hoping someone with recent experience can offer advice. I know everything here has been negative on the school and I'm wondering if those conditions all still exist. I would like to PM people, but I've just signed up (specifically to start this post). Any help from anyone is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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gator07



Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've also recently spoken with the school and would love to hear anyone's recent insight. Do tell!
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biff99



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked there recently. Won't go into lots of detail here, but I have a pretty good idea not too much has changed.

To give you better information... First, which school did you interview for? Primary is a LOT different from high school and middle.
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ayka



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello to all,
I work at Terakki since 7 years, though not as a teacher. Some of the things written are of course true and yes as all schools it has its own issues and problems. I'll try to be objective and do my best to list some negative and positive sides of it, looking from the perspective of a foreign language teacher. I believe if you still have dubts, you can mention them during your interview and ask in detail before you decide.
ok, here we go:
The salary is good and your money is always there on time.
There is a private health insurance and considering public health system this is a big plus.
They do one year contract with everyone (like most of other schools here) and there is a performance evaluation system, fairly functioning well, getting feedback from other teachers, managers, students, parents etc. So if you are a good teacher loved by students and a good team member, then the results will show. There are some foreigner working there for years.
The food is healthy and good.
They adapted European Common Language Framework and rearranged the curriculum and materials in recent years according to that. They use EU Language Portfolio and they are in contact with many publishers etc. So the resources are good. The students use blogs, web possibilities and other media with teachers. There is an educational technologies expert working only for the foreign lang. department, helping teachers with blogs and all technology.
In Turkey the curriculum is %100 by the state (ministry of education) and in general teachers do not have autonomy for their methods or content. But as being a private school, and also because foreign languages is treated a little different than other subjects by the ministry, the department (and the teachers) are more free and independent with their teaching for foreign languages.
The organization of foreign language departments for all schools (kindergarden, primary and secondary) is like this: all three schools have different head of departments, and in each they have teams for English, German and French, so the teachers are not left alone, they work together in teams and are responsible to the head. All these three departments are also connected and the heads are responsible to the coordinator of foreign languages, who is working under the general manager of all schools and responsible to him. So there is a system, a hierarchy and teamwork. For people who are team members and hardworking it may be an enjoyable environment (yes they do make you work hard). The teachers usually like and support each other, and welcome new comers no matter where you come from (I think it is in the culture also).
When there is a need coming from a teacher or department, the management listens, they can invest and provide the needs as soon as they are convinced. If they are not convinced then you may need to try harder or give up Smile
The students in Turkey in general are well behaved and respectful to elders (by tradition, we have the father as the leader of the family and young ones do listen and obey). Of course our students are a bit spoiled and have problems of motivation, as coming from higher economical status and having a lot at hand already. Still they are not the hardest to manage, especially when they feel respect and love.
It is a huge institution with 2600 students, 300 teachers and more than 40 managers so it doesn't rapidly change or move fast in any direction. Decisions take time, a lot of consideration and hierarchy going on, but the management asks teachers and departments. They recently involved 35 teachers (from all levels and departments) and created a commission for the school development. The teachers who are working for that voluntarily do contribute to the change. They search the isssues the school faces for the future, come up with some possible solutions and recommendations, share their own experience and the top management is always there during the meetings taking notes. This does not mean that they'll do everything teachers ask, but I think it is a good start.

I don't know what bad things were written before and I don't know if these will help you consider the institution in a better way. I can not say anything about the heads of departments or specific people in charge as I do not work at their departments and can not know how or who they really are, but the ones I work with in some projects are cooperative and polite in general. I am sure there are problems with egos or with each other sometimes but that is natural I think, we are all humans right? There have been hard times, miscommunication problems and conflicts for me there and it is not easy to work in such an old, big, well reputated institution, with many managers and teams but if you are hardworking, patient and calm enough, things would turn out ok.

I hope this helps... I can not say it is the best ideal school to work but I also don't know if there is such a school and comparing the general situation in Turkey and as working with other schools too, I believe this one is a good one to try.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 748
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ayka wrote :





Quote:
I work at Terakki since 7 years, though not as a teacher


As you have only recently started posting, and are clearly not a native speaker, can we presume you are a member of administration?
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ayka



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no I am not. I sometimes wish I was, maybe then I could be more useful and effective to change things and to help people make better decisions... Smile)
I work with teachers, managers, students... I was working full time, now it is part time as I am working for some other schools also. Yes I am Turkish and all I am saying is that comparing to other institutions in this country, this is not as bad as some people think it is. As I stated earlier, it is not the ideal school to work for, but believe me I have seen much worse.
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2318



Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked at this school, and I am still in contact with many people who currently do. It's is true that the money is always in your account on pay day. However, it should be! Does it make a school a good school just because they pay you on time? I don't think so.

It is also true that the Primary school is a different world than the middle, high , and prep school. Expectations are just different, no one knows why.

Just remember that this school will never change while the current head of foreign languages is there. He rules the dept. and when I say rules I mean he runs it like it is really HIS dept.

The comment about working you hard is the truth. When I was there we had no time to plan really. By the time you got back to your desk and did some paperwork it was time to go to class again. They have since reduced the hours for teachers but it is still too many to be an effective teacher and actually mark and perp properly. Although marking isn't all that important for you here as grades have been known to change from time to time, but you'll be too busy to care by that point. The language portfolios are a joke. They serve no purpose. They are nothing like IB portfolios, the students don't
conduct presentations from them, they don't have student led conferences. They are an after thought that students end up dumping crumbled assignments in and throwing them on your desk. To which the teachers give a check mark for turning in. They are a joke. To be honest if you are a native English teacher, you really don't have much say in the grades of the students, and they know this.

The CEFR is not a curriculum in itself. It is, well as the name suggest a framework, so to be honest there is no curriculum here. There is no guiding accreditation to work from. To be honest it is hard to see any logical reason for the assignments that are given, especially the ones that are handed down from the coordinator, who is so disconnected with what goes on in the classroom that he has no idea what the students can actually do on their own.

The micro management that goes on is almost unbearable. In every aspect of your teaching, you will be micro managed. You have to have a worksheet approved by three people before you can hand it out. No in class worksheets either, if you want to use one in class it must be approved as well. If you make a worksheet of any kind, it must be signed off by at least three people, all with their own personal opinions on how it should be laid out. You end up spending two weeks on a worksheet because of the personal preference of others. Have you seen the movie Office Space? You know the line where he says he has eight different bosses? Well at this place it is true... Oh so true!

The comment about behavior of students is also true. Many students are unmotivated and lack general respect for others. There are a few good students, but throw out all of the classroom management skills you learned in the western world and go back to being a dictator to rule the class. These kids are spoiled. Now, if you have worked in the middle east before, this is no shock to you and the behavior of these students can be considered a little better than those in the Arab world, but not by much.

To be honest the school itself may be ok. The people you work with, besides the top man, are really nice. You even get free lunch each day, and it's usually good. It really is just the teaching aspect which is bad. If you want to be a teacher I would just really think about going to this school. If you really like forming a connection with students, giving true marks, and having flexability in lesson planning, and doing things for a reason, then you could end up disappointed with this school. If you don't mind being a mindless drone then you'll be ok. [/b][/i]
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misterkodak



Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 166
Location: Neither Here Nor There

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is goat-beard still there? The he-man woman hater?
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biff99



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ayka wrote:
Hello to all,
I work at Terakki since 7 years, though not as a teacher. Some of the things written are of course true and yes as all schools it has its own issues and problems. I'll try to be objective and do my best to list some negative and positive sides of it, looking from the perspective of a foreign language teacher. I believe if you still have dubts, you can mention them during your interview and ask in detail before you decide.
ok, here we go:
The salary is good and your money is always there on time.
There is a private health insurance and considering public health system this is a big plus.

Agreed.

They do one year contract with everyone (like most of other schools here)

Yep. This is the norm with most schools around here.

and there is a performance evaluation system, fairly functioning well, getting feedback from other teachers, managers, students, parents etc.

"performance evaluation system" = web based survey (in Turkish) administered bi-annually. Never saw the results of mine during the time I worked there.

So if you are a good teacher loved by students and a good team member, then the results will show.

Whew. Read between the lines on this one.

There are some foreigner working there for years.

But not in the high school.

The food is healthy and good.

Agreed, but it's hard to parlay the fried zuchinni into a reason for staying.

They adapted European Common Language Framework and rearranged the curriculum and materials in recent years according to that.

Uh. Nope. They're trying...or they want to look like they're trying; never quite understood that. But...nope.

They use EU Language Portfolio and they are in contact with many publishers etc.

They use the language portfolio, but they're having a real fun time getting students to take them seriously.

"contact with many publishers" = A close, personal relationship with the companies that make a tidy little profit off of the books each year.


So the resources are good. The students use blogs, web possibilities and other media with teachers.

Hahahahahahaa. ha. ha. whew.

There is an educational technologies expert working only for the foreign lang. department, helping teachers with blogs and all technology.

And she was really super. But totally overwhelmed.

In Turkey the curriculum is %100 by the state (ministry of education) and in general teachers do not have autonomy for their methods or content. But as being a private school, and also because foreign languages is treated a little different than other subjects by the ministry, the department (and the teachers) are more free and independent with their teaching for foreign languages.

"more free and independent" = Hahahahahaha. Smile Whew. This is comedy gold.

The organization of foreign language departments for all schools (kindergarden, primary and secondary) is like this: all three schools have different head of departments, and in each they have teams for English, German and French, so the teachers are not left alone, they work together in teams and are responsible to the head. All these three departments are also connected and the heads are responsible to the coordinator of foreign languages, who is working under the general manager of all schools and responsible to him.

"responsible to the coordinator of foreign languages" in ways you cannot possibly conceive. Kidding. Just a diabolical micro-manager.

So there is a system, a hierarchy and teamwork. For people who are team members and hardworking it may be an enjoyable environment (yes they do make you work hard).

This is an understatement worthy of Old English poetry.

The teachers usually like and support each other, and welcome new comers no matter where you come from (I think it is in the culture also).

Except when you've just arrived in Turkey and have no sweet clue about securing accommodation. Then, you're on your own.

When there is a need coming from a teacher or department, the management listens, they can invest and provide the needs as soon as they are convinced. If they are not convinced then you may need to try harder or give up Smile

But mostly give up.

The students in Turkey in general are well behaved and respectful to elders (by tradition, we have the father as the leader of the family and young ones do listen and obey). Of course our students are a bit spoiled and have problems of motivation, as coming from higher economical status and having a lot at hand already. Still they are not the hardest to manage, especially when they feel respect and love.

Spoiled don't really cover it. You will know real fear when you sub for an 11th grade class. No joke.

It is a huge institution with 2600 students, 300 teachers and more than 40 managers so it doesn't rapidly change or move fast in any direction. Decisions take time, a lot of consideration and hierarchy going on, but the management asks teachers and departments. They recently involved 35 teachers (from all levels and departments) and created a commission for the school development. The teachers who are working for that voluntarily do contribute to the change. They search the isssues the school faces for the future, come up with some possible solutions and recommendations, share their own experience and the top management is always there during the meetings taking notes. This does not mean that they'll do everything teachers ask, but I think it is a good start.

Good luck with that!

I don't know what bad things were written before and I don't know if these will help you consider the institution in a better way. I can not say anything about the heads of departments or specific people in charge as I do not work at their departments and can not know how or who they really are, but the ones I work with in some projects are cooperative and polite in general. I am sure there are problems with egos or with each other sometimes but that is natural I think, we are all humans right?

It takes all kinds...including ego-maniacal, micro-managing humans who get their giggles from making those who work for them as uncomfortable as possible. Why can't we all just get along?

There have been hard times, miscommunication problems and conflicts for me there and it is not easy to work in such an old, big, well reputated institution, with many managers and teams but if you are hardworking, patient and calm enough, things would turn out ok.

About 10 years ago, I would have agreed with the "well reputed" part. Not anymore.
There are LOTS of hard times and a great deal of miscommunication. I hope if you're trying to decide whether or not to sign on, you truly understand this.


I hope this helps... I can not say it is the best ideal school to work but I also don't know if there is such a school and comparing the general situation in Turkey and as working with other schools too, I believe this one is a good one to try.


This is just my 2 kurus worth, but as far as places to work I guess you could maybe do worse. But not by much. If you're in it for the cash, then it might be just right for you. But if you're looking for anything more, look harder and look elsewhere.
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whelans5



Joined: 04 Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Terakki Reply with quote

Has anyone heard of or been contacted by a Mr. Akinci. I was and the emails were rather unprofessional and he said he wasn't the person with the authority to hire me, but would recommend me to the school. I haven't had an interview yet, how could he recommend me???

It sounds a little fishy to me.

Any info would be appreciated.
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lexharvey



Joined: 26 Feb 2011
Posts: 51
Location: iow

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I was also contacted by Mr.Akinci and now have an interview although I do not have requested 3 year experience....
Thought it was too good to be true in regards to the pay and after seeing the feedback on here, it looks like it is....
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whelans5



Joined: 04 Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with your interview.

I wasn't contacted for an interview after I spoke with Mr. Akinci Sad

Fingers crossed they will contact me soon.
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biff99



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard that the "he-man woman hater" has truly packed up his backward clock and closed shop.
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