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TED Kayseri info

 
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liehtzu



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Posts: 35
Location: North Thailand

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 7:33 am    Post subject: TED Kayseri info Reply with quote

Does anyone have any knowledge of a school called TED in the city of Kayseri? Has anyone ever been to Kayseri? Nice place? Much obliged.

Cheers,
Kris
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12370
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:10 am    Post subject: Kayseri Reply with quote

Kayseri ? Not a fun place according to what I have heard. Two colleagues in my last job in Saudi both worked there in the 1990's.

One of them was reprimanded by the director for inappropriate behaviour in a public place. His crime ? He told someone a joke on the bus and they laughed. This is not a twenty-something clown, but a respectable 50-year-old with years of classroom and other experience.

Only hearsay ? Maybe.
But if you are going to Turkey do yourself a favour and go to Istanbul or Izmir.
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nimra_ghalat



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 2:28 am    Post subject: kayseri Reply with quote

Funny that Kayseri gets such bad press here. I was about to say it should be an interesting place to teach, even though my own experience there was being arrested (Xmas day) and interrogated for being a "spy" for talking with some Afghan refugees. If you go there, say hello to major Hasan Aydin, my interrogator. (He may have been put in the slammer after I sent him a communist party greeting card direct from the Soviet Union a year later.)

Even though I was asked to leave town, I thought the place seemed kinda cool, with lots of local history (Kayseri is derived from "Caesaria"). The bread there is really neat: yard-long flat loaves that look like surfboards and which you can buy straight from the oven.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:50 pm    Post subject: Interesting... Reply with quote

I just thought I'd add my two million lira to the discussion... I'm currently teaching at the aforementionned TED Koleji and, well, it's not perfect but what the first (negative) poster said is an exaggeration. It's a reliable, friendly, easy place to work. You get paid on time every month. You get a decent flat. You can save a lot of money. The teaching is pretty simple. My main problems here are the kids and their lunacy, boredom due to a surreal lack of cafes, nightclubs, art or music, and being ocaasionally bothered by pervy men on the streets. This is not common though. I've been here since September and had actually planned to stay a second year but was offered a job teaching adults in Istanbul- more my style. One of the four native speakers will be staying on next year and he's a good, intelligent person. There is the possibility of a good life here, many generous, kind people and funky diverions, but you have to work hard to find them. We're only starting to fit in now that the term is almost finished...
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El Gordo



Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 1:05 pm    Post subject: TED Kayseri Reply with quote

I worked at TED Kayseri for a short spell in the late 90s. The school is fairly typical of Turkish private schools: the words 'rich', 'spoilt' and 'brats' immediately spring to mind. The high school (Lise) classes were absolutely dreadful, both in terms of behaviour and standard of English. The books were far too difficult for them and they expected everything to be translated into Turkish. When I explained that I was both unable and unwilling to do this, they lost interest immediately. They were so noisy that the vice-principal very often had to come in to quieten them down, but of course they started up again just as soon as he left.

The high school prep classes (Lise Hazirlik), on the other hand, were very nice kids. They were all studying English for the first time, and some of them had come from state schools on scholarships. They realised that they needed to pass in English in order to proceed to the high school proper, and they were prepared to work.

The primary classes up to Year 5 were mostly OK. Year 6 were starting to get a bit difficult, but were still manageable, while Year 7 were just as bad as Lise. Now, of course, there will also be a Year 8 in primary, so I dread to think what they may be like.

The Turkish staff in the high school were very friendly and supportive, but sadly the same could not be said for Ali Guldas, the primary teacher in charge of foreign staff (whom we nicknamed Mr Okay on account of his irritating habit of ending every other sentence with "OK?"). He simply was not interested in helping the foreigners with their day-to-day problems (e.g. ordering gas bottles, sorting out problems with the accommodation, letting us know about forthcoming holidays - on a couple of occasions we turned up for work only to discover that it was a holiday!)

The accommodation within the school campus was spacious but extremely sparsely furnished. What little furniture there was was old, rickety and threadbare. The decor was reminiscent of a British public lavatory, i.e. bare white walls and flourescent lights, not the sort of place you would look forward to going home to after a hard day with the spoilt brats. I notice that in his recent advertisements, Mr Guldas refers to the staff accommodation being situated in the school 'garden'. The 'garden' is in fact the playground for the primary school, but what he fails to mention is that the bedrooms back on to a noisy street which seems to be a hang-out for the local youth. On nights when there was a football match, the shouting and singing often went on until 1 am or later.

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch - well, at TED Kayseri there certainly isn't. It must be unique among Turkish schools in that it does not provide free lunches for its staff. One advantage of this policy is that there is more choice than one would normally find. There are two separate cafeterias serving a variety of traditional Turkish dishes along with the ubiquitous burgers and hot-dogs. Prices were quite reasonable, much less than you would pay outside.

Kayseri itself is a religiously conservative city, and anyone going there should be aware that certain types of behaviour - while of course not illegal - will be frowned upon. Bringing someone of the opposite sex back to your apartment is a definite no-no: to get into the school grounds you have to go through a gate manned by a security guard, and you can bet that he will be making a careful note of who is coming and going, and when. Alcohol is not part of the culture, and while it is freely available in shops there are not many bars in town and you should certainly avoid appearing drunk in public. During Ramadan alcohol may not be purchased during daylight hours (the drinks shelves in supermarkets are screened off) and as far as I know the only restaurant open was McDonalds. To avoid causing offence, it is best to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public when the fast is being observed. You will not be arrested for it, but you will certainly incur some tut-tutting and I have heard reports of some people being subjeted to verbal abuse in the street. The school cafeteria continues to serve lunch during Ramadan, but with a greatly restricted menu. When I was there, the only customers were some primary school children and the foreign staff - all the Turkish teachers and most of the students observed the fast.

Regarding shopping, you will find your day-to-day needs are adequately catered for. There are several small grocery shops just across the street from the school, a supermarket about five minutes' walk away, and a full range of stores in the city centre about 20 minutes' walk away. If you do not want to walk there is a good bus / minibus service.

One other thing worth mentioning is the extreme cold in winter. Night-time lows of -25C (yes, minus twenty-five!) are common from December until February, with daytime highs of no more than -10C (minus ten). It is a dry cold, so it is not that unpleasant provided you come prepared for it. Fortunately the school and the apartments are well heated.

Some advice if you do decide to accept the offer. Insist on teaching only primary up to Year 5 or 6, and high school prep. Do not accept primary 7 or 8, or high school classes unless you have experience with and enjoy teaching that age-group. Do not accept a timetable which gives you only one or two lessons a week with fifteen or twenty different classes - you will not get to know the students and they will not take your lessons seriously because they know that the grades you give them will count for virtually nothing. Insist on having each of your classes for at least three, and preferably more, lessons a week, insist on being given a proper grade-book in which to record students' grades, and let your classes know that your grades will count towards the final overall English grade.

I hope you will find my comments useful.
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 2:47 pm    Post subject: a few more things Reply with quote

With regards to the classes at TED Koleji, I teach grades 5, 6, and 7. The 6s are by far the sweetest kids I've ever taught. The 5s and 7s vary in mood from class to class. Some are just lovely, others make me cringe. The grade 8s are not taught by native speakers this year as they are preparing for exams that don't include English. Just as well as they are quite brutish in the hallways. Some of the boys actually try to bully me regularly, shouting obscenities in Turkish at me when I pass. Do not judge them by age group though, as I know the under-grade-5s aren't as easy or even as sane as implied. I teach the 5s three times a week, and the 6s and 7s 2 times a week. I still don't know half of their names after eight months here. Also, please note: we don't give grades. None. We have absolutely no power. The kids do not take us seriously. We are their free lesson, their goof off hour, their hour to go crazy in. And they do. Fights, yelling, screaming, throwing things, constant arguing, refusal to do any work... normal. Ali Guldas is trying to do something about this (he says) but we've tried so many discipline tactics this year to no avail. You really are alone here in this regard. Just breathe deeply and let the chaos wash over you. And if that fails, the Yakut Kavaklidere red wine from Migros is a nice way to end the day.
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El Gordo



Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:25 pm    Post subject: Grades Reply with quote

Quote:
Do not judge them by age group though, as I know the under-grade-5s aren't as easy or even as sane as implied


A valid point. I was only giving a snaphot of TED as I saw it a few years ago, and of course classes can and do vary as regards behaviour and attitude within the same age-group. In general terms, though, I have always found Years 3 to 6 much more manageable than the older students.

Quote:
Also, please note: we don't give grades.


In my days at TED the native speakers gave two exams and two oral grades per semester, but since we only had each class for one or two lessons a week (except the Lise Hazirlik, with whom we had 6 lessons a week) our grades counted for little. But a little was better than nothing at all, and the threat to give "1" as an oral grade was sometimes enough to make an unruly little brat sit up and pay attention. As it happened, we foreigners dished out the "1"s quite liberally, too liberally for some people's liking (and I don't mean just the students!), and I suspect that that may be the reason why you are no longer issued with grade-books.

Given the importance of grades in the Turkish system, I would advise anyone who is considering working in a primary / high school to enquire what the school policy is regarding giving grade-books to foreign staff. If you are not going to be allowed that little bit of authority which having a grade-book confers, you may well be in for problems of the type Yaramaz alludes to.

Ah yes, Migros. Two "M"s, down near the fish-market if my memory serves me. My own preference was for Almer, though that meant having to carry the bottles that bit further!
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 4:51 pm    Post subject: Booze.. Reply with quote

Almer doesn't sell alcohol these days. Nor does Begendik, closest to the school. Sok does, as do a few little corner shops. Seek them out early as they will be your friends. Also, do as we did and befriend the staff at the Hilton above Almer- they're expats from Istanbul sent out unwillingly and are just as miserable and bored as you. They will put a happy shot of Bailey's into your 3 million lira coffee for free...
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martha oral



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 10
Location: Ankara, Turkey

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 2:52 pm    Post subject: TEDS around Turkey Reply with quote

the best thing about most of the TED schools in Turkey is that they have been hiring foreigners for years and know how to treat them - unlike many of the newer private schools.
Kayseri is not the most exciting towns but it certainly isn't as bad as some of the posters claim. And hey, best thing about Kayseri....pretty damn good skiing in the winter! Life is certainly cheaper there than in the bigger cities, you can probably save a large part of your salary.
Cheers
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