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Denizli or Kayseri
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1329
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Ironing out the details Reply with quote

El Gordo, many thanks for the info. about your teaching experiences in both Greece and Turkey. From what you say, Turkey appears to be a decent deal overall, despite what all my friends and family tell me (don't go because: the money is worthless, it is an "Islamic country", there are earth quakes, the people are conservative, etc....). From your writings, and my own travel in the country, I know otherwise.

1. Signing the contract: Does the teacher have the option of switching schools within the Turkish TED schools? That is before September comes. Or is the contract only valid with a particular school?

2. Have you ever seen a teacher switch schools midyear? e.g. from one branch to another. In my case, for example, I do suffer from a bit of rheumatism, and the cold weather at one of the TED branches might prove to be bothersome?

Your comments about Greek school children were of interest. Also, I have found the opposite to be true. When children are tired...that is generally when they are at their worst...because they are bored, and this means that the lesson you try to 'teach' will fall on deaf ears. I hate to teach students who are bored...it is extremely frustrating and irritating.

Your comments about your routine were interesting. It appears to be a pleasant stress free life (or relatively so).

3. It would be interesting, before signing a contract to have an idea what English teachers actually do in a class. In my case I prefer to teach grades 4-6, because that is the area I trained in for the B.Ed.

What might be a typical 45 minute lesson for a grade 5-6 class at one of the TED schools? What materials do you need. How do you communicate if your Turkish is basically non existent and likewise for the English level of the students?

4. I looked over the TED schools website, and noted that the Turkish teachers portrayed in one of the TED schools (I think it is in Karabuk) all wore suits and ties. Is this the typical dress expected of teachers at these schools, and would this apply to foreign English teachers as well?
It all looked pretty conservative to me, but perhaps that is the Turkish style. What do you normally wear in class? In my case when teaching in most Latin American places, I have always worn normal trousers with black shoes and a dress shirt (even short sleeved), but no tie....is this possible at the TED schools? I must say, in Latin America, most of the students always looked very smartly turned out in designer jeans and nice shirts etc...many foreign teachers there looked rather scruffy in comparison.

You mentioned that you have taught at seven schools in Turkey. Were all of those with the TED schools, or did you also teach with other outfits?

Did you ever switch schools, or branches mid-year (i.e. around Christmas time) or before mid-year?

I have been looking at two other schools in Turkey...the ISTEK schools in Istanbul, which seem to demand a lot more preparation and responsibility than the TED schools, and the BILKENT schools in Ankara. The BILKENT school in Ankara has a contract that runs from August to August with a monthly net of $1300 (U.S.). Do you have any opinions, experience with those schools? Have you heard anything about them?

It would be interesting to know where you are teaching at the moment, and what the opportunities are at a similar branch? Are you still with TED somewhere, or have you switched to a different school?

Many thanks
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El Gordo



Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does the teacher have the option of switching schools within the Turkish TED schools? That is before September comes. Or is the contract only valid with a particular school?


TED is a loose federation of what are essentially independent, self-governing schools, each with its own board of management. Your contract will be valid with only one school. If you wanted to move to another TED school after a year, doubtless a reference from your present one would stand you in good stead, but there is no possibility of moving in the middle of the school year.

Quote:
Have you ever seen a teacher switch schools midyear?


No. As I said in a previous post, the only way you will be given permission to leave a school in the middle of the year is for family or health reasons, and you are then expected to leave the country. Anyway, there is no guarantee that another TED school (or any other) would have a vacancy at the time you wanted to leave, and the work visa will be valid only for the school with which you originally contracted. If you think you might have problems with your rheumatism in temperatures of -20 or less, perhaps you should avoid Kayseri.


Quote:
When children are tired...that is generally when they are at their worst...because they are bored, and this means that the lesson you try to 'teach' will fall on deaf ears


Yes, they were just too tired to concentrate and my lessons often did fall on deaf ears. The only disruption they ever caused was a bit of fidgeting - there was never any screaming or shouting, or throwing objects or otherwise 'playing up'.

Quote:
It would be interesting, before signing a contract to have an idea what English teachers actually do in a class. In my case I prefer to teach grades 4-6, because that is the area I trained in for the B.Ed.


This brings me back to a point in made in an earlier post. You really must make sure, before signing the contract, that you will be teaching a proper course, which will be examined, and that you will be teaching each class for a certain minimum number of lessons per week. I suggest three as the absolute minimum, preferably more. Re-read Yaramaz's recent comments and see the results of getting a class for only one or two lessons a week, and not having a proper course to teach. I had similar experiences with some classes at TED and it was a nightmare I would not wish to repeat.

Grades 4-6 are, in my experience, the most manageable and cooperative, and that is precisely what I am teaching at the moment: two classes from each of the three grades for four lessons a week, total 24.

Quote:
What might be a typical 45 minute lesson for a grade 5-6 class at one of the TED schools? What materials do you need. How do you communicate if your Turkish is basically non existent and likewise for the English level of the students?


If you decide to go to TED Kayseri and they do not change their policy of foreign teacher class allocation, you may well have to spend all your time trying to prevent them from running around the room, running out of the room, making so much noise that they disturb lessons in adjacent rooms, fighting with each other, stabbing each other with compasses, etc. If, however, you get a proper course to teach (probably a 'skills' course such as listening, reading, speaking, writing, or any combination thereof) you might find it useful, in the early stanges anyway, to base your lessons closely on the suggested lesson plans in the teachers' books. The important thing is to have plenty of variety and to try to involve as many of the students as possible, but I'm sure you know this anyway.

Even Grade 4 students should be able to understand basic instructions in English. You should supplement your instructions by actions, where appropriate, and use facial expressions, especially your eyes, to convey your feelings.

Quote:
Is this the typical dress expected of teachers at these schools, and would this apply to foreign English teachers as well?


Yes to both questions, but it doesn't have to be a suit. What you wear in Latin America, plus a tie, would be OK. Short-sleeved shirts, with tie, are acceptable in summer. Bear in mind that the students will expect teachers to dress in a certain way, and if you appear too casual, without a tie, you will not seem like a real teacher in their eyes and consequently they will not treat you as a real teacher.

Quote:
You mentioned that you have taught at seven schools in Turkey. Were all of those with the TED schools, or did you also teach with other outfits


TED Kayseri is the only TED school at which I have taught.

Quote:
Did you ever switch schools, or branches mid-year (i.e. around Christmas time) or before mid-year?


No, it is not possible to switch schools.

Quote:
Do you have any opinions, experience with those schools? Have you heard anything about them?


No, I have no experience of Istek or Bilkent. A few years ago I did apply to Bilkent but when I read the information which they sent me I quickly decided that it wasn't my scene. I like to be left to do my own thing, and there was no chance of that at Bilkent. I don't know anything about Istek, other than that they paint the outside of their buildings in the most hideous shades of blue and pink!

A word about lesson preparation: All teachers in Turkish schools are required to make written plans for each lesson taught - the "Günlük Plan" (Daily Plan) - and these plans must be available for inspection by Ministry of Education inspectors when they visit the school. However... I have never once had a class inspected, despite the fact that inspectors have visited all my schools, and I have been told by different HoDs "Don't worry, they never go into foreigners' lessons. Most of them don't speak English very well and they're afraid of being embarrassed." Only two of my schools have insisted that I keep a daily plan, but it was no big deal and I found I could do the plans for the whole week retrospectively in about an hour at the weekend. By retrospectively I mean they weren't plans at all, of course, but a summary of what I had done that week, laid out to look like plans!

Quote:
It would be interesting to know where you are teaching at the moment, and what the opportunities are at a similar branch? Are you still with TED somewhere, or have you switched to a different school?


I'm sure you'll forgive me if for reasons of privacy and security I do not disclose the name of my present school. I can tell you, though, that it is in Central Anatolia, in a town of similar size to Kayseri, but not as cold in winter! It is not a TED school and is not part of any group of schools. There are two other foreign teachers, both young women, one from Canada and one from Australia, and as far as I know they are both planning to stay here next year as they each have a Turkish male friend but have not made any firm decision yet.
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1329
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 3:41 pm    Post subject: How valid are words on a contract? Reply with quote

El Gordo, thanks for the info.

I have been in touch with one of the HOD's at one of the TED schools and he promised me that grades 3-6 would be mentioned in the contract.

Is this a guarantee, for example, that I would not have to teach high school, which is not for everyone? Is the contract really valid, or can they shift teachers around, even if they promised them, initially, that the teacher would only be teaching primary grades?

After sending back emails back and forth with a certain school for about 2 weeks, stating that I intend to teach there in the fall.....are there still any possibilities of not actually commiting to going there? It's just that I have some concerns about one of the schools?

It would be difficult for me to accept a position in a school where the kids behave in some of the ways described on this board. I do not have high stress tolerance.

How would I get a list of schools in Turkey, which employ 'foreign English teachers' with more or less the same benefits of TED? Is there another site on the internet, besides 'Daves esl cafe?'

If I come to Turkey in the summer, with two heavy suitcases, in anticipation of teaching somewhere during the school year. Is there anywhere I might be able to 'store' that luggage in Istanbul, during my travels throughout the country?

How would I get reimbursed for the airfare if I go to Turkey during the summer, with no precise destination?

Where do you recommend taking a language course in Turkey during the summer? I know there are schools in places like Kusadasi. Would that be a decent place to learn the language, or are there too many tourists there in the summer?

Many thanks, again, for the useful advice..
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yaramaz



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

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to know more about TED schools, why haven't you asked me yet? After all, I'm currently working at TED Kayseri... I DID post above. But ok, if you want to keep pestering El Gordo about endless details feel free to do so...
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El Gordo



Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is this a guarantee, for example, that I would not have to teach high school, which is not for everyone?


Although the primary and high schools are usually on the same campus, they function as separate schools, each with its own administrative and teaching staff. If you are hired to teach primary, you will not be asked to teach high school.

Quote:
are there still any possibilities of not actually commiting to going there?


You have not committed yourself until you actually sign the contract. Saying in an e-mail that you accept the position does not bind you legally. After you accept, the school normally sends you the contract for signing within a few days, and you should not sign it unless you are sure you want to accept.

Quote:
It would be difficult for me to accept a position in a school where the kids behave in some of the ways described on this board. I do not have high stress tolerance.


The kids will be pretty much the same whatever school you go to. The TED Kayseri kids were easily the worst behaved I have ever encountered, but that was not because they were inherently naughtier or inherently more disruptive than in any other school; it was because - as I have said before - we did not have a proper course to follow with them and our grades counted for virtually nothing. Also, I suspect there was a tradition of goofing about in foreign teachers' lessons which had been allowed to continue, unchecked by HoDs and Principals, from year to year. Requests for the HoD or Turkish class teacher to come in and have a word with unruly classes fell on deaf ears ("It would be better for you to deal with it yourself; if we go in they won't respect you.") and of course any form of punishment was out of the question. I should make the point that I'm talking about the primary staff here - the Lise staff were much more supportive.

But I am pleased to say that in my experience TED was the exception. In all my other schools the Turkish staff have been ready to offer advice and practical assistance whenever I needed it. I have always found it useful, for example, to have a Turkish teacher come in with me the first time I take a class. S/he introduces me to the class, then I tell them a bit about myself, maybe I then ask if any of them would like to say a few words about themselves, then the Turkish teacher explains (in Turkish) the kind of behaviour I expect from them. It is vitally important at this first meeting not to come over to them as nervous, defensive or aggressive. You should appear confident and in total control - even though you may feel otherwise!

During your time at the school if you ever feel a situation is developing which you may not be able to handle you should approach the HoD or class teacher with your concerns. There is no shame in asking for help. It is no good waiting until you have lost control of the class.

Quote:
How would I get a list of schools in Turkey, which employ 'foreign English teachers' with more or less the same benefits of TED?


Go to http://web.bilkent.edu.tr/inet-turkey/k12-webs.html where you will find links to many private schools in Turkey. I do not know if all, or even most, of them employ foreign teachers - you will just have to fax some of them and see if you get a response.

Quote:
Is there anywhere I might be able to 'store' that luggage in Istanbul, during my travels throughout the country?


Many hotels in Istanbul will allow you to store luggage on payment of a fee. (You would be expected to stay a couple of nights at the hotel, of course.) Otherwise, the removal companies offer storage facilities, although this is mainly aimed at people wishing to store entire house contents. One of the best known is Çolakoglu, website www.icolakoglu.com , e-mail address for enquiries: nakliyat@icolakoglu.com .

Quote:
How would I get reimbursed for the airfare if I go to Turkey during the summer, with no precise destination


Keep the ticket or receipt to show to your employer. You should be aware, however, that schools do not generally reimburse any air-fare for teachers hired in Turkey. If you are hired by a school while you are in Turkey, it is very likely that they will refuse to pay any travel expenses.

Quote:
Where do you recommend taking a language course in Turkey during the summer? I know there are schools in places like Kusadasi. Would that be a decent place to learn the language, or are there too many tourists there in the summer?


I cannot give any personal recommendations as I have never taken such a course. If you want to immerse yourself in the authentic Turkish experience (whatever that may be) I would say that Kusadasi should be the last place on your list! Some schools offering Turkish for foreigners advertise regularly in the Turkish Daily News. These tend to be mainly in Istanbul or Ankara. You could also do a search for "Turkish for foreigners" on Google.
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richard ame



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 319
Location: Republic of Turkey

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 7:05 am    Post subject: denizili/ Kaseryi ?????? Reply with quote

Hi El Gordo
Just thought I would let you know I've being thinking of you and your everlasting question and answering routine with ghost of a hope ,seems to me he's asked you just about every concievable question at least twice except maybe the colour of toilet paper over here I'm surprised you haven't told him to piss off yet ,he's getting on my nerves don't know about yours ,no wonder you didn't tell him where you worked,can you imagine if he turned up at your place and started it all over again ,talk about wanting to know the far end of the fart and which way it blows ,the big question is has the *beep* made a choice yet* Yeah who cares ??
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yaramaz



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

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard,

Exactly my sentiments.

Ghost,

For goodness sake, just take a chance! Relax! Jump in, see what happens... your neurotic questioning is getting on my nerves...
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1329
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 3:00 pm    Post subject: List of schools in Turkey Reply with quote

Thanks, El Gordo, for the list of schools in Turkey. I will look those over...

Yaramaz, interesting comments too. Thanks.
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martha oral



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

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 5:16 am    Post subject: Work permits Reply with quote

Hi Ghost,
Yes it is true that you MUST fill out your work permit forms in your home country and get the stamps etc... from the embassy IN YOU HOME COUNTRY. Acutally this is a good thing. Any school that requires you to get a work permit should be much more reliable than one that does not! However, be advised that this may take some time. Do NOT wait until 2 days before you leave...you will be up the proverbial creek with out a paddle. Turkish paper work is labourious and never ending....start as soon as you have your contract in hand..if not sooner!
Martha
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12243
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 6:14 am    Post subject: questions Reply with quote

It is good to ask questions before committing yourself, but sometime people go a bit far !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean, how many questions can you ask ?
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stokes



Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 9:37 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Kayseri Reply with quote

I was a teacher in Kayseri, Turkey for four months last year. I taught English for college students and to adults for business advancement at a school called Uzay. It was a wonderful experience -- Turkish people are some of the most hospitable people I have encountered in my travels. Kayseri is not the most entertaining city in Turkey (if you are looking for action and night life, Kayseri is definitely not the place to go), but Mt. Erciyes and Cappadocia are nearby; Mt. Erciyes is beautiful and has excellent skiing and Cappadocia is one of the most fascinating places in Turkey.

I am a 32 year old female and never felt threatened during the duration of my visit. The people were perhaps too hospitable -- I had to reject many of the constant dinner, picnic and home invitations -- it became quite overwhelming, as they were very persistent and I worried about hurting peoples' feelings.

The people at Uzay were so thrilled to have an American English teacher, that they interviewed me and hired me without looking at my resume. I had a disappointing interview at a school in Ankara, and the next city I went to was Kayseri -- I got a job the second day I was there.

I cannot speak for the teaching situations in the highschools or elementary schools, but my students were eager to learn and obedient.
The school gave me a great deal of freedom with what and how I taught.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12243
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 5:42 am    Post subject: only four months Reply with quote

If it was so great how come you only lasted four months ? I would be ashamed to put that on my cv !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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richard ame



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 319
Location: Republic of Turkey

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 6:51 am    Post subject: An everlasting saga!!!!! Reply with quote

I think we have talked this thread to death ,can we move on please to something else ,Ghost drop it ok make a move a decision, and we can all go home and you can go and live happily in which ever place you want ,now lets have another topic .
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12243
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 11:25 am    Post subject: Make Your Mind Up Time ! Reply with quote

Now Ghost, it is MAKE YOUR MIND UP TIME. You have run out of questions.

Next please !
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ghost



Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 1329
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 2:49 pm    Post subject: Uzay school, Kayseri, Turkey Reply with quote

Stokes,

Any options for ESL teachers at the Uzay school during the summer months in Kayseri? seems like a nice place to work.

Could you tell us about the pay and conditions at that school? Did you work there on a tourist visa? Also what about the accommodations?

How much Turkish language were you able to learn during your 4 months at the Uzay school?

In any case it sounds less stressful (teaching at Uzay) than some of the private schools mentioned on this forum. But the pay is probably less too?

Were you able to save any money when teaching at the Uzay school?
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