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Amerikan Kultur Dernegi anaokul - update- offer opinions??

 
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jkp114



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Amerikan Kultur Dernegi anaokul - update- offer opinions?? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I recently applied to this school, Amerikan Kultur Dernegi Dil Okullari, and received a response from them not with an offer persay, but telling me they would be glad to make me an offer and that we should talk when I arrive in Istanbul (late August).

I am not Celta/Delta/ESL certified, but I am a masters holder from Columbia University and I have some experience teaching children and counseling adults, and think I will be more than capable to teach (with a short learning curve). I did 2 job applications at this school, one to teach adults the other to teach prek-5 year olds. I would actually prefer to work with younger children as I think it will be more regular daytime hours and more fun! This is the position they wanted to discuss with me as well.

Anyway, anyone have any experience with this school in any context? Any information about their reputation, payment, treatment of teachers, etc would be very greatly appreciated.

Cok tesekkuler! Very Happy


Last edited by jkp114 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that AK has a reputation of being one of the better run schools in Izmir, but I don't believe that the Izmir branch gets you work permits. I don't know about the Istanbul branch, but I've never heard anything particularly negative about it, which is a good thing.

What's your MA in?

Regards,
~Q
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jkp114



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, thanks for your reply Q!

My MS is in Social Enterprise Management, which is a social sciences business related degree. But I am a social worker historically and have worked in school before. I know it is not very relevant, but I am encouraged that I have gotten some responses from some (hopefully) decent schools like AK. I would REALLY like to not have to get my CELTA, as I am a fairly recent graduate with my MS, want a break from school and dont want to spend the $ to get CELTA certified. I think I will enjoy teaching, but I do not see myself doing it very long-term as I hope to eventually get a more corporate or project based consulting job. But, we'll see how it goes!

Do you think this will pose a large problem, in your opinion?

Thanks, and anyone else with any relevant information about AK or anything else, please let me know!
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that you have a business degree is a good thing, though I should note that that means there's a possibility they'll want you to teach some adults too. (Most Turkish language schools don't have very many business English courses, but it's possible that AK might want you to teach the ones they do have.) One of the things Turkish employers seem to value most is flexibility, in terms of hours, methods, and classes taught (and in some of the worst cases about their honoring the terms of the contract). I've personally been inflexible about not teaching children, which is part of what's hampered my search. (That and I left Istanbul—with a relatively strong ESL market—for Izmir—with a far weaker one.)

You're fortunate in that Turkey seems to be one of the few European countries where TESOL certification isn't a big deal for many employers, provided that you have previous teaching experience. As always, it's a business and if they think that 1. you'll entertain their students and 2. take what they offer you, you'll get the job. On the other hand, while it's not required to get a work permit, those employers I know who definitely do get work permits (all three of them), do require TESOL certs.

If you're in Istanbul you should be fine in that regard, since most EFLers in Istanbul work illegally.

Regards,
~Q
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Amerikan Kulture, etc. Reply with quote

Actually, if I were you, I'd spend the money to go to Seoul and look for a job there. Teaching kids is great at the bushibans, 3-9 pm (if you're a night owl). Classes are usually small, less than 15. You teach kids after they finish their school day, so no working during the day. This was my favorite teaching job - teaching kids in bushibans in Korea. Unfortunately, usually there's more money in teaching university, so I left, and got a great job as an editor at another Korean university.

The problem is - you have a 50-50 chance of getting a decent employer in Korea. Or maybe a 10-90% with the 10% being the good part. BUT you will get a legal visa, a small (very small) apartment, and save money.

So if you get a good bushiban, like Para.... can't recall the full name of the company - you really may enjoy your stay.

THEN you can go to college after a year or two, to ENGLAND and get a Masters in Linguistics in one year. Some American colleges make it a two or three year program, but not the UK. Try the Univ. of Nottingham.

Japan is actually better, because it's more organized, but Korea takes ANY formal degrees, even with no CELTA. I don't know Japan's requirements. Then there's always super-polluted China (but you probably won't be able to save for another Masters). Additionally, Asian students, for the most part, are usually polite and do their homework.

If you want 1,000 students a week, you could sign up for Korea's gov't schools' program. About 30 in a class. I don't know the hiring requirements nowadays for these positions. If a student simply writes his/her name in English on a test, I was told to give the student a "B". Your co-Korean teacher may not like you, and if you protest, complain or make suggestions - your administrator may give you more busy work.

BUT the book I used there was excellent, and the students had the CD. I just could not handle teaching 1,000 students a week - teaching each class, I think - one hour a week.

You might want to read the Japanese and Korean boards before setting your sights on Turkey.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea is emphatically not a country you can comfortably navigate on your own if you've never been there before and don't speak any of the language (it took me about four months to get used to it). Turkey is, and I felt comfortable right away.

Moreover there's only one Turkish employer I know who gets work permits for full-time employees and is a bad employer (Turk American), but I know more than a few schools which are known as good places to work despite not bothering with the visas, and if you are working illegally, it makes it easy to switch employers.

Generally schools in smaller cities will get you work permits, either because the authorities are more nosy, or because there's less chance of you running to another school and leaving them in a lurch. And of course public schools will also get you work permits.

And there's definitely a demand for kiddie teachers here.

Regards,
~Q
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jkp114



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I do appreciate the response, I have no interest in going to Korea and am not sure why you would randomly try to persuade me to go there. I am going to Istanbul because that is where I want to be, it is all set, and frankly your description of Korea does not sound any better than teaching prospects in Istanbul. Thanks for the input, but I would say try to keep replies on topic. I was asking for opinions of a specific school and teaching situation in Istanbul, Turkey. I am going there because I love the city, the culture, the people ,and I have begun learning the language. While some people may be wanting to teach English and willing to go anywhere, I am the opposite. I want to go to Istanbul, and am willing to teach English to support myself, but I am not looking to make a career out of teaching English wherever the winds take me.

Q, thanks for your input and for your on-point and on-topic advice.

Best,
jkp114
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La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Amerikan Kulture, etc. Reply with quote

Sorry I misunderstood your post.

Please forgive me.
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Yogita



Joined: 17 Jun 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently moved to turkey & had an interview with Amerikan Kultur Dernegi as well but for their Adiyaman branch, they offered 1300 usd plus housing but the hours were long. Didn't take it in the end. Then I got a bilingual kindergarten paying 1700usd plus housing.
Salaries vary so much here according to schools & locations too.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just want to add that I just had an interview with the Amerikan Kültür branch in Sivas. It's a new branch where it was admitted to me that the school franchised on account of AKD's good reputation for students and are hiring foreigners solely because the Amerikan Kültür program requires it.

They've never hired foreigners before and clearly have no idea how to deal with them. The manager speaks no English and has a clearly overworked though friendly Turkish teacher translate for him. He didn't even realize that his school is advertising for teachers yet, so out of the loop is he with the running of his school; he expects to hire the ones he needs on the spot in September. They expect an average of 40 teaching hours/week, and can go as high as 50. Also, the ads give the strong impression that the school will obtain a work permit (asking for original docs and promising to pay for insurance and social security), but when I asked, he first claimed that Americans don't need work permits to work in Turkey, and then when I called him on it said that he might consider it after the teacher worked there a year.

So it's clear that anybody considering an AKD/ACA (both acronyms are apparently used) position should scope out the school, because while some branches have excellent reps, some branches might give English Time a run for their money.

Regards,
~Q
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Yogita



Joined: 17 Jun 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jkp114, AKA is a really good school but they don't pay much. Their salary range is 1200-1500. You could do so much better here & you do have a Masters from Columbia University so that should open some better doors for you. Have as much interviews as you can then weigh your options.
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jkp114



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Got an offer Reply with quote

Thanks so much for your previous help, everyone
So I just finally interviewed with them and turns out its a preschool (anaokul) which is better for me because I can work regular hours (8:30-6 ish) and no weekends. But they asked me for salary and I said at minimum 2500 Tl... He tried to offer 2300 but I held firm and he agreed to 2500. I am ASSUMING this is net pay as I do not expect to be taxes as There was no mention of getting me a work permit... Would this make sense?

So... Should I take the job? It is the Atasehir branch of AKD Kids, looked like a lovely school really nice inside and people all seemed nice. The head english teacher is a young australian about my age which is cool. My concerns are..... Should I have held out for more money (maybe 3000tl) or is this unrealistic? Or should I have asked to get paid in dollars, maybe $1500 USD a month instead of 2500 TL? I may still be able to negotiate this. He also said typically we can have one day off a month which is not great but I feel I may be able to ask for more, he seemed to really need me and was flexible in other things like pay schedule (monthly or bimonthly). Also, I will be "teaching" a classroom of about 10 2-year olds! I guess it will be easy, but tiring.

So, do you think this is a reasonable offer? Or should I ask for more concessions? I am also thinking thqt a month in after I see how things go and they see how I do I might be able to renegotiate pay or currency. Just as a remind, I am a masters holder from Columbia University with a social work management type of degree, no language certification, but I do have 2 years experience working doing counseling and supplementary teaching in an elementary school.

Thanks everyone, hope to hear back soon! I'm supposed to start next weds.
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