This is me. When I talk to you on the phone, I am walking non-stop around my apartment and moving lots of objects. Post-phone call, I always have to look around to make sure I can find the vital things (wallet, keys, and, yes, phone).
I spent the weekend eating kebaps, exploring our expansive campus, cleaning my apartment, shopping, and reading. Today I will meet the class of medical students that I’ll teach on Thursday afternoons. Course Title: Fun English Speaking Activities for Future Doctors (or something like that; the title is in Turkish). On Wednesday we will hopefully meet our first class of students. Hazirlik is a preparatory program for students who have not passed the necessary English exam. These students take exclusively Englishes courses for 1 year, spending over 30 hours a week reading, writing, and speaking English. At our University, the Fulbright grantees are responsible for hazirlik speaking courses. This year, we expect to teach about 16 hours of speaking courses a week.
Its very strange to not be teaching yet. We don’t know our course book or our teaching schedule or class sizes or even the language ability of our students so its been hard to start lesson planning. We were told on Friday by the Vice-Director of the School of Foreign Languages that we may begin teaching on Wednesday, but not to expect many students still. I’ve been collecting activities and sorting out goals. It is nice to have something academic to focus my brain on.
A few gems from our lesson-planning guides/activity books:
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty” -Henry Ford
“We enter into the dizzy world of real students, real colleagues, and real bosses. Just preparing lessons and turning up on time, in the right room, in the correct building, all neat and tidy, are usually enough to keep us very busy. Once we have found our balance at work, we need to learn more and fast!” -Turkish EFL guide
I’m not bothered by the lack of urgency in our department… yet. I have enough adjusting to do without jumping straight into teaching. I don’t think of myself as a teacher right now. Right now, I’m just a observer of Turkish life, a participant observer. Observation of the day: its 37 degrees F (3 degrees C) today and I see Turkish men on the street with shorts on. This does not bode well for the harshness of the coming winter.
Well, this is a rambling post. Guess thats where I’m at this morning. Hopefully more structure, planning, and participation to come!