Those are the buses for the high school students. I usually
get around in vehicles like that which the school provides.
Below are the students signing up for our Wednesday aft activity of
playing American Football. I had so much fun randomly throwing
the football and the frisbee at students passing by during the
sign-up time. We'll be playing Settler's, other board games
and watching sports movies in the winter when we can't go outside.
I'm also enjoying teaching so far though it's taking me a lot of
time to prep my classes. I've got a lot of work ahead of me
this year, but I'm also excited to learn what the year has for me.
It's interesting how I have to keep challenging myself to grow and
learn new things so that I engage life. Another part of me
wants to sit back and be comfortable with my job etc... but whenever
I do that, life seems to get boring. Here's a short video clip
night in Istanbul celebrating a birthday. The Turkish
women seemed to do most of the dancing, but at the end of the night,
most people were up on their chairs. This was actually one of
the most unbelievable worst nights of my life leading to my first
heart break in Turkey!!! :(
|Apart from that little hiccup,
I do feel like I'm meeting some interesting people here and making
some fun friends. One couple from Michigan also had a guitar
and some music which I was able to borrow this week so that's been
fun. On Saturday we have parent teacher interviews. I
had to hand in my briefing to the translators today. I also
had to do the unit plans for my courses making this whole year all
the more interesting. Fortunately the teacher before me
actually started organizing things so that I do have some computer
files to help me, but most of the other new teachers I asked had
their year mapped out for them by the senior teachers which is good
in one way because they had less work to do, but not so good in
another way because I have more freedom to do things the way I want
to and even choose the curriculum to some degree, though I would
have preferred that more in my second year at the school than now.
Last Sunday I played ultimate to release some of my frustration from
Saturday night and this Sunday is the Terry Fox run in Istanbul.
I think we're walking across one of the big suspension bridges in
the city which should be cool. I played some v-ball tonight
with some of the other teachers and some of the students were using
the other half of the gym. Most of the foreign teachers live
on campus a little ways away from the school and the dorms, but some
of the students live in the dorms so it's interesting walking around
here at night and seeing the students as well as seeing them in the
school after hours. It was also interesting going to potato
night last night and sitting at the same table as my principal and
director. It's a little bit like we're on a commune here.
It's quite a unique teaching situation. Right now I'm pretty
excited about the season premieres of Lost and Battlestar Galactica
next month. Should be fun watching it with other fans here,
though I haven't run into any BSG fans yet. I may be out of
luck on that one. It's getting more difficult to keep the Blob
up to date with all of the planning I have to do but I'll do my
|Sunday September 25th, 2006
Yeah, that's what teaching's all about. Today was a good day,
so I felt happy leaving school. One of my seven classes,
though, is difficult for me. I feel frustrated when they talk
while I'm trying to teach. Last week I got angry with them and
then they were more respectful for the rest of the class. I'll
try some management strategies this week and see how it goes (I
dislike that word). It just blows me away how my two classes
today can be so quiet and respectful and yet one class can be so the
opposite. I'm comforted by the fact that this class contains a
student for which every teacher at the high school has been briefed.
They don't label students or have individual
education plans here so we were briefed via e-mail and the teachers
teaching the class with this student will be having a lunch meeting
this week. The struggle for me is to separate my feeling about
the success of my class from the feeling I go home with at the end
of the day. The odd thing there is also the fact that my
feelings about a lesson can often be wrong as I think it is too easy
to base the success of a lesson on the wrong things. The pics
are of me in Turkish class. Yep, those are Birks with socks.
I am breaking code, but it's one of those things that my feet just
need. I feel like I compromised enough with the tie and facial
hair thing. I am quite fascinated with languages.
Turkish grammar is logical with a countable number of exceptions.
Everything is determined by the word endings. The writing used
to be Arabic script but now it's a phonetic Latin script.
Chinese also has a logical grammar, but it uses tones (music) and a
non-phonetic artistic writing system. French and English have
innumerable crazy grammar rules, but they are also more expressive
languages with their vocabulary. It makes sense that people
around the world came up with such different ideas and rules for
speaking. I just have to look at my students' assignments to
see a myriad of ways one set of simple instructions can be
interpreted, but it's still so amazing to actually see the
differences. Languages do also affect a culture and I'm
curious to learn more about the role of Turkish in the Turks
culture. This commune living thing seems to get more
interesting by the week. The school is becoming more familiar
each day and we're all settling into our new friendships. It's
quite different knowing that the people you work with are also your
social net. It was similar for me when I lived on the farm in NH, but I think it's a little more difficult here because we have a
more vast set of values and cultures. Some people here are
most challenged by the school politics and teaching methods which so
far I can live with. I'm still in the honeymoon phase so maybe
that will change. I think I'll be most challenged by this
whole commune thing which at the same time I think is also cool.