Welcome to the first post of what I hope will be an extensive guest series: “Teachers in Turkey”. Our first guest is Eva Büyüksimkeşyan, a name I’m sure will be familiar from Twitter and ELT conferences across Europe. I had the pleasure to meet Eva in person at ISTEK last April and I’m honoured such a great educator agreed to be a part of this series.
Eva’s post touches on something that I’m sure many of you will have experienced at some point in your teaching career: the perception that teaching is a ‘part-time’ job, the best feature of which is long summer holidays. Please read on and share your comments - both Eva and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Teaching - the ideal career for a woman? A bit of an old-fashioned ,idea I think!
Image by kevindooley
Writing is not very easy in summer anymore as Istanbul is getting hotter and hotter each year and more humid. I brainstormed some ideas but wasn’t very sure what to write. It was difficult to concentrate on anything.
I was at pool with kids and chatting with the ladies there and of course I told them ‘I’m a teacher’
Guess how the conversation continued....
An elderly lady told that teaching is the best job for a woman.
Any ideas why she said that?
She added ‘You have three months holiday and arrive home early and do the other stuff’
Why does she think like that? She is not alone. That’s the common thought about teaching. It is kind of a part time job. It looks and sounds like that.
We know it is not.
But you know there are others who make them think teaching is a part time job.
I didn’t argue with them. Didn’t say anything but just mumbled ‘yeah I love teaching’
Maybe I should have argued...
Yes, I love teaching but not just because of long summer holidays, sudden snow breaks or because it enables me to be home with my kids when they return from school.
Teaching is the best job for me because it keeps me young, cheerful and energetic. It helps me share what I have. It helps me guide some young people. It makes me see how they achieve their goals and it enables me to learn something new every day. It ... I have loads of reasons why I love teaching, why it is a great job.
When do you think people will stop thinking about teaching as a kind of part time job for a woman which will enable her to bring her kids up and be a good wife?
Teaching is a career. A very serious profession but it hurts when a parent says ‘my daughter doesn’t like studying Mrs Buyuksimkesyan, I only want her to graduate from high school and who knows maybe she can become a teacher. That’s the best job for a girl, isn’t it?
No, it isn’t.
Please, please.... if you won’t work hard, try to make a difference or touch somebody’s life, don’t become a teacher. It requires enthusiasm, hard work and dedication.
Only if people see teachers who are working hard and trying to keep themselves updated, will others stop thinking like that.
Only if students realise how tough the teacher’s job is, will parents see the hard work.
But if we, the teachers, boast about the long summer holidays and I-don’t-care-what’s-going-around-the-world-I’m-just-waiting-for-my-retirement or I-am-looking-for –a –job-as-a-teacher-coz-I-decided-to-have-a-kid attitude changes then teaching will be perceived as a real job with career opportunities, travel chances, development options just like other jobs which are more considered as a profession.
Or maybe when the working conditions, payment, etc. becomes better ...
I'm Eva Büyüksimkeşyan, an EFL teacher and a blogger, working at the same school I had graduated from.(It was my dream and it came true) I'm trying to integrate technology in my teaching. I have started several collaborative projects with teachers from other countries.If you like you can also join the fun at http://celebr8uandmedigitally.wikispaces.com/ next year. I blog at evasimkesyan.edublogs.org and I'm evab2001 on twitter.