We work 5 days a week, and a few Saturdays, which is very rare, and when we work on Saturdays it is a half working day. School starts at around 9.00 and finishes at 17.00. There are 8 lessons every day. On Fridays we can leave school at 16.00, which is nice so as not to be stuck in the heavy Friday traffic jam. I teach 26 lessons a week. My students are aged between 6 and 9. At lunchtime teachers have lunch with the students. According to the methods we use, the English teachers are expected to be everywhere with the students to make them practise English. They are not allowed to speak in Turkish during English lessons and the principal is very strict about that. School subjects are often integrated in the English lessons, so we have the chance of teaching our lessons on the same topics, both in English and Turkish.
We always try to include outdoor activities. And we celebrate every special day or week, and bulletin boards are often renewed according to those dates. In every classroom, there is a smart board, a blackboard and a computer for the teacher’s own use. There are around 18 students in each class, so discipline is not a big problem because of this, however, you still need to have excellent class management skills because Turkish children are very energetic and lessons can get very noisy. They easily get excited, and we often have to remind them of the rules.
For expat teachers, Turkey is a great country to work and travel in at the same time. There aren’t many foreign teachers in public schools, but foreign English teachers, even if they aren’t native speakers of English, are highly demanded by private schools. There are lots of native English teachers and foreign class teachers hired every year, especially in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. There are many highly prestigious private schools which have very nice modern working environments with friendly and helpful colleagues. Also salaries are quite satisfactory, and some schools even offer private insurance and accommodation. All conditions are negotiable and you can freely share any of your requests. At Christmas and Easter, foreign teachers are free to have their holidays with pay, as well as other Turkish holidays.
If the school doesn’t cover it, you can find houses and residences 1+1 near the metro or the school. sahibinden.com is a helpful website where you can search through thousands of houses and find the best one for you. You usually pay for the rent, condo fee, gas, electricity, water and internet bills, but it depends on the house that you choose. In some places, the rent includes everything, or the condo fee includes the bills.
There are 81 cities and 38 airports in Turkey. In the big cities, you can find an airport and a metro system. Depending on the city you are in, there can be tramways, ferries, boats, buses, metro and taxis everywhere. Transportation is not very expensive. Each city has its own special travel cards for public transportation and you can travel with this card everywhere in the city. You can also find and download very helpful Turkish transportation applications for your phone. Some schools may offer transportation so you can go to school by school bus.
Turkish cuisine is very diverse with so many different kinds of food, drinks and desserts. You can always find food to suit your taste even if you don’t like Turkish food. You probably know about kebabs and desserts like baklava and Turkish delight, but maybe you didn’t know that Turkish people are crazy about breakfast, especially at the weekends. It takes a long time to have breakfast for them and they don’t like fast ones. There are lots of breakfast restaurants and cafes near the sea or in the forests where people can have their most important meal of the day around big tables. It is a kind of pleasure and a great time for chatting with friends and family.
About the Country
A crossroad between Asia and Europe, Turkey has been influenced by many different cultures and nationalities for centuries. It is like a melting pot and every culture and nationality can find a thing from their own history in common with this huge country once named as Mesopotamia, and now Anatolia. In every city of Turkey, you can find at least 10 historical places to visit! (The Hittites, the Trojans, the Phrygians, the Lycians, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans..) There are many civilisations that have left their monuments everywhere.
If you have any questions about living and working in Turkey as an English teacher, please feel free to ask me.