When I was asked to write a blog entry for the ITTS project, I was not sure what to write about. Then, I had some questions in mind. I thought about the day when my dear colleague Oliver Holz, asked me if I would be interested in joining a project about international teachers. International teachers? To be honest, it is not an issue for the Turkish education context yet when compared to the other partner countries like Germany or Belgium. However, having millions of Syrian refugees in the country, it is so obvious that it will become a serious problem in the near future. So, I said, of course.
Having spent many years in teacher education, the problems of any single teacher, is the problem of all teacher educators, I thought. As a teacher educator, I had to find solutions and suggestions for anybody, who wanted to become a member of the teaching force. Already qualified as teachers, these international teachers face a lot of problems such as; cultural differences, language, psychological problems to name a few. So they better deserve to be guided during the process of integrating to the new education system of the country that they migrated. And this is what ITTS was aiming to do. Helping international teachers returning to work at their new schools.
Then I came up with an article about a Syrian teacher training other Syrian teachers in Ankara, Turkey. The problem that I supposed to come true in the future, was already existing in my own country as well. This young Syrian teacher’s words hit me.
“You must teach and treat everyone equally,” cautioned Osama,
“Teaching is a profession of love and loyalty. Do not abuse your position of authority. Do not cross that red line.”
© UNICEF/ Lorch1
He was right! Teaching was a desire, a noble profession, a work of heart, and whoever had this desire should had the right to teach and deserved to be guided in the new teaching context that they wanted to work.
This is my short story of ITTS. Now, I feel so lucky and proud to be a part of that wonderful project and team. Because now as a teacher trainer I have a new role and a new mission thanks to ITTS, to help the international teachers who want to work in Turkey.
Thank you ITTS!
ITTS Turkish Partner