With An Eye to the Future, Teachers from Turkey Begin U.S. Training
“As a teacher, I lead the future, and I want to do it well… [I] know that my students deserve the best. Everything I learn will benefit them,” said Pelin Derinalp, a young teacher from rural Finike, Turkey, as she prepared for six weeks of intensive U.S.-based training through the Teaching, Excellence, and Achievement Program (TEA).
Derinalp will join a cohort of 19 early career English teachers from Turkey who will continue to refine their teaching practice through an intensive professional development program at the University of North Dakota with the TEA Program. The teachers arrived in the U.S. last week to begin their TEA training at a Welcome Program in Washington, D.C., where they participated in training sessions on Cross-Cultural Communication and the U.S. Education System. In addition, the teachers traveled in small groups to visit schools and non-profit organizations working with English language learners in the greater D.C. area.
While the Turkish TEA teachers are in the beginning stages of their teaching careers, they have already demonstrated burgeoning leadership in their school communities in Turkey and potential to further develop their teaching and leadership skills through the TEA program.
One such teacher, Zeliha Cicek, moved from Istanbul to teach in rural Turkey in order to encourage local girls to stay in school. “Most of our students’ families are poor,” says Cicek. “The girls help their mothers at home… they have difficulty in preparing for school.” In the face of such economic challenges, Cicek observes that inspiring students in the classroom can be difficult: “they aren’t aware of the role of a foreign language in their future life.”
At the University of North Dakota, the teachers will study best-practice teaching methodologies, lesson planning, and the use of instructional technology for the classroom; they will also discuss teaching strategies with U.S. educators, visit a language camp in Minnesota, and tour schools in Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota. “This is going to be a life-changing impact for me,” said Ozge Akarsu prior to the program. “I’m going to try to change the lives of my students and the teachers I know by sharing everything the training has brought into my life.”
To learn more about the impact of TEA, visit the project page and check out related news stories.