Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why Turkish students are the best...

1. They are friendly, full of life and have a good sense of humour.

Even though my job isn't ideal in a number of ways, one thing I have to say is that my students are very lively and they make my life more interesting. It seems that Turkish people are very chatty in general (which often means they aren't listening to my terribly interesting and important English lesson), are always laughing and joking, and being in a room full of 24 of them is never boring.

During breaks they occasionally break into song and do a little dance. Sometimes when I come in the room, they chant Mc-Wa-ters, Mc-Wa-ters, which I think is meant to be a good thing. They get great entertainment out of me attempting to say things in Turkish. They laugh because I can't roll my 'r's, or properly pronounce various different Turkish vowels, but they seem to think its great fun whenever someone tries to speak Turkish at all.

Also, a few of them have started trying to imitate American gangster rappers. Just today I was called emcee(MC) Waters, and there's the occasional 'yo Yo', or 'keep it real'.

2. They get really attached to you, and, in my opinion, you can't help but get attached to them too. They are very endearing.

In Turkish, teachers are called Hocam (not sure about the spelling), but it translates to 'my teacher'. They really form a bond with you, and they are really upset of you are sick for a day or if schedules change and they get a new teacher. Its like they adopt you and want to keep you for life.

Last week I was sick for a day, and when I came back the following day, everyone was distressed about having a new teacher. They wondered if I was okay, and said they had missed me. It was a nice welcome back!

3. They are generous and very kind.

Sometimes they bring me a cup of tea during break time. They hold the door open for me and always let me enter the classroom first.

And tonight, as a treat after their mid-term exams, most of the class and I went out for dinner and a drink in Beyoglu. I was not allowed to help pay for the taxi, or pay for my dinner, or to give any money toward the drinks. I tried to argue but they said they would be very sad if I gave any money. I protested that I'm the teacher, and they are the poor college students, but they wouldn't have it. They insisted that I was the guest.

Overall, I think they are lovely, and I would recommend coming to Turkey if you want to teach English and meet some really lovely students. Its hard to imagine meeting nicer people anywhere in the world.

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