Program promotes cultural learning

Teachers at Ames High are happy to announce that the Turkish student teachers are back. The group is here as a part of a program open to both graduate and undergraduate students. This program provides teaching experience as well as an interesting culture lesson. From in-class situations to the new atmosphere of Ames, the student teachers have noted many cultural differences. They have noticed that classes are more student based than in Turkey. “Unlike here, activities in Turkey are teacher centered,” English intern Servet Altan said. English teacher James Webb said, “They go to the students, the students stay in one room in Turkey. Teachers have it pretty good here.” English Intern Ozen Guven noticed a difference in the students at Ames high also. “They are calm and quiet here. Class is easy to manage,” she said. Aside from the classroom, many other differences have been noticed. “People are always smiling here,” Altan said. Both Altan and Guven noted that clothing is cheaper here, but at the same time Guven noticed the higher cost of food. “It is also nice to hear about students working. In Turkey, that’s not very common,” Altan said. Webb added, “Working at a place like Starbucks, there is adult work. The salary is much different than fast food jobs here. It’s interesting to see that new perspective.” Every year, Turkish students arrive but most Ames High students do not know how difficult the process is to get their internships. “This program is for graduate student and undergraduate students from the Robert College and Bups College. As an undergraduate, this program is not required of me so I had to be interviewed,” Guven said. For all the students to participate, they must have high GPA’s (top 5% of their class) and outstanding test scores. They hold up to standards at universities that transfer students to major universities like Harvard and Princeton in the United States. “They are the best of the best,” Webb said. When chosen for the Turkish internship, all expenses are paid. “This is supported by a full ride scholarship,” Altan said. This internship was put in place so the student teachers could get some experience in the classroom. They lecture in English giving them even more experience in the language. This opportunity for new perspectives in teaching will resonate with the students after they return. “I want to see more students in extracurricular activities in Turkey. In Turkey people see activities outside the classroom as a distraction to academics, but I don’t believe this,” Guven said. Along with that change, the students want to see more of a balance in the teacher centered classrooms. Upon returning, the students will share their experiences and will bravely begin to reform the classrooms in Turkey.