PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The school has a close relationship with the University’s Graduate School of Education (GSE). Every year masters students from the GSE come to the school as part of their practicum in a range of subjects, viz. history, math, science, computing, Turkish and English. Teachers in the schools are called upon to provide mentorship and support for these graduate students. In addition some of the staff from the schools have taught on these masters courses, particularly in science, math, English, computing, biology, and Turkish. Also the middle school offers mentorship to student teachers in mathematicss and science.

Teachers in the primary, middle and high schools have the possibility of taking a Masters in the GSE, with full scholarship. These programmes are in the medium of English as Bilkent University is an English-medium university. Currently there a number of teachers finalising their MA in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to the masters programme there is the possibility to do a PhD with the GSE in Education. There are currently four teachers enrolled in this option, with full scholarship. There are often in-house seminars which teachers can follow. Currently there are regular seminars for teachers on: continuous assessment systems; dealing with student talents and diversity; developing testing skills, in particular formative assessment; critical thinking; and, curriculum development; as well as seminars for the PYP and DP programmes. Many of these are led by external consultants.

Many staff take part in external conferences and are encouraged to offer papers. In general, a large number of teachers attend and present at the Istanbul Autumn Teachers’ Conference which generally takes place in one of the quality schools in the first semester. They also present papers abroad and share their experiences with teachers from other countries.

Many teachers give presentations at the school’s yearly in-house conference. This brings together many teachers from inside and outside the city to share professional knowledge.

At the beginning and end of the school year teachers have two weeks where there are no students in the school and this is a time for programming workshops, and working on special projects reflecting staff development and institutional needs.

Staff also go abroad to training seminars or on visits related to the PYP and IB Diploma Programmes. Training is an integral part of being able to offer these programmes and it has to be carried out by authorised trainers. Over the last few years staff have attended seminars in Athens, Lyon, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Florence, Rome, and also visited international schools in Spain, the UK, Italy, Holland and Germany with a view to establishing contacts and viewing good practice. In addition there have been in-house seminars on Theory of Knowledge, PYP principles, and inquiry-based teaching, run by well-known external consultants.

So, for the professionally mobile teacher, there are many opportunities for professional advancement.