April is for EdTechIst



In my previous post, I mentioned that in Istanbul, there would be great events for teachers who believe in professional development this spring. The first one is over and the second one is about to happen. I’ll present at this conference and I’ll also blog about the sessions. Yes, I’m talking about EdTechIst, which will take place on April 18th-19th 2015.

Actually the conference is a three-day event. On the pre-conference day, the participants will get the chance to attend full day workshops with the experts.

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On Saturday and Sunday, we’ll have the chance to do some deep learning with the experts and the sessions will be both on Saturday and Sunday so we’ll have the opportunity to focus on two main areas and have a broader view on them. These workshops will last for three days. In the afternoon, we’ll listen to some inspirational sessions, which will be delivered by the teachers, instructors, trainers who are using, integrating technology in their lessons. Even this format or the feature of this conference makes me eager to attend it.

The surprises of the conference are not over. There’ll be a TeachMeet, which is an organised but informal meeting for teachers to share practical tips and best practices. This will give the participants a great opportunity to share, network and learn with and from their peers in an informal setting. The Edtechist TeachMeet will take place from 4.30pm on Saturday 18th April, 2015.

You can follow the conference on social media with the hashtag #Edtechist or an twitter as @Edtechist

For more information about the speakers and sessions, please check the conference website and hope we’ll meet there.

My Reflections on #SLTEP, a Train the Trainer Program


This was not the first train the trainer course I attended but may be the magic was the magicians I (we) met there.

I attended SLTEP, a two-week train the trainer program ran by Sabanci University School of Languages. With our amazing tutors, Deniz Kurtoglu Eken, Meral Guceri and Sharon Celtek, we dived into the depths of teaching and learning. Sharing ideas, trying new techniques, playing new roles, we had the chance to brush up our previous knowledge and learn about new things, new perspectives.

For me, the program was very successful because although it was designed to “develop the knowledge, skills and awareness needed for effective teacher training“, it also gave lots of food for thought for the classes we teach. When the program finished and I came back home, I had thousands of ideas, happy memories, inspirations, that will guide me throughout my new journey which I’m planning to begin.

I’ve been teaching for a very long time and I DO love my job. It’s not just a job, actually. It’s a passion. However, at this stage, after teaching for 20 more years, I think I should also focus on more teacher training.

I have some plans but I’ll tell them later. I just want to reflect on my fantastic SLTEP experience now.

SLTEP was the right choice for me because I needed some me-time ( yes, yes, I really meant me-time) , some fuel to continue… It was an intensive program, right after a very long and tiring academic year, yet I never complained getting up early and going to the campus for two weeks. I realized how much I had missed studying like a student. It gave me a chance to sit back and watch where I’ve come and how far I want to go. I still want to go …

Things I’ll do more I’ll research my classes.

Thanks to Mrs Eken, we once again remembered that every teacher should carry out researches to be able to reach more students in the class.

I’ll ask more questions for the students who are left behind, or the ones who have wings to fly higher than others. I’m sure I’ll find something for each group. Isn’t this true that so often you find that the students you’re trying to INSPIRE are the ones that end up inspiring you? (Sean Junkins)

I’ll reflect more on my teaching with my colleagues at school and yes, here on my blog.

Do more observation.

I’ll work hard to give better feedback. So next year I’m not just going to praise them when they did well or criticize the points to be improved, I’ll develop a way to communicate with them in order to help them to improve their skills.

I’ll do some training sessions. I think this is really what I want to do in the next phase of my teaching career.

Plans, ideas, memories …

SLTEP was very useful for me and I should also mention that I met a group of amazing, enthusiastic teachers whom we were strangers a month ago but became so close that we still communicate on WhatsApp everyday. I hope our roads will cross with them once again in the future and I do wish them a very successful teaching career. It is great when you meet like-minded people who love teaching and do try to improve themselves to be great teachers. I DO believe that enthusiasm is infectious and we infect each other.

I’d like to thank the magicians, Deniz Kurtoglu Eken, Meral Guceri and Sharon Celtek, whom we spent two glorious weeks and got inspired and enthused by their energy, knowledge and passion.  

Two things I’m doing nowadays

I’m doing something new this year.

I’m moderating an EVO session DigitalStorytelling4Kids with great educators you know very well. Shelly Terrell, Özge Karaoglu, Marisa Constantinides, Esra Girgin, Jennifer Verschoor, David Dodgson, Michelle Worgan, Juan Uribe and our EVO Mentor is Elizabeth Anne.

The next one is the “Story Sharing Web Conference” organized by British Council Turkey. I’ll be moderating a web conference for the first time with a great team Sirin Soyoz, Adam Simpson, Asli Saglam, Gulnur Sahin and amazing Heike Philp who has been training us since summer for this event.

If you are interested in digital storytelling, have a look at the course. Teachers around the world are doing amazing things on the posterous blog. You will find lots of inspiration!

And If you believe in the importance of stories in our lives, have a look at the details, register and join us.

Story Sharing Web – Conference ‘Saturday 9th – Sunday10th February 2013’ from British Council Turkey on Vimeo.

IATEFL Chronicles, Year 2, Last post

A last glimps to the venue before I leave.

This time two weeks ago I was in Glasgow. I was both excited and nervous as this would be my first presentation at IATEFL. Although I had presented at many conferences in the past three years, just after stepping into blogging, twitter and social media, yet IATEFL was something else. A dream, a last stop, a new beginning, a meeting point …

me, a first time IATEFL presenter

I enjoyed being there very much. As I previously mentioned, I met old friends, new friends and made new ones. It was a fantastic week.

In the afternoon today, I was writing the invitation letters for the schools for our Comenius project, my husband was sitting on the coach with his netbook on his lap and he, as frequently does, called me to watch a video on youtube. I reluctantly stood up and went near him. While watching the video, I was speechless. As we teachers always do, I thought how I could take it to the class or even to the staffroom.


This is what professional development is for me. I also remembered the teachers attending IATEFL. There were a lot of young and very enthusiastic ones but there were also a lot of very experienced ones. Once again I admired their dedication to their work and to their perception of life.

Some weeks ago, I was chatting with a colleague about life-long learning and she told me about a retired cousin of hers, who living in France, is now attending some sessions at university, asking what the benefit of this could be, adding the life had already come to an end. I then tried to convince that learning shouldn’t stop till we die. We sometimes give up very early in our country. Maybe this is how we perceive the world. After retirement everything finishes. My mum even told us after my brother’s wedding that now she could die as she had nothing to do anymore. All her kids were married. This was how she was raised but she raised me in a totally different way. That’s why I’m still eager to learn new things and I am a true believer of professional development.

I don’t know if I will be able to make it for Liverpool 2013. It just seems impossible at this very moment but we all know that ‘impossible is nothing’. Provided I can’t go to IATEFL next year, I’m sure the online event will be there to follow.

I attended many sessions this year. Some were just what I was looking for, and some were totally different from what I had expected. I missed some great sessions and when I came home, after recovering the post conference blues, I watched some and downloaded some handouts, read the blog posts I missed and still trying to catch up with some more. I think this will engage me till the next conference I will attend in April, The Third Elt Student Conference which is a joint event organised by enthusiastic elt students from Bilgi and Bogaziçi Universities.

Far Far Away From The Madding Crowd


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Dreams can come true. I have just learned it.

It all started with a tweet. It was an ordinary evening with twitter when I saw Berni Wall’s tweet offering a week of teachers’ workshops in Yorkshire. First, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When I DMed her, I understood how serious she was. It was a wonderful offer so I told her that I would love to come. Not until the last week had I known that I would also meet my friend, Alexandra Francisco with whom we started our celebration wiki project. It would also give me a chance to meet my twitter friends in real life.


Last week was fabulous. These workshops gave us a chance to update ourselves, we exchanged ideas and now I’m full with ideas for next year. Even with Alex, we decided which celebrations we are going to do with our classes and the details for our colleagues will soon appear on the wiki.


It is always easy to attend a workshop or a seminar in London or a bigger city in the UK. However, it will always be difficult to do such things far from the big cities. The opportunity was great as it was offering a week far from the madding crowd, away from the hustle busle of the big city, a great chance for me to experience the countryside which had been my dream for many years.


The workshops covered the areas that are vital in EFL but I must admit I loved the literature bit more. Berni had told us that we would talk about Bronte sisters as we would have a chance to visit Haworth and from Monday to Saturday every evening after the dinner, we sat and watched the DVDs of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tennant of Wildfell Hall. On Wednesday we visited the Bronte Parsonage and then we set off for our Bronte pilgrimage (as we all called it) in the moors. I wish we all had had the chance of these walks while studying at university.


There are so many things that I can still add here but words will not be enough to describe what we had experienced together in the room 5 teachers (Berni, Alex, Blanca, Culya and me)of English who came from different parts of the worlds.

A big Thank You to Berni who made this possible for all of us. I know that she wants to continue this as she was already trying to plan the next one when we were about to leave.

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Final thoughts:

Well, all these were only a dream for me last year these times and now the people who I met via twitter are my colleagues from my borderless staffroom.

Im happy that I met Berni, Alex and Blanca.

Still thinking about joining twitter?

You can read more about our adventure of expanding our knowledge, sitting around a table chatting about similar problems.

You will find Alex’s story here, Berni’s here and Culya’s here