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It is important that the prospective teacher understands the nature of the school, its history, unique culture and the pedagogical demands made on those who work here.

Joining its sister schools which were established over 125 years ago by American missionaries, SEV American College benefits from the sharing of best practices currently in implementation at the three SEV American high schools in Turkey. The school is governed by a Turkish non-profit trust, the Health and Education Foundation (SEV).  The college provides a high quality English language, college preparatory program of studies.  The school will gradually grow in size from its present 136 students to a steady state of 600.

In many respects SEV American College is neither an American nor an international school. The limited international component of the school involves its long affiliation with American  missionaries, the practice of employing a foreign Headmaster and teachers, and the main language of instruction being English. Otherwise the school is very much a Turkish institution and this manifests itself in many ways.

The Turkish educational system is highly centralized. The Ministry of Education regulates all matters from curriculum issues to textbook selection and requires the approval of routine activities such as guest speakers and field trips. While the foreign teacher is generally removed and “protected” from the bureaucracy, one is, nevertheless, always accountable for enforcing and upholding both the letter and the spirit of the Turkish educational system.

Turkish society is generally hierarchical and authoritarian in nature. Students are conditioned from an early age to respect authority and conform to laws and institutional procedures. For example, students wear uniforms to school and are expected to stand when answering questions. Students are used to, and are more comfortable with, traditional teacher directed learning. In a curious sense, Turkish students are more “at ease” with formality than with friendliness and casualness.

Once the new teacher has grasped the basic characteristics of Turkish Education, there lies just beneath the surface of “cultural differences” a rich vein of opportunity and potential. Education is valued in this society. Teachers are respected. Students come to school prepared to learn. Given our very homogeneous population, most students are “on task” and they expect much from their teachers.

The teaching environment at SEV American College is demanding both personally and professionally. Teachers need to possess qualities such as sensitivity, tolerance and flexibility. Further, they need to have sound teaching skills which will be challenged on a daily basis. If the prospective candidate understands these special attributes of the school, then he or she could be a valued addition to the faculty.