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Üsküdar American Academy Linkedin Page

SEV (Health and Education Foundation) Linkedin Page

Üsküdar American Academy School Profile 2016 - 2017

 

Üsküdar American Academy Introductory Film

 

BACKGROUND: Established in 1876 in the village of Adapazarı east of Istanbul, Üsküdar American Academy (UAA) is one of the oldest schools in the region.  In 1921 the Academy moved to its present site in Üsküdar overlooking the Asian shore of the Bosphorus.  

 

CAMPUS: Situated on a hill in the residential district of Üsküdar, the school campus includes eight buildings sited on 18,000 square meters.  The school currently has 830 students in the high school, equally split between boys and girls through five grade levels.   All buildings now meet strict earthquake and safety standards.

 

FACULTY: Currently the secondary school employs 39 foreign teachers and 76 full-time and 3 part-time Turkish teachers for a total of 118 professional teaching staff. The school offers a regionally competitive salary and benefits package. Teachers must possess a subject area-related undergraduate degree in their teaching field and hold a current grade-level appropriate teaching certificate.

 

THE SCHOOL TODAY: UAA has undergone many changes over its 140 years of existence.  The school was originally founded as a girl’s school.  In 1990 boys were admitted for the first time and the Class of 1997 was the first co-educational group to graduate from the school.   In 1997 with the passing of the eight-year basic education law, Üsküdar American Academy, like all foreign schools, gradually phased out the middle school, leaving a mandatory intensive English preparatory year for all new students followed by a four-year academically rigorous program.

 

The Academy consistently ranks amongst the best schools in Turkey in terms of university admissions both within the country. Since its establishment in 1876, Üsküdar American Academy has been one of Turkey's pre-eminent secondary schools. Today, we are striving to maintain that reputation through a commitment to a bilingual, bicultural education, which make the school an attractive place to work.   UAA became authorized by the IBO to offer the IBDP and is in its second year of the program. 

 

 

Teaching Environment

 

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.

 

The Turkish educational system is very 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.

 

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, are “on task” and they expect much from their teachers.

 

The teaching environment at Üsküdar American Academy is very 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.

 

To teach at UAA a prospective candidate must be eligible for a Turkish work visa.  For visa approval, the requirements of the Turkish Ministry of Education and the Turkish Ministry of Labor stipulate that the teacher must have: (1) an undergraduate degree from a  four-year accredited college/university in the subject area to be taught and (2) a teaching license in that subject area with appropriate grade level endorsement. There are no exceptions to these requirements. Beyond the academic credentials, the school also looks at past experience in international or intercultural working environments, professional collegiality skills, and educational experience outside of the classroom such as: sponsoring clubs, coaching, service-learning experience, etc. Also note that all social studies classes must be taught in Turkish by Turkish nationals.

 

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