Sharing is Caring ☮️

Posted On 3/14/2019 2:13:00 AM, 5Comments

     The world is not always fair for people all around the world. The war, poverty, and racism force people to leave their homeplace for good in order to live or survive,at least. At this point, the humanity’s role is to provide a safe environment for aggrieved people in need. We, the teachers, may come across with these innocent victoms-children. Because every individual has the right to education, they must be supported and protected to help them continue their lives. In this regard, the teachers’ role is to promote social and cultural cohesion between students in classrom to provide an equal and safe environment for all students including the ones who comes from different backgrounds.

     The activity given below, “ Have You Ever?” gives all students an opportunity to explore each other which is a way of ice-breaking. Apart from that, the teacher also can learn more about students’ background which is an obligation for the process of preparing activities and materials for a lesson. Especially the second objective of the lesson plan; “To explore the value of knowing and appreciating similarities and differences in a group.” is the most beautiful part since peacebuilding requires appreciating similarities and differences to promote the feeling, empathy. Because empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, it should be given priority in the school environment for building social cohesion. The activity of the lesson which is similar to an interview would help students to understand each other’s feelings such as happiness, sadness, pain, hopes and dreams etc. I believe, for friendship, cohesion and peace; we need communication and fellowship. Also, even though walking around as a whole class may sound a bit chaotic, the noise and chaos is actually the best part of the activity since they make sounds “together”. The last part, raising hands to certain questions, which promotes students’ sense of belonging is also an effective way of exploring students’ background because young learners’ tendency for talking about themselves is a fact !  In addition to these, the activities not only creates a friendship among students but also creates a communicative environment which is also another factor that is essential for non traditional classrooms. I loved the activity’s  offer of “sharing” because the more we share, the more we can find something in common.




An Interview With a Member of LGBT Community

Posted On 3/3/2019 7:44:00 PM, 4Comments

The following is an interview with one of my closest friends,Kaan(21) who moved to U.S.A to continue his education. It was a great pleasure to have him as my guest on behalf of the LGBT Community.


  1. In Turkey, what do people do or say (or not do or say) if they want to be seen as gay [lesbian] [straight]?

In a pre-dominantly Muslim country like Turkey, it is quite hard for LGBTQ individuals to be accepted by their families, and communities. Therefore the efforts people make to be seen as heterosexual exceed those which are made to be seen as gay or bisexual, however there are always some people who are brave in expressing their non-heterosexual orientations in such a heteronormative society. Once a society that provides the freedom to talk about your sexual or emotional orientations is achieved, I do not think there would be many things that should be said about those.

  1. How is this different in another country? How is it similar?

Even though it is impossible to say that the freedom of speech about one’s sexual orientation is as limited in most countries as it is in Turkey, I do not personally believe that non-heterosexuality can be accepted as a norm in any country or society, as in my opinion people tend to accept the majority as the norm. It certainly is a lot easier for LGBTQ people to come out in certain countries, like Spain, The Netherlands and France but I believe that we have a long way to go in achieving total and universal acception. 

  1. Why do people sometimes want to be seen as straight [bisexual][lesbian]? Why do they sometimes not want to?

No matter how many countries in the world grant their non-heterosexual citizens equal rights, protections and so on, I believe that as human species, we are inherently programmed to categorize various concepts as normal and abnormal. Sexuality is indeed one of the concepts that are debated the most, and where rules are being imposed in. Some LGBTQ people might want to be seen as straight because of the hurdles of being recognized as what they really are can cause them, however I do not believe that people want to be seen as LGBTQ sometimes, when they are actually not, as LGBTQ majority communities do not exist. 

  1. Is it easy to identify someone as gay ? Why or why not?

In a word it is ‘terrifying’. As for me, and I believe the majority of LGBTQ individuals in Turkey, there are several closets we have to come out of before we can start identifying as anything. We have to come out to ourselves first, as most of us have likely been taught that being an LGBTQ is wrong, or worse than being straight. The second one is when we come out to our families and close friends, which challenges us, as we are vulnerable to people that we care the most about and are not sure how they would react. Then we come out to our outer circle of friends and acquaintances and I would say that is rather easier compared to the first two closets we have to come out of. All in all, the oppression from people we do not know and the government/authorities is a never ending one, and thus even many LGBTQ professionals have to stay in the closet in fear of losing their jobs or being discriminated against. 

  1. In Turkey/your university, which gender identities seem natural or acceptable? Which do not? How can you tell?

I have recently transferred from Istanbul University to a college in The United States to continue my studies in the field of English Literature. In my experience the genders roles were a lot more aggressively defined in Turkey then they are in a higher education institute in The United States. The commonly practices understanding of the terms masculine and feminine seem to be the trend in Turkey as well as many other countries, including some western ones too. On top of that is marginal is usually considered unacceptable or unfavorable in Turkey.

  1. After people move from Turkey, do they change how they think about gender identities? If so, how? If not, why not?

As someone who has spent much time travelling and living in western countries such as the United States, France, Italy and etc. I could say very comfortably that the government’s approach towards gender identities is one of the most important factors that determine the public opinion. As for myself, I am sure even my opinion has slightly changed after my experiences. And for other Turkish expats I’ve come to know, I would again very comfortably say that their opinions have radically changed to be more acceptive of differences. When foreigners from more democratic countries, of which there are 109, move to Turkey I think that they are confused because of the seemingly homophobic society and the abundance of LGBTQ people.

  1. How about when foreigners move to Turkey?

Most campuses of Istanbul University are extremely dangerous for LGBTQ people, and we have seen people who have been physically and verbally harassed over the years, and the administration is determined to turn a blind eye to everything related to LGBTQ people. It isn’t really hard to imagine that the situation is similar to this most Turkish universities.

  1. What do you think to be an ally to LGBT students mean?

Being an ally to LGBTQ students means standing with a group of people who are unrightfully discriminated against, and bullied and looked down upon. It will probably put you under the spotlight of judgment, but make you feel good too. I think it is really important for LGBTQ individuals to have non-LGBTQ supporters, both morally, and emotionally.

Blue ♀ & Pink ♂

Posted On 2/24/2019 4:30:00 PM, 4Comments

Think about a newborn baby boy. If you decide to buy a gift, what color would it be ? Pink or blue ? The blue suits boys more,right? This is what society wants humans to be socialized into. Because we are so socialized into gender stereotypes, it would be inappropriate for a boy to wear pink which may cause him to be “feminine” in the future. We are stuck in a world in which colors define who we are . Moreover, since gender stereotypes require us to be the same, we can not stand diversity. Therefore, the ones who are “different”,described as freak. As another example, would you choose a male or female doctor for a surgery? Because the role of a women is staying at home, she is not qualified enough to perform a surgery,right ? Men should work, real men do not cry, women do not play football, women are dependent, women are fragile so they need to be protected, act like a lady , talk like a girl etc. Feelings, colors, actions, jobs have no gender. These are the effects of gender socialization which is a process of learning how to act, talk, behave based on your biological sex. That is why, the life we live is shaped by society’s expectations.


There are many reasons behind the gender inequality such as tradition, culture, misinterpreted religion, ignorance etc. However, the portrait of society push people to think that the actual responsibles of inequality are males-which is wrong. Evil is evil, it has no gender. That is why, all men should not be seen as a potential criminal. In some cases, males are even used as scapegoats in order not to see the big picture. For instance, one of the most tragic mistakes that girls do in today’s modern life is accepting being under the power of a boy which normalize the inequality. What is worse is that considering it as true love. It is not. It is an unhealthy and disrespectful scene created by society in which women are seen as slaves of men. If you are not questioning the statements-“You will stay at home!, You will not talk to other boys!”, it is probable for you to feel like a bird in a cage. Yet, you are not a bird. You are an individual who have the capabilitiy to make her own decisions. In addition, to crown it all, when boys cross the line, girls start complaining and become “a feminist who hates all men(!)” without knowing the real meaning of the term.  I think, this is the point that we should focus on. Change is impossible for the society if we continue to blame someone or something. If we want to change the world we must start with ourselves because we are the starting point of it. When you are reading this, in somewhere, a 10 years old girl is forced to get married, a girl goes to field instead of school or a woman is raped or beaten. We are the ones who will stop this injustice and inequality by spreading love, respect and education.

 The education is a crucial element that a society needs for development. Besides academic subjects,there are other concepts that education provides in classroom environment such as hidden curriculum which reinforces students’ moral and social perspectives in terms of norms, values, behaviour, world view etc. If we consider classroom environment as an iceberg, the hidden curriculum would be the unseen part of the iceberg. Since everything is internalized and imitated by students in a classroom, what happens in this environment should reflect “good and right.”. Simply, a teacher’s democratic and equal approach to students would promote their sense of equality for good. Additionally, because group tasks and cooperative activities creates a sense of belonging, they may be pretty appropriate activities to improve the relations and respect between girls and boys.A divide created between girls and boys may lead them to be adults who do not know how to relate to each other which is a scenario that “sounds familiar.”

Additionally ,in 1930s, Turkish women were granted the right to vote thanks to one of the greatest leaders that the world has witnessed,Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It is an honor for Turkish people to have such a great milestone in terms of equality. No words can explain how grateful we are to have Mustafa Kemal as a savior, leader and a teacher. Thank you for your care and respect.

Social Justice in Little Details 📚 🌍

Posted On 2/7/2019 8:56:00 PM, 6Comments


Unfortunately, environmental issues turns into crucial problems of the world that we suffer globally. We,the people , keep denying the fact that the we continue to damage the world with our bare hands. We are selfish beigns who needs concrete evidence and direct exposure to take an action for the sake of world. Since we are the responsibles of the mess, taking care of the world is the duty of every human being . At this point, the teachers who are the pioneers of a generation should be aware of the problems first to pass on the solutions. The themes in the coursebooks can be a tool for a teacher to create an awareness on the issues and help students change their behaviours accordingly to take action for a solution. The examples given below are from the coursebook that I used in my practicum with 5th grade students. Because the book does not contain a material directly support social justice, I gave some examples that can be associated with social justice by teachers. Throughtout my teaching, because global problems are one of my biggest concerns in English language teaching, I tried to mention do’s and don’ts in my practicum for social issues to develop students’ awareness. My biggest gain of being a teacher is changing students’ attitudes towards environment for the better. You know what they say ; Change your mind,change the world. That is why, if I can contribute to even at least one student in being a healthy individual, I would reach my goal.


The “Unit 1/Hello” of 5th grade was basically a unit that associates the countries/nationalities and  self description. In the unit, colorful world maps and children from different countries are illustrated. Since it includes people from other countries and nationalities, it is a perfect chance to impose ideas against racism by mentioning world peace and respect to other people from different origin. The activities such as drama and role play can be used to familiarize other cultures to students.


In addition to this, the activity showed below is very lovely and effecive example for students to develop empathy towards disabled individuals. The detail of using visually impaired person as an illustration allow teacher to mention about the people with disabilities and create awareness about the fact that they are also the part of our society. However, “feeling sorry” is not a way of help to individuals with disabilities. Instead of pity, the respect and empathy should be the primary elements of the topic. Therefore, teachers should consider the fine line between sympathy and empathy.



In the Unit 2/My Town, there is a map that illustrates buildings. By checking the map in detail, the teacher can touch upon the amount of greens in the city to create awareness about pollution which has a crucial effect on global warming. Because global warming is an issue that causes devastation for earth, and especially so in Arctics; it should be emphasized more often.