Thursday, 4 August 2011

My reflections of a documentary called On a Tightrope

I must say that not many documentaries touched my heart as much as this one. It could be because of the way orphans tell their stories or the desperation I see in their eyes. Particularly to watch the kids who practise tightroping without a safety net to be able to make a decent living in the future is very heart breaking.

In the beginning of the documentary there are Chinese officials trying to understand the reason of the filming and asking the film makers not to translate or show the part when they interrogated them. Of course the film makers rebel and show us this part as well.

This documentary is about group of orphan kids who live in an orphanage where Uighur Turks settled  in China. Although I am Turkish, I didn't have an extensive information about Uighurs which was a shame really. At school in Turkey, we did not have the chance to explore the other Turks living in other Asian countries in detail.  I did a quick research about the area on the Internet and this is what I found.
Turks originated in Siberia and Mongolia and mobilised long before Uighurs. It is rumoured that even Vikings were Turks originally. There are lots of debates about that!

The name ‘Turk’ came to stand for unity and a common language: variants of Turkish are still spoken from the Balkans to Yakutia (present-day Siberia).

 Uighurs are leaders of a Turkic tribe which emerged in the eighth century from the scrum of nomads along China's northern border to create an empire rivalling the Tang dynasty of China.

Vast majority of Uighurs live outside Xinjiang in China is in Taouyan County in South-central Hunan province.
Their religion is Sunni Islam. The language is written in Arabic letters. 

In this documentary hearing Uighur Turkish was very interesting. It felt like I would understand what they were saying but despite many common words I had to rely on the English subtitles which was very frustrating. The orphans are trying really hard to succeed in a very hostile and strict rules and regulations of Chinese government. One teacher says; "I can't have two masters; Science and Religion. I have to teach these kids Science because I am a member of the Communist Party and I have responsibilities for my country. If they are in school, they can't practise their religion."

The kids are asked what they would like to become in the future. One girl says; "A Chinese language teacher because there is a massive need for Mandarin language teachers in all over the world". 

I particularly recommend for teachers to watch and show this documentary in a lesson and discuss about the different issues mentioned in the film.  

There are many disputes between Chinese government and Uighur Turks at present. You can read about them through the links below:

Uighur Mosque in Xinjiang, China
Doppa Cap

Old Kashqar City in China

Friday, 22 July 2011

My musings/tweets about this and that...

 to all waking up to a brand new day. If not    or  pick one pls..

What gets greater and sweeter by giving&sharing? Love,freedom, aspiration,success,inspiration, appreciation,kindness,food, drink&money,LIFE!

Reading about some connections freaks me out. We're actually managed by dark people so matrix is true.It's very dirty underneath!

: asks; Who is your favorite super hero and why?" My favourite super hero is Bond.James Bond, shaken but not stirred.He's invincible..

12 Turkish soldiers are killed by terorist organization PKK today. The peace process is ruined once more by violence and murder..

 This morning we woke up to a world where humans are still dying from hunger. Please help    

It breaks my heart to see children in  die from hunger while lots of food is thrown away in many parts of the world:(

Somalia's starving driven into violent Mogadishu.. I think it's quite embarrasing to watch and not being able to do anything about it. All Somalians I know are lovely and friendly! My students from Somalia describe the pain and destruction. Poverty is the main reason for these horrific scenes..

Reading  by  and loving it. He says 'We don't know who we can be until we know what we can do'. So true..

 everyone. I wish you a fab Thursday:) Heavy rain is announced for UK today and tomorrow...I will try to have fun with that:)

First, new year 7 induction morning then year 8 graduation ceremony and now I don't feel my legs. It was all fun. Nice to see smiling faces.

Our 80yr old neighbour never fails to impress us with his knowledge of our local area. He's not only able to tell the yr some of the houses were built, also how many of them were bombed by Germans during WW2. A walking history! He was in the British Air Force during the war. He told us our house was built in 1934.

There's no religion,race,belief, sexual orientation and ethnicity of terrorism.Stop using Islamic, at the beginning of a terrorist activity!

Started primary school visits today, kids look so fragile and worried about moving to secondary. Giant step for them.

 ve  today I woke up to the same Monday as last week.  

All the children should have the right to love, care, attention and decent education they deserve. 

I finished  's great books  and  so quickly that now I feel like a child who lost her candy...

I had a very challenging  session and don't feel my abdominals anymore. I still don't understand  language but know that it hurts...

I feel more tired than yesterday, if it's possible. Can't open my mouth to speak, my husband thinks it's wonderful:)

I am extremely worried about the future of , don't think they're doing enough to improve human rights.

Do these volcanoes have to erupt just before or during the school holidays? Poor families will be stuck at airports once again:(

Sleep deep  but not too deep that you wouldn't be able to recognise the thieves, hypocrites and cheaters:) 

Celebrating my 5000th tweet. I am so lucky to tweet up many beautiful people on Twitter. Thank you for bringing your colours into my life.

Still trying to recover from a very busy week. It's sweet to wake up and see my daughter's smiley face, telling me that breakfast is ready:)

Teacher: What do you want in life dearest? St.: A big house, a big car, a husband, a business, children etc.
Teacher: But your subject levels are really low, how are you going to have all these things without education? St: Don't care!

Teacher: you need to stop being rude to teachers and students. Student: But i'm like this to everybody, you can't blame me!

Today is   Help in anyway you can. Sometimes, even a nice smile or word would be enough..

I would like to follow and have followers who I can learn from..don't care about the numbers, I'm lucky that I met such fab people on Twitter.

The sun is shining..What a wonderful day the ironing:(

A wonderful and happy Mother's Day to all the mothers around the world. To my mother: Thank you for loving us unconditionally.

    Twitter Republic..Pls pick the suitable part of the day and have the best of it:) Have your lucky charms always with you!

 tweeties...Catch all the good tweets in your timeline while they are pouring. All of them are for you cause you're worth it!

If you don't create opportunities for kids to learn first language, you create enemies in your country, who feel they don't belong anywhere! Multilingualism is the key to have feet on ground and strength..

Happy  . I hope in the future, we'll praise the journalists who tell us the truth, not persecute them!

Sometimes I think 365 days of the year aren't enough to address all issues in the world! Come on people, wake up, so we don't keep reminding!

I was sorry that Gaddafi's grandchildren were killed in the attack. This is why war doesn't solve anything apart from deepening the pain!

Installing furniture from IKEA is like putting together a very complex jigsaw puzzle...with several missing pieces! It drives you crazy:)

 tatli ruyalar!  sweet dreams! schlaf gut! Add other languages and have multilingual sweet dreams:))

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

People who inspire me...

On Twitter, I follow lots of great people who I learn a lot from. I wanted to write about three of those people and their great links I enjoy reading and learning.

Here they are;

@ShellTerrell is the writer of The 30 Goals Challenge and International Speaker, /  cofounder, VP of Edu Outreach , SC Mgr 
She is another wonderful humanitarian who I learn a lot from. She worked with troubled teens at alternative schools and in low income neighbourhoods. She also participated in programs that reached out to teens in juvenile detention centres. She worked with homeless children as part of her non-profit organisation, ETHOS. She now teaches English to children, teens and adults in Germany. Her edublog is  won 'Most Influential Tweet and Series of Tweets' and the 'Tweet Discussion' award.

@esolcourses  Sue Lyon-Jones is a webmaster, writer/multimedia author, teacher & REFL bod. She runs English lessons website which has free lessons, games, quizzes and teaching resources. She is a great educator and provides excellent resources which I enjoy using for extra curriculum activities and special days and events in my school.     

@Mruff221 is Mark Ruffalo who is a great actor and director. He was recently nominated with Oscar for 'Best Supporting Actor' and he made his directorial debut with 'Sympathy for Delicious'. He is now playing in 'Avengers' as the Incredible Hulk and I believe he really is...He fights for so many causes and really supports all the relevant organisations and charities which are close to his heart. One of these charities is @WaterDefense and has a web site  Fracking, tar sands and coal are the issues that the charity tries to raise awareness against. Another charity he supports, is @crowdrise In 2001, he had to have a brain tumour removed which is why he initiated projects for the 'Acoustic Neuroma Association and the Brain Tumour Foundation'. He wants to make sure that through these organisations, tumour victims have access to the much needed support and resources to get them through treatment.

All three of these people are truly inspirational figures who encourage me to become better at what I do. 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

How would I explain to my children and students that it's OK to kill for revenge?

Since childhood, we are taught to respect and obey the law. The law is there to protect and serve us. We are led to believe that the law exists for the people by the people. Is that right?
In some developing countries, it is well known that the legal system protects constitutions rather than individuals. The citizens of these countries are mostly undereducated or undernourished, so they are not able to see or fight with the abusiveness of their governments or corporates. Those countries are recommended to look up to the advanced democracy of Europe or the USA. Certainly when I was growing up, I thought there was nothing European and American governments could do wrong. I thought they treated all their citizens and the citizens of other countries with respect. Sadly, the time and events showed me otherwise. Particularly witnessing USA and UK attack Iraq, left many people in shock and caused more hatred. I could not believe that to catch a terrorist group they would sacrifice so many innocent lives. After so many years of victims, suffering and pain, we heard that USA caught Osama in Pakistan. Yes, but why did they attack Iraq and Afghanistan without being exactly certain? No one can explain that clearly. There are rumours such as their will to control Middle East and the oil..
I honestly wanted to believe the opposite but then when the conflict in Yugoslavia started, America stood back. Women and children were begging for help. They claimed that they were being raped and murdered but none of the European and American governments moved a finger to help them. Some said this was because there was no petrol in Yugoslavia. I still wanted to see this as the governments not wanting to interfere with Yugoslavia's internal business. In the meantime, many innocent lives were lost.
I asked my children what they thought about America killing Osama Bin Laden. Their reply was that it was right and he deserved to die. How about law, justice, fairness, democracy and all of the above? I had to tell them that an unarmed man who did not resist to soldiers would not deserve to die even if this man was the most dangerous terrorist. What he would deserve is to be arrested and to stand trial before being brought to justice. Otherwise, this would be called murder. And what makes us better than a murderer, if we don't follow the law?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Have you ever given up on a student?

As teachers, we talk about students in the staff room. These chats are good for communicating and getting to know about students.

I know that I am able to talk in depth about EAL new arrivals in the school because I interview and meet them on their first day. This gives me a great opportunity to get detailed information about their background and level of education. In addition, I learn about their hobbies, likes and dislikes before anyone else. When I discuss a particular EAL student with teachers, unless it’s confidential, I am able to give more inside information about an EAL student than anybody else.

 'Every child matters’ and ‘every child has a gift waiting to come out’ but there are times when I feel hopeless and say ‘No, s/he will not make it’. This feeling of hopelessness bothers me immensely. I don’t like this negative feeling inside me. So I start asking other teachers about the student to find out if s/he is better in other subjects. My feelings have changed so many times about a student after listening to her/his side of story or other teachers telling me about how great this student in their subject is.

I also think about my teaching style to find out if I need to make adjustments for this student’s preferred way of learning. If s/he is good at music, homework would be to write lyrics for a song from a topic we learn or if the better subject is physical education, homework maybe to find some pictures of sport actions related to the topic etc.

Many years of living but not so many years of teaching (7 years) taught me that no matter what I think about a student in my mind, I never really lose hope for her/him in my heart. If s/he makes the slightest effort, I am prepared to forgive and forget whatever happened in the past and accept that as a bad patch or phase we went through...I feel so lucky to be part of the teaching profession which teaches me patience and inspires me to become a better person, day after day...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Edusolidarity...Feeling the power and strength!

Meaning of union..coming together, co-mixture, compound, conciliation, concord, concurrence, confluence,congregation, conjunction, consolidation, corporation, correlation, family, fellowship, fusion, harmony, identification, incorporation, joint, meeting, merging, synthesis, tie-in, tie-up,unanimity, unification, unison, uniting, unity...

Which words would you like to leave out by giving up your union and solidarity? I think, our lives would be pretty limited and lonely without our unions!

Whenever I feel worried or suspect of an unjust, I know my union will protect and defend me. It gives me an enormous  power and strength knowing that 'I am not alone and I don't have to go through all the obstacles on my own'.

Life is about making choices; what clothes you'll wear, where you'll go for holiday, who you'll vote, who you'll marry, how many children you'll have and which Union you'll belong to...It's an indispensable  part of democracy..If you can't decide about all of these, it means that you live in a dictatorship..And look what's happening to dictatorships!    

Please support The Edusolidarity Action in US because we are all connected and even if one person gets hurt, eventually we all bleed and hurt...


Sunday, 20 March 2011

School chatter daily...

  • T- "Right Kids! 21st Feb is the International mother language day. What does your mother language mean to you?" - "Normality" -Okeeeey:) "Let's expand this a little bit" - But I can't say this in any other language! :)) 
  • When walking in the school's corridor with one of my important visitors whose first time in the school...“Hi Miss"- "Hi" -"I was just wondering"- "Yes?" - "Ooh, do we have a psychiatrist in the school? I think I need one :))) 
  • "So Miss, during meet the tutor evening, will my parents only see you?" "Yes" -" Good then, cause I'm good with you. I don't have to worry :) "But I will have comments from other teachers as well, to feedback your parents" -"Ooh pls Miss, don't tell everything?":))) 
  • -' Miss, this lady teacher threw me out'- 'What did you do?' -Nothing, just sprayed myself in class, the others complained. -Why? I smelt. T- go and apologize, then she'll take you back. S-I didn't do anything wrong, I won't apologize. 
  • My Yr 11 group: "Miss, you know that boy loves this girl?" Teacher: "Do you know14th Feb's coming, write a card and give it to her":))) Teacher: "Please, stop flirting in the class. Focus on the topic. Leave the matter outside." Embarrassed laughs from students :)) 
  • Just another manic Monday :) Std-Miss, this room stinks, I don't want to get in T-We don't have any other room to go.. Std-Miss, I will faint from this smell! Teacher- Ok, then stay at the door, say you're here when I take the register Std- Oh thanks, Miss :)) 
  • Teacher: -Can you put your blazer on? St: -Don't like it! T-But it is part of your school uniform St: - Yeah, so? Teacher-The green hair band with the huge flower you are wearing is not part of the school uniform. Student -But all the other teachers tell me that it suits me, what's wrong with you? 
  • Teacher's rushing to the staff meeting...Knock knock...the door doesn't get opened... teacher opens the door to find one of the students hiding on the other side... S-Hi Miiiiiiiiissss! T-..Hi? S- You look stressed out! T- I need to run to the meeting. S- Oh, I thought something was wrong with you :) 
  • S (knocks the office door)-Miss, do you have chocolate rolls? T-No, why? Should I have them?S-No reason Miss. I just felt like eating them. T: Ok, next time I will have some S: Thanks Miss:))
  • T-Right kids. I'd like to give you lots of praise vouchers today. All you need to do is to read your favourite book quietly for 10 minutes..As it is quiet reading morning ..SA-But Miss I can’t read quietly, is it OK if I read out loud? SB- Miss, I don’t have a book, is it OK if I just keep quiet? SC- Miss, can I go to toilet? SD- Miss, can I go to drink water? SE- Miss, how was your break? SF-Miss, shall I help you with register? beeeep! beeeeep! beeep! T- Right, it's going to have to be quiet reading afternoon then..See you at pm register! Ss-Oooh, Miss:)

My musings on life...and Twitter...

  • I never imagined life like this. The life I imagined was just fantasy. Real life's a blade of a knife in between nightmares and smiles!
  • When I woke up this morning, I saw words on my shoulders! One said Smile, the other said Cry! I picked up 'Smile'. Looked around some more; I saw 'Peace' and 'War', picked up 'Peace' because it looked calm! Suddenly, I heard some others shouting; War :( I turned my head around and tried to find the words I liked. I saw 'Love' and 'Friendship' and showed the others; said "I don't have 'War' ‘Compassion’,'Empathy' and 'Honesty' are the words I have. I offered them and asked them to choose. They thought I was crazy :) So just to make me happy, they chose 'Empathy' and let me go :) 
  • Lookout twitter-bazaar, words are flying around you; chose them wisely to express your thoughts and wishes! Think twice before using negatives; thrice before breaking a heart. Follow to encourage, unfollow to disagree... 
  • If your children want to talk to you; switch off the TV, turn off the radio, put away your drink, have eye contact, look face to face... Switch off everything, just listen, don't interrupt, don't judge, don't give advice, don't undermine, don't humiliate, just listen!!! If your children want to hug you; you're lucky :) Just drop everything in your hands on the floor and give them a big hug :) If your children want to cry, make sure your shoulder is free, have the paper tissues and cry together. Every minute is worth it! 
  • Good morning and gunaydin to all the members of twitter-globe. Have a fantastic day:) smile, cause everybody smiles in same language:-) 
  • If everybody was able to take a stand against bullying, the world would be a fantastic place to live. 
  • Twitter is like yelling from a mountain cliff; your voice echoes right back at you like a boomerang. =) 
  • I imagine living in a society where I can hear all the languages of the world. When it rains, all the smiles and greetings would be my umbrella. All the warm thoughts and different ideas would be my richness. I want to hear children laughing and playing in all the different languages in the world where they are not afraid to speak up! 
  • I am just a human with eyes and a heart. I try to feel before I see, so I sometimes close my eyes and open my heart. Sometimes I open my eyes and close my heart:( I have places to see, other humans to meet. I have obstacles to overcome. I need time to grow! I cry when no one is looking. I speak when no one is listening. I give my hand when no one needs it. I take it back when there is a need! I am just a human like any other. Thinking small, dreaming big. I am a mirror showing humans themselves. So they don't like me a lot! 
  • Languages in the world are like colours of the rainbow. When we lose one language, our rainbow fades away! 
  • Let your followers free, if they stay, they're yours. İf they don't, they weren't interested in your ideas in the first place anyway :)) 
  • Multiculturalism is to be able to accept and respect each other with all the different race, religion, sexual orientation and age... And live together in peace and harmony under the same law of international human rights. 
  • I'm a real person. I have high hopes and small steps. I see people like me. I hear voices of despair and fear but I keep my hopes high! 
  • If you want your children to speak your language, never hesitate to speak to them in first language but make sure you are consistent. 
  • If you are hungry, the last thing you care is your education! If you live in poverty, the last thing you care is the anatomy of a frog! Unless you get to eat the frog! If you want to educate all the children in the world, first feed them well! 
  • If there were a nation called People of Sun, I would've loved to be one of them! Good morning from sunny London! Sun gives me positive energy.One thing for sure if I was an Eskimo, I would have been in depression all the time and in need of psychological help :) Me no like snow :)) 
  • Thinking in two languages needs twice the size of normal brain but most importantly twice the size of normal heart! It is a tiring process :) 
  • Does language mean identity really? If you can't speak your native language, what part of your identity you lose? Part of your soul maybe! 
  • Sometimes life becomes so tiring that it makes you feel depressed and unmotivated to carry on. In these moments, little precious things come along and make you want to see the next day. I wish you to have the little precious things all the time and never let go of them..look around you they exist.
  • Smile to feel good..Laugh to feel better..Help someone to feel great!
  • The definition of human: a bipedal primate mammal (homo sapiens). Human nature: the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans. That's it! If there's no heart involved,definition of humans is no different than any other species in the world! Add a little bit of feelings to it!Mix it up with some tears because the salt in them gives us some taste, laughter is the sugar we put, then what you get is a human being!
  • Essential tools to teach English to foreign students in England...1: welcome them and smile 2: learn to pronounce their names correctly..3: make them feel safe 4: provide them with lots of visuals 5: activate prior knowledge. 6: allow 1st language use 7: give them at least 30 seconds of thinking time before they answer questions. 8: celebrate the correct answers, encourage for more 9: if they don't want to talk at first let it..10: celebrate their cultural and religious festivals in school 11: keep contact with the parents. 12: just relax, they are just like any other kid:)
  • Ok back to 'learning the foreign students names correctly', I witnessed this conversation many times "What's your name" "Jire, Miss." "I'll never remember this name. I'll call you Gerry, Ok?" :))) No, not OK! Who wants to change their names for the sake of a teacher?:) My daughter has 2names and one is Turkish which is written as Yasemin. It is pronounced as Yaa-sa-meen. When my uncle asked her once if he can call her Yasmin, she said "No, my name is Yasemin, not Yasmin" only at 5 yrs old:) Your first name is connected with your identity. It's Tuuba not Tube, thank you very much:) 
  • If you are in a room, the details you notice are the ones no one else notices, what is your job then? If you can't think about anything else but organizing your ideas, according to a timeline. Dreaming about a character night and day..If only you know how the story begins, continues and ends...Your job is to write until they call you a writer!
  • There is no use to ask 'Why the strong will of democracy now?' because it should have been yesterday! Humans deserve to vote their leader! I feel so lucky to witness and support this awakening while I'm still alive! Democracy, not now but forever!
  • I've learnt to wait and think before saying or doing things for the events or people that upset me, avoided catastrophes and chaos.
  • Twitter taught me to fit my imagination into 140 characters. I never thought it would be possible...
  • On BBC1 There was a debate about if feminism led to more violent women. What nonsense! Only more violent men led to more feminism everywhere.
  • It sometimes shocks me how some people easily use swear words on twitter:( Manners still exist in cyber-world, don't they?
  • Sometimes you find the right people, sometimes they come and find you:) Don't ever give up searching...

    Tuesday, 8 March 2011

    Papa- Intermediate level-Teaching English through songs

    Everyday my papa would work to help to make ends meet
    To see that we would eat, keep those shoes upon my feet
    Every night my papa would take and tuck me in my bed
    Kiss me on my head after all the prayers were said
    Growing up with him was easy time just flew on by
    The years began to fly, he aged and so did I

    I could tell that mama wasn't well
    Papa knew and deep down so did she, so did she
    When she died my papa broke down and cried
    All he said was "God, why not take me?"

    Every night he sat there sleeping in his rocking chair
    He never went upstairs, all because she wasn't there
    Then one day my papa said "Son, I'm proud the way you've grown.
    Make it on your own. Oh, I'll be OK alone"

    Every time I kiss my children papa's words ring true
    "Your children live through you they'll grow and leave you, too"
    I remember every word my papa used to say
    I live them everyday he taught me well that way

    Every night my papa would take and tuck me in my bed
    Kiss me on my head when my prayers were said
    Every night my papa would take and tuck me in my bed
    Tuck me in my bed after my prayers were said ...

    Paul  Anka 

    Match the meaning...

    Idioms/phrasal verbs
    Their meaning
    to make ends meet

    To crush; to overwhelm

    to break down
    To succeed by yourself

    to live through you (someone)
    To experience life through someone  
    to make it on your own

    To get older/to age

    to ring true

    To pass quickly

    to grow up

    From your heart

    to fly on by

    To be true

    deep down
    to have enough money to pay for your basic expenses

    Comparing the father figure in this song with own or the other father figures students know;


    1. Did your father read stories to you at night? Did he put you in bed?
    2. Do you say prayers before you go to bed?
    3. In your family or in other families you know when/at what age do children leave the house?
    4. Would you put your own children in bed and read them stories? Why/ why not?
    5. What are the advantages of storytelling for children?
    6. Do you have good relations with your father? Can you share your thoughts, worries, relationships and problems with him?
    7. What kind of a parent do you want to be? Would you like to listen to your children when they want to talk to you? 
    The websites that explaining traditions in some countries where our students come from;

    Prepared by T. Bauhofer