Teaching at Uskudar SEV Schools


Teaching in a new city can be a trial. Learning a new language, integrating into a new culture and finding new friends are all daunting prospects and that’s all before you step into the classroom.
SEV’s orientation program is designed to smoothy acclimatize new recruits  for both personal and professional life. The program begins with seminars and presentations on national culture, history and geography and ends with a beautiful meal on a boat on the Bosphorus. Support for new teachers is extended throughout the year. The organisation of free health insurance, arrangement of work permits and opening of a bank account are all managed by a dedicated liason officer who is friendly and accessible at all times. Your entry to the SEV family is guaranteed to be a smooth one.The whole experience provides new recruits with a firm foundation for the coming year and is just one of the reasons that SEV teachers feel immediately at home and well looked after.
Throughout the school year, teachers are encouraged to draw upon their talents and resources as opposed to just teaching from a prescriptive syllabus. You can approach your curriculum with a creative hand and tailor your classes to fit your vision as teacher. Co-teachers, colleagues and administration are supportive and helpful. Students are energetic, keen and hardworking. Projects, clubs and extra curricular activities help to make the academic year a fun and rewarding time for all.
 As a teacher with 6 years of experience  of working in Istanbul, I feel like I have finally found a home with SEV schools.

Neal Cooke
Uskudar SEV Midle School English Teacher

The best things about teaching at Uskudar SEV are the students and the management.  Most of the 7th grade students are really bright and have a good command over the English language, so as a Language Arts teacher, you teach not only language but content and concepts. They are expected to pass the Cambridge PET exam in the spring, which is used by many private schools in Turkey to determine whether or not a year of Preparatory English is needed for students entering the high school.  At SEV, students are expected to have achieved this level of proficiency half way through the 7th grade.  At this level, you can teach literature using authentic texts.  Also, while there is a yearly plan and a curriculum, you are free to create your own lessons with your team.  SEV students are more respectful than American students of the same age and more affectionate.  You can really feel a heart connection with them.  They are creative, warm, and eager to learn and participate.  I feel like a ‘real’ teacher as most of my class time is spent teaching and facilitating learning rather than managing  behavior problems, and when there are problems, the Turkish management is professional and supportive. The vice-principals, principal, and counselors all speak English fluently and take the time to help new teachers to adjust to the school culture and to work with more challenging students.


As a new hire in SEV Uskudar, my initial impression of the school was its harmony. After having taught in Turkey for three years, this work environment proves to be very laid back, peaceful, understanding, but hands on and responsive to the (new) teacher’s needs at the same time. Not only do we work for an excellent head of department who is always willing to grant us the individual liberties to design and modify our courses, but we also come to a healthy and relaxed department with good excellent social relations. In addition to the office harmony, the workload and duties are well balanced. For the first time in my teaching career I do not take my work home with me, which significantly contributes to my motivation.
Another crucial aspect that I was utterly meticulous about during the hiring period is the administration, who have proved to be fully proficient in the English language. Therefore, all the communication is carried out easily, which is not necessarily specific to other schools in Turkey. Moreover, the school can be proud of their foreign faculty liaison who makes the transition and the adaptation process completely enjoyable and smooth. She is one of the essential factors in the initial period; she facilitates the very move to Turkey and the school, but also the process of creating social and professional relations with the colleagues from a designated school and its sister schools distributed around the country.
Finally, the most relevant aspect of being a SEV teacher is the actual center stage: the classroom. Our students showcase great language skills and abilities which are definitely above the average of Turkey. What is really encouraging is their level or respect towards the teachers and the staff, as well as their highly developed sense of community.

Igor Jurilj
Uskudar SEV Middle School Teacher

What has made me stay has been the work environment at SEV. I am respected as a professional at SEV; I feel supported by the administration, my colleagues, and parents.  At SEV, creative classroom instruction and collaboration between colleagues is encouraged. My colleagues are competent, dedicated people who care a great deal about students. Additionally, the school is committed to providing students with authentic learning opportunities that foster critical thinking and a high level of competency in English and technology. Many tools are available to at SEV to aid instruction; every day I have access to rolling carts of iPads and laptops and each classroom has a SmartBoard and Apple TV. SEV students are enthusiastic, energetic, inquisitive, and interested in learning English. Our parents and students understand English is a necessary for success in this global world and they set high goals for themselves.  Seeing students grow and develop here has been a great joy and I continually amazed with what they are able to achieve.     

Elli Marlow
Uskudar SEV Middle School English Teacher

My job at with SEV has been the best English teaching job I’ve ever had.  Teachers are appreciated and supported.  There are many opportunities to engage in professional development by attending conferences and workshops.  SEV demands hard work, but it also allows space to make mistakes and grow professionally.  Not only that, my colleagues and supervisors are wonderful to work alongside. 

Due to Turkey’s generally low cost of living, there are a lot of opportunities to save and to travel during holidays.  They also provide plane tickets which eases the burden of trans-Atlantic journeys.

Karyn Dietrich
Uskudar SEV Middle School English Teacher

Uskudar SEV Middle School provides its teachers with the tools to succeed. When I first started teaching I had rare access to a photocopy machine and my main classroom technological tool was a piece of chalk. My classroom life these days is a paradise for a teacher with iPad, laptop, smart board and Apple TV. I have access to everything that makes a modern teacher comfortable and happy. Furthermore, students and parents are motivated to succeed. Enthusiasm is not a quality that’s lacking in our students. English has become a part of every student’s daily life from school assignments to gaming. Students and parents understand English is a necessary skill to succeed in this global world and support us in our job of teaching it.     

Andrew Osborne
Uskudar SEV Middle School English Teacher