Ahead of the Eaquals International Conference, we caught up with Selçuk Bilgin, winner of this year’s Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme.
‘Being a member of an accredited institution is a great chance if you demand quality in all parts of your life because it constantly reminds you of the fact that you have to chase quality in the work you do and in the life you live.’
Selçuk, congratulations on your recent award! How did you feel when you found out you were the recipient of the 2019 Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme?
Thanks a lot! It was a fantastic moment. The first time I saw the email, I couldn’t believe my eyes and I had to check it again and again, and yes, it was the email confirming my winning. I was both very surprised and very excited.
Your colleagues at Özyeğin University must be thrilled for you. Is there anything that you and your colleagues appreciate most about working for an Eaquals accredited centre?
I could see and feel how happy they were when my colleagues heard this great news. Some emailed or texted while some others gave me a call when they saw the announcement on the social media. When they met me in person, they were really supportive and appreciative as if they were living the moment with me. I really love them!
Being a member of an accredited institution is a great chance if you demand quality in all parts of your life because it constantly reminds you of the fact that you have to chase quality in the work you do and in the life you live. Also, it gives you the sense that your efforts are valued.
Could you tell us a little about your teaching career? When and how did you start teaching and how long have you been with Özyeğin University?
It has been 10 years in my teaching career and I have been teaching at tertiary for the last 8 years of my career. I also had the chance to teach at kindergarten and secondary level, which also taught me a lot. Since 2015, I have been here with Özyeğin family and throughout this time, I have gained a great experience in terms of delivering more organized lessons, technology integration, language testing and assessment and so on.
Receiving the award is a fantastic acknowledgement of your exceptional teaching. What advice would you give to new teachers or those considering a career in language teaching, who may be inspired by the Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme?
Language teaching may seem a challenging task as we try to instruct a subject that learners do not have the constant exposure in their daily life. However, I offer the three ‘Ps’ to succeed to the throne in language teaching; perspective, piloting and perseverance. To clarify, in the 21st century educational context we need to change and deepen our perspectives in teaching/learning and help our students change their perspective too. Teaching & Learning are in a different shape now and we have to familiarize ourselves. Then, new and inspiring ideas in the new perspectives need to be piloted so that we can see what has worked and has not. Every step we take in the classroom is a new gate to a new journey, so we have to be perseverant and keep trying. As we are trying to shape the lives of human beings, the challenges we face would definitely be different, but as long as we inspire and take the steps with them, they will react positively sooner or later.
We’re delighted you will be joining us in Madrid as part of your award. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Eaquals International Conference?
Being a dream city with its terrific scene, glaring architecture and long history, Madrid will be a melting pot of the innovative and inspiring ideas in language education. The conference will bring together many professionals in language teaching under the same roof and I am looking forward to meeting these professionals, each of whom has different and appealing ideas to share with us. I believe that any kind of gathering is a chance to disseminate the good knowledge and practices, which will elevate the teaching profession and inspire us.