Last year, Anadolu University School of Foreign Languages adopted a new system with the aim to put learners in the center by implementing the requisitions of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) for language teaching process. In accordance with the goal, four new boards to function as the middle-management level in the hierarchy were created to be able to have the system function more smoothly. These new boards are namely Heads of Learning Units, Curriculum and Material Developers, Testers, and Teacher Trainers.
As the titles suggest, testers test, trainers train, and curriculum and material guys select the course books as well as developing the curricula. However, Heads of Learning Units have a wider range of responsibilities. To start with, the heads are in direct, and sometimes, fierce interaction with the rest of the teachers. They also have to deal with students by arranging meetings with them and trying to figure out immediate solutions for problems that might arise. Next, heads of learning units are those who need to motivate and keep motivated all other teachers and students at school.
This small description of tasks already reveals it clearly that it is no easy job to be a member of the board of teaching unit heads. In addition to their core responsibilities, those in the group have to justify everything that the other groups do in case of reaction or criticism from the rest of the school. Moreover, they even do the jobs of testing and curriculum offices by preparing quizzes and organizing teamwork within their units for extra materials required by teachers and students.
I know all this very well because I am one of the twelve heads of learning units. Since I was selected for this position, I have had to go through many challenges. There were many times when I intended to quit it because of the pressure constantly increasing. I must say it is all thanks to the other heads who have always made it easier for everybody involved through co-operation and determination that I still act as a learning unit head and I never plan to give it up because the responsibilities have transformed me both as a teacher and an individual.
Although it has been a tough process, I am, now, a person who manages to cope with people better. Secondly, I can organize my time for each responsibility more effectively. Thirdly, I am more co-operative than ever. Next, I have learnt to reflect upon my experiences and I even try to encourage everyone I work with, including students, to do the same. Most importantly, I am very well aware that I can survive even at the hardest times, and this gives me the courage to carry on.
Seeing that I have come a long way as a unit head and a learner is my light when I may still feel hopeless. I certainly admit that I will have to walk lots more miles, and I am not the least bit afraid because I no longer see new responsibilities as challenges. They are opportunities to test your strength and add more to that by allowing you to be a better person than you may assume you can be not only professionally but also individually.