Ayşe S. Kunter

Some of the things that make me, Ayse Sertbay Kunter.

I was born in a beautiful Karpas village Aysimio/Avtepe. A village that is in walking distance, from the sea.  It was so close and yet so distant from it.  Interestingly enough, even the village I was born, contributed to the ways I experienced and still experience life. So close and yet so distant! So real and yet so abstract.

I was displaced involuntarily at the age of three. My and my family’s displacement was caused by the inter-communal conflict. I learned from this experience that displacement is a necessity in life and can be voluntary. One needs to displace herself/himself to shake one’s centrality, which will create necessary space to see things from a different perspective and relate to others in different ways.

Pleasant or not, I gained something from every single experience I had: I learned! This is one of the reasons I am a teacher now. If I can touch any learner’s life in the ways that will create space for them to shift their perspective and look at things from other points of view, be aware of and acknowledge difference, I am grateful.  I see teaching as a multi directional interaction that allows anybody involved, to gain one thing or another. The gained might be a loss that one might learn from. Teaching/learning is in a wayan intellectual friendship.

I have been teaching English officially since 1992. Learning from any interaction including the ones with my students. At times, they remind me to shift my perspective as a “teacher” and be open for learning.

I picked up and dropped things throughout my journey which started at Aysimio/Avtepe as a child;I continued  as a primary-secondary school student in Famagusta ; Istanbul as a University student and a qualified teacher , Sydney as a trainee teacher ; Nicosia as an experienced teacher ….. Luckily I never dropped the curiosity and play of a child, the things that learning cannot be fun without.

In Istanbul, as the Head of Department in a private college and as a Coordinator of Adult Education Courses, one of the most valuable things that I learned is the fact that at times, disagreement is as valuable as agreement. I believe, as a teacher, it is our responsibility to facilitate critical thinking and questioning for our students and adopt it to our everyday lives.

As a teenager, my oldest brother IlkerSertbay was not only my role model, but also my father in the constant absence of my father as a Mucahid, guiding and encouraging me in the things I was happy at even if I was not “good” at them.

My daughter FatmaGizem, who is like my sister and friend at times, is trained as a Speech and Language Impairments Therapist who considers the people with speech and language “impairment” as “different” then as “less able”.

With my husband MahmutKunter, we are different almost like complementary plants that do not competefor the same nutrients and sunlight, the very reason they complement each other is their differences.

We all love cycling, wild plants, all the flowers including the weeds, all the colours, all the animals and living beings of nature, the sky in any colour and pattern. We all love getting lost in it all.

I will always be thankful to my mum Eminos, for the constant smile on her face that will never leave us. She started it all.

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