Teachers who travel: Martin takes on Turkey

Emily Bassett, News Editor

“It was between Bulgaria, Honduras, and Turkey, and I chose Turkey,” principal Sean Martin said.
After teaching for two years at Skyline High School, Martin made the decision to move to Turkey to continue teaching.
“I grew up in Woodinville, went to University of Washington, and then went to teach at Skyline. I had basically never left the Eastside, so I figured it was time for a change,” Martin said.
That choice, however, came with some complications.
“When I signed up, it was 2003, and there was far less internet than there is now, so I couldn’t go see where I would be. They told me it was on the coast, which it most definitely was not,” Martin said.
Martin taught for one year “on the coast” at Tarsus American College in Tarsus, which is in Southern Turkey, where he taught ninth grade English and led their MUN club. He then transferred into the heart of Turkey, at an IB school located in central Ankara, where he taught IB English and history, and also led their MUN club.
“I loved it there. My students (like most Turkish students) were outgoing and liked to have a good time. I remember one trip I took them on, to Holland, and we were all on the train and they just started making friends with everyone around them,” Martin said. “It didn’t matter where they were from, as long as they were friendly, my students would get to know everyone.”
Even though it’s been over ten years since Martin was in Turkey, he remembers it fondly. For anyone looking to work abroad, he has a few pieces of advice.
“One: once you actually start working abroad, so many more opportunities open up for you. Don’t worry so much, it’ll be okay. Two: learn the language before you go. I didn’t spend as much time as I should have learning Turkish, and I regretted it when I got there. Lastly: everyone who is even thinking about working abroad should do it. It’s a humbling experience to immerse yourself fully in another country’s culture,” Martin said.