Hello dear readers
This blog has been inactive for such a long time that some of you may think it has died. But no J, here I am again, teaching and blogging and learning and living. So many things have happened since the last time I wrote in November 2015 and some of them were really hard to digest. Have a look at this list:
- March 2016 – Terrorist attack in Brussels at the metro station next to the office I was working at the time. Thankfully I was out of the metro 10 minutes before the explosion. Other people were not that lucky.
- June 2016 – Graduation from AC Accredited Coaching course
- October 2016 – Serious accident of my daughter in Greece which almost killed her. She is now alive but still undergoing therapies.
- October 2016 – relocation in Larissa, Greece because of the above. Indefinite leave without pay from work.
- January 2017 – started offering volunteer lessons in a rehabilitation community for people with drug problems. Found consolation to teaching adults and becoming a role model for them.
- May 2017 – return to work in primary education in the prefecture of Karditsa.
- September 2017 – back to the school of my appointment with my beloved colleagues. Difficulty in adjusting to working with children again, combining work and mother duty, taking care of a disabled person.
- October 2017 – new and young colleagues enter our school and bring enthusiasm with them. Great things come from collaborating with them
- December 2017- Reactivated the school library. Asked for help from friends and colleagues for new books. Got a great package from the American Embassy.
- December 2017 – travel to Rhodes after almost two years without seeing my parents. Extremely moving moments of reunion.
- February 2018 – followed blended training on teaching English with new technologies with a charismatic trainer who inspired me again
- March 2018 – joined two groups of teachers in my area: Teachers for Europe and English Language teachers of Larissa. Got elected in the board of the latter. Working with teachers and meeting with them regularly makes my days lighter and more inspired.
- April 2018 – followed training on teaching adults and enjoyed the process of writing teaching scenarios for adults (below you can find an example of a plan about Shakespeare)
- April 2018 – co- organized a series of activities for encouraging Reading for Children
- June 2018 – My first full teaching year after 5 years in Brussels comes to an end. I feel exhausted but also proud I have made it to the end. I feel I could have done many more things with my students and I look forward to the next year.
Now that I’m writing this year long journal I am reflecting upon my work, as it always happens when we write. Why has this year been especially difficult for me? What were the factors that helped me get through and may even do something pedagogically valid?
The answers are never easy and straight forward. Like our lives, which are especially Volatile, Uncertain, Complicated and Ambiguous at the moment, our teaching lives are influenced by what happens around us. Even when we go into the classroom with the best intentions we carry with us our problems, our tiredness, our worries as we carry our knowledge, our philosophy, our experience, our love. It is true that my personal family life had a huge influence on my teaching life this year. It is also true that working with children, being motivated by new and old colleagues, learning new things, trying new skills has deeply enriched my family life too.
Now it is summer time. I have more time to reflect further on teaching, to prepare my lessons for next year, to update this blog, to read more from educators I admire, to write more. I hope this post is the beginning of a new period of meeting at the crossover between pedagogy and philosophy. I hope we will keep meeting in virtual and real spaces in order to inspire each other!