Possibly because my greatest influence as a teacher has been my mother. A teacher of Modern Greek, my mother embodies everything I admire in teachers - that is, a sense of sharing, gratitude and kindness. She has always been a true educator who sees students as individuals with unique personalities, needs and strengths. Someone who teaches beyond the classroom walls and incorporates students' reality in their teaching. I have to admit that she still influences my teaching choices and has been the main reason I've come to realize that teaching is more than a profession, that it's my call. That's why I now feel fortunate to have been given the chance to teach years ago.
The journey so far
I started teaching fellow students at University, mainly through helping them with their assignments and working on literary analysis together. Since then, I've taught lots of students, mostly in language schools, have presented workshops in seminars and started my own blog. Having grown up in an environment of sharing, I always felt that it is through connection that we can really develop as individuals and professionals. Therefore, I enjoy every opportunity I'm given to connect with educators I admire and I actively participate in teaching groups -it's my way of contributing to this wonderful global exchange of ideas.
I'm a teacher as long as I am a student
The moment I realized that teaching is my call was the moment I knew that in order to be a teacher, I primarily need to be a learner. I feel that it is only through acknowledging our students' individual voices and talents that we develop as teachers. It's only then that our classrooms become places of unconditional and meaningful learning. In order for this to be achieved, both parts of the equation (teacher-student) need to contribute to the learning journey. I realize that for many teachers out there the thought of allowing their students to have an active role in the teaching process sounds intimidating. However, once students realize their voice matters and assume responsibility for they way they learn, teaching becomes the most meaningful profession in the world. These are the moments that have kept me going through the years - the moments when my students added a new chapter to their learning journey, when they extended the class discussion to something that mattered to them.
The future is a mystery, but I definitely see myself in a classroom. And although I can't tell where the next stop of the journey will lead me, one thing is for sure - I will keep teaching and learning, learning and teaching.