zografia - Mary Krikela1

A new school year is at its early beginning … And I’m back, blogging about it! Being appointed at the same rural school for a second year, all I can say is that it feels great to be back to school! Yes, many things concerning education these days are making us feel insecure, yes, there is uncertainty in every step of the way, yes, you sometimes feel frustrated and angry with the working conditions and lack of financial support at schools, but, in the end, all I can (and have to) think of is the fact that it is kids that we are going to welcome at school. My kids, my friends’ kids, my neighbours’ kids and kids I have never met before expect me to welcome them with a smile, do my job as best as I can and provide conditions that cater for their needs. So, let’s try to look on the bright side of things!

The first thing that comes to my mind as a positive aspect of this school year is that I FINALLY have a classroom of my own! And this is something I would like to share with the whole world, I am so excited! EFL teachers working abroad may think of it as an exaggerated reaction, but EFL teachers working in Greece know exactly what I mean: No more carrying around books, learners’ notebooks, CD players, CDs, my laptop, my handbag … No more second thoughts on whether the class teacher is going to be annoyed by all the projects and posters I put up on the walls … No more stress about the fact that the seating arrangement in some classes is not convenient for group work … No more embarrassment about the fact that you are correcting assignments at the teachers’ office covering too much space with your piles of notebooks … No more begging for a drawer to keep your materials in order … And, although this ‘no more’ list can go on forever, I ‘ll put a full stop here and just stress the necessity of a separate classroom for any teacher!

Ideal as it may sound, having my own classroom this year does not actually mean that it is entirely my own!The spacious and sunny English classroom available is also the computer lab of the school!It is definitely adequate for computer-assisted language teaching – there are computers (rather old, but with satisfactory performance), a laptop with a projector connected, a printer, a scanner, an OHP, a photocopying machine, dark and light coloured curtains to either darken or light up the classroom! We fully exploited the lab last year and intend to do so this year as well!

Continuing on the bright side of things, meeting my learners and their parents after the summer break was great! So many hugs, kind words, catching up … This is all new to me, as it is the first time I work at the same school for the second year! I know my learners’ names, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, their interests, their concerns … They know me, the way I work, details about my family, my interests, my concerns … And I like to believe there is still more to find out about each other!

As a last positive point, I would like to mention how happy I am to be working with cooperative colleagues that are willing to help, share ideas and have a great sense of humour! It feels so good to enjoy the atmosphere at work, the place you spend almost half of your day!

So, let’s all raise our glass and drink to an enjoyable, creative, educational, fun school year, for teachers and learners all around the world!