This week we ‘re going to East London to meet an exceptional lady who is really busy even though she’s only been over here for a few months so far! Let’s see who she really is and what her plans are!!
Hi Ester! We ‘re excited to have you with us! You are a Greek Language and a Special Educational Needs teacher, born in Greece, starting off your career there, and coming to England recently. Could you tell us a bit more about your story?
Hello and thank you very much for having me here. I am very excited to be talking to Greek teachers in England on this website and sharing my experience. I moved to London from Athens last September to challenge myself in a multicultural environment. As I have never stayed abroad for a long period before, this change was a whole new world for me. My feelings were mixed. I was afraid but very enthusiastic about what was to come. My first degree is in Greek Philosophy and in Greece, I had been preparing students for the Panhellenic exams for almost ten years. I have wonderful memories from this period of my life and I believe that they made my decision to come here harder. During those years, I dealt with children that had learning difficulties and this experience led me to start my MA in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at the University of Derby (Athens campus). I started working with special needs children and I found that Autism and Down syndrome were two extremely interesting categories! So… I took the big decision to come to London.
So how is your life in England now? What are the pros and cons of living here?
My life in London is unexpectedly different to what I had imagined before coming here. I currently work in a Special Needs School, where I have had the opportunity to learn about the UK educational system, which is totally different from the Greek one. At the same time, I work as a Greek language teacher at The Hellenic Centre, where I teach Modern Greek to adults. I had never imagined how many people in the UK would be interested in learning the Greek language. Coming to live in London was a huge decision! It’s a city that gives you the opportunity to develop yourself in different ways, to have experiences that are unique. At the same time, London is very busy and commuting becomes a big part of your day. The weather is not so bad… sometimes!
What inspires you every day?
The world … because you realise how similar people are, regardless of religion, colour and nationality. Working with people from other countries is something that I really enjoy here! The most important advantage though, of living here and being a Greek teacher is that, via my teaching, I can transmit elements of Greek culture and identity to my students! I would never have imagined that I would find myself preparing students for GCSE exams in Modern Greek. Last but not least, I am super excited about something new I am starting in September! A new group for young children will be kicking off in East London. Through interactive activities, the children will learn about Greek mythology, language, culture and festivities. These are good reasons to stay motivated!
Do dreams really come true?
Yes! You have to work for your dreams, but I believe that every goal that you set and that has been achieved is a small dream that has come true. Having positive people around you and doing things that you love is part of a happy life.
What is passion for you?
Passion for me is teaching! Passion for me is building great memories with friends! Passion for me is finding reasons to be happy every day!
What is your advice to the Greek community of teachers in England?
You are not alone! There are so many people who are ready to help you, to share ideas and information and support you in this big change in your life. During this year, I have met very interesting people who were happy to offer me advice on schools, on the Educational system and on life in the UK in general! Some of them have become close friends! Don’t hesitate to ask for help, Greek Teachers in England are here for you.
Thank you very much for your time. We are looking forward to hosting your amazing ideas and various experiences on our website! Take care!
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences! Keep up the good work!