Kindergarten!? …Shh! I have a plan…

This academic year (2021- 2022) I had the opportunity to introduce English to preschoolers at four different Kindergartens, leading classes as large as 22 students. Having no prior experience with the little ones, I was incredibly excited and absolutely terrified when I found out I was going to teach 4-year-old learners. “How am I going to hold the attention of a room full of active, restless and curious little minds while wearing a face mask?” (COVID times you see). But I quickly got the hang of it and enjoyed every single day.

Here are some of the storybooks and songs which became a real hit in my kindergarten sessions this year:

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Jumping in Muddy Puddles
I See Something Blue
Put On Your Shoes
I am a mole and I live in a hole
Let’s Go To The Zoo
Skidamarink A Dink A Dink
A Sailor Went To Sea
WOW! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood
Animated Short Film “Hey Deer!” by Ors Barczy
STUCK by Oliver Jeffers
SHHH we have a plan! by Chris Haughton
You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck, David Tazzyman

Learning on the move

The most important learning occurs when you are on the move, adventure-lovers claim. But, what if you make the same familiar journey knowing -more or less- what to expect?

To my great surprise, participating in the “Learning on the move” training course for youth workers on 05 – 13 May 2018, in the countryside of Lithuania was a fruitful experience full of surprises.

Initially, having attended previous similar training courses made me feel more comfortable since I was familiar with the approach, methodology and the digital tools used to design educational outdoor adventures. It was like the feeling when you drive your own car. But, this time instead of sitting at the back, I had the opportunity to sit in the front seat and be more involved in facilitating the learning process of less experienced group members. I enjoyed observing, assisting and supporting newcomers in the field while designing expeditions using Actionbound app

It was important for me to share and discuss my past practices and insights from the previous training. I appreciated the chance to interact with the same trainers, express my own experiences of Expedition for educational purposes, discuss further the implications with them and ask for their advice on practical issues.

Free Podcast Listening Week

This week you are free to choose the podcast(s) you want to listen to.
Visit the sites below to find and listen to what interests you the most. Remember to leave a comment under this post about the podcast(s) you finally chose (title, duration, topic, etc.).

The English We Speak – The latest English words and phrases that you can use in your everyday conversation.

Book Club For Kids – The place where young readers meet to talk about books. The show includes a celebrity reader and an interview with the author.

Tumble Science – Exploring stories of science discovery. Tumble is a science podcast created to be enjoyed by kids.

Brains On – Science podcast episodes covering a wide range of topics like carnivorous plants, dog and cat sounds, and life on other planets.

Pop Culture Happy Hour – Radio chat about books, movies, music, television, comics and anything else about culture.

Podcast #6

“How Does Music Make You Feel?”

This podcast tries to answer why music moves us, why it makes us feel feelings.

Before listening, open the worksheet as there are pre-, while- and post- listening activities you need to answer.

Click here to listen to the podcast (and to lots of music!) and read about it.

Podcast #5

“Pokemon Go”

This podcast is an episode of SHORT & CURLY a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking.
Click here to listen to this episode about Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game which sends its players out into the streets to catch weird little imaginary creatures.

Before listening, open the Pokemon Go – worksheet as there are pre-, while- and post- listening activites you need to answer.

My summer teaching experience

What a summer! 70 sunny days in Sifnos.

Travelling back home physically exhausted after 70 sunny, hot and most of the times windy days in Cyclades, I am diving into self-reflection while looking back at the numerous photos I took the last couple of months. Overwhelmed by positive feelings, I am completely grateful for the experience I gained during my summertime in this small lovely island with its charming architecture.

A doubtful professional step surprisingly turned out to be an amazing and rewarding job, proving to myself that I am more skilful than I previously thought in non-traditional teaching. I realised that by relaxing and allowing students to guide the lessons, I can achieve the greatest teaching aims. Yes, fun experiential learning does miracles with students! Yes, books and pens can be easily replaced by the cheapest and simplest materials. Yes, nature can be an excellent open-air classroom offering dozens of learning opportunities. Yes, non-formal education is my passion! Have a taste of the course here

Stepping out of my comfort zone once again in my life, re-energised me deeply. I ‘ve missed this process of loading my car with belongings, driving roughly 400 km south plus a long ship journey and travelling to an unfamiliar place with a mixed feeling of anticipation and stress. But once again my choice of moving short-term to a less comfortable zone proved to be a wise one!

I enjoyed everything and appreciated each day. I rented a remote traditional house and called it summer home. I felt welcome by warm and generous hosts who spoiled me with tasty homemade food. I got used to the sound of strong wind. I cherished tasting a plethora of local dishes. I developed driving skills while passing through incredibly narrow paths. I was lucky to have job partner who supported and financed even my craziest ideas. I enjoyed practising yoga outdoors gazing at the Aegean sea. I took pleasure in swimming directly after work. I tried to photo shoot professionally with no luck. I overcame my fear of dogs. I treaured acting silly with my students. I had the chance to get my hands dirty (I really hate it) by trying pottery art. I interacted with local people and attending a dozen of religious festivities (the most delicious free food ever!). I was thrilled watching the full moon reflecting on the dark sea seated on the edge of the cliff. I was glad watching the sun rising after clubbing with friends. I felt peaceful watching streaky pink sunsets at the tophill. I made so many new friends, both Greeks and international, and built personal relationships wishing for them to last. I liked hosting people and re-connecting with old friends. And of course I left some unticked boxes from the “Sifnos-to-do-list” to hopefully check them next summer.

I am returning home with a long-lasting suntan, sun-damaged hair, a bit slimmer and totally fed up with packing suitcases. But after all, it was a summer well-spent which leads me to the next version of myself!