I thought I'd just give you taste of a typical day. I started my working day at 10 am when I went to my first lesson in Euosmos, a suburb in the west of Thessaloniki, with Maria and Marianna, two very enthusiastic eight year - olds. They are a joy to teach as they bring so much energy and joy to everything they do. We're doing the Chatterbox book which they adore as it has lots of music, songs and games. Although they don't have a PC I usually take my ibook and digital camera and record them singing songs or acting out the dialogues from the book. Unlike most of my students they love seeing themselves on the computer screen.
After that it is a quick 10 minute ride over to Stavroupoli, the neighbouring suburb in order to do a lesson with Antonis (Antony),a fifteen year old who loves basketball and had no great love of English, or at least that was the case in the beginning. Now we've reached some kind of agreement in which I try to find stuff in English that interests him and he does the more pedestrian exercise that the Headway Intermediate book offers. This includes lots of action movies on dvds (English subtitles only), music and sports related articles.
Today one of the highlights of the lesson was sending his entry, which he took using his mobile phone to the BBC's young photographer's competition.
Also, whenever we have a short listening exercise in the book I ask him to record it using his mobile phone. As a result his accent in English has improved enormously.
After that I pop by the supermarket to get my shopping for the next couple of days then later it's back home to grab something to eat and prepare for the evening's lessons. This means recording cds, ripping listening exercises, putting them onto a memory stick, collecting dvds that I'll give out and getting photocopies done.
At 3.20pm I go to my lesson with Aristidis, a ten year-old boy who lives in Ano Poli and has just started lessons with me. We've been a lot of activities on the internet and together we've set up a blog and have been doing a lot of interesting writing exercises from the British Council site. He's off to Berlin and I've asked him to take lots of photos so that we can put them on the blog.
Next I whizz off to the centre in order to do my next lesson at 4.45pm in the language school with my FCE class. They're a bunch of boisterous teenagers who get bored quickly. In order to get way from just doing the atrocious exam practice books that we've been given I decided to do a listening exercise with a song and lyrics chosen by one of the students. We end up listening to one by System of a Down and discussing the meaning of the lyrics to Dreaming.
They've also set up a blog but they haven't really got the hang of using it yet. Their homework is to find the lyrics to a song and say why they like it. However, they shouldn't write their name as the other have to guess who chose what.
Finally, I'm off out of the centre to Retziki a new suburb to the north of the city to do a lesson at 7pm with Angeliki, who has just passed the FCE and wants to take the CPE exams. She is a long-time blogger, having started hers last year. I asked her to write about the school sit-ins that are sweeping the country from her own perspective. Check out her latest post here.
Finally at 9.30pm I get home exhausted. Thankfully, tomorrow is a public holiday here in Thessaloniki.