A guest blog post by Vicky Loras-” Oh, Canada….in Larissa”

Oh, Canada…in Larissa!

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Discovering Canada with the amazing kids in Aphrodite Gkiouris‘ classes in primary school

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How I Got There
Two weeks ago, I went to Larissa, a city in Greece, in order to do two workshops after being kindly invited by the amazing English Teachers Association of Larissa.
The next day, I was very fortunate to be able to visit the 30th Primary School of Larissa, where my good friend Aphrodite Gkiouris works as an English teacher. I was excited to be there, as it had been quite a few years since I had been in a primary classroom in a state school.


The Visit
Aphrodite and I had decided that I take part in teaching four classes, one Grade 4 class, two Grade 5s and a Grade 6. I was going into the classroom as an unknown guest – the kids did not know where I was from, just the fact that I was also a teacher, Miss Aphrodite’s friend from another country who had come to visit them.
The days before the big day, the kids had worked so hard with their teacher, coming up with terrific questions to ask, in order to figure out where I was from. Not only that, they had prepared questions to ask after they had discovered where I was from!

I went in class, and Aphrodite introduced me – I then proceeded to tell the kids that the country I come from is very very coooooold! We played around with opposites like hot – cold, near – far away, big – small.
Some of the questions the kids asked were:
What language do the people speak there?
Are there forests/parks in your city?
Is it in Europe? Which continent?


After they had found it – and they were really quick! – Aphrodite and I pulled out a huge flag I had brought along and we hung it on a clothesline with pegs (Aphro has EVERYTHING in her classroom!) and then the kids asked questions like:
What time do the kids go to school there and what time do they finish?
What sports do the children play there?
Which animals live there?
Why does the flag have a leaf on it?
Why is it so cold there?

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A Beautiful Collaboration Between the Teacher and the Children
Apart from my part, Aphrodite and her class proceeded to demonstrate some of the chants they have learned with her, which gave such a beautiful, close and open-to-learning atmosphere! I was so excited; I could not stop applauding them! And I got the biggest hugs ever in the end which I will carry in my heart forever.

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It goes to show that if the teacher is motivated and tries everything for her students, it is absolutely infectious, since children are already open to great ideas and love learning! I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity to visit Aphrodite and her children and I would like to say:

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(Aphrodite is now writing) What a huge honour to host Vicky Loras in my classroom! My kids, loved her ! I have decided to post,only her  photos ,  but…since she has decided to send me her  photos of me teaching, in order  to be  included in her  post as well, I’ll add them here below, too!

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I always invite guest speakers in my classroom! It is a priceless experience ,for both the students and me!

A guest speaker conveys current, realistic information and a perspective on a subject that is not available from textbooks.Thank you Vicky again, for this opportunity!