Number one for English language teachers

Liana Kokkaliari

At the time of writing this diary, Liana Kokkaliari was working as an English language teacher in state primary schools in Crete, Greece.

My name is Liana Kokkaliari. I work as an English language teacher in state primary schools in Crete, Greece. I have a permanent working position, that is, I'm not a substitute teacher, that is, I don't run the risk of not having a job...

This year I work at two primary schools, one in the small town where I live and the other in a village 25 kms from home. Given the fact I worked in a primary education office for the past two years, which means I didn't teach at all during that period of time, I am now trying to recover from the shock of being back in the classroom.

Related articles

  • Diary 1: English patient, Saturday 4th December

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    When I came back from school on Friday, I had a very sore throat. By the end of the day the speech organs were still in there but nothing seemed to work properly. Where has my voice gone? Not to my pupils’ ears or brain, that’s certain…

  • Diary 1: English patient, Thursday 25th November

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    It’s very cold and windy today. It was snowing when I left the village. If someone had seen me driving (because there are hardly any cars on the way home), they would have thought I was drunk. I was driving all over the road rather than in my lane, as the view was beautiful. Mist and clouds and autumn colours (winter has just started) and the villages perched on hills and chimneys smoking and patches of grey and white in the sky. There was a dead hedgehog in the middle of the road too ...

  • Diary 2: English teacher, Friday 18th February

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    During the Christmas holidays I felt so disillusioned about my professional status not to mention the purpose of existing and getting into a classroom that I started thinking whether leaving my office job was one of the most hopeless decisions I’d ever made. Too late to be sorry… In fact, I left the education office with a triumphant look on my face and an absolutely naïve attitude “Now I’m going back to creation!» Creating chaos, creating frustration, creating suicidal ...

  • Diary 2: English teacher, Monday 1st November

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    Today it was the town school’s turn. Went there on time (yes, I did have time for photocopying!), prepared my worksheets and everything – or so I thought - and pretended I was ready to face the crowds. I knew from the previous day that when I spend 5-6 hours preparing things and 2-3 hours correcting other things, well, it’s not going to work. I know it. I get so tired that I become anxious and restless and stupid and a hypochondriac. And all the brilliant ideas stay ...

  • Diary 2: English teacher, Monday 21st February

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    When I finished the English Language Studies Department at the Athens Uni, I had no idea about all that (not the viruses, the school thing). We studied history, literature, linguistics, some phonology and phonetics, a little bit of (naïve) methodology and some other grim subjects I prefer not to remember. I liked history and literature and I really enjoyed some linguistics courses. The rest…phew! Let’s say, I could not appreciate the way they were taught. The point is that I couldn’t ...

  • Diary 2: English teacher, Saturday 5th February

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    The truth is I’ve read some other teachers’ diary entries and that finished me off. I love reading Simon Greenfield’s diary. The problem is that he includes a lot of metaphors, puns and idioms I cannot understand and I usually end up with a list of questions.

  • Diary 3: Mixed abilities, 8th-9th November

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    Hurray! It’s a holiday! A local celebration of something distant. No school for me, dear friends!

  • Diary 3: Mixed abilities, Saturday 6th November

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    In this country once you get a permanent working position, that is you become a permanent civil servant, you would have to be mad to give it up. This means that state schoolteachers, like all civil servants, are doomed to teach for the rest of their lives. I say “doomed” because although most university graduates dream of the day they get appointed they cannot escape feeling tired, overworked or even bored after a few years and try not to think of the 35 years they have to spend in ...

  • Diary 3: mixed abilities, Tuesday 15th November

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    And after that interesting repetition of greetings (eighty times, eighty-one times?), they all screamed as I was leaving the classroom: Hello, Miss! (sigh)

  • Diary 4: I am a mug addict, Monday 14th March

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    OK, then, what else? I sprained my ankle and am walking like Hunchback without his notorious accessory. I am not fascinated with the idea of not going to school because I came to the sickening conclusion that I’d rather go to work and feel I’ve somehow done my “duty” that stay at home and feel awkward. It’s paranoid; no matter if I have a good day or not (the “nots” are more frequent), I feel I have to go to school, otherwise I’m a parasite that wakes up late while the ...

  • Diary 4: I am a mug addict, Sunday 13th March

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    As I was saying 4 days ago, I felt I had to make a decision. I am not really happy with the option of working in a primary education office, no matter if I have some experience, and I am not happy at all with the option of driving every day down a hill, up another hill, crossing a lake (well, on a bridge, that is), up a mountain, on a road with 1,378 impossible turns, joining the other commuters on the motorway to Athens and following one of the motorway exits to get ...

  • Diary 4: I am a mug addict, Wednesday 9th March

    Author: Liana Kokkaliari Type: Reference material

    I am a mug addict. Perhaps because I love coffee, especially flavoured sorts. At the moment I’m drinking the vanilla-hazelnut flavour and there’s also vanilla-butterscotch in the kitchen cupboard. I’m very particular with mugs, you know, like the wine connoisseur who looks at the drink for half an hour, smells it, plays with the glass, looks at the wine again, uses it as mouthwash etc. No, I don’t spend much money on them and I don’t have a big collection. But I like ...

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