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Stav Papadopoulos : Teaching is an Open Road to Creative Pursuits

Teaching is an Open Road to Creative Pursuits

By Stav Papadopoulos

Creative teaching has no boundaries. It is a wide open highway to all the domains in the world and the possibilities are endless. Once you go through it and discover the range of pursuits it offers, you can’t resist the temptation. You will want to stop and get a taste of all of them.

All of a sudden I was getting ready to go on stage!

There I was, about to recite the same lines I had been rehearsing for weeks. A lifelong dream was now a reality. My drama teacher nodding was signaling it was my turn to speak.

This is how it all started for me.

Stepping stones

One step quickly pointed to another. All the paths that I crossed and the leads I followed were meant to provide me with enough food for thought, which was to be reflected in my teaching. I could not bear the thought of going through the same motions or repeating the same routine, the various rehearsed phrases, year in year out. Teaching, after all, has always made for quite a stage to breathe life into any idea.

Throughout my teaching career, I welcomed challenges and went out in search of ways to meet them. I pursued a number of different interests hoping that I would find something-a key- to some unanswered question, a solution to a nagging problem, the spark to set a project off. I was looking for inspiration and found it in every stop I made and under every stone I turned.

Turning points

When you keep an open mind you know when you are at that point in your life or career where you can quickly make a turn and reach your maximum. Teaching necessitates many skills, many of which you acquire in the process but teachers are also motivated for the good of their students to take the diversion route and try their hand at something new for want of a better teaching model.

My escapades have taken me all the way from the classroom to as far as taking drama classes with many stops in between. Teaching foreign languages motivated me to study cultural aspects and soon I was travelling and visiting places and talking to people. What I was learning and observing I would put down on paper but keep for myself and I would use the fancy tales and valuable knowledge to ignite my students’ imagination.

To record and then share the commanding pictures from my journeys, I took an interest in technology and audio-visual equipment. This was to later enable me to share my news, inform and entertain friends and family through newsletters and very soon I brought this idea to school and it became the perfect vehicle for my students’ creativity. Writing plays to facilitate learning of concepts students had difficulty with came next and organizing and coordinating school events followed.

On the corner of teaching and learning

It was a foregone conclusion that writing and I would meet at a crossroads and when we did, we never let go. My longing to write all these years was now the driving force behind every pursuit. It required that I found sources of inspiration and deep insights and appreciation of the topics I was writing about and I consequently I went out in pursuit of knowledge. I went back to school and discovered I was lacking in fresh perspective, I studied more languages, translation, home economics and even sustainable energy. I went back and with renewed interest and curiosity this time I approached people in my own environment so that I could learn from them. It wasn’t long before I realized that what I was after was another passion and long kept secret-my love for learning.

From then on the rest is history. Teaching and learning and vice versa brought me here today. I conduct creative teaching workshops. The need to make a good impression and to convey my messages as clearly as I can has brought me to the steps of these drama classes so that I can improve my public speaking skills and gain from the wisdom of the texts we read and perform. I don’t know which road will be opening up next but I am more than ready to follow it. •

© 2013 Stav Papadopoulos. All rights reserved.

Stav PapadopoulosStav Papadopoulos is a life-long learner and teacher of foreign languages. She conducts creative language teaching workshops, travels for inspiration, and writes e-books and school plays. More »

Updated 1/9/14