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2013 Twenty Questions Interview : Stavroula Papadopoulos

20 Questions Interview
with Stavroula Papadopoulos

Teacher, Writes Books & Plays, Conducts Creative Language Workshops


Stavroula Papadopoulos1. What's your name?

My name is Stavroula Papadopoulos, Stav for short.

2. Where are you from?

I divided my life between the U.S. and Greece.

3. Who are you today?

I am a woman who is more confident and more relaxed than ever before!

4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)

I am a teacher. I like to know a little bit of everything so I can connect the dots. I study people because they inspire me and processes because they make me think. Traveling and the theater are my greatest pleasures. I write language books and short plays for schools; I conduct creative language workshops which brought blogging into my life as a natural consequence.

5. What's your story (how did you get here)?

I didn't have a plan but I had a gut feeling. I knew there were things out there I had to experience, to see, to learn from. Though I started out working in the business sector, I knew my true calling and so I became a teacher. What I had learned at school, at work and in life was put to good use, but over time I realized that it wasn't enough. It was then that my foray into creative learning and teaching began.

6. Why is creativity important to you?

Creativity embellishes my work. It gives me wings and it gives me a rush of happiness. As I am one of those people whose creativity comes in spurts, I am especially aware how blessed I am when it appears.

7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

Creativity has accompanied me throughout life but it became evident when I first became a teacher and it was through my creative thinking and teaching that I grew personally and professionally.

8. How did you embrace it?

It embraced me. It was there at times of urgency and at times when I needed comfort. Through creativity and creative pursuits, I overcame a lot of obstacles. More importantly, I developed as a professional and was given many opportunities in life because creativity was my greatest asset.

9. How did that feel?

I felt as if I had been blessed with a talent; a constant source of confidence that I could use to set about any kind of pursuit.

10. Where has your journey taken you?

The young introverted child who had to go out there and discover the world on her own, has become a confident, outspoken and very active woman who is still contemplating where to sail to next for more adventure. This is how I see my life.

11. What challenges have you faced?

Just as everyone else, I have had my share of troubles. Some I must say almost brought me to my knees, but I persevered. Whether personal or professional, I always looked upon them as experiences I could learn from and know what to do next time.

12. What worked for you?

One thing that saves me is my ability to analyze something thoroughly and to find alternatives to almost anything. What helped me throughout life is my honesty, whatever meaning it adds to the world. The need to maintain my dignity, above all, is perhaps the greatest factor affecting my actions and my decisions.

13. What didn't work for you?

Making radical changes in my career and working along individuals who could not appreciate my well-meaning efforts.

14. What three tips can you share to help others starting on a similar path?

  1. Keep your desire over your fear.
  2. Learn a lot; use what you need; keep the rest for later.
  3. One creative idea is quickly followed by another.

15. What are you working on now?

This is perhaps the most prolific period in my life. I teach foreign languages, I pass my craft onto a new generation of teachers, I am working on producing a blog for with practical ideas for creative teaching and I am also trying my hand at writing plays for schools.

16. What's coming up for you in the next year?

I am happy to say that the book Maria Chatzi and I are writing will most likely be ready before the end of the year.

17. What else do you desire/dream to do?

I would like to be able to present the creative teaching techniques I use to as many new teachers as possible.

18. How will you make that happen?

I am now preparing and presenting a series of workshops at language schools and see to it that many of the ideas are implemented.

19. What one question would you like to answer that hasn't been asked?

Is creativity limited to a selected few?

There is so much talent out there but it often goes unnoticed. Everyone can be creative, each in his own domain all in many of them. There may be others out there — teachers, for instance, who also have not explored their creative side to the fullest and may be motivated to discover how far they can go.

20. What's your blog address? is new but soon to present a lot of practical ideas for teachers. •