A Greek School all over the world
Stella Bompotsiari and her team of Greek teachers promote the Greek language culture and lifestyle to people from all over the world
The idea of an online school has always been on my mind. I studied Greek Literature in Greece and then I started looking for a Master’s degree that would really inspire me and would make a difference in the future of Education. In the meantime, I travelled a lot and I also joined my brother, Panagiotis, in NC, USA. Whilst being in the States, I realized that there were many people who wanted to learn Greek and likewise, many people wanted to go to a Greek school. However, joining a Greek school is not always feasible for a plethora of different reasons… In 2005, I applied for an E-Learning Master’s degree, offered by UCL, Institute or Education in London. My studies in E-Learning opened my eyes to a whole new world in education and it was so inspiring that, with my present partner Pavlos, we started talking for hours about how an online school could operate!
Thank you, Universe! Like all Greeks, after acquiring my MA, I wanted to go back to my country and find a job. I felt that I needed to implement all this new knowledge in my way of teaching. Nevertheless, the financial crisis along with the high unemployment rate were of course constraints in this effort… At that time I felt like I was the most useless and unsuccessful human being in the world. However, not having a full time job as a secondary school teacher meant that I had more time to do things I liked! Thus, I did what I liked the most! Together with Pavlos, we started working seriously to design our online Greek school.
Your Greek school at home. Everything is very simple, our students just need a computer, internet connection, a microphone, a webcam and their books. Instead of having somebody to drive them to their Greek school they just enter their Greek class from their computer! One of my students’ parent was telling me that it takes him 60 minutes to drive to the Greek school every Saturday morning and another 60 minutes to drive back home. Imagine how many creative and fun things you could do in 120 minutes…
We are citizens of the world. Our students come from many different parts of the world! America, Cayman Islands, Brazil, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Morocco, Doha, Lebanon, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom, Ireland and many more! I am based in London and our other teachers live in Greece. Another great thing is that we all get to meet so many amazing people from all over the word, that we all share the same love for Greek!
Student-centered lessons. During our lessons we want our students –not only those who take private lessons but also those who take our group classes- to be as active as possible, interacting with the materials and not just passively watching their teacher. There is an interactive whiteboard embedded in all our virtual classrooms, so that each student has an interactive whiteboard on his/her computer screen. What could be more encouraging to participate?
Effective, easy, and fun. We enrich our lessons with quizzes, flashcards, videos, and songs because we want our students to interact effectively and also to have fun! We are committed to making Greek language learning easy and enjoyable for all our students!
Despite the distance we are very “close” to our students. The first time I had the chance to see in person one of my students, was when Leonardo from New Mexico visited me in Greece. It took me only 5 seconds to realize that there was no screen between us…. because actually, this was the only difference.
Safety and control. “Stella, how do you know that a student is not on Facebook at the time of the lesson?” We are lucky because we have a control tool, which locks the screen to the classroom view, however do you think that a teacher cannot really tell who is paying attention to him/her and who is not?
Online events. On Greek National Anniversaries we organize online events to commemorate our Greek ancestors, bring our own online Greek community together and give our young students the chance to feel closer to their cultural heritage. On these truly moving celebration days, our students from every corner of the world, recite poems, learn about the struggles of the Greek nation and celebrate their roots. It is sincerely a unique and emotional experience.
Summer Camp. There is nothing like getting together in the Summer. Every Summer, we welcome kids 8-15 years old, from all over the world in one of the most fun camps in Europe, the Ranch, to immerse them into the Greek language. What’s better than learning while having the best time? Establishing lifelong bonds with Greek friends from all over the world is the only other thing that comes to mind.
Immersion Course. And if you are older than 15 and feel sorry to miss a Summer Camp, do not worry. Our Immersion Course for adults, designed to improve your speaking skills through stimulating classes that involve you in cultural activities and immerse you into the Greek lifestyle! This course is for adults of any nationality and language level.
What makes me truly happy? Littlefearless students! The more you speak the more you learn and keep in mind “we learn from our mistakes”!