“My name is Harry Axouristou and I have been working as teacher of the Greek literacy for thirty years, fifteen of which in a public school, specifically in the 5th General Lyceum of Veroia. I am married and have two sons who study. Both at school and outside school I am a member of a theatre group, a member of the feminist collective “Kilotina” and President of the teachers’ union in the ELME of Imathia. I am also actively involved as a volunteer in refugee aid groups and environmental groups in the prefecture”.
What is the most important thing you have gained through the training of the “Schools for all” project?
During my training, I learned practices and tools which I can use in my daily school practice in an experiential and interactive way. The adolescents with whom I come into contact do not need theories rather that knowledge gained through interaction and educational “play”. This was my greatest takeaway from this seminar.
How are you going to implement the knowledge you gained into the class? Are there any challenges?
As I teach language and literature in the upper grades of high school, many of the topics we deal with students have to do with acceptance of diversity, stereotypes, racism of all kinds, democracy, human rights, etc. Consequently, by applying the techniques I learned in the seminar as an alternative way of developing these topics, the lesson becomes more interesting for the class. There may be a little risk as the children are not used to these alternative ways of learning, but I believe it is all a matter of approach and goodwill.
Do you believe that “Schools for all” project differs from other educational programmes? If yes, why?
Over the years in education, I have been involved in many educational seminars and programmes. Few, however, fulfilled the condition of experiential and interactive learning through practice. It is my pleasure to say that ‘Schools For All’ is one of them, so I feel lucky to have participated.
What means integration for you?
The term “inclusion” – a key concept, which I made sure we discussed at length in class – is a word without which there can be no future. In the globalized society we live in, we have to shape generations of people who will learn to live together in harmony – despite their differences of all kinds. Inclusion, then, for me, is… the future of our planet.
What is your message for today (International Day of Education)?
Education is the basis of society. Teaching is the only way to ensure that this society has the education it needs to achieve well-being – not just survival.