The majority of us second, third or fourth-gen Greeks remember the arduous, after-school Greek school days.
While the rest of your classmates spent their Friday afternoons by the pool slurping a Zooper Dooper, you were waiting around for Kiria Maria to slowly start her journey from the carpark to the classrooms.
Greek school was a complete parallel universe to that of our day classes, even though some us were even taught in the exact same classroom.
It’s pretty fair to say that the Greek school teacher code of conduct, drastically differed from the laws our Australian teachers were trained under. Though, this is precisely what made these years so special.
Here’s the 5 greatest teaching techniques from Greek school:
Kiria Maria introduced us to true savagery before we could even appreciate it.
Didn’t do your homework? “Garbage collector…”
Got an answer wrong? “How do you sleep at night…”
In all fairness, if your Greek school teacher’s straight up roasting didn’t motivate you to learn Greek, at least you picked up some quality Greek insults.
Heaven help you if you had the same Greek school teacher as your older siblings or cousins, because if your parents didn’t make it clear who their favourite child was, then Kiria Maria sure would.
While a teacher having a favourite student in an Australian classroom would land them in a heap of trouble, our Greek school teachers were way too honest to pretend they didn’t have a favourite student. Nor did they try very hard to hide it.
3. Physical punishment
Now we don’t want to get anyone arrested, but if your Greek school teacher was around in the “cane days” of the 70s and 80s, she saw no issue with a bit of hard punishment.
Weapons you don’t carry around a Greek school teacher? Rulers, textbooks…or any general stationary required in a teaching environment.
While our Australian teachers often had a larger number of kids to deal with in class, they somehow always managed to remain calm, even if a child just couldn’t get it.
That calmness didn’t really translate in ‘Greek School Teaching 101’, but I bet you still recall that word you were struggling to remember when Kiria Maria told you off.
5. Emotion and passion
At Greek school, your teachers knew who you were better than you did, and probably had your family tree memorised further than even your parents.
They were able to teach us lessons about ourselves and our cultural backgrounds that shaped who we are today as Greek-Australians. The reason our Greek school teachers were able to be so vibrant, elaborate and transparent, was because they saw us like their own children. They had a true passion for Greek language and traditions, and they believed in continuing this legacy through us.