Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Event 2018 - An interview with Agnes Mariakaki

1. Could you tell us more about you and your professional background?

I am a psychologist, having trained extensively in trauma therapy, social research and non-verbal behaviour. Since 1996 I have been carrying out qualitative research projects, focusing on the psychology of organisations, groups and consumers, through MindSearch, a company of consumer insights. I am a  Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer and Coach and have carried out the only NLP Master Practitioner program in Education in Greece. I am also a certified Lego Serious Play facilitator and have found in action that creative minds express themselves best “hands on”, through play. 

2. What do you hope participants will gain from your session?

I hope that following my session they will be inspired to enrich their teaching toolkit with humour and playfulness. I grew up in an educational culture where children were seen and not heard, unless spoken too, where laughter in the classroom meant that the reverence of the teaching process was breached. I now know otherwise. Humour is a powerful kit which can make children feel safe and secure in the classroom. Laughter itself is the springboard of the kinds of positive emotions that are most conducive to learning and retention. When teaching is accompanied by fun, it becomes irresistible, and knowledge assimilation is effortless and joyous. My ambition is to communicate some ways in which that can be effected. 

3. What are some practical ways teachers can "recharge" their batteries”  during summer?

Summer for teachers is the period for “self care”:
a) Let us be physical this Summer. Throughout the school year, there is no time to focus on physical needs, but during Summer it is truly renewing to be able to swim, to walk in nature, to work out, to enjoy the sun.
b) Step back from technology: try to avoid your laptop, tablet or your mobile phone - instead, do things with your hands, like paint, draw, sing, cook, engage in your hobbies.
c) Reconnect with friends: during the school year we hardly have the time to do anything more than catching up with people that we share friendship and connection with. Yet, these close relationships replenish our strength and inner stamina, and fill us up with the joy of life.
d)  Step out of the well trodden path: do something different this Summer, go to places you have not been before, meet new people, learn a new kind of dance, watch movies that have been in your bucket list for a long time, go to a different beach you have not visited before. You do not need to travel to the other side of the world to see new things, to be inspired and to feel renewed. You can be a new person by choosing to do simple, every day things differently, exploring the many and diverse beautiful colours of life. Breaking away from routine, from habit is the most refreshing and renewing kind of rest…

Have a glorious Summer, 2018!

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