NEW YORK – Two hundred and sixty teachers and administrators attended an in-service training seminar for teachers who serve in the day and Greek afternoon/ Saturday schools.
The annual Staff Development Seminar was successfully organized Nov. 3 by Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education Director Maria Makedon and took place at St. Demetrios High School in Astoria, NY Mrs. Makedon also held similar seminars in Connecticut and New Jersey.
This year’s seminar included a series of presentations and workshops for the NYC parochial day school teachers (English program) with the general theme “Writing Across the Curriculum” according to the Common Core mandates of the New York State Education Department.
Presenting the program was Dr. Barbara Coza of the St. John’s University English Department.
The Greek teachers had the opportunity to hear Professor Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis, a theologian and educator at the University of Athens/School of Theology who focused on current methods of teaching the Greek language.
He held two 2-hour training workshops based on the needs of the Greek American schools, teachers, and students and emphasized the educational value of having a pleasant classroom environment to achieve success of the learning process, focusing on the poem of K. Cavafy’s “All you can do.”
Liagkis made a reference to the factors that influence a positive climate in the classroom and analyzed mistakes in teaching.
He proposed activities that may be used by teachers, at all levels, to encourage students to participate effectively, understand, and better master the Greek language.
These activities were based on the child-guided (independent) learning and on the communicative teaching.
Teachers participated in a variety of language games and reflected on their own experience according to the age and language level of their students, transforming the seminar to a vivid classroom. Participating teachers expressed their satisfaction in having learned useful skills and new ideas for their everyday teaching of the Greek language and culture.