Ahead of the Eaquals International Conference, we caught up with Lilian Borboudaki, winner of the 2018 Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme.
Lilian, congratulations on your recent award! How did you feel when you found out you were the recipient of the 2018 Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme?
Thank you very much! Words cannot describe my feelings the moment I realized I had won the award. I felt thrilled for getting what felt like an Oscar (!) for teachers, but also deeply moved that my work was acknowledged and appreciated.
Your colleagues at Doukas School must be thrilled for you. Is there anything in particular that you and your colleagues appreciate most about working for an Eaquals accredited centre?
The way my colleagues reacted when they heard the news for the award confirmed what I have always believed of them: that they are my second family. These past 10 years that we have been a group, we have shared moments of laughter, joy, but also moments of anxiety and concern. I am very grateful to them for embracing me with their love, respect and support.
Working for an Eaquals accredited centre has made us more dedicated to providing high quality education and continuously trying harder to achieve high standards in language teaching. We are proud to be members of an organization that recognizes and appreciates our effort to always go one step forward.
Could you tell us a little about your teaching career? When and how did you start teaching and how long have you been with Doukas School?
I have been teaching English at Doukas School for the past ten years. This time has been very productive in terms of professional development since I have been able to work with students of varying ages and levels and contribute to curriculum development, integrate technology into the classroom and implement project-based learning. I have also been involved in training new teachers and mentoring students throughout primary school.
“We are proud to be members of an organization that recognizes and appreciates our effort to always go one step forward.”
Receiving the award is a fantastic acknowledgement of your exceptional teaching. What advice would you give to new teachers or those considering a career in language teaching, who may be inspired by the Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme?
The primary aim of the language teacher is to provide learners with all the linguistic knowledge necessary to communicate in a foreign language. However, our duty as educators does not end there, since we should not forget that we do not only deliver lessons, but touch souls and transform lives. Our goal should be to always cultivate in our students ideas and values represented by characters in human history that manage to overcome difficulties, make extraordinary accomplishments and possess the bravery necessary to face life’s challenges. My hope is that the lasting legacy of influential people and memorable events that emphasize the importance of following your dreams and working hard for your achievements, despite various challenging odds, will have a positive impact on learners. A language classroom should be the environment where timeless and inspirational lessons are taught: lessons of courage, perseverance and triumph of the human spirit, lessons of empathy, understanding and acceptance. In my opinion, the duty of the educator is to instil in the younger generations intellectual, moral and social values that will change their mindset and attitudes forever.
We’re delighted you will be joining us in Prague as part of your award. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Eaquals International Conference?
I couldn’t think of a better venue than the stunning city of Prague to meet with educators from all over the world and share our knowledge and expertise on language teaching. I see the conference as a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas on how to demonstrate creativity and innovation in our classrooms, and how to make learning engaging, vibrant and relevant for students. I think that the purpose of this year’s Eaquals International Conference is to elevate the teaching profession, to motivate and inspire teachers, and share best practices that set a standard of excellence for all language educators.