Fulbright Train the Trainers Meeting and Workshop, April 27-28, 2018
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens
Two days of active participation for 37 Secondary School Educators, alumni of the Fulbright scholarship programs for educators, marked the annual Fulbright Train the Trainers Meeting and Workshop that was held this year in Athens at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The Train the Trainers Meeting is an annual get together for alumni educators that has been organized since 2011. Various locations are selected in different regions of the country to allow a maximum number of educators to participate in one or more of the meetings that address current issues in education. Held for the second year with the kind support of The Hellenic Initiative, the Foundation has been in a position to bring together a large group of educators and speakers for an intensive seminar, thereby strengthening the multiplier effect of the Fulbright experience. A full day on Friday with presentations, lectures and discussions provided inspiration to the teachers on subjects such as multilingualism, cultural diversity and democracy, and ethics in the classroom. Guest speakers included the two visiting U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Teachers Award Recipients, Joseph Talarico and Vincent Gray, and U.S. Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Dr. Kristin Jacobson. On Saturday, Athanasia Kyriakakos, U.S. Fulbright Alumna and 2017 Maryland Teacher of the Year, gave a moving and at times hilarious account of her journey from Greece to the U.S. as a young woman, her development as a teacher that led to her state award and her compassionate relationships with her all-black students. Participants were asked to partake in a workshop, writing a poem and decorating a Mexican-style sugar skull in honor of those who came before.
In addition, this year’s meeting was timed to coincide with the Educational Forum “Redesigning Educational Systems: From Theory to Praxis” that took place in the same venue, in order to give the educators the opportunity to learn above practices for future education. The Forum was organized by the Fulbright Foundation in collaboration with the American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens) and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center as part of Fulbright’s 70 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Greece and the United States. Academic leaders and Educators from K-12 and Higher Education institutions joined leaders from the business world for two days of critical discussion about the kinds of learners the world needs today and whether academic institutions are preparing their students for the challenges of our rapidly changing world. The two-day Forum highlighted the importance of developing educational systems that will enable students to become productive, responsible, civic-minded global citizens, ready to contribute proactively to societies in transformation.