The Healthy Teacher Project 7 – Interview with Peppi Orfanogianni

What is The Healthy Teacher Project?

Peppi is a primary school teacher in Athens, Greece. She’s from Greece but trained to teach in the UK before returning. A teacher for 20 years she still talks about the job with passion and excitement.

It’s great to get a view on teachers’ health issues from someone outside England. I feel, as teachers, we too often see ourselves as the centre of the educational world – if we do consider other countries it’s, “country X does this, why can’t we,” or “country Y does this, I’m glad I’m not there.”

Peppi talks openly about the sorts of issues we face on a daily basis: workload, reliance on data and the constant need to prioritize. Although she does mention doing the job in 30 degrees requires a siesta after lunch – not a problem we have in the UK.

Listen to my conversation with Peppi here:


Peppi’s top tips:

Take a step back

“I think we need to take a step back because expectations are unrealistic. For any teacher to have amazing classroom management, planning, marking and being vigilant during playtimes – doing all the things and being an “outstanding” teacher is too much of a job.  Someone who tries to do all that will burn out. It’s not practical, possible or feasible. Take a step back and think: what’s important for the kids and what’s important for my wellbeing. If you’re not well the kids aren’t going to get taught.”

You need to come to terms with not being able to do everything

“Marking is an issue for me personally… I have managed to keep on top by deciding what work needs specific written feedback and what will be alright with verbal feedback. “

“Learn when to say no to things you can’t do. If they’re not possible and you have loads to do find a way to politely say that you can’t do it this time.”

“Try not to take work home, you need time out after school. You need time to look after yourself and have a life.”


Don’t stop learning to keep your spark

“There are staff who stick to what they’ve always done. You have to move with the times –  you’re teaching the new generation so you need to relate to what the children are being exposed to. Use technology to make your lessons more engaging. It’s hard to get people who are set in their ways to change, but it’s important.”


Could these things make you happier and healthier?



Get involved in The Healthy Teacher Project:

What do you do to stay healthy?

What is stopping you stay healthy?

I’d like to talk to you – drop me an e-mail,

Interested in education, writing and creativity? Join my mailing list here.
Interested in education, writing and creativity? Join my mailing list here.











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