What happens when you combine a passion for poetry and literature, Yiayia’s cooking, a beagle, and some feathery bird friends? You get our wonderful Head of English–Australia, Erini Limnatites. Keep reading below to find out what makes our bubbly Erini tick…
Hi I’m Erini. I am a Teacher Consultant and the Head of English for Australia for Education Perfect. My cultural heritage is Greek-Cypriot, and I also speak Greek. I’m a Sydney-sider and have been all my life; I’m also a USYD alumni. I am privileged to have spent the first parts of my career working alongside inspiring teachers, and now I have expanded that circle to include amazing Programmers, Customer Success Managers, Content Designers and Builders and many more!
I came into EP early in my teaching career as a change which was supposed to be temporary. I absolutely loved my students and colleagues but the work-life balance was becoming hard, and as is typical of everything I do, I had really pushed myself too hard too soon. EP has been the perfect way to combine my love of education, sharing resources and empowering early career teachers, with my fascination with evolving technology.
I was supposed to get married this year, but thanks to COVID we had to push that into 2021, that, alongside so many other COVID experiences, really opened my eyes to the power of community and the need for genuine human connection. COVID served to magnify the need for the human values of compassion and empathy, which I am passionate about in the context of social justice. When I have time, I enjoy writing and performing slam and short-form poetry. I have two cheeky cockatiels and one very cheeky beagle, which keep me as busy as my big Greek family does!
I was reading the book ‘Eric’ by Shaun Tan out loud as part of a little project I started during COVID to try and take people’s minds off the news blasting social media. I absolutely adore all of Shaun Tan’s work but this story always stuck with me, as I have grown up with a unique name and heritage. ‘Eric’ is a short and poignant tale about the importance of acceptance over assimilation.
Favourite EP feature
I love EP Studio and all the building features of EP. I used to build copious worksheets and online presentations but EP has made that faster and more interactive, and much easier to share with my colleagues.
This is really embarrassing because I am definitely a situational-comedian so my memorised jokes are terrible… but here goes! What do you call a sheep crossed with a kangaroo? A wooly jumper! -cue crickets-
Favourite teacher/student moment
The image of me in the middle of a rap is probably one of my most favourite rich learning tasks with my students. We were studying Australian poetry and I got my students to write their own Aussie rap that they would be performing at the end of the unit (my own formative task), promising them that I would go last with my own unique rap. On the day I told them I needed to fetch the ‘performer’, left the room, put my hat on and came back in. I performed the rap and they were over the moon about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen kids so excited about poetry – it was definitely a huge highlight of my career.
Start of your day
I get up and flick the radio on, feed the birds, pour a Moccona and check my calendar. I like knowing what the day will hold, and when I will make some time for myself to get outside and walk the dog and eat my lunch. I was a notorious desk-luncher in my staff room and I wanted to make a point not to be that person again in this job!
Pets, pets, pets!
I will try not to babble but it’s hard when it comes to them! Cooper is our beagle, he is the family dog and is a loveable dope. He is 5, loves treats, and is a sucker for a belly rub. His huge goofy smile and floppy ears bring a smile to everyone that sees him. Our cockatiels Harley and Astro are about 3 and 8 months respectively. Harley is a female tiel with lots of sass, she will hiss at a stranger and a minute later bow her head for a scratch. Astro came to us quite sick so it was a bit touch and go at the start, but he healed well and is a full blown whistler now. Unlike the tune-whistling cockatiels you see on Youtube, Astro is a bit of a weird bird. He impersonates the local mynah birds and so we think he is suffering a bit of an identity crisis, but we love his little weird self nonetheless.
Advise to your younger self
I would tell my younger self to travel more, pull more all-nighters with good books, and to write. Write more with every opportunity!
Gratefulness is the key to being present. Everytime I feel overwhelmed with the world, I count the things I am grateful for, and it brings me right back down to the here and now. The world is very overwhelming right now, so find your own ways to be present and exercise them everyday.