Tim - who is 19 - is seriously considering being a primary school teacher. This is fairly unusual in a guy; so much so that, apparently, some UK teacher training colleges get extra funding for male applicants. It's even more unusual for someone who was educated at home for the past ten years!
Since he will be applying to UCAS soon, he thought it a good idea to do some volunteering at a local school. Partly to help him see if he really did like the idea of being in a classroom again, partly because it will be useful experience, partly because it's a helpful thing to put on an UCAS form when applying for teacher training!
Since all the state schools are Greek-speaking only, Tim spoke to a friend who teaches in one of the English-speaking private schools. She spoke to the Head, who met Tim last week, and agreed that he could help in classrooms on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
The only minor difficulty is that the school day starts just after 7.30am here, and Tim usually gets up around 9am!
Two days ago there was a school day off, for Chrysostomos day. Nobody I spoke to seems entirely sure why it's a day off for schools (it's not a general public holiday). The general concensus was that someone in the government may have that name.
Anyway, it meant that Tim's first experience helping in a classroom was this morning. He set his alarm last night, and got up at 6am, much to Sophia's disgust. Sophia is our talkative and scheduled cat, who knows just where we should all be at different times of the day. I am permitted to get up around 6am (indeed, if I'm not up by 7am she hustles me out of bed) but Tim isn't supposed to be up at that hour. She followed Tim around, complaining bitterly.
Apparently he had a great time. He said the school was far nicer than it was when we had a look around it ten years ago. Perhaps, had it been then like it is today, he would have wanted to go there... and our lives would have been very different.