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To Fit In

Born in Cairo-Egypt (where I felt I never fit in) and raised in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia (where I felt I didn’t fit in either) I was able to experience (struggle) living in the Gulf since I was kid. Educated (not really) in a Greek community school which during its peak years numbered at around 60 students from K-12. Most of the years I had one or two classmates and I spent grade 5 as the only student in that grade level. I wasn’t exposed to a world class education and I didn’t have the chance to study English up until when I entered university (I failed my language entrance mock exam) but I was taught sincere compassion and gratitude. I learned how to value the connection I had with the people that taught me and appreciate their contributions some of which I keep in contact till this day. For the next 18 years I would spend 8 months in Saudi Arabia and the remaining 4 back in Greece (I’ve been collecting airline miles ever since).

Once I was done with school I moved to Cairo (my parents made me cause at the time my brother was a senior in Finance) again to complete my Bachelors in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Master of Arts in International and Comparative Education from the American University in Cairo. My research interest revolve around human creativity and the capacity we have for generating new ideas; concepts that I try to incorporate in my classes and expose my students to (most of the times I fail, but at least I try).

My first teaching job (I had a cubicle) was at an IB school and I’ve been teaching biology and science related classes for nearly 8 years now (I don’t have cubicle) 5 of which were in the International Baccalaureate (IB) (its actually 10 but a school never gave me recognition for volunteer work) and my teaching style revolves around my students feeling comfortable and confident inside the classroom. I want my students to leave genuine feedback and notes of gratitude and appreciation of their learning in a wall I always have readily available in my classroom called the “Doodle Wall.” (the pic at the beginning of the article? It’s been in my classroom for 3 years at BBS) A lot of students will walk in to check their writings on the wall even after they are done with grade 8. I never expect my students to come out of my lesson having mastered science, but I always try to give them a piece of my character (jesting 101 would be an elective I’d give).

I’ve been in Kuwait for the last 3 years (not sure how many more) and I’ve been trying to complete my PhD proposal studies (got accepted once, rejected twice) in some of the world’s top universities researching creativity and innovation.

When I am not teaching (burning out and complaining about grading) I like to read, cook and exercise (a great statement for beauty pageant contestants). I currently reside in Athens, Greece (where I finally feel that I fit in) where I spend all my summers hiking, swimming and island hoping.

It’s been great teaching at BBS (insert sound of crickets) but the time for me has come to move on to new places to grow primarily as a person and secondarily as a teacher.

Much love,

Chris Scoufaridis

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