Greek Teacher Goes Homeless for a ‘Special Lesson’

A Peloponnese teacher who believes that teaching is more than making students learn theoretical lessons from a book, attempted a social experiment to find out how his class would respond to poverty and homelessness.

The teacher; who works at Kalamata’s 6th Elementary school in Messinia, Peloponnese, decided to find out his pupils’ response to a homeless man asking for charity.

He put on some ragged clothes, disguised his appearance with dirt on his face, wrote a deliberately misspelled message on a post sign and positioned himself in front of his school’s entrance.

His sign wrote: “Don’t want your sympathy, or your money, just your love so we can fill plenty of sacks with food for the children of the world. I shall be here tomorrow same time, waiting on you. Merry Christmas all – signed: The Beggar”.

He was so convincing in his part as an ordinary homeless person, that no one recognised him. Not his students, not their parents, not even the school principal.

The teacher said he wanted to provoke an emotional response to a social problem and see his students reaction.

After their initial shock, the children were moved enough to talk to their parents and the next day they came with overwhelming food donations. “Their response was amazing and continued long after I revealed myself” the teacher said.

The food donations from the school continued and expanded to the student’s wider social circle, with friends and relatives offering food to the cause, in the spirit of the Christmas season.