“Why do I need physics if I can die” – as teachers pull children out of the state of despair

“”Why do I need physics if I can die” ask the children of teachers. And we need to bring them from a state of despair. And then they recover and want to come back to our school but that’s absurd!” why are the seriously ill child to the school for which young teachers go to work in hospitals and how to answer the child’s questions about death, says the teacher, head of the project “Uchimsya” for the development of hospital schools in Russia Sergey Sharikov.

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This is a very unusual school. There are no calls, classes with desks, running around at recess. In a large room sitting at a table, two teenagers in white masks, by a teacher of 30 years speaks passionately about natural zones of Russia – is the geography lesson.

Nearby at another table, a teacher in the headphones skyping with a girl who is now in the box, explains what is fraction. Another teacher was preparing to go to the guys in the house. Got window two moms, watching the kids and laugh a little.

School in the Centre of pediatric Hematology, Oncology and immunology named after Dmitry Rogachev appeared in 2014. Leadership understand that children on long-term treatment is very necessary not so much the study itself, how many a place that will remind them of life without disease. Such a platform appeared in the Russian children’s clinical hospital. Formally, both these schools – in the Center of Rogachev and RCCH is a division of the school №109.

Soon the creators of the school realized that this model needs to be extended to other hospitals and to develop hospital schools in the country. Thus was born the project “Uchimsya”. Now working twenty such sites from Kaliningrad to the Far East.

“Why do I need physics if I can die”

– You deliberately avoided any mention of the hospital in the name of the project? “Uchimsya” – why?

I don’t like the phrase “hospital school” and I don’t want to the school sounded the word “pain,” otherwise, once there is some kind of handicap. But if we turned a blind eye to the street and said, where are brought to our school in the Center of them. Rogachev and untied the eyes, you would never have guessed that you are in the hospital.

Of course, the innovative children’s cancer center sets a special work of teachers with children – we have open learning spaces, and small groups, here come those who can come, most of the classes of the teacher-tutor is carried out in offices at the bedside of a sick child, or remotely using e-learning system when it is in Boxing.

But it was important for us to move away from the old practice of teaching children on long-term treatment, when education came to the child and left him with the teacher. The educational environment should always be around, and it is necessary not only in order to keep up with the school curriculum.

Sergey Sharikov

And we wanted to create not just school and super-school that was for children as a bright flash.

It is very important to inspire the child to life and to tell him: “Yes, you’re in the hospital, it’s not healthy, we all know that, but since it happened already, then let’s find something good.”

And that can be a good school, meeting new kids and teachers. No matter how absurd it sounds, but parents often say, “my child never had such interest in education to the disease as right now and right here in your school.”

– How changing attitudes to learning have a child that is seriously ill?

– Of course, long-term hospitalization changes a child’s life. Lost connection with the familiar world, takes part of the environment – someone is afraid of communicating with patients.

And isolation from regular school affect the ability of such children to education. In the first phase of the disease the child and his parents are still not very conscious of the stages of the disease and the complex social problems it generates.

When the child was just yesterday in school, and here is sick, his reaction to the teachers at the children’s hospital rather be like, “Oh my God, you’re here!” Any normal person has a desire to rest from the bustle of working days. But most often treatment is one month, and then a vacuum is created that needs to be filled with something. And the guys who are in hospital long-term treatment, has already felt the shortage of school and want to learn. Another thing – what are the opportunities.

School because there is to have a sick child, was a small daily goal is to get out of bed, if he can stand up of course to bring yourself up. Gives you the opportunity to feel the rhythm of everyday life, the one that was before the illness.

And our children, faced with diseases, be a bit more Mature and are already thinking, what is life and death, the value of each day, ask teachers why they this study, when the question of life.

The Department of kidney transplantation at the RCCH 11th grader told the teacher: “That Paschke had a kidney transplant and he still died. And remember, it in social networks wrote before: “Love me while I’m alive”. That is, perhaps, now I need only love, and everything else is not necessary? God be with these exams.” We should withdraw children from this state of despair, inspiring, and genuinely supporting their aspiration to overcome any difficulties.

– And how to do it? Here comes the teacher to student with the words: “Vova, let’s stick to physics” and Dylan replies: “Alexander, why bother when I can die?” As the teacher need to do in this situation?

– You can’t just come to the severely ill child and say, “Let’s do physics.” It will not work. Training starts not with the fact that the teacher comes to the child. First, along with doctors and psychologists, parents of the child we are discussing an individual program of study and possible motivation to learn and communicate. In this individual program can be not all the items here we orientirueshsya on doctors ‘ recommendations for load and health status of the child.

We must remember, in children’s hospital child – especially the patient. And then it explain to the child: what educational route we come to understand and realize in advance this way. And of course there is the educational technology that we would cling to his ability to learn and communicate.

– What, for example?

– We had a girl in Boxing, which quite extinguished interest in life. Unfortunately, she then went away, but we work with children before you can work with them, so asking parents and doctors. And then we thought – how to approach it. And bought personal LEGO designer, “Story city”. And it interested her. She started to “build” trees involved a biology teacher. Began to build the house – joined a math teacher, and then other teachers.

Understand the path to the child’s interest for learning objects can be anything, not just academic, as in a regular school: “Hello, children, start a physics lesson”. And, you can meet with an interesting person, for example, we brought the astronaut, and then have the teacher – to find answers to the questions together. And so step by step.

We have many integrated lessons when two teachers work – time to work with the child less. And it is always a challenge as to interest the child. By the way, robotics is one of the universal technology, which helps with different objects and at the same time has a great resource to restoration of social activity.

Or another example. Very difficult to work a group of adolescents, especially those who already before the disease has embarked on some career path – sports, choreography, music. For them, a serious illness is perceived as a loss of the main life goals.

In the center was the guy Elijah, professional football player, a striker in the youth team, 11th grader. He lived football. But the disease, which broke. Seeing his weakness and perspectives of development, he went into a depression. And when mom brought him to me, Ilya was sitting on the couch and watched at one point, all the questions giving one-word answers.

And I realized that I need to talk about football, and so learned that the idol of Ilya – captain of the Moscow “Spartak” Denis Glushakov. Then other teachers got together and realized that the boy should be returned to steady state, and this push should be through the scope of his main interests is through sports.

Came his command, and, of course, we wanted to find Glushakova. And this meeting took place on the eve of the New year. I asked Glushakova have to say that Ilya needs to finish school. And here they sit, talk, and I am, he did not forget to encourage it and to the end of school. Of course, for Elijah, this meeting was like a bright flash, he needed at that moment. And Yes, we prepared it, he wrote a final essay, final exams – our school always opens the item passing the exams, received a certificate. Now went into remission and returned to the team. Sending happy pictures.

And here is the answer to the question: our school is that, for what? Yes, we try to keep up with the guys from the school curriculum, but much more importantly – motivating mission, setting goals, to which the child goes and thus help themselves to recover along with treatment.

The teacher can answer the question about the death

– That is, your school is no longer about learning and knowledge?

– We can’t be removed from those life processes that happen to a child. And our teacher, working with critically ill children, is first and foremost a teacher who is keenly aware of his mission, why he is here. Not in order to grieve and someone to be pitied, and in order to help the child to overcome this stage. And this understanding helps to work steadily here, otherwise you will quickly burn out.

Not every teacher will be able to work in our school, some left, but it does not matter. Just here the child must come to the teacher, tuned to the positive. And probably partly why we have a lot of young teachers. They have not so much experience of life, but they are more light and cheerful. Although, of course, no one is immune from feelings.

Once I entered the staffroom and saw two girls-teacher cry. Came the girl’s father, who went, we were through. Brought candy, said thank you. A good teacher always has students with emotional connection, and have full control over the sense of empathy is difficult.

Yes, we know that during the treatment of the child changes cognitive and other functions – extent of reaction, vision, motor skills, memory, and needs to understand his condition. But the doctor treats, and we just have to be there and sometimes when the child and parent to share with you experiences, best – understanding silence, though inside it could all turn around.

Our teachers are qualified tutor, working with children in long-term treatment, that is, they possess all the psycho-pedagogical and communication skills with sick children and their parents, this feature of the work of the teacher of the hospital school. This is very important.

It wasn’t the usual teacher, who also works in the neighboring normal school?

– In our school, 110 teachers, and they only work here, it’s not pluralists, as we simultaneously learn more than 300 children on individual programs and about three and a half thousand children a year from all over Russia. Although regional children’s hospitals number of children can be smaller, so teachers in hospital schools there combine work in a regular school. But without the special knowledge a teacher will not be able to work in a children’s hospital. Environment children’s hospital – not the natural environment of the teachers, it is necessary to prepare.

Because often the teen asks serious questions to the teacher. Once can ask the doctor if you trust. Once medical psychologist, if any. Ask whether they are parents? It’s all individual, but more often than not, as they see that mom or dad are going through, and I think that it is because of them.

So here we have to teach teachers how to respond to such questions, not to look away, not say the formal phrase – children feel false.

They may not ask, but the teacher should be mentally prepared that this could happen.

– What need to or can answer such questions, for example, about death?

No special phrase-we do not create – that would be absurd. Here it is necessary to be as honest and Frank with the child. Not to say that there is no death “don’t think at all about it.” I think we can say that death has a place in the lives of all people, human life is so arranged. To give an example of some loss of close people, maybe Pets. But to get the idea that it is impossible to keep thinking about this, you can say: “Let’s focus on what is happening to us today – this is the day; your health, I who came to you.” Something like that.

It is impossible to formulate precisely, because every child and ask different. Can’t walk away from this conversation, if the child needs it, but to talk as the teacher using their knowledge.

We have a teacher always have to feelings, to experiences of children. And we must consider them in the content material, this is especially true for teachers of literature. Obviously, if you sit in front of the bald girls who have lost hair from chemotherapy and for them it is a serious experience, then perhaps you should not take the product, where the character will boast about my gorgeous hair.

We have to put marks, but we assess progress

How and where do you find such teachers? They can easily go to work in the hospital?

– Most teachers today find us themselves. The project “Uchimsya” is already known and people, young graduates of pedagogical institutes, write us about your desire to work, and then we invite them to an interview.

There are those who came from the volunteer movement, for example, worked with the Fund “give life”, other funds, and education was the teachers. There are special cases: the child’s mother, who is now on treatment, he approached me with a request to speak to her eldest daughter. She is a graduate of technicalities, brother pulled up at the school, but as the treatment is long, then decided to move the family to Moscow and was glad to know that there is such a school, would like to try. That is, the channels are very different.

But it is important that the person is consciously walking in this area. And if I see that sitting in front of me already burnt man, you can’t get it to work, because for him it will be bad, and most importantly bad for our children. There were cases when the person wrote that he could not find a job, “can you?” No, we have people who understand where you’re going and why.

– What do you motivate them?

– First of all, the point of professional growth. Work with children in long-term treatment – this is an interesting research topic from the point of view of the teaching profession. We have developed training programmes of teachers working with difficult and long-term sick children in medical hospitals.

Opened a joint master’s and doctoral studies with the Moscow city pedagogical University. And, most importantly, pedagogical technologies, which are developed here, fit and healthy children. Italian educator Montessori created a technique for sick children, and she is now only the lazy does not use.

Individuation and personalization, which we follow here, is a modern trend in education, from which they cannot leave. Training in class-lesson system will decrease if we want each child to see something different, his personality.

Another factor of motivation is corporate training. Our school teachers at the Center of Dmitry Rogachev and the Russian children’s clinical hospital webinars for teachers at regional sites. Every year we hold all-Russian conference of the specialists of the hospital schools with the participation of foreign experts. That’s just now during our conversation is broadcast to teachers from the Republic of Komi. Well, and the city of Moscow has created a lot of motivation in the teachers ‘ work, including decent wages.

– Does your school place assessments, job – attributes regular schools?

– We have a very flexible schedule, no need to run the program. As I have said, time and load dependent on the state of the child and the recommendations of doctors. Sometimes a child becomes ill, and the lesson is transferred.

Our task is through education and to teach new skills, and to fill an emotional deficit. But anyway all classes have an educational goal. For example, the radio Studio is not quite fun. During chemotherapy often violated language skills in children, and the radio helps to work on them. At the theatre the Studio the other tasks is to help the child with skills of self-presentation.

– The teacher can put the two?

– All in hospital schools is not accepted to mark, but we have to do that the child could accumulate academic results and return them to their home school. But we have our own approaches to the evaluation criteria that we explain to the child.

Task – to put 5, 4, 3, and to explain what we value, what progress in learning. And if the child knows it, he correctly perceives the results of the study. We explain that the assessment is not an end in itself, come together with you consider the work, what we did and how we can improve the result.

We is very important. After all, the teacher teaches, and if your child doesn’t mean “we”. It is our common cause to work on that.

The cooperation of the teacher and the child helps in the perception of the adequacy of current results.

Another issue is that children who return to school, teachers are beginning to put straight, as if pitying them. This is wrong, and need to assess progress and to discuss it with the child, and not to focus on the assessment itself. All children we give not only the statement of estimates, but a detailed analysis of which topics are explored, because each teacher their understanding of assessment.

But, I repeat, not in the assessment business. If you change the understanding of what is evaluation in education, not will be that imposed by school and parents: “What did you get today?” This is not important. “What have you learned today, what progress do you have?” – that is the basis.

The teacher and the parent in the hospital school is what kind of relationship?

Parents we see every day, and here they are accomplices in many processes, we dedicate them to the training program and explain why it is so and not otherwise. Try to engage in all extracurriculars, we have a class together. Moreover – on the basis of the Moscow city pedagogical University we have opened the program of additional professional education where parent, listener awarded the qualification of “tutor of the sick child.” This is a very important factor of socialization for such parents, even if they will not work in this direction further. Although, for example, 70% of teachers correctional schools the parents of these kids, and we went this way. In any case, parents should be involved.

Children well and being asked back to our school – but this is absurd

– Are not you afraid that your school may discourage a child’s desire to learn in home school, which is probably not such conditions?

– Yes, there is a problem – we made the child such an interesting and bright flash showed what a school can be in his life and what could be the teacher, but sooner or later it comes back. And this is a worldwide problem – the reintegration of children into the environment from which they came, because that environment often begins to push, and the child writes us with a request to study further with us, at least remotely. That is a completely incorrect transformation of desires. Back to where? To school. But this school is in the hospital. What, to return to the hospital?

Of course, I had internal dissonance: we did the school that want to learn and healthy children – but this is absurd. But what choice do we have? Put the old desks, not to use new technologies and to bring the child to the life that she was far from best schools, or to show how it can be, to light it and to engender in some sense it’s a contradiction – I’m back, it’s not true, but I know how school can be.

– What will he do with this knowledge next?

– Not he, but the whole family needs to look for such environments. And they mostly occur in the informal further education, which takes into account the interests of the child. And there are people who know how to involve children. I understand that a big country, but in a small village could be an interesting teacher. But life has shown that the main role in the fate of many people was the fact that they got in some children’s group or Association.

Today in life there is no certainty anywhere, and one of the tasks of modern education is to give the child directions that he can go further, to learn to communicate. Maybe our school should be a model to which one way or another should strive for. We need to prepare children for the realities of life with which they can face, and not to create the illusion that everywhere is like that. And we say: you have to understand that not everyone will respond properly to what may be behind to say something offensive, but you should be able to take a punch. Life has many faces.

– As now usually happens rehabilitation of children after treatment? Here the child said: “You are in remission” – what next?

– It is believed that if the doctor said, “You have achieved remission, you are healthy”, then you can begin to live the life which they lived before. But this is an illusion, that’s how, clapping his hands, the man of tomorrow will restore life, as before the disease. In the past I oncopatients, so understand that it will not work.

To quickly integrate the children is very difficult, and experience shows that this units. Still need a period of academic rehabilitation. During illness accumulate a certain gap from the rhythm of everyday school life. Someone something learned, someone, something had to give. Plus one cannot ignore the real impact of treatment for cognitive function. Moreover, in the period of remission is the most maintenance treatment – from ad hoc procedures to a systematic medication.

And this is a big debatable issue in the medical community – what is rehabilitation after the primary phase of treatment. And if we take our little and not the main, but nevertheless important for the child and the reconstruction of education, then that is academic rehabilitation? It’s not only socialization, but also restore the functions necessary for cognitive process. And yet deep research how to do it. And remissionis period there are restrictions on school attendance.

But today such a child comes to school, he is imprisoned at the Desk and all work on a whim. Somewhere there is humanity, but somewhere this child is a problem.

Many schools do say, and we don’t want to take it for his own good, suddenly we have to do something that might damage his health, such as stress. Somewhere such fears objective that is just a cover for the reluctance to help. And it is difficult to distinguish, while not directly talk to the Director. But often it is not the fault of schools and teachers, just teachers, no one taught.

– What solution do you propose?

In rehabilitation, both medical and social, is now established the concept of “support”. And, first, we provide support for children continue to learn remotely or in person.

Secondly, we worked out a scheme how to involve the home school in the rehabilitation process of the child. What does it mean? To give teachers an understanding of what we were doing and how we have to work on how to evaluate – the most detailed analysis of the competencies I mentioned above.

We also offer mixed forms of learning. Some classes will partly take place at home and some at school. Unfortunately, even though such models and provided by law, our education system is bad knows or doesn’t want for various reasons to use.

And the most important thing we want to develop is the emergence in schools of experts-Tutors, who will make it the interpreter between teachers, parents and child and will accompany it in school. As I said, the problem is that teachers had not been taught to work with children with special educational needs. And it concerns not only children with cancer but also with cerebral palsy and an autism spectrum disorder, for example. This is the teaching of pathologists. Therefore, such expert, teacher-tutor, educational psychologist, who will guide the child in school, in our opinion, very necessary.

Without breaking down the walls it wouldn’t work

– Your project has become possible thanks to what?

– First of all, thanks to the credibility of the people who created it – academician Alexander G. Rumyantsev, who has spent his life creating a system of care for children with cancer, for it is a matter of life, teacher Eugene A. Yamburg, who created a model of adaptive school for all where every child should find its place. And to some extent your humble servant. The need for academic rehabilitation of sick children was discussed Rumyantsev and Yamburg since the 70-ies.

At first the school was opened in the center of them. Dmitry Rogachev, and for two years we distributed this model in the regions, opened twenty sites across the country, but there are those who have had the desire. Then we get to those who don’t. Parallel to the drafting standard of the hospital school “a Caring school” – what should be the environment, technology, and teacher. And I want to unite teachers in the all-Russian Association of specialists of hospital schools.

All this is not so easy and Rumyantsev, and Yamburg are exploiting your authority in full, but without breaking down the walls it wouldn’t work. And today, we help a lot of people.

Evgeny Yamburg and Alexander Romanov

– What are the main obstacles for the development of hospital schools in Russian hospitals?

– No matter how trivial, but is a legal barrier. On the one hand, the law says that everything possible should be done to implement the constitutional right of the child to education, including if he was in a difficult life situation.

On the other hand, there are real obstacles of legislation for the education of children in the hospital. When you create a full educational environment will raise questions about licensing, all rules are sharpened by a regular school, but obviously not all can be implemented in a health facility. We work together with Federal authorities and will soon offer unit changes.

There are issues and your work on health care facilities, and building a legal relationship between hospital and school that it should be, rent a room? And that school then have to pay?

There is a Russian proverb: “it was smooth on paper, Yes forgot about the ravines, and on them – to go.” We in the law everything is smooth and seems to be nothing to prevent, but if you do a specific thing, they forget that there is a prevailing constitutional law and the authorities must comply with these rules and all others must be negligible.

But the level of legal literacy – alas, and for all is the desire or lack of it. We see that the people who want always find some loopholes to do. In the end, only man – the measure of desires and possibilities.

The big question – are we teaching these kids or they have

– I went to your office, passing by the room where the teacher was doing with very young children. As you work with preschoolers?

– Almost 50% of children in the hospital is preschoolers. But the program of preschool education was never provided in the school at the children’s hospital. And although the state could be teachers, but they were organized, rather, the gaming room, that is supervision and care. And the child must not lose this period of development, because some lost things can affect the subsequent stages.

We are still looking for the way, no ready-made recipes. We started with the playroom and techniques developed in family kindergartens. Here we must remember that preschool education is always education of the peer group in various areas of development, for example, artistic or intellectual. How to reach the child who cannot visit the group, but also remotely to do with him is impossible because of their age? And not at the level of “let’s play games” is better than nothing, but still not early childhood education. There needs also to work with trained professionals.

– You have big plans.

For five years the work on creation of full-fledged schools for severely and chronically ill children we were able to pull out topics for training at children’s hospital from the backyard of the education system, to put as a significant theme. In competition “the Teacher of year of Russia” we have made your nomination for teachers of hospital schools for creative work with children on long-term treatment. Yuri Norstein drew a sketch of the effigy.

Now think about how to involve healthy siblings of our children, they are outsiders in the family, which seriously hurts their brother or sister, so they often begin to show protest, deviant behavior, so they paid attention.

And I understand perfectly the amount of work is such that I want to hide from him, but at the same time, it allows you not to dwell, not all can be cured, and yet to see a resource for development and maybe a little bit to help doctors to do their jobs, and children to recover.

– Do you have alumni who like to go back to school, visit with teachers? Or is it this story is not about hospital school?

It is such a difficult topic… We have noticed that there are children and their parents, who, having overcome serious illness, want about this period rather forget, although, of course, biography is not a strike out. But there are families that, on the contrary, talk to them, especially with their favorite teachers.

Someone from the alumni always comes on the last call, and September 1, for example, this year we were visited Eugene Suzdaltsev, a real fighter. It is in the period of the disease lost a leg, but passed the exams and is now a successful student at University. Of course, all these relations of pupils to the school we also have, but they are a little different. We had a lot of experience and we have a lot comprehended.

In General, it is still a very big question – are we teaching these kids or they teach us the maturation and transformation.

Talked Hope Prokhorov

Photo: uchimznaem.ru

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