A native of St. Petersburg, and now a resident of Los Angeles, Lilia Kim dedicated a series of posts to an American school, one of which was completed a few days ago by her daughter. In the latest publication on the subject, Kim describes, with entertaining examples, perhaps the most important feature of the US education system, thanks to which children enter the "big life" well prepared for its everyday problems. Alas, this is not the case in Russian schools and is unlikely to appear soon:
“Closing the school topic - what I remember in the American school of the child and was healing. An endlessly repeatable narrative: “problems are inevitable, life is unpredictable, nothing ever goes as you expected - but you can learn everything, find your way and be happy if you decide to do so.” The narrative that a person himself chooses to be happy or suffer for him was deeply incomprehensible to me for several years. And then kaaaak it came!
From the first day to graduation at school and the whole environment around it broadcasts “do not be afraid to make mistakes, without them there is no experience, do not trust anyone who tells you that you are incapable, do not let anyone pull you down, if you fell, it does not mean you have to stay downstairs, there are many talented people - but without hard work they achieve nothing, but you can work hard ... ”is one endless inspiring pep talk that never stops.
At the graduation ceremony, of course, there was an inspiring speech from the guest of honor. A woman who spent half her life fighting world hunger at the UN told how her parents brought her from India to Canada. How did she adapt? How difficult it was for her. Like there was no money. How she had a cultural conflict with her own family over the attitude towards her marriage. As after university, I waited a year for the opportunity to start working at the UN. I worked 12 hours as a waitress in New York, waiting for this opportunity, I lived with friends in the pantry. Then I got a starting position. She has worked in 26 countries on five continents. In Bolivia, she contracted a fever and almost went blind. But she didn't quit her job. The marriage did not work out - she adopted orphans from India and Africa. She was diagnosed with a genetic disease that is incurable even now - gradual muscle atrophy. Together with doctors and Chinese masters, she created for herself a system of swimming, exercise and massage that slows down the process. She was given two years - she has been walking for ten. She found inspiration in Indian dances. And now there is hope that soon there will be a cure. Did she know that she would have such a life? No. Do graduates know about all the tests that await them? No. But what they know for sure is that they are brave, they know how to learn and they will definitely find an important thing for them that will move them through life.
And this is not some special speech. The similarity of this speech - simpler and less pathos - was delivered to me at school when we just arrived in America, in the very first year.
The kids at school had a brutal PE teacher, Miss Shelton. I wrote about her. Now I understand that she showed all the signs of severe military psychological stress after serving in Afghanistan. After hearing about her mood swings and wild op at the stadium, I decided to talk about her replacement. To which other parents answered me that you can’t remove Miss Shelton from everyone’s life - and you need to teach children to cope (eng: cope) - to deal with stress and that kind.
But my signal was heard - and with the children I sat down in a circle with a child psychologist in the library. And she began to talk to them - how can they convey to Miss Shelton, can she not yell at them, like Major Payne. In the course of the conversation, they found out that at first they themselves could thank Miss Shelton for her service, show that they understood that this was her language of care, that she wanted to be the best physics teacher for them. To joke, shouting back to her, just like she: "Yes, ma'am!" - and in an atmosphere of acceptance to understand each other.
The children congratulated Miss Shelton, thanked her, joked, said that if necessary, of course, they would carry spare shorts with them, because sometimes this happens from her screaming ... Everyone laughed, shed tears, hugged and decided to arrange Major Payne's day, when everyone is screaming. Ms. Shelton told them how she served in the army, and how the veterans' rehabilitation program is going. Everyone hugged again - and became stronger, and wiser, and happier. It was fifth grade.
After - each difficult moment was accompanied by the same training to deal with it. Don't avoid, don't make catastrophic generalizations - deal with reality and yourself. See problems as developmental challenges.
What is American anti-crisis support for a child at school, when a difficult event happened this winter - I saw it and still went nuts.
How the team instantly organized and instantly reported that when someone hurts you, when someone wants to steal your future, someone wants to break you - this is his problem, that he wants all this.
You can take care of yourself. You can stand. You can't let anyone take away your dreams. We can all help and support you - but only you can decide to be happy. And fight for it.
It was wow…”