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Summer in a difficult camp, students and older

The summer before last I was offered a job of one run as a shift leader in a camp for children from dysfunctional families and orphanages. The camp was located on the seashore, besides the substitute leader with the children should be only from nine to seven, so I, without thinking twice, agreed.

The first days seemed to me like hell, but I learned a lot of new things and even discovered several interesting techniques for working with children. So I decided to share my experience with you.

Immediately make a reservation that the replacement guide does not have its own detachment. But every day, when one of the permanent counselors takes a day off, substitutes him. That is, for the whole race I twice visited the leader of each squad and worked with all the children from seven to seventeen.

Step one. Acquaintance

This is perhaps the most difficult stage in the work of the counselor. After all, how you serve yourself, so will the children treat you. Sometimes just one wrong word, one minute slip and authority will be extremely difficult to restore.

Fortunately, I had to go through this stage 14 times – it was where to practice.

The easiest way to meet kids. Enough sincere smile and fun-inviting: Today I will be with you all day, so we will have fun !. Older children are wary of such greetings, and adolescents react coldly at all, they say, we know your fun.

Certainly phrases by type do not work. Though your leader did leave, I will not give you a descent, Who will not do, as I say, he will not go to the sea, etc. Many of these children have a worse life and so there is no place for them, so some aunt’s threat is an empty sound.

Even worse is trying to pretend as if you and your children are not on your own, you don’t need all this at all, and you are doing them a favor. Phrases of the type Yes, I do not pay so much, so I fiddled with you! That’s what you say to your counselor! etc. – the worst thing you can think of!

As my observations have shown, the most productive option is the model of cooperation.

In a calm tone (without the slightest hint of a threat or request) I explain to the children what has happened, and we have to live this day together. And, therefore, it is in our common interest not to upset each other, to spend it productively and fun.


From words – to business!

Having promised children a fun and eventful day, you simply have to give everything 100% and keep your word. After all, if the teacher does not fulfill the promise, why should his wards do it ?! This is especially important when working with difficult children. They are so accustomed to not trusting adults.

On the first day, having stayed with the smallest, I realized with horror that the fun in their understanding was not at all what was in mine. Imagine only my condition when asked what you want to do ?, I was answered in unison Let’s play cards !. It’s seven years old!

What to do? It’s too late to back down and deny what you just promised. I had to get out and urgently come up with a harmless analogue of a card game. I declare that I know a very cool game of cards.

I give everyone a piece of paper and ask to write four phrases from your favorite movie. Near each phrase – the suit.

Then we mix all the cards. We draw a card one by one, in accordance with its numerical value, draw out a card and, in accordance with the suit, read the phrase (that is, the one who pulled it reads). And everyone else guesses the movie.

In general, somehow get out. From now on became more cautious. Instead, what are we going to do ?, asked: What do you usually do with your counselor ?, What do you like most of it, etc. And then later offered your own version.

The most difficult second squad

The 2nd Detachment became a terrible dream of every substitute leader in this race. It was the oldest children – almost all of 17 years old and almost all grew up in shelters. There are 20 people in the detachment.

The guys, in fact, are not bad, only almost everyone is accustomed to adult life – they make smashing, smoke and drink out of the blue. In a word – the whole list, which is impossible in the camp.

So you will not offer to play chess in candy wrappers. Yes, and from the words, today, smoking, drinking, no one will – little sense. And I don’t want to shout and punish either. Unfortunately, the day when I was responsible for the 2nd squad was declared the Day of struggle with bad habits.

Reluctantly go to get acquainted. I propose the good old camp version of acquaintance, ostensibly to make it easier for me to remember everyone: everyone gives his name and, as an association, his favorite activity.

It turned out that almost all of my players love listening to music, one even plays the guitar, there are a couple of football players and one artist.

Delighted, I declare our joint day – the Day of favorite activities. To start, we arrange a musical morning. I ask the administration for a tape recorder, urgently, while the children are having breakfast, I collect disks and old magazines in the camp.

After breakfast, we listen to a variety of music and paste over the concrete parts of the hull with scrapbooks featuring our favorite artists. Maxim, our artist, even managed to decouple the columns.

After that – the boys go to play football, and the girls and I, in the same place at the stadium, listen to songs with a guitar, performed by Zhenya, our musician. I am happy – everything is in my mind, no one is dirty!


I can not smoke!

Perhaps the most terrible for me on this day was the phrase. We’ll go smoke !. And what to do? To read lectures on the dangers of smoking is useless! I’m not the first, I’m not the last, but the point is zero. To prohibit – they will run away anyway, and I will break trust relationships. Allow? Why am I a teacher after this!

Reluctantly compromise with the camp rules. I say that I understand them perfectly, and that I know that you cannot stop smoking at one time, BUT! But today, all the same, the Day of the struggle with bad habits, and the whole camp is preparing pictures on this subject for the evening, that we are the worst!

In addition, we are already adults, (by the way, we are addressing, instead you are a little discharging the situation), and adults should have willpower. Therefore, today we smoke only three times a day, instead of a cigarette every half hour.

In order to somehow control the process, I go to the trick. I propose to prepare for the evening not a drawing, but a sculpture of cigarette packs and foil. The guys agree and voluntarily demolish their reserves.

At the same time, I’m checking that I’m removing cigarettes from anyone with this excuse, leaving it to everyone, as I promised – exactly 3 pieces. Of course, this may be too liberal, but still, 3 cigarettes are not 20.

By the way, for the sculpture, the guys donated as much as 50 cigarettes to me. And three of them, having decided to prove that their willpower was greater than that of the others, even lasted a whole day. I don’t know, however, how it happened with them further – the next day their legal leader returned, and I was transferred to another detachment.

Not so rosy

Of course, not all of my pedagogical experiments ended successfully. On the fifth day, for example, my little children broke a window in the administrative building. There were tears and reprimands leadership. But one thing I learned forever: it is not enough to look after children – they need to be occupied!

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