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"Pity does not bring back to life and does not motivate": teacher of "School of Superheroes" on teaching children in hospitals

"Pity does not bring back to life and does not motivate": teacher of "School of Superheroes" on teaching
children in hospitals


Halyna Luchyk joined the team of teachers of the Superheroes School in Kyiv in the fall of 2021, where she began teaching chemistry, ecology, biology and natural science. And during the war, Halyna took on the responsibility of being the coordinator of the Kyiv school and is in charge of communication with teachers and the educational process. Now education has been resumed at the Kyiv Okhmatdyt, where more than 30 young patients study every month. With a degree in banking and a successful teaching career at the university, Halyna decided to follow her heart and chose to work as a hospital teacher. Her choice is not accidental, because she graduated from high school while in the hospital, and she knows from her own experience the problems of children who have been torn away from education by the disease. "I know exactly what light of hope burns in little hearts"

- Why did you become a teacher and agreed to work at the "School of Superheroes"?

- I personally am a hospital child, a lot of time spent in the hospital as a patient since childhood has formed my dream, and at about ten years old - to become a doctor. My grandmother was an operating nurse, and I dreamed of becoming a surgeon. However, a serious illness at the age of 15 radically changed my plans for life. I became a banker by profession, I was left to teach accounting disciplines at the department after studying. It was the beginning of my scientific and pedagogical activity and work with students. Later, I decided to bring myself closer to the sciences that were really interesting to me at school age, but the disease changed plans, and I became a teacher of biology and chemistry. In 2018, I once came across a post on social networks about the "Superhero School", and that day, in a class with students, we somehow began to discuss the difference between a dream and a goal in life. And then I said that I had a dream - to work as a hospital teacher. I wrote a letter to the school and we started cooperation. Today I have health problems, as well as all my adult life. It seems to me that I understand exactly what such children feel, and I know exactly what light of hope burns in their little hearts.

- Do you have personal experience of getting education in a hospital?

- I have been a patient many times both as a child and as an adult. When I was ill, I did not attend a single lesson in 10 and 11 grades. And I had the right to education in the form of self-education. Only my Ukrainian teacher and my mother worked with me, and no one else from the teachers helped me to master the material. It was hard to return to society, you get used to people if no one communicates with you, when you eat differently than everyone else, drink differently than everyone else. And learning is when you communicate, learn new things, prove your opinion. Learning is when you are a person. I was very ashamed that I missed two years of study, I tried to hide it, I think that today for those people who know me, it is a discovery. I just learned to live on. Today I try to help children in "Okhmatdyt" to live on, to become a motivator, a friend, an example - it's probably too loud, but somewhere like that.

- How did others react to your decision to go to work as a hospital teacher?

- Rather, they refused, for some reason people see better... Psychologically it is difficult, negative emotions, worries, fear, stress - these are all the emotions that people think a hospital teacher should experience. In fact, it is not so. A hospital teacher is always expected and hoped for positive emotions in the classroom and new knowledge. Children need society to accept them as they are. Many teachers avoid working with children in hospitals because it is emotionally difficult. The most common first reaction is pity and tears. We must understand that children who are sick, have complex diagnoses or chronic illnesses do not really need our pity. Many people told me that how can I, don't I feel sorry for them, they would not be able to work as hospital teachers, because they would feel sorry for the children and that's it. Imagine - everyone feels sorry for you because you are sick. My student Oleksiy, with whom I work individually, is already a part of my life, my dear person. But at the beginning of our work he was very sorry for himself, and it was difficult to motivate him to resume the learning process. Children in the hospital need our motivation, our support, a sense of life, not existence. They need society to be ready to accept them as they are and give them equal rights, first of all, to education. They have to grow up as individuals who, despite everything, can, can, know. Pity is not an incentive, it does not bring back to life, it does not motivate.- Have there been cases in your practice when your student passed away? But in the first year of my work, a student who was seriously ill died. I did not know about his illness, I saw that he rarely attended classes and appeared on crutches, but I had no idea that everything was so serious. Even today I reproach myself that I did not give him such a number of points before the exam to ensure an excellent result, because the exam was taken not by me, but by another teacher.

What teaching "life hacks" do you have?

- The main rule is to come to children for a lesson or to students with a smile, and no one should know about your mood and feelings. Thus, everyone works and positively opens the world of new knowledge.

- What impresses you during the lessons children?

- Once at the lesson on financial literacy we were making an individual budget and, unfortunately, all the children provided for the "envelope for medicine" in the expenses. Perhaps, at first glance, this story is sad, but we managed to turn it into a motivational one. Each of them realized that it is worth managing their income in such a way as to be able to provide themselves with proper treatment and have the strength to continue working, developing and succeeding.

- What innovations would you like to introduce in the system of providing educational services in hospitals?

- I want to continue and implement my mother's pedagogical achievements regarding the block-rating system of assessment and control of knowledge. My mother is my pedagogical example, my mentor, of course, I still have a long way to go to reach her level. She introduced her own format of this system and successfully used it for several decades while teaching chemistry at school. I have recently formed how it can be adapted to hospital conditions. Usually, when people hear such names, they think that such technologies in pedagogy work only with strong students, but this is not the case.

-Your plans and ambitions, how will you develop in the profession?

There are two current areas that I am working on - an author's course on financial literacy and an author's course on environmental culture for children. New generation - new challenges, new vision and perception, everything starts with each of us. And, perhaps, still the defense of the candidate's dissertation, which has already been written and is waiting for its time. Source

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