Our garden has friends in Poland

Dmitry Tyutterin

Impressions from a trip

In Poland, many speak in Russian. Well, if not fluent, or at least understand it. The older generation certainly. This is the «legacy of the past»: in the Russian socialist countries has been a compulsory subject.

Another «hello» from our common Soviet past, oddly enough, began building kindergartens. Especially in the provinces. When I first saw them — I flinched. Angular box squat pale yellow, almost gray. The building is more like some kind of warehouse than a gingerbread house from a child’s dream.

In recent years, the director of gardens both in Russia and in Poland is trying to somehow break out of the rigid framework, given the Soviet architectural tradition. The Poles is, frankly, the result comes out as something more cheerful. Whether due to the fact that, in principle, cleaner cities, or because they furiously seek to get rid of the Soviet past.

Nevertheless, quite a lovely interior, including new and modern furniture (why this can not be done with us?) Show through the window with the familiar curtains, the stand is decorated exactly as it once upon a time did the teacher of my kindergarten Tatiana Ivanovna and how do bequeathed all his followers.

The same, in principle, can be said about pedagogy. Classes are based on the pattern familiar to us. In the program there is no fundamental difference. Is it necessary to mention a lot of practice-oriented activities such as cooking and housekeeping designed to prepare children for life, not for learning. Also, a lot of attention paid to the study of his country and the surrounding countries — neighbors. That, however, is not surprising: many countries can go on holiday by car. We are in our vast Russia, as a rule, do not care who is around us who our neighbors are.

The annual cycle of events and festivals also comparable with the Russian, adjusted for their public holidays and the fact that Poland — a Catholic country. And the rest — all as well. Even the Teacher’s Day at them — 14 October, close to ours.

By the way, the profession of a kindergarten teacher but not related to the category of the most prestigious, but it is quite honorable. Teachers earn about thirty thousand per month in terms of our money. This is despite the fact that life in Poland is not expensive, and in many respects — is cheaper than in Russia (in Moscow something for sure!). But what is important, in Poland there is a special document, equalizing the rights of educators of public kindergartens in all regions. They all have the same salary. As I explained, if the region is not able to provide the caregiver a salary, the state at the end of the year shall be sent extra personal tutor.

However, all the above applies primarily to public garden. Private Poland, too, very much. Even in a small town where the government three or four kindergartens, there is one private. The cost of staying in them is usually not very high, with Russia can not be compared. And almost every working family has a choice — to send their children to a private garden or the state. This choice determines the direction of development of preschool education: to attract children kindergartens have to cultivate all the time: look for new methods of work, train staff, develop life. Competition between private and public education results in each garden, regardless of the form of registration and type of property, forced to catch up as much as to the overall strip quality.

Thus the development of private education in Poland is obliged to state in the first place. Private gardens in Poland really, not declaratively supported by the state. Not only that they are fully equal rights with the government, they have subsidies and privileges that put small businesses. In Poland there are many grants and other charitable programs. Public gardens also actively and regularly participate in various programs, enabling them to attract enough tangible non-budgetary funds to finance their needs.

Another, perhaps the key, the fundamental difference between our education systems can be stated in one word — «simplicity.» No one in kindergartens do not want to load the superfluous, worthless senses every step, build yourself out more than you really are, create unneeded complexity. The director of the kindergarten and the usual caregiver is much smaller market than we have, and a lot more time to work with children. In the gardens is much more power in the selection of programs and courses for the children’s classes. Frankly, in Poland, not all gardens use these powers: for many still the best innovation — is no innovation. But there is still not a majority.

I have described the simplicity of relationship is best illustrated by the following example: my cooperation with gardens in Poland began with the fact that I personally phoned the head of the Department of Education of a small Polish town. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I really difficult to imagine such a level Russian official, who conceived the project, just «sit on the phone» and is calling all the favorite gardens.

Something to hide, such simplicity and directness in the relationship captivating. With colleagues from Poland want to work more and more. And this is doubly easy because many of them talk to us in one language. And literally and metaphorically.

About the Author

Dmitry Tyutterin — director of the non-state kindergarten «Seven Dwarfs» (Moscow), the coordinator of the international project «Small European — it’s you and me» in Russia, an essayist, a crisis manager in education.

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