On Camp Counselors Day – July 24, 2018 – the Artek International Children’s Center unveiled an international exchange program for its teachers and camp counselors in the 2018-2019 academic year. The camp plans to organize international internships for Artek experts at educational institutions in Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The international program aims at making Artek’s teaching staff more competitive on the global level: “Artek is gradually starting to export Russian educational services, such as certifying foreign camp programs and attracting interest to Artek’s exclusive themed programs, for example, on space exploration, nuclear technology, ballet and painting. In this sense, we should prepare experts who will promote the international exchange of services and technologies,” said Director of Artek Alexei Kasprzhak.
Kasprzhak also added that it was important to train Artek’s camp counselors (team leaders) and teachers for free interaction with foreign children: “More foreign children will be coming to Artek, and we should be ready for this. The camp counselors are the first people to communicate with them.”
Artek is the first Russian children’s center that has developed a special international academic mobility program for camp counselors and teachers. The first stage of the program finishes on August 25, 2018: this summer, 10 employees did an internship in Mongolia (Camp Nairamdal), Mexico (Pipiol, Santa Ursula and KIN children’s camps), Turkey (Future Stars camp), China (Camp Awesome) and Greece (Sport Camp).
Program participants are selected based on contest results. The contestants have to show good KPIs and good erudition, speak a foreign language, boast research and teaching achievements and be highly motivated professionally.
Alexei Kasprzhak noted that these programs had been designed in compliance with Artek’s teacher training standards: “We believe that in today’s world, only those who always want to discover and learn something new can be teachers. In this sense, a professional dialogue with our foreign colleagues allows us to expand the scope of teaching, hence comprehending it from the points of view of different educational systems, practices and technologies for the joint work between a teacher and a child.”
Alexei Kasprzhak added that Artek considers it unacceptable for a teacher’s knowledge toolkit to end at university education. “Last century teachers could teach children for 30 years having only graduated from a university. Modern process are developing so fast that a teacher’s basic knowledge goes out of date so rapidly that it has to be updated every two or three years. The main thing we tell our camp counselors is to strive and always search for something new.”
The director of Artek said that the center had begun rotating camp counselors and teachers to raise their professional motivation, meaning that the staff changes every three or five years. Besides the international academic mobility program, the center has created an educational system, where camp counselors and teachers can study in Master’s programs at more than 10 Russian universities while working at Artek.