Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Friendship Skills

Part of the curriculum in the girls' school is a class called "Social Intellect." The kids really enjoy it; they do all kinds of activities designed to work on emotional intelligence and social skills. This really "sold" me on the school when I was first looking for a place to send Katya; while explaining the program to me, the director said, "What's the point of turning out kids who can all get top marks, but who can't get along with others and aren't happy inside? We think it's all equally important." Exactly.

Last week each child drew a name out of a hat and then wrote what they admire about the individual on the back. Katya was over the moon that the boy she likes ended up with her name... and wrote "Katya is very fun-loving, happy, smart, and pretty."

It goes without saying that this scrap of paper is now a rather prized possession. 

The kids loved the activity so much that they started doing it on their own the next day; one of her girlfriends wrote her the loveliest words, too. Nice!


The Expatresse said...


Makes up for the parental heart break of your kid not being invited to the birthday party (when most of the rest of the class is) or getting no Valentines (I never did either, but still . . . ouch).

Tina in CT said...

That not definitely is one for the memory box/scrapbook.

This reminds me so much of the philosophy of the school you went to. I'm so happy that the girls are in such a caring school.

I agree with what the little boy wrote!

Tanya said...

Wow, where was this school when I was growing up? Things did change there, thank God!

Charlotte said...

Hi there,

Was wonderinf if you could email me privately ~ raeghansmom@yahoo.com

I am adopting an older girl from a small EE country close to Russia, she speaks Russian. I use babel fish to talk to her when we met, but she could't talk back to me because my laptop didn't have the Russian alphabet, is there a keyboard I can buy and add to my laptop so when she comes home we can write to each other ?

Thanks, Charlotte

Annie said...

How sweet. However it brought back to me the similar exercise one of my directors proposed during the first rehearsal for Antigone. We were all to say something nice about the person whose name we drew. Well, this was unfortunate, because I drew the name of a very poor actress (who was self-deceived about this) and who was extremely angry that I had the part of Antigone. She did not even have a speaking part, so you can imagine that it was not simply MY presence that caused her not to get the lead. But ALL I knew about her was that she was extremely snide to me, horribly rude in the most unsubtle ways (literally running into me - not just bumping), and ill-tempered, too boot. She is one of the few women who I have ever really seen have a public tantrum, which she did, over the casting. I suppose the director thought that such bad feelings could be "fixed" by this exercise. I don't recall what I ended up saying....I know I DID come up with something both honest and positive. ("Great energy for acting", or something, I expect.) But I will never forget the horror of seeing her name and those moments when I could not, for the life of me, think of anything I could say!

I'd be interested in other pieces of the curriculum. The idea of a class like that is tremendous! I must say, though, that I try to pull off this sort of thing in speech, and mean kids are mean kids.