Sona Papazyan

Pedagogy was the least possible profession that Sona Papazyan wanted to choose, but, as they say, never say never. Sona says that although she studied excellently at school, she had mostly negative impressions from school, so she excluded the possibility of becoming a teacher from the beginning, until fate brought her to a school that was very different from what she had imagined.

“My friend brought me to the “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” Educational Complex, where she was a mathematics teacher. I was amazed. I didn’t realize where I was: in the camp, in the school or where? All the doors were open, transparent, everyone was happy, in one place the children were swimming in the pool, in another place they were picking cherries, making compote. I say, where have I appeared? I just ran away from my school, I even had dreams about difficult experiences connected with school, and what I saw in “Sebastatsi” was completely different from the school I had seen and imagined,” says Sona.

Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex is a creative center, a pedagogical-research laboratory, where they are guided by their own author pedagogy.

Sona remembers very well the year 2012, when she started working in the educational complex as an organizer of the extended day, later she continued her work as a teacher of Armenian and country study.

Smiling, with positive emotions and always helpful Comrade Sona is one of the children’s favorites. She says that she loves her students and the environment where she has spent every day for twelve years.

“I am also a mentor in regional schools. I would work in a regional school, because the children there are eager to learn, but they don’t have the resources, and in the schools of the capital, my breath is taken away, because the methods of oppressing children, comparing them with each other and cutting their wings still work,” says Sona.

In answer to the question “What should a school be like?”, Sona asks a reverse question, “What shouldn’t a school be like?” Children should not be classified: excellent-lazy, smart-stupid. She remembers that there was a girl in their class who was scolded and sometimes ridiculed for studying poorly, and the teacher did the same.

Later, already at Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex, which is one of the first inclusive schools, Sona realized that the student who had studied in the same class with her for many years, whom everyone scolded and humiliated, had autism.

 “The children in our educational complex are individuals: this is Nare, that is Alex, and he is Mark. Everyone is unique, but at the school where I studied, they put us under stress. I was a child with humanitarian abilities and I was weak in mathematics, for example, but in order not to be blackmailed, I did not sleep at night, cried and studied with difficulty. It was given to me, but it might not be given to someone else. Each child is a challenge to become better, so the method should be changed. There are pedagogical methods, but they cannot affect everyone in the same way. All children are individuals,” says Sona.

She also highlights self-education, and when talking about today’s children, she says that today’s generation is a miracle, a generation from which you can also learn, because they can do the same action with a new, easier and faster trick. This also complicates the teacher’s work in a certain sense and forces him/her to work with each child as a separate individual.

“I have always been afraid of upsetting a child and I analyze every day to understand if I might have upset someone, even with my inattention. It would not be honest to say that I have studied all the pedagogical manuals. I just give love to children and receive love from them. I remember one day I was a bit tense, and a child wanted to show something. I raised my voice and said, “I have got no time for that” and he got very upset. Then I hugged him lovingly, caressed him a lot, because he wanted to show something important to me, and that could not be ignored.” recalls Sona and considers it important that children have the ability to quickly forget bad things. Adults also need that ability.

No one doubts that the work of a pedagogue is difficult. Sometimes the energy runs out, problems and conflicts arise, and there may be complaints. All this accumulates and causes energy burnout, and during one of them, Sona wrote an application to quit the job.


Then she analyzed and realized that she has no life without children. She wisely withdrew the application and continued her work, because, as she says, the work of a teacher is not ordinary, it is a mission that you cannot leave half-finished.

Media safety

Sona works with children aged 8-10. It is a difficult age, and in a school, where the educational program provides for the use of gadgets, controlling children is a more difficult and responsible task.

“We give space to children’s hands, and this is both a benefit and a harm, but we also have to teach them that it is only a working tool and control that they do not engage in other things during the lesson,” says Sona.

At school, they talk a lot about media safety. Specialists are invited, teachers undergo training and children are constantly reminded of the safety rules about not giving any personal information to strangers.


The child who bullies, often has a problem that needs to be dealt with, and when you start to go back and study the specific case, you realize that the child who is bullying, also has a problem and the teacher starts to work with that child’s parent. But Sona says that it is not a mandatory condition for all cases, and sometimes it is simply ignorance.

“There may be cases of bullying, but we try to prevent them quickly. By including everyone, we bring them to the same level, so that one student never has priority over another. This is very important. We are also very consistent in the distribution of work. Today you are on duty, you are to clean the yard, and on the next day another learner is to do it, that is, without breaking the personalities, we try to solve the problems and show them by example.”


The educational complex is one of the first in our country to have become inclusive, and here teachers work daily and hourly to ensure full inclusion. With their own experience, they serve as an example to the students to treat the student sitting next to you as an equal.

“When you have a student with a disability, the environment changes, the perspective changes. Rarely, but sometimes there are conflict situations with children who have disabilities. In order to completely exclude these situations, work should also be done with the parent, because sometimes we see parents who have not yet accepted their child as they are,” says Sona and notes that in such cases they do not simply demonstratively take these children under their protection, which often has the opposite effect, but by different methods, by getting to know the child’s strong points and week points and emphasizing them inconspicuously, they raise the disabled child’s role among classmates.

Sona remembers one of the schoolgirls who had mobility problems and moved around in a wheelchair, but she was the joy of everyone, she was a happy and cheerful person.

“It was the joy of the classmates to drive the wheelchair all day. They never left her alone and always took her opinion into account. She was a very bright character.”


“There are no stereotypes inside the Sebastatsi walls, there are many outside our walls,” says Sona and mentions the equalization of freedom and permissiveness as the clearest example. They are different things.

“Give children wings to fly, but also teach them that in addition to their rights, they also have responsibilities,” she says.

The young girl, who never imagined her work at school, now cannot imagine life without children.

“If I have children, I will give them a happy childhood, because childhood is always associated with school, and that childhood should be embellished, not spoiled,” smiles Sona.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *