Teacher Dima Zitser: I always say “You are encouraged to raise ignoramuses”

How to change today’s students, what is the question increasingly began to ask parents, why do we fear that, in other approaches, the children will “take us down” and if education is not a service – then what? What to expect from us schools in the future, you will change the old system, or rather, collapse – says the teacher Dima Zitser.

Photo: Daniel Swedes / Parks Of Tatarstan / Flickr

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They are more open and better formulate what they want

– From year to year come to you as children. Are they changing?

Yes, they change. I don’t like to say “worse is better”, but in fact, they become steeper. If we are talking about what it was fifteen or twenty years ago, it was the same wonderful and remarkable children. However, their willingness to “stand there where they put” was much higher.

I observe this trend: they are less and less willing to mindless execution of the will of others. It is clear that our sample is not representative. It’s still a conscious decision that parents come to a private school in General, and to our “Orange” in particular. But I see all the children and my colleagues and we state: this is now the trend number one. Here, perhaps, all the difference. But the difference is revolutionary.

Dima Zitser. Photo: detki.cz

– They are more independent?

– I would be afraid to diagnose.

They, in my opinion, more flexible. They better formulate what they want. More open to interaction.

Even in our school the number of children who came the first time and immediately climbed to cuddle or chatting about everything, has grown in recent years. It was different before. I’m talking about their willingness to contact.

– With adults or with children?

– With people of different sizes. And it’s great. If to bring under it theoretical basis, I think that, whatever happens, the world opens. And parents, whatever they were, and they are different, as we understand it, lead a more open life than twenty years ago.

This social network, and the ability to reach any person, and the opportunity to read a status about someone’s psycho-physical state and to feel empathy or irritation. This implicitly and, perhaps, quietly opens up the world pretty badly. We change. You can, of course, talking about gadgets and other small stuff, but this is a consequence. I like it very much.

Is the result of today’s fashionable conscious parenting?

In my opinion, it is the result of the technical revolution that we are experiencing. Such opportunities did not exist before. And there was not even because of the Soviet Union, which was so-so. All the world were arranged differently: well, okay, there are books that invented the calculator, the television from black and white became colour, changed shape of the phone.

Suddenly, from the mid-nineties, plus or minus every day happen something new. And since human beings are by nature flexible, we adjust, in the best sense of the word, and became more open. The Internet, mobile phones, tablets, messenger, another messenger. And it pulls amazing personal opportunity, which was not in sight. Were once limited, clear box with eight corners, and I could have been in one of these corners to hang out and settle in – but it was all I could do. And then suddenly the box was open.

Parents began to ask the question “How is my child?”

– Back to school – are parents and their expectations from school, from the learning process?

What a great question! Even given the Eulogy, which I gave to the modern generation and the present time, we are in fact quite inert. Parents in mass is very hard to imagine what could be otherwise that they can do something else to want. When compared with the technical revolution, about which we just spoke, but for me this is a revolution, there are some new phenomena provoke, change, and I can’t stop thinking about themselves, and not to doubt.

And the attitude to school is a conscious act: I’ll have to take himself by the scruff of the neck or by the hair, like Munchausen, and pull out of the swamp. Habit is a very powerful thing. Habit to everything: food, clothing, communication style. If the changes take place? Oh, Yes. But, unfortunately, not by leaps and bounds. It’s good that parents began to ask in various ways the question “How is my child?”. Before this question was not simple.

– These changes occur from generation to generation or from year to year?

– From year to year! All that is happening now, is happening crazy fast. Personal example: twenty years ago I would have written some book, it would be published in five thousand copies, someone would have bought it and all. And today there are, say, transferring to Beacon.

Imagine: people came and did what I speak, and it sounds like I’m in the Studio in Moscow. This small technical wonder. And this leads to the fact that I can reach more people. Of course, more people can go to hell send at this point, but the main thing – the possibility of contact. And it changes from year to year: seven years ago this was not possible.

And then came the question “How is my child?”.

– I’m an optimist by nature, but do not want to be optimistic idiot. He appeared and appears.

– The sound begins.

– Yes, the sound begins. Parents begin to afford to say it. And they begin to afford it let not at the school level and at the level of this radio. They are calling from the provinces, of the villages. And the level of conversation, its depth is not comparable to the one that would have been twenty years ago.

Anything can happen.

Sometimes call and ask, relatively speaking, as it is better to flog their child. But mostly it’s about “how to understand”, “how do I interact with the school,” “I feel that her or him there is bad”. This is a very good trend.

Another thing is that if the so-called educational system, at least a little bit opened, the process would have gone quite differently.

That is the school behind?

Is not the word. Here it raises human and understandable fear. And, in my opinion, it comes into serious conflict with professionalism. Fear of what? What if we “give up the slack, we sit on the head”. Common, understandable story. Very scary to think about how the children of today. Very scary to ask ourselves the question: “do we have to stand up when the teacher enters the classroom?”. What happens if not? And language are so familiar answers: “Then they will not be able to join in the lesson!”. On the contrary, they will switch off from the lesson in the moment when I say: “All shut up and stood at attention, the Supreme creature swam!”.

Photo: Vladimir Varfolomeev / Flickr

Three days ago there was a teacher conference, I was called. I thought, it is necessary to make so that it was boring. We hour with them discussing why we need teachers. “I want an answer!” – do not answer. It is not perfect, I’m sure, wonderful professionals. No answer to the question of why we need. What does it mean? This does not mean that there is no answer.

This means that, intentionally or accidentally, but out of professional discourse removed the block when I ask myself the question: “What am I doing?”. It seems to me, is the essence of the profession. The education system, like any system existing for many years, keeps herself struggling not to unravel at the seams. The fears of those who spent many years in school and can’t imagine myself in a different system, I understand. Because as soon as you “give slack” in one, crawl all the rest, it’s true. The only thing this happiness that all crawl. Then there will be a new system, what else is happiness, really.

In the world try it very many places. Now, as we know, do not like the word “West”, well, let’s look to the East. Everywhere trying the new system because it becomes clear that it is impossible in the old way. Yes, we do know this: what newspaper or Internet portal does not open, everywhere is school sad teen story.

Education is, of course, the service

– Here comes the parent who was wondering how there will be his child. Comes child, more open and flexible, in this rigid school system. What occurs in the place of the conflict? Do you believe that these children and parents unable to change the system?

– No. I, unfortunately, believe that the influx of new generations is just going to break her, but will not change. Unfortunately, because I am absolutely not for the revolution. Why will I ruin it? If you come in not three, but twenty of these children, relatively speaking, “awkward”, the system will collapse.

I remember one call in live. My mother called and said: “Here such history happened: the second class, the teacher releases the children to the toilet during the lesson, not my son, and one boy described. What to do with it?”. It sounds to banality is simple and painful. You can roughly imagine what I told her. Namely: “If the Director doesn’t understand, you have to go to the Prosecutor.” We can say, because there is an obvious izmyvatelstva and psychological violence.

But when in this class will be two boys and only one mom who realized that there is clearly something wrong and decided to try to do something, and ten of these mom, everything will collapse. And personally, I wouldn’t want to just up and collapsed. Because these mom, dad, children, and teachers are not ready. In such a situation, clashes head-maybe there is something that moves us forward, but not the price that I would like to pay. The cost of conflict, bruises, disappointments in my own life people have.

– What is the evolutionary rate possible in our country? Seminars for teachers?

– The conversation in any form. I think that part of what we are doing now, a tiny drop adds to that. And we found out early that there is a request. Young teachers who come to school, too.

– There is a wonderful “Teacher for Russia.”

– I have the honor to teach there as a teacher. I’m a fan of this program. It is a good indicator, because it is an initiative from the top. It’s done by creative people, very talented and my favorite. They read that there is a huge request. But, nevertheless, it took a certain strength and support at a very high level, that the program has earned. And Yes, it is, of course, one of the means is fairly powerful.

We know that happens to most boys and girls, full of bright hopes that come to school teachers. Unfortunately, quite often this results in them either leaving or turning you-know-who. Because to resist is very difficult. I repeat: I’m against confrontation. But when it comes to large systems, it is understandable why lost some “stuff”, in particular, that the essence of the teaching profession is the questioning and reflection.

Fashion topic: to criticize the Russian education system. But I am not a supporter of this fashion. Well, what I to scold her? The system is arranged, it is a big, clumsy giant. We do an important job, provide the younger generation with the necessary knowledge, etc., etc. But until we will not have order, the system will not change. Ms. Vasilyeva now trying to ban the word “service”. I think it is a serious mistake. Education is, of course, the service. And even if we call it “the chamber pot”, a service that does not cease to be. This service is serious, connected with philosophy, ideology, but, nevertheless, it is a service. And it should be organized like any other, which represents the state: citizens.

This is very dangerous when the customer and performer are the same person. And if we agree that the school service is not, and that is what happens. Customers – those who learn and their parents. By the education system.

I do a lot of writing about it and is constantly asking this question in the speeches: “When was the last time you formulated what you want from your school?”. Never is the right answer. It is difficult to wish something from the school? No. It is necessary to spend five or ten minutes. Even twenty. Continue to begin to question and reflect, as we have said, and to spend some amount of time. But the conservative system is arranged in such a way that as if we’ve got nothing to want. It’s like the system knows what to us. She does not know.

If we come with a bag of dirty clothes to the dry cleaners or Laundry and say, “Do something with it, and I ten years later the race”, what wonder, if it is bad to wash? Or paint it the wrong color? Or not sew. We just did not formulate the order. But if we made, Oh, how quickly things change! And then this evolutionary path because we engage in dialogue. Of course, the school system even have something to say. And we think so, and we think that way, and let’s sit down and we’ll talk. It sounds like utopia, but no utopia in this.

I once a long time ago, though not in Russia, in Israel, was a two-day workshop. This workshop initiated a school Director: two days full pedsostav and all interested parents. It was such a delight! Of course, I was about to complain, because there are not enough children. But the first step was brilliant. There were very difficult moments of rejection, napominanija and universal love in the end. And rightly so.

We hire teachers. Any school is by definition private, I’m tired of repeating it. Because we pay and order at the state of the particular service. But if we don’t order, if it’s not a favor, what is it then? Ideological factory, through which the children have to scroll? No, it is not so! I firmly believe in it, I saw it many times and in public schools too. There is an example of the last year, the school Lubelskiego. This story is not about a specific school, it’s about parents who realized that their children are denied something that they love and consider important. And the parents came and said this. There is even a hint of social rebellion or unrest. It’s the most natural thing in the world.

You, as a parent, as would put the order at the address of the school? What you should pay attention to?

– I would go on the reverse, once even wrote an article about it. To make it easier, start with what you are not prepared. “I’m ready to have my child screaming? Yes or no?”. (Quietly, I’ll take a “Yes” answer: “I believe my child need to cry, then he’ll make a real, able to choose a personality!” well it is up to you)

“I want my child to do the will of others without giving?”, “I want my child to sit strictly in the head in front of a seated person and I’ve never seen his eyes, except change?”, “I want that when my child returns from school, he reached for the hand and someone was dictating how he should behave at home and on the weekend?”

“I want this so much affected me as a parent?”.

Take a sheet of paper and write is to start. The message that someone seems nice, and someone sad: 95% of schools will immediately disappear. Will remain five percent. And no need to tell me what good schools do not. There! “What, Dima, and among the state?”. Yes, the state.

There are good, interesting, professional Director. Of course, there are brilliant teachers. If we are talking about the so-called elementary school, we go to the teacher. A good teacher knows how to close the door and organize a lesson so that the children lived not in vain these forty-five minutes or the five hours.

To choose. Go and choose. So, how do you choose the dress: not eyes closed, not “I have near the house there is shop, where I myself buy something”. It does not happen. I’m going, choose, see, with, um, consult. Even I, who more or less identical form of clothes, still not the first pants I grab.

The school is arranged exactly the same. “We will not be allowed inside!”. Well, do not go to school, where you will not be allowed inside. Well, you send the child there, where you lowered the iron curtain? Of course, the system has the right to say: “it is convenient that the meeting took place at a certain time”, no problem.

“The teacher will not talk to us”. Do not go to this teacher. Talk to the teachers, with high school students, who are behind the garages. It is generally always the winning card. Chat, they will be ready. And, of course, speak with the moms that go with the kids from school. At least here it is. That’s all, then there is a choice. And then these wonderful children, to whom we sang praises in the beginning, too, we learn. Learn that we are important, it’s important that you question everything that I don’t have to miss something just because I suggest it, just someone convenient. And there is now universal happiness.

Keep saying to me: “You are encouraged to raise ignoramuses”

– If you play visionaries: those who will go to the first class, ten years, the output of which skills should have?

– Person should be very well understood that he is interested. And now there are the tools: as I understand it, how do I distinguish one from the other, as I know, is structured as a choice?

I didn’t tell the story of “isovalinol girl”? I have one technique where the children sit, talk, read the text, discuss it with each other. When I held it the first time, there were about a hundred children. The text was “tower of Babel”. Parallel to this text was Imagine by John Lennon. And if we put them side by side, we will see that they are exactly the same and completely opposite.

Well, the kids hang out, I go to my pedagogical ego is inflated, I’m just bursting with happiness that they are interested in. At this point, he approached me and girl 12-13 years old, says: “Dima, can I go?”. Pedagogical ego deflated, I, swallowing the bitterness of resentment, of course, tell her, “Yes, go.” Go ahead and think: “Dima, you can’t interest the child, you are capable of nothing” and so on.

The girl returned half an hour later and brings me a brilliant picture on the subject of this discussion. Now the question is, is a mystery, which I usually ask teachers, “What did Dima?”. He was given the choice. I really started the energy, and it seems it worked well. But there was at least one girl and if we go, these girls and boys surely were more comfortable about where this was to say, for example, with watercolors and paper.

It is a choice. It is my right to say, “I want another, I will go the other way, I want to try this.” And as with any skill, the more we exercise the better we own them.

And an example of, in my mouth has become banal, about what is happening to the school. When a person says: “Mother, I want to draw a” very good mother replies, “of Course, draw.” The next day he said, “I want to sing,” “How to sing? We had already paid for a month, now going to paint.” And she, poor thing, justified – quoted and unquoted – that if he was going to go into singing, they learn to quit. This phrase I’ve heard dozens of times.

Photo: unsplash

If we someschema for three seconds and think, we realize that, in fact, if he continues to draw, he learns stupid to obey the will of another and will forget in time what he wants. But if you go on singing, then at this moment begin to learn to choose. Especially if the mother is not function, as a mom, which is next and which will help to understand how was this a choice, why, how it works. Maybe that’s where the teacher was unpleasant. And maybe smell bad. And maybe, indeed, he was sitting, something was humming, drawing, and thinking: “Come on, I’ll sing professionally.” And in this moment the ability to choose fixed.

Four years is the happiest time. You only need to do that to start and leave, and to go further, and understand why I left, and remember to return there, to know this about myself.

Back to skills, what else can be important? For example, tell us about working with information.

– Eight years ago there was an American study about what happens to the memory of the present generation. The hypothesis was absolutely clear: that due to the fact that children now do not learn the formula of something, not memorize by heart the rule, they will be a complete failure in memory. So. Miraculously the memory of them becomes worse, it becomes different. Speaking very simple language, they remember where to take it.

And the ability to answer the question “How am I looking for and how I interact with it later?” – a very important skill. It is a skill of the twenty-first century. And ways of interacting with information more and more. Hence, these methods should be investigated.

Based on what was the school, when I was, and still is, unfortunately, too common? There is a box with the knowledge that the teacher says. If you’re a good student, you got a full box. If not, then only half of the boxes. Today it is simply impossible to learn. Why?

Our teachers didn’t know what will happen in fifteen years. And current don’t know. But the difference is that we pretend to know, but we couldn’t check. And today even children check is not necessary, they understand that nobody knows what will happen in fifteen years.

So I have to grow flexible, and capable of perception supernovae, which, closing the circle, there every day if not every minute. So I have to try those skills, and the ability to interact, to choose, to understand their own interest, look for it in the new reality. The most important thing.

– Specific knowledge is not so important? In fact, I can not know anything? Just to understand, where can I find it?

– It is important not to “cut corners” and not to trivialize the idea. Keep saying to me: “You are encouraged to raise ignoramuses”. I do not call to raise ignoramuses. In that moment, when we have a truly infinite field of human interest. All the way around.

When my interest is free, I will absolutely reach out and to Einstein and to Pushkin, and to the worms, and space. One pulls the other. Especially, when there are people helping me to access, comprehend, compare, assign knowledge.

And in that moment, when I say: “are you Going to teach it! Why? – Of cabbages!” – I will teach, I have no choice, but I will remain not know why I did it. I’m on the same teacher’s conference once again made his frequent focus about Pushkin:

Need to teach Pushkin in school?

– Yes, of course.

– Be able to quote not included in the school curriculum?

Silence. Again silence. Does this mean that they are obliged to quote? No, it doesn’t. This means that, as educators, we must conclude that something our teachers made a mistake, if we closed this very Pushkin in school and then did not open. A pity – he’s really lovely…

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