November 5, 1974, I became the head of the Yasnazorenskaya secondary school.
Well I remember the scene of my presentation to the teaching staff of the Yasnazorenskaya school. Like it was yesterday, I see the eyes of teachers, in which I understand the question: "Who are you?"
"But really, who? - mentally entering with them into the conversation, I thought. "What will I bring you?" I do not want to manage, but to think together with you, to fight together for a school for children."
And here I am in the head’s office ... in my office. Everyone went home. Tomorrow is my first day, the second quarter of the 1974/75 school year. Where to begin? In the imagination, episodes from life in Bessonovka, the building of a school, were carried by. "You remember, real understanding you met only when, taking a trowel, stood next to the workers, when they believed that you did not come to command, and with them to do business. Have you noticed how differently the workers and teachers reacted to the idea of the school complex in different ways? For the first, it became their own, and for the latter it turned out to be someone else’s, dictated "from above." The new must necessarily ripen, born in the team. You can not distribute experience in a directive, campaign. The imposed innovation makes people from creators into blind performers. So where to start? .. "
Suddenly I heard someone’s excited shouts. What is it? He rose quickly and opened the window. A cold autumn wind burst into the office, and with it a fierce, brutal abuse, from which it became hot: the cry was childish. I saw an eerie scene: two tall teenagers were beating a boy of eleven in a ravine. I do not remember running down the stairs from the second floor and down. After a few moments, grabbing the hooligans by the collar, shaking them with such force, as if he wanted to shake this brutal cruelty to the man forever: "What are you doing?" Suddenly one of them whimpered: «I’m sorry ... and we ... we will not be any more y-dem ... forgive-and-those ... uncle ... "I silently opened my hands, the teenagers stood with their heads lowered.
"What is there for fraer was found?" - sounded an unpleasant squeaky voice. I turned around and saw three shaggy guys, looking about 18-20 years old. They sat on a small tubercle twenty meters away from me, sipping cigarettes and spitting them under their feet. All three of them, screwing up their eyes with an evil eye, looked brazenly in my direction.
I realized that they were the guys who were the children, and if I retreat now, if I do not give a decisive battle, then never in this school will I be ordered to approve me as a director by any order. "
So what, fight? And if it s accelerators, students? You are the director, the teacher ... "- said one inner voice, but the other firmly and persistently repeated:" Do not retreat ... "
"But, but you can not even joke», one of the guys said, not so confidently and impudently. All three of them, as if reluctantly, got up and moved unhurriedly away. I stepped after them: "Wait! Where are you? "One of them turned and suddenly rushed to the thorn bush growing on the slope of the ravine. The rest are behind him. I stopped. This is the debut ... But it became easier on the soul: a good lesson for those who stayed and, of course, watched us in every way, I went to the boys. "
You, a man, you know, you beat him!" Remember for life: there is nothing on earth more repulsive than cowardice and cruelty, - loudly, so that they will hear, and those in the bushes, I said. - What kind of classes do you study? I asked in a different tone.
But the boys stubbornly remained silent.
"But it’s not like a man anymore ... Are you afraid? .."
"And what’s to be afraid?" I’m in the sixth, Vovka calls me.
- And we are in the seventh ... He - also Vovka, and I - Kolya.
- And I’m your headteacher, Mikhail Petrovich ...
The next morning I went to school ... The building was empty, uncomfortable. My mood even fell, when in several places on the walls, still smelling of fresh paint, I saw vulgar inscriptions.
At the bottom came the loud voices of the children and the noisy trampling of their feet. I looked at my watch: it was already about eight. Heart began to beat excitedly - the school day began.
Past me, the ladder swept swiftly, without stopping, jumping over several steps at once, two breathless guys about from the VII or VIII class.
"Aah!» - the loud cry came.
"We must help out." Quickly rising, I saw how a high school student with an easy smile on his round cheekbone face energetically "let go of the fools" a teenager lying on the floor and clamped between his knees, who, either in pain or in a frenzy, was yelling his shrill "ah-ah-ah" .
- Stand up? I said firmly.
- And what have we done? - the guy muttered, rising from the floor and releasing his "victim". "We’re playing ... See, he does not cry."
- What is the meaning of the game? Beat each other in turn and take turns shouting with all your strength in a wild voice ?!
«Headteacher..." someone said behind me in a whisper.
I turned ... A couple of steps from us was a group of guys, eight or ten people, in pioneer ties. "Who does this know me?" - I thought ... - Ah, old friends. They are the same as yesterday ... Vovka and Kolya ... It s not good to start my work: solid remarks ... It’s not right ... "
- Good morning, - I said loudly.
- Good morning? Hello? The boys answered uneasily.
Vovka and Kolya smiled, as if they were saying: "Nothing, nothing, do not despond, we will help". The other faces were serious, out of curiosity and distrust "Who are you?" literally bulged out of the eyes.
Ruler. The working conditions in each school are much more specific than typical: their own unique environment, their own, only its inherent characteristics. Each school, its life is unique, how unique is every student in it a child! This is confirmed by numerous examples, when a teacher who successfully works in one school hardly copes with another. The former experience is not enough when it saves. As for me, I did not have a chance to work at the general education school before the Clear Zory, which, unlike the special one, should teach all students not selected by the competition. The first year in Yasnyi Zoryah was therefore adaptive for me. A lot was new, unusual, often incomprehensible. Read in the books on pedagogy served as a basis for comparison, but rarely a guide to action. More often it was necessary to rely on life experience, intuition, on my ideas about how to act in each specific case ...
In the first days in the Yasnazorenskaya school, I was struck by nervousness, the tension of students’ relations. Shouts, cries, hustle and bustle, a never-ending struggle for fun and seriously on the dirty, trampled floor, the frequent explosions of fierce fighting - all this was called "change". And this was mainly due to the fact that the Yasnazorenskaya school was as if molded from various, recently closed small schools. At school there was no collective in the true sense of the word. It was a disparate group of students from ten villages. Schoolchildren from one village sought to preserve the customs of their former school, kept themselves in relation to others knowingly hostile.
The boys did not say anything about each other, for example, "they are fifth graders" or "they are tenth graders", but they always stressed: "these are the Rovens" (Rovenek village) or "these are clear-eyed" (Yasnye Zori settlement). So the school was divided into "Rovens", "Clear-eyed", "Cheremoshan" (Cheremoshny village), "Soltykov" (Soltykovo village), "Ustyan" (Ustyanka village). "Lozovchany" (Lozovoye village), "Bochkovtsy" (Bochkovka village), "Solntsev" (Solntsevka village), "Nechaevites" (Nechaevka village), "Vergilevites" (Virgilevka village).
One day an agitated man came to my office. - Mikhail Petrovich! There it is! .. There is such a fight! We can not do anything ... Let’s go to the third ...
On the third floor, where I hastily got up together with the attendant, there was a real fist fight, in it there were a total of about 10 - 15 people who furiously struck each other. But then someone saw me. "Director, boys, director!" - the current struck in the crowd.
- Guys? - barely concealing the excitement, I began. - I am convinced that you have a moral right to defend your human dignity. But the fight is the most extreme, you hear, the most extreme means of protecting the good, the beautiful in man. Each such battle for the sake of Beauty on Earth, you hear, for the sake of Beauty on Earth, strengthens in man courage, steadfastness, courage. We are talking about this with pride: a real man! But if a guy thoughtlessly and blindly swings his fists for fun, beats to humiliate to cause pain, whatever the might of his bones and muscles, he is not a man, he is only a male. With each such, like this, shameful "fight", so easily reminiscent of the cock’s fuss, the guy loses a man in himself ...
When I said this, I saw how the eyes of the guys became serious, many of which seemed to me to take every word I said. But the next day there was a fight again.
My words about men’s dignity, if they had the effect, it was not for long, and I decided that it was necessary to "strike" the fighters more powerfully. But how? "We need to conduct a school-wide school line," suggested the experienced teachers who "eat" pedagogical work, not just one pood of the teacher’s salt. - And there to expose the most pugnacious and cut them so that others do not like it. At the same time, we will expose the twins for a week. And it is also necessary for the parents to cause them to influence on their part ... "" And what? - I thought. - After all, the right proposals. The meetings of AS Makarenko were recalled when they led the guilty person to a circle and gave him "by the first number".
... For a long time I will remember that line - the first and last line in my life, which I spent with the goal of "warming up the first number". I wrote "I will remember", but this does not mean that I see it in all its details, rather, I do not see it at all. But I remember the feeling of shame and guilt in front of those who were "exposed" ... I remember Vassily Smagin’s eyes very brightly * (* Surname changed) he, as I found out later, after another scuffle, gathered the guys to a small "meeting", where they decided to finish everything together "Jungle"), surprised, in them a question to me: "Why so?" In front of the hushed school, dropping their heads, the guys went out. I tried to understand what they were experiencing at that moment. And then I remembered myself when I was taken out just like before the ranks, when I hardly heard anything from the speeches of the accusers, only my inner voice: "Why do you need all this? To humiliate, cause pain?! .. Well, wait ... "And I took revenge for a long time, how could, ridiculously, childishly ...
They began to read the list of the two-year-olds. Out of the general system, a girl of the tenth bathed in shame. Here is Vera Semernina (the names have been changed). She also has a sister in the third grade, to which she replaced her deceased mother and who is now in all eyes ...
- That’s enough! Enough ... All are free ... "I said in a voice that had suddenly settled.
"Ruler" unexpectedly for all has come to an end. The students passed by me. But they went somehow wrong, as always. There was no ordinary noise and crush. At school I worked for several months, but it was on that day that I first felt what kind of responsibility it was to be a director. Maybe that day the feeling of kinship with the guys that can not be explained by the words, which later helps to notice the slightest changes in their mood, will begin to appear in me, will arm me with the ability to look at everything with their eyes ...
- Lyuda! - I stopped the sister of Vera Semernina. "You, Luda, do not think ill of Vera." Now an error has occurred. She at you the good fellow ... - To us school classmates of Lyuda have approached. And I said more loudly so that they could hear: "We are proud of your sister." She is a real person. And now there was an error ...
After this line, a frank, difficult and very important conversation with teachers about the person, his dignity, the responsibility of the teacher, mutual understanding: teachers and pupils, so necessary for the creation of the team, took place. To see a person in the student and help him to realize himself as a person - this principle has become one of the main things in our work.
Maybe it will seem paradoxical, but the failure on the first line markedly strengthened my authority among students. The guys were not so closed, wary as in the first days. Increasingly, I began to catch my views, in which there was a benevolent interest.
Finally, I believed that there were changes when, shortly after the line, a group of tenth-grade students came to me ... to consult. They said so: "We came to consult you." Since when, when entering the class, he said: "Guys, your advice is very necessary," I no longer met puzzled looks in which the incredulous: "Play with us." We began to think, decide, work together. We learned to be a team.
This was the end of January 1975. I became aware that high school students bring alcohol to school and drink it at the change. At first I did not believe it. "It can not be that they were drinking, and even in school ..." I thought. - Can not be". But one day our "technician" Nina Petrovna Timokhina brought me to the cabinet material evidence - two bottles with a sticker "Apple". "Look, look, I found the boys in the toilet," she said.
What to do? What should I do to stop this suicide? Or maybe they drink one or two people? Well, what, what, two? These are two lives, two fates, two, possibly already irreversibly mutilated brain. But who are they? How to find them? decided to talk with the guys of VIII - X classes. After the lessons all the guys of these classes gathered in the school’s assembly hall.
"Guys, raise your hand, who at least once already drank wine or vodka," I began directly.
There was silence in the hall. Only somewhere in the corner there was a whisper. One hand has risen ... two ... three ... six ... ten ... fifteen ... I stood as paralyzed. Hands raised almost everybody.
- It’s true? - I almost whispered ... - And ... how often do you drink?
- Yes, we do not often ... on holidays, well, there, when the birthday of someone ... - Tolya Lunev, a pupil of the VIII class, answered for all.
- Well, you’re more often attached, - someone shouted cheerfully from behind, and his cry drowned in a friendly burst of laughter.
I felt cold inside. I suddenly felt helpless, weak, naive and funny. I was not looking at the eyes of the guilty people who committed the terrible mistake of people. The eyes of the guys were simple-cheerful, as if talking about something innocent, trifling ... "
That’s what it means to go out without preparation. You again hurried. But what to do, what to do? "
Feeling that I can not say a single word, I was silent, realizing that it was foolish to stand in front of the audience and remain silent ..." What to talk about? About what to drink is harmful? You know that. What words will stir up the consciousness of the disaster that has happened, the understanding of indescribable harm, the murderous effect of alcohol on your brain, your mind, "the future? How can one explain that the use of alcohol, a generally ugly, pernicious phenomenon among adults, is hundreds of thousands of times more detrimental to a growing, evolving organism? How can I express an overwhelming sense of anxiety, protest? You are turning this attitude towards drinking into a nonsense at school, in stupidity your childhood, in cripples ... "And suddenly I realized that the hall had long been silent and tens of pairs of eyes were watching me attentively. But these were no longer those cheerful, carefree eyes. They were eyes, ready to listen, ready to understand, or rather, understanding the eyes ... "
When you fought during the breaks with each other," I began firmly and slowly, "I condemned you, condemned you and condemned you with all the strength of your soul." I fought and will fight against it ... Because it is unacceptable to force a person against a person ... When you do not learn a lesson. go to school, go, prepare just in case an excuse, lie to not get a deuce, I have condemned and will condemn you for it, because a lie has always been the daughter of cowardice, because there is nothing more disgusting for a man than cowardice and lies. But I endlessly condemn those of you who are already addicted to wine or vodka, who think that a glass of wine is drunk, or innocent fun, or, to use the wildest stupidity. way to grow up ... No, I do not blame, I despise you in peace, when you see a drinking alcoholic and you do not stop him ... You betray him, you kill life in him, because every drop of alcohol he poisons his brain, his mind. You, who flaunts a drunk glass, are the killers of their future. And I do not pity you, I hate this bravado in you, because you are dispossessing yourself, because you are depriving yourself of the strength - male, human power, because you are leaving, shamefully withdraw from the struggle. For what of the weakling fighter ?! «I’m silent ..." he looked around the hall again. No one lowered his eyes. Still, the uneasy, severe and understanding eyes of the boys looked at me unblinkingly. "
Think about it," I said again. - And take each, according to your conscience, your position ...
From the audience, the teenagers left silently, as if reluctantly. The faces were thoughtful ...
"What were you talking about with them?" They asked me in the corridor of their classmate. - They did not go like that. Gloomy, angry, they do not talk ...
- We had a man’s conversation, - I answered and suddenly I thought that there was no conversation. "But why do I get the impression that we talked? - I reflected, already sitting in my office. "Was there a two-way communication?"
Zoya Gavrilovna Graivoronskaya, a mathematics teacher, came into the office: "Did they do something to me?" And seeing my perplexity, she explained: "We came to the class (we agreed to work out after lessons), sat down, took out notebooks and kept silent . I see: something happened ... I ask: "Have you done anything?" They are silent ... "Will we be engaged today?" They are silent. Then Lunev stood up and said: "Let’s postpone additional for tomorrow, today somehow not that ... We had a serious conversation ..." - "Did you have a director?" - "No, all the guys were gathered ... Just ... a man’s conversation ..."
«He said that?" - Yeah ... But what made you so happy?
- So the conversation, you know, the conversation was still!
- And what, you were not there? Zoya Gavrilovna asked in perplexity.
- Was ... But I was not sure if the conversation took place ...
Left alone, I again began to remember everything that was in the room. I remembered how I asked the question, how the guys laughed heartily after someone’s response to Lunev. When did the turning point come? The turning point came to my words. Yes, yes, I have not said anything yet, and the eyes of the guys were already concentrated, serious. Remembered their intense attention filled faces, when I, suddenly felt the silence, looked in the hall ...
So, the conversation started when even a word was not said. The guys first saw my attitude to what was happening, felt my thoughts, and only then heard. My words were just an addition to the conversation that had already taken place ...
I will not hide: I thought for a long time, write or not write about that case. And yet I decided: I must write. It is necessary for tomorrow to be better than yesterday ...
- What’s wrong with you? Who hurt you? - I ask the student of the X class trembling all over with loud sobs Tatyana Vasilyeva.
But Tanya, covering her face with one hand wet from tears, and the other blouse torn on her shoulder, shakes her head negatively ...
- You should be in class now? Did it happen at the lesson?
Without saying a word, the girl lowered her head even lower. In her trembling skinny shoulders, in all her hunched figure, as if crushed by an invisible heavy load - screaming despair, resentment and despair ...
- You were beaten ?!
Tanya opened her face for a moment, trying to say something, but could not, again sobbing with sobs.
"Did this happen just now?" The girl nodded her head ...
"So, in the lesson ...
Losing in conjecture, until the end, not believing that in our school, and even at the lesson, someone could hit the girl, hoping that maybe something is not so I understood, I’m exaggerating, I opened the door of the class where Vasilieva was studying ...
«I’m sorry to break into the lesson," I said to graduates who were obviously trying not to look me in the eye-but ... And then I saw that he was sitting on the back, sprawled, stretching far into the passage of his legs, Oleg Senichkin. On his red face, a contemptuous grin spread. In squinting eyes - a challenge.
- Senichkin! Are you tired? "
And I spit ... on your speeches ..." - stretching out his words, defiantly impudently he said ...
Looking at his stout hands in the tattoo, for some reason he remembered his first day at school, those shaggy ...
- So what happened here? - turning to the class, I asked glumly.
- Yes, there was one h-brave ... - cheerfully and loudly, triumphantly glancing around the class, Senichkin said through his teeth. "Yes, yes, it happened ... for the excess of public activity."
"So this is ... you-s-s!" - refusing to understand and believe the cynicism of a tenth-grader, I stretched out. Inside, I seemed to boil a whirlwind. I quickly went up to Senichkin, tightly squeezing his shoulder, which had jerked towards him, and sharply turned to the class ...
"And you allowed ..." I could hardly pick up words from the anger that was engulfing me ... "And you let a healthy child beat a girl before your eyes ?!" What does it mean?! Guys! A person, a girl is beating before your eyes, and you are calm ... you did not throw this out ... out of class, did not stop, did not stop this dishonor, this shame ?!
Senichkin jumped out from behind the desk. His eyes were filled with blood, in them there was something alien, evil, cruel.
"Short - bottom" - like lightning struck in the brain. Everything else was done automatically ... When I approached Senichkin sitting next to the teacher’s table on the floor, he said quietly but distinctly: "Now it’s clear, Dad ..." I suddenly saw light blue eyes. I even wanted to look around: maybe it’s not Senichkin? ..
- In the office, - I threw shortly, - there ... Tanya. This is very important for you, for her, for everyone ...
- I understand ... Do not need too much. I understood everything, thank you ... Dad, - emphasizing the word "Dad," said Oleg and left the class ...
Feeling suddenly tired, I sat down on the free seat behind the first desk. It was hard on my soul.
- In a few months you will receive a document on secondary education, it is not accidentally called a certificate of maturity, - as if thinking aloud, I said. - It reflects your success in studying the sciences ... Unfortunately, there is no one in the series of disciplines, one of the most important - how to become a person. Apparently, this is due to the fact that in this subject we do not stop taking exams for life for a single minute. Throughout life ... Everything that happened in your classroom should not happen again. Please, do the most thorough analysis of what happened. Strictly ask from each actor. - I pressed the word "everyone". - The decision I ask to inform me ...
Opening the door of the office, I saw Oleg and Tanya.
- Well? Talking? I asked absentmindedly.
- Mikhail Petrovich! I already told Tanya. What words can there be ... It’s now for life ... Tan! Mikhail Petrovich! I ‘m ashamed of myself ... I ... if you knew ... - Oleg had tears in his eyes ... - Do not, Oleg ... - Tanya touched his hand. - I forgave you ...
- Go, you are expected in the classroom ... - I interrupted Tanya. - Oleg, you will come to me ... the day after tomorrow, after the lessons ...
They left. How interesting is the man!
She says to him: "Forgive ..." It’s because of kindness, from the ineradicable human desire for the good of another.
She said to him: "I forgive", but what happened will go into her life for a long time and will always respond with pain when the experience suddenly pops up in her memory ... And will not Oleg have an unhealed wound on his heart? ... What can he now redeem? Than smooth out the pain caused to another? If it were possible for a person, like in a movie, to reshuffle the unsuccessful frame of his life, as an unsuccessful trial. Man creates life once. Nothing in it can not be repeated, corrected, changed, it can not be changed, you can not correct it, you will not return your act, the teacher ... You probably already prepared a charge for me? Do not ... I myself, no matter how much time passed, I will blame myself for this unpardonable mistake. I blamed myself even when the tenth-year students, knowing how I was evaluating their actions, came to the office to say: "You did the right thing ...", blamed himself even when he read the letter of Sergeant Senichkin two years later: "... I remember most of all Your short but memorable lesson for the rest of my life ... then I realized that if you went to substitute yourself for dismissal, not to back down, not reconcile, not to go to any of my position with the agreement, then your position is stronger than mine ... I was then ready to fall through the earth with shame when I saw myself with a hundred rons with your eyes ... "
How long I will work in school, I’ll blame myself for not being able to cause Senichkin’s sense of shame in another way," could not express his attitude to his deed differently. And God forbid, if someone misunderstands me and uses the extraordinary case described as an example to justify his cruelty ... But I write about these unusual, atypical cases, because they helped to correctly see the starting point of the power of pedagogical influence, and this was of great importance for the selection in the future of the most effective ways of education. Much thinking over each of the cases described, I came to the conclusion that the unexpected positive effect of my pedagogical failures is in the conviction and sincerity of the reaction to what I consider repugnant in people and their actions.
If you do not feel anger, but you portray it, then there is no anger. If you yourself do not believe what you say, how will the disciple believe in them? A disciple can only be conveyed by what you yourself are full of. Pedagogy does not exist outside the teacher’s personality. The ways of improving the personality of the student go through the improvement of the teacher himself. Affirmation: Tell me who your teacher is, and I ll tell you who you are-fair and justifiable, how fair and justified is the statement: tell me who you are, and I ll tell you who your teacher is. And I also thought that our upbringing was mostly verbal. Are not many of our troubles from here? Today we are extremely short of educating activity. As you know, in order to raise responsibility, there is one means: to lay it on a person.