Svitlana Fesenko, "Around grade four, children begin to dislike school. We do everything to make them love it to the last bell and long after!"
Uzhgorod school № 3: preserving traditions, introducing innovations that make everyday school life really interesting.
Uzhgorod school № 3 in Transcarpathia needs no introduction. For several generations, Uzhgorod residents, if told that one graduated from the third school, knowingly raise their eyebrows and nod their heads. Because the third school is a brand. In education. In traditions. In bringing up several generations of true Uzhgorod residents. Today, this is the only school in our region with the Russian language of teaching in all subjects. The specialty of the school is English. It is taught here professionally, extensively, and very seriously. The second foreign language, which they study here, though optionally, but, for several reasons very willingly, for a year now, has been Czech. Why it happened, how the school lives now and in what mood they approached the Farewell Bell this academic year - all that we discussed in our conversation with the principal of the citadel of knowledge Svitlana Fesenko.
- Svitlana Saparhaliyevna, the third school was special even before.However, since you became the principal, they say that the old traditions of the school have received new life. And without loosing good customs and achievements of the previous legendary principal Tetyana Tishchenko, who gave the school 25 years of her life. How did you manage to do it?
- At the line-up, where I was introduced as the principal, I said that I myself had graduated from the 11th school long time ago. But even then, the third school was a brand. So I had to maintain and keep this status. This was the main task. When I began to delve into the processes that surrounded me here, first of all, I realized that we should make the school "softer" for children. To face them more.
The school had to be repaired. Children needed some clubs in the afternoon. At the same time, it was necessary to continue the traditions that had been established here. So I went this way.
The first thing we did was that last year we approved at ministerial level the program of learning Czech language as a second foreign language. We had to choose a second foreign language as a school with advanced learning of English. We could have chosen, for example, German... But it would be difficult for students to master it having just two hours a week. And since, as it turned out, many of our graduates already hired tutors to learn the Czech language, because they were preparing for entry into universities of Prague, we chose Czech. It is a Slavic language, it is easier to master without switching focus from learning English, Russian, Ukrainian. We first established the Czech language learning club. And then, we developed and approved the program of the Czech language learning, according to which, two fifth forms are now studying. And now we are the only school in Ukraine, where children learn the Czech language. We share this program. With Mukachevo, Vynogradiv schools...
- Czech language! After all, the third school is a "Masaryk School", built in the time of Czechoslovakia.
- Yes, the historical component also played a role. Last year, one of our students - now a student of a university, future political expert Mykyta Nayhebaver - wrote a very serious fundamental work on the history of our school. And so we learned that our school was the hundredth "Masaryk School." In 1932, the Czech construction company "Rako" built our school. On the initiative of Masaryk, a lot of such schools were built throughout the Czech Republic. On the facade, there was a sign "The Jubilee Masaryk School."
At the time, when I started working here, everybody was excited about this topic. We studied which people made contribution to the construction of the school, who was the architect, searched for old photos of it... It was interesting to children. We even wrote a letter of gratitude to the Czech firm "Rako", saying that we still walk on this high-quality tile, which is over 80 years old and it has not worn off, has not cracked.
- Perhaps it's all played a role in partnership with the Czech Republic. They helped you to introduce the Czech language learning, didn't they?
- Of course! They gave us Oxford level books. Guides. Thus our cooperation with the Czech region of Vysocina began. Thanks to this friendship, organized by Volodymyr Chubirko, they helped us to renovate the wing of the school, where the school workshop used to be. It had been abandoned and neglected, workshops were out of use. The Czech friends performed the repairs and gave us a classroom modern equipment, interactive whiteboard. It was probably in partnership with the regional budget. But as a result we have excellent conditions in which children can learn. And not only learn, but also to do various kinds of activities in clubs...
- I heard you have very fun and active leasure activities here. In physical education classes children dance...
- Yes, they dance and everything. We try to make the learning process interesting for children. Indeed, for a long time, there has been a bad tendency - around grade four, children start to dislike school. Because it exhausts them. Imagine coming home after 5-6 lessons, and having to study again after a short break to do homework. Children are tired. The current curriculum is full of things that are difficult, and sometimes unnecessary for children of their age and in this format. But we must work according to the curriculum. So we try, where possible, to simplify it, to make it interesting. And after school, to involve children in clubs. We have excellent teachers. Some of them do origami, others do beading, yet others do embroidery. Children are happy to take part in these sessions. But, let's go, I'll show you everything.
Svitlana Saparhaliyevna is leading me through the school building and showing the works of the children's art studio, hung on the walls of corridors. Portraits of this year best graduates, drawn by an artist. Historical artifacts in the form of marble tables with the names of medal winners of previous years. Here, this is taken seriously. The school's motto is "Not quantity, but glory." Beautiful light classrooms. Laminate on the floor, shutters and blinds on the windows. "Of course, many things are done with the help and at the expense of their parents." - the principal says - "Because we do not get a dime for current expenditures, and the school needs washing, cleaning, painting. But we ourselves have done a lot." Mrs. Svetlana shows a bright gym, cozy courtyard, which used to be a dumping ground for broken desks, and now it is a haven for outdoor recreation during breaks.
Along the way we meet high school students, who stop just to talk with the principal. They are this year graduates, who are taking an exam in these moments. Some of them have already finished and, standing on the railing of stairs, are looking through the window to see how their classmates are doing. And they are not afraid to be reproached or reprimanded by the principal. Full democracy and equality. Boys are joking about exams and the farewell bell, girls, seeing a camera, unfurl in front of the lens the flag with the emblem of the school which they are proud of. Next to the state one, blue and yellow. The emblem was created by a student of the school, who received a gift watch for that.
They love their students here. All 564 of them. And they feel good here. It is in the air and one becomes jealous that one's school days are over.
Leaving the school, I looked back, took pictures of flowers on windowsills, the facade, and realized that this year life will not stop here with the Farewell Bell. Because in these offices and classrooms, there are good people, true Uzhgorod residents. Adults and young. The present and the future glory of Transcarpathia.
Світлана Сапаргалієвна, ми досі згадуємо Вас, як найкращого вчителя в ліцеї. Ви у нас біологію викладали, пам*ятаю, на вступних тестах в УжДУ, діти хвилюються, намагаються списати, а ліцеїстів вигнали, щоб не заважали, бо ми ті тести за 5 хв. написали, всі 100% поступили. А ще ми згадуємо, як не хотілось іноді йти на уроки, закриємось в гуртожитку, а тут стук в двері- Сапаргалієвна на порозі, і так спокійно, тихо говорить до нас- дівчатка, швиденько збирайтесь на урок, я вас на коридорі зачекаю. Нам так соромно було, ми вас обожнювали ! От і зараз, через 20 років, згадала про вас, загуглила, і попала на цю статтю.
Знаю Світлану Сапаргалієвну зі шкільної парти. Це прекрасна людина, хороший педагог. Любить свою професію та дітей. Бажаю Вам подальших успіхів, Ви робите надзвичайно важливу справу
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