Teachers' Day is celebrated in Russia annually, on October 5th. This date coincides with the World Teachers' Day, which is celebrated in most countries of the world. For the first time, Teachers’ Day was celebrated in the Soviet Union in 1965, on September 29th back then. And only 30 years later, the international Teachers’ Day was established. On the occasion of this holiday, we asked the SUSU Rector and directors of institutes to share their memories on their first teachers.
The Most Important Thing Is to Study Every Day and to Really Deserve Good Marks
Aleksandr Shestakov, Rector of South Ural State University, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering), Professor:
«My first teacher was really nice, I still remember her. When I was in the 1st form, I studied in a village school, in the regional centre of the Kurgan Region. My teacher was Aleksandra Tomilova, a kind woman, who loved children and took care of us and, at the same time, was really demanding. I think, the most important thing that she taught me in my school years is to study every day and to really deserve good marks. But, honestly, I did not always get good marks in elementary school.».
Teachers Played a Significant Role in the Formation of a Personality
Sergei Vaulin, Vice-Rector for Research and Education Centres and Complex Scientific and Engineering Programmes, Director of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Head of the Department of Aircraft Engines, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering), Professor:
«In my life, as, probably, in the lives of many people of my generation, teachers played a significant role in the formation of my personality. I would like to specifically mention two of them. The first one was my very first teacher, who taught me how to read and write, and visited my house to see how I lived. And she did all that not only for me, but also for other pupils of our class. In high school, from 6th to 10th form, my classroom teacher also played an extremely important role. He was not only a brilliant professional, a specialist in History, but also taught us to live right. There were many situations when he helped us to find the right decision in life, which was of great use later.».
It Depends on the Teacher, What Will Grow from a Small Seed That Was Once Sown
Alena Zamyshlyaeva, Director of the Institute of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Programming, Senior Research Fellow of the Research and Innovation Services, Doctor of Sciences (Physics and Mathematics), Professor:
«First teacher plays a significant role in every person’s fate. It depends on the teacher, what will grow from a small seed that was once sown. First teacher is a person, who not only opened the doors to the world of knowledge for me, but also the one who instilled love for school and study. I was very lucky to have wonderful teachers in my life: they were competent specialists, warm-hearted and sympathetic people who extremely “cared” for their work. I am very grateful to all my teachers for everything they have done for me».
A Teacher Has to Drink a Sea of Light to Ignite a Spark in Children
Еlena Serebrennikova, Deputy Director of the Institute of Architecture and Construction:
«In the course of our life we tend to meet many teachers, but the image of one of them we cherish in our memory throughout the years. And you cannot really understand why this happens. Probably, this teacher knows a certain pedagogical secret of conquering children's hearts. In my life there was such a person, a teacher of History, so young, energetic and extraordinary.
At the first lesson we sat with our eyes wide open, absorbing the words that sounded quite vaguely at that time: "History moves in a spiral". Time will pass (not a year or two, but dozen years) and we will get the meaning of these words... In love with her subject herself, she immersed us in the study of historical events, and they sprang to life from boring pages. For the first time in many years of studying History at school, we were told that we must not only memorize dates and names, but we must also analyse events.
We studied the History of Russia in high school when the usual way of life was crumbling, and it was already possible to speak out loud about the tragic events of the past of our country. And as school students of the 9th form, who had been brought up with the indisputable authority of Lenin, we learned for the first time that history had seen various images of him: like a bolt out of the blue, sounded the words “red terror” (we read them in the then forbidden book the Untimely Thoughts by M. Gorky).
The image of his successor, Stalin, we studied exclusively according to the Volkogonov's multivolume edition of Triumph and Tragedy. The unusual content of the lesson, the opportunity for everyone to express their opinion, the sense of living through the events: this is why I remember the lessons of History. What's the secret? The famous academician Amonashvili wrote that a teacher has to drink a sea of light to ignite a spark in children. This is exactly how bright, infinitely kind and intelligent my teacher of History was».