‘Each lesson must be a battle for knowledge, with the teacher as a commander, leading the children’

Young Victor Zhuk, a history teacher at Molodechno’s secondary school #11, is now famous, having been named Teacher of the Year.

By Olga Pasiyak

Young Victor Zhuk, a history teacher at Molodechno’s secondary school #11, is now famous, having been named Teacher of the Year. His telephone now rings endlessly, with journalists eager to interview him. However, the holder of the ‘Crystal Crane’ simply says, “This award has come as a pleasant and unexpected surprise but, I’ve promised my pupils to come to school on Monday. I’ll keep my word.”

zhuk.pngThis year, the pedagogical contest was held under a new format, with 31,108 teachers and tutors nominated: three times more than ever before. 49 were chosen for the finals — after taking part in a psychological-pedagogical test, teaching children they hadn’t met before (at a school or kindergarten), and defending their own teaching methods. Seven were selected as the best, and Victor Zhuk given the ultimate prize.

Victor, who graduated from the Belarusian Maxim Tank State Pedagogical University three years ago, specialising in history, tells us, “I love working with children: communicating with them, and sharing my knowledge. Finding an effective teaching method is key. I’m very fond of studying history, which I think encourages the best in us, including our patriotism. It teaches us to think, so each lesson must be a battle for knowledge, with the teacher as a commander, leading the children.”

His unusual approach is truly inspiring an interest in history among his pupils. Mr. Zhuk sometimes brings in real artefacts, or wears a costume — such as armour. His use of an interactive whiteboard and e-carriers also helps today’s youngsters. As Mr. Zhuk explains, his lessons often start with a video clip on which pupils answer questions, focusing on certain details, since this helps them remember historical facts.
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