Sports games are also a very important means of contact for teachers with students. Almost every week there are matches between teachers and high school students (football and ice hockey in the winter, cricket in the summer). They also spend time together on holidays and school holidays. Several times a year, a group of two or three teachers travels with students to our mountain station in Wales for climbing and hiking, and once a year several teachers accompany groups of 30-40 schoolchildren abroad for skiing or summer hiking. . One of the most successful was the trip, organized jointly with the women's school, to Moscow, Leningrad and Sochi in 1970. At the moment when I write these lines, we hope to make another such trip this year.
One of the important results of such joint activities is that students and teachers get to know each other very well. We do not have that antagonism or conflict between high school students aged 18-19 years and teachers, which sometimes arise in some universities of our country and abroad. And besides, there are no serious problems with discipline. If a student had to wander in the rain somewhere in the mountains of Wales with a chemistry teacher, or fall into the snow while skiing with a French teacher or in a hot football fight, get dirty in the same dust with an English teacher, or finally play on violin, participating in the opera along with a teacher of mathematics, he to some extent becomes more susceptible to the mastering of their subjects and the recognition of their authority in the class.
For his part, the teacher will be able to better understand the student’s difficulties and help him if necessary. So if the boy's parents are concerned about his work or behavior and come to me, I can call the class teacher to tell about their son, being sure that he knows not only the results of his studies, but also knows this student very well as a person. And at parental meetings held annually, they can also make sure that teachers know their sons not only from the point of view of study, but also of their personal qualities.
The system of control of high school students over younger students, especially characteristic of “public schools” and grammar schools, introduces high school students to the direct experience of exercising authority and power used by teachers. About 30 responsible boys are appointed by the “elders” and are authorized to keep order and discipline in and around the school. On their jackets they wear a badge that indicates their position. They have hours of duty and they can reprimand or punish (leave in class after class, for example) a boy who jostles in a queue for dinner, threw a boot in the corridor or smoked behind a fence. In this way, they are also well acquainted with their wards - especially with difficult guys! - and can assist in their education.
Over the past 70 years, grammar schools have done, in my opinion, a lot of work for the most talented children from very different families, both from the well-to-do circles and the poor and very poor. Grammar schools have established themselves in the field of education, and this is their advantage, while we still do not know whether the single secondary schools will give the most capable children the opportunity to “open up” and develop their talents.
Even before the Act of 1944 abolished tuition fees in all public schools, a certain number of free places in grammar schools were allocated to primary school students who successfully passed scholarship exams from local governments.
Moreover, integrated schools may not attract the most qualified teachers, those who hesitate, whether they work in high school or in universities. I don’t know if I would go to work as a teacher in such schools if they were established at the time when I started my career.