Volodymyr Spivakovskiy

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About Grand Lyceum

Good morning! And do you teach yourself or tell interesting things to the students at the lessons in the Lyceum?


1. None. My role is different. It can be compared with the role of a composer and director. And real professionals perform wonderful symphonies in Grand. I guess I’ll disappoint you, but I do not teach Chemistry or Mathematics — there are 100 super professionals for this. However, three other directors of the Lyceum manage numerous training and service departments, they do not conduct lessons.

2. Grand has a completely different school management system. They manage it not like a poor institution with a director and a pair of head teachers, but like a large corporation, where there is a board and infrastructure managers. Plus, of course, the best teachers-coaches who deal with children.

About Grand Lyceum

I`d like to know the opinion of the person who used to be a monopolist and lost this status unexpectedly.

Grand after all was the first private school in our country, wasn`t it? And then other private schools began to appear, worse and better, luring customers from you.

Didn`t you want to kill anyone?


1. No, of course, not. Firstly, no monopoly can be held for a long time. Secondly, willing or unwilling, our competitors actually promoted Grand, copying our technologies, schedule, subjects. Thirdly, it was not easy for them to lure our customers — it is necessary to ensure the proper high level of training and service.

2. After all, establishment of a private school is not a simple business, because first you need to invest a lot of money in the building, furniture, teachers, books, and only then invite parents and children to this school. And not vice versa. Therefore, we have not so many private schools in Kyiv and in Ukraine.

3. Reflecting on the question of monopoly, I also sometimes think about the feelings of inventors whose names no one knows, remembers and perpetuates, although millions of people use their achievements and should be grateful to them.
Well, let’s say, do you know who invented the contact lenses that are used by hundreds of millions? And the internal combustion engine — hundreds of millions of drivers drive cars without thinking about that hero? What about the microwave? And the skyscrapers? And the Internet, skype, the flat screen, the mobile phone?? And thousands more things and meanings?

4. The world in general is surprisingly inverted: the names of «people useful to civilization» are unknown and the names of worthless and talentless singers are household names. At school children are forced to study the history of wars, murders, seizures and not the history of discoveries, inventions. And then they wonder why they become hooligans and maniacs and not builders.

5. Now in the Hypermarket of Knowledge on Xvatit site we introduced a new subject «History of Creators, Discoveries and Inventions of Humanity.» The things are underway and we began to receive materials from everywhere, which will make up a new textbook on this topical and «cool» subject. We are tired of learning only about wars and emperors-idiots.

About Grand Lyceum

I really like your concept of the educational process. Is it planned to build new schools like Grand Lyceum? If so, when and where?


Yes, I plan to build new five-star schools. Currently — in other countries, where there is a high level of ambitions, which try to overtake other developed countries and do not reason with demagogic «what to do» and «who is to blame», but quickly build super progressive schools of the 21st century on fantastic projects.

About Grand Lyceum

No matter how much want, we cannot get rid of conflicts completely. Some American psychologists in general believe that the presence of a conflict in a team is an indication that this team is living and developing. Surely you have «student-teacher» conflicts in the Lyceum, at least triggered by a given mark. What do you do then?


1. There is no cult of marks in the Lyceum. Moreover, there are no tragic poor marks at all, as it used to be in the old days. Teachers do not have any motivation to flunk students, therefore marks are given objectively and a bad grade can always be made up.

2. Grand Lyceum is a school “with a human face”, where all misunderstandings are quickly and painlessly coped with by the teachers and management.

3. According to our concept, school marks influence very little in the future life: satisfactory student can become ministers and excellent students can be plumbers. Therefore, the main thing is not grades, but to realize students` fullest potential. If you are not good at Math yet, be a leader in writing. If you do not like literature, be ahead of others in computers, if you do not want to learn anything — well, at least score goals in football. I deliberately exaggerate things here, because I know from experience that different abilities open up at different ages, and we should not push hard. Although our teachers-coaches quite quickly recognize abilities and capabilities of children and guide them along the right trajectory.

4. The main thing is that the results that are obtained during such «individual» growing of children are felt by their parents who see the final product and are satisfied with it.

About the education system
Leo Kinna

Do you think that the classic type of the classroom organization that exists now (the desks for two people, raws, etc.) is the most effective? Isn`t it better to place desks in a circle and let people sit alone?


1. Of course, the square-cluster method of seating children in the classroom has largely outlived itself. In many schools (and in Grand Lyceum too) there are experiments with the arrangement of desks and furniture. And this diversity gives its little effect.

2. In Grand Lyceum, for example, besides desks there are sofas in each classroom. They are good for Literature lessons (where you do not need to write) and it is better for the spine. Still it`s really exhausting to sit 9 hours at the desk.

3. However, all these are the vestiges of the education system, where the teacher is the boss and the students are subordinates. And its Majesty the board is the center of attention. Now, when everyone has a computer or laptop on their desk, it’s trendy to learn in teams, for example, two or three blocks of tables. This way it is easy to conduct brainstorming or a mini-competition for the result.

And the teacher`s role is to be not the edifier and supervisor, but the guru. Control tests and exams require sitting alone.

4. So the arrangement itself is not the aim. First, the formats of classes (lessons, cases, workshops, trainings) are chosen, and the furniture should be adapted for them.

About the education system

Dear Vladimir Spivakovsky,
Have you noticed that most often losers become teachers? This is especially true of university teachers — mostly they are people who do not know how to apply their knowledge in practice, those who failed to find a normal job and … returned to the institute.
It’s unlikely that a cool architect will be eager to lose profitable knowledge and go to teach students for a penny.
But the one who does not receive orders will go
how to overcome it and change this situation?


1. You are right but partially. Still, there are people who want to teach, but do not want (or do not know how) to produce something. There are, on the contrary, those who want to sculpt something, but cannot tolerate «bold and lazy» students. There is also the third category that you are talking about — they are those who have not found themselves in a real sector and go to teach.

2. But there are cool architects who build entire cities and students go in droves to their lectures.

3. In general, there is no single clear-cut trend. There is a variety of different cases and fates.

About the education system

It was interesting to read your answers, and another question came to my mind – what specialties, in your opinion, are currently valued abroad?


Instead of chatting idly about the list of the most popular professions, which can be read on any job-site, I will answer this way.
1. The names of the professions themselves are outdated.

2. Employers need very different qualities in people than the current professions provide. In CV you are asked to indicate your experience, age, foreign languages, driving license, etc. But in fact, the employer is interested in whether the person is smart and whether the person isn`t mean, whether the person is a demagogue or works for the result, whether the person gets on well with other people or is argumentative, whether the person knows his stuff or needs a supervisor all the time, etc.

3. And now the main thing. You will be surprised, but in the West there are 10,000 (!) open positions with the salary of 1 million Euros a year. And there is nobody to take them! These are the positions of heads of large corporations, banks, airlines, sports clubs and even coaches. There are no such people who can solve super complicated modern problems single-handedly. This is the reason why these firms go down or do bankrupt.

Therefore, I direct young people and their parents not just to a profession or specialty, but to another target: become competists! This is not a profession, but a new set of qualities: abilities/ skills/ knowledge/ character/ will/ wit/ erudition/ effectiveness in one bottle. For this you will be paid a fortune.

I’ll tell you two stories. I recently visited Deutsche Bank, and one of the top managers, by the way, said that they were looking for a poet and a ballerina to work for the bank.

Although, as they say, I have seen everything, I was taken aback and expressed real perplexity. And he explained: «You see, poets communicate very well with clients, they have such choice phrases that they can win their favor, while graduates of economic universities are very tongue-tied, they can’t string two sentences together.»

«And why do you need ballerinas?» — «Ballerinas are really hardworking, very industrious, if they do not finish some task, they cannot calm down, because since the childhood they have been used to long rehearsals, loads and trainings. As they say, they always slave away».
And while I was digesting it, he finished: «And as for the lack of knowledge of banking, we do not worry, we will teach them this trade in 2 months. And then they will be worth their weight in gold! »

The second time I encountered this kind of situation was when I was studying one problem and realized that in the near future doctors profoundly knowledgeable in jurisprudence will be very valuable. You can ask — why do they need it? Just because very soon we will have insurance medicine and those first competists who have knowledge by formula 2 in 1 will instantly become millionaires. And the rest will be just doctors or just lawyers.

About the education system
Thomas K.

Hello, Vladimir!
Could you, please, give recommendations to me, as to a primary school teacher, how to punish those children who misbehave at the lessons or disrupt a lesson?


1. It is useless to punish. As my grandmother used to say: «The punished mind feels guilty little time».

2. If the child already knows how to write, give a piece of paper and let the child write — what happened, who is to blame and who suffered as a result of the kid`s actions.

3. If the child cannot write, then let the child … draw the answer. This will be a kind of creative task and reflection.

About the education system

Vladimir, tell us, please, if it is worth making children learn those subjects that they have problems with or which they do not like?? I cannot force my son learn History and Biology!


1. There are two categories of parents. Some parents send a child to school to learn everything, especially those things which they do not know. Otherwise, why do we need schools? Others believe that children should be engaged only in those activities that they are good at and there is no need to overload and overwork kids. You need to decide.

2. Look! Young children like to draw scribbles. Does this mean that they all will become artists and we should let them do only this all 11 years at school?

3. During this 11 years children tend to change their preferences many times and this is very natural, as they try themselves here and there. In the 5th grade they are interested in football, in the 7th they are keen on computers, in the 9th they are fond of literature. And suddenly, having grown up, in the 11th grade they suddenly become interested in biology: stem cells, genes, cloning, that is the most fashionable and promising. But it will be impossible to catch up with the knowledge of biology skipped in the grades 7-10. This way many people become unhappy.

4. No one ever knows in advance what they will be. Therefore at school it is necessary to master a wide range of competences, in order to feel like a fish in water. And then there is a chance for a more successful life.

5. Another thing is that these subjects, perhaps, are not taught in an interesting way. But here I am personally guided in my life by such a success formula: «If you cannot do what you like, let you like what you do.»

About the education system

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