How is school today different than school 30 years ago?

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nomi king 6 months 1 Answer 109 views

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  1. Originally Answered: How are schools different today than when you attended school?

    I started school in 1962, and it was a completely different world back then.
    Girls had to wear dresses and skirts in the classroom. If the temperature was below freezing, we could wear snow pants under our dresses to get to school, but once we got there the pants had to be taken off until it was time to go home.
    Left-handed children were forced to learn to write right-handed…being a “leftie” was not acceptable.
    Desks were arranged in rows, and you sat where you were told to sit. In my grade one classroom, the rows were given cute animal names, but we all knew they were really “dumb rows” and “smart rows”. The closer to the door you were, the smarter you were. And the kids in the row closest to the windows were the ones who weren’t mastering what we were being taught.
    You could be punished in front of the class if you broke a rule. Get caught chewing gum? You would have to put the gum on your nose and stand in the corner, for as long as the teacher wanted to keep you there. Lip off the teacher? You could be spanked with a yardstick right then and there. Classroom justice was swift and sure, and was never questioned.
    For more serious offences, there was The Strap. Ours was a piece of razor strop. You would receive blows across your hands, as many as the teacher felt you deserved. This was also never questioned. In fact, a notice would be sent home with you to let your parents know you had been Strapped, and why.
    In my 12 years in the school system, NOT ONE PARENT ever descended upon the school to challenge their child’s punishment. The prevailing attitude at the time was that the teacher had the unquestioned right to discipline any pupil in their classroom…if you were punished, it was assumed that you deserved it. And we usually did.
    As children back then, we were taught to Respect Our Elders. That meant neighbors, shopkeepers, bus drivers, the school janitor, the school nurse, and most importantly, your teacher. This actually made our lives easier…the rules were very simple, very clear, and they didn’t change. We knew exactly what the consequences were if we chose to break a rule.
    Back then it was possible to Fail A Grade. If you didn’t meet the standard to move on to the next grade, you were “held back”…you would repeat the entire year. This was the most terrifying thing in our world.
    The humiliation was almost unbearable…your own classmates would know you failed, and so would the younger kids you would share a classroom with the following year. So would every teacher in the school, and every other adult in your community. You were a FAILURE, and that label would follow you right to your High School graduation (if you got one).

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