Friday, September 5, 2014

Whatever happened to the schools of yesteryear?

So, it has come to my attention that school just isn't done the way it used to be and I wonder what happened.

When I went to school, you went on a Tuesday, the day after Labor Day--No Exceptions.  You went at 8:30 in the morning, you listened to the chairman talk about school and whatever else he wanted to.  Then you listened to a list of dos and donts for the school year and then by 9:30 or so you got to work.  You spent your day studying vocabulary words and perhaps paging through your Lightunits and seeing what you were going to learn about in your new books.  Everything felt new and exciting. Then at 3:00, you went home.  Most teachers let you go home without homework that first day of school, a really generous teacher might even give you the whole first week off from the fear of homework.  You came back the next day and the next and you studied.  Yeah, there were the occasional parties and things, but the teachers were busy and didn't have time for a lot of extracurricular activities.  We got the occasional piece of candy and we would never have thought of being ungrateful for.

Now?  It appears that you can't always handle being ready for school on the Tuesday after Labor Day and so you wait until Wednesday.  And because you have just spend your whole summer being free, you couldn't possibly handle sitting in a desk all day and so you have only a half day that first day to help acclimate the students.  On top of that, you have doughnuts or cookies and milk or some other such snack.  Really?  A snack?  I thought it was a big improvement when we were allowed to get a snack from our lunch boxes at first recess, but now the school board or teachers bring in a snack?  Somebody is obviously not busy enough.  Some schools even have coffee breaks occasionally.  Coffee?  For the students?  Don't these modern teachers know that coffee stunts a child's growth?  Look at me, for example.  Oh wait, I didn't actually drink coffee, but.. you get the idea.  Then, this year, apparently one half day at school was just too much.  The next day, we only make it for an hour until school is cancelled.  The reason?  A rain day, I guess.  (Okay, I know the basement was flooded and it was a mess and everything, but just pack it up and move elsewhere.)  Where's the sense of adventure and creativity gone?  Probably too much time spent making cookies.  Candy has become such an expected thing that it seems perfectly acceptable to complain about the teacher's choice of candy and how she could at least buy chocolate sometimes.

And then we wonder why children are growing up to be whiny, little life-owes-me-everything brats.  It's because they have been given everything.  Maybe it's time to drop the teacher:student ratio back to 1 teacher per 15-18 students.  The student waits an average of 30 minutes to get their flag answered.  They learn to be grateful when the only candy is for a neat desk and is only a butterscotch disc, but hey it's candy right?  After all, the teacher is probably making in one month what their dad makes in a week.  Who really can afford chocolate candy on that kind of a salary?  Then maybe when they are 18, they will be willing to go out in the world and work for what they get instead of continuing to expect the adults to spoon feed them their knowledge and their food.

Okay, this post was not intended to criticize any past, present, or future teacher, student or school board member.  It was simply written in sarcasm, but with a definite note on the way things have changed since this blogger went to school.  And it is true, I do hope to raise my children to be grateful for the butterscotch disc candy when they really wanted chocolate and I do think sometimes children have a you-owe-me mentality because life has come handed to them on a silver platter.  I can talk because I haven't raised any child to adulthood yet, so therefore I still have all the answers.  But come on, who doesn't love a butterscotch disc?  I still think it's got to be one of the better candy options out there.

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