Teaching in the Stone Ages


The Good


The bell rang, you said, ” see you tomorrow,” and 5 minutes later the building was empty

Kids went to the bathroom (and came back) during the day without your help or control

Kids didn’t swear at you or in front of you and I am not talking about damn and hell here

Kid’s parents tended to believe what you told them

If you asked kids to do something they would do it or at least pretend to do it while you were watching

Kids who refused to work did not stop those who did wish to work by disrupting the whole classroom

Kids did not refer to your parentage, sexual habits, or what should be done to you sexually, at least not out loud

Kids did not threaten you with their parents,  lawyers, arson, guns, knives, killing your pets  or their fists.

You didn’t have to spend ½ an hour each day before and after school outside the building controlling students,  parents,  and older siblings while directing traffic.

Kids spent their time using a ball point pen by tattooing their desks or notebooks not their hands and faces

Kids were able to play with each other and organize games on their own at recess.  They were even allowed to run on the playground which, amazingly to me, is now banned at some schools  for liability reasons.

Kids legs were stronger than their thumbs and most of the time their ears worked.

“No”  did not mean maybe or go ahead and do it  until I catch you again

Parents did not send their sick children to school for you to decided if they were sick

You had fun with your kids almost every day in some way

Respect for your profession was common
The Bad

Enduring 3 hour teacher’s meetings off the clock that regularly lasted past 6:00 PM

No in school planning or free periods … ever

Teachers were responsible for cleaning up whatever messes that were made in their rooms and this would include flu season (every room came with a broom and a bag of  vile smelling medicated sawdust)

The school nurse was a box of band aids in your desk drawer

At the elementary level you got the pleasure of eating with your students. And attempting to control their table manners and eating choices.

You were paid once a month not bi weekly or weekly

The Ugly

If you were part of a single income  family of four and a teacher, based on federal poverty levels, before collective bargaining, you probably  would have been  eligible for reduced price and in some cases free lunches for your children in the same school in which you were teaching other people’s children . Actually contrary to the current media infatuation with the  problem du jour  of  supposedly overpaid teachers this is still true, even now, in many parts of America.

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About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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