Thursday, April 21, 2016

School Days, School Days

The A to Z Challenge takes us on a journey through the month of April. We write Monday through Saturday and take Sunday off. Hence, 26 days and 26 letters of the alphabet. Come in and see what snippet I'm sharing with you today.






Oh my how school has changed since I was a student in the 1950's and the 1960's. First of all was kindergarten. It wasn't necessary for us to know how to write our name, say our ABC's, or all of those other things they need to know before kindergarten now. That was what kindergarten was for. That is where we learned our colors, our numbers, our letters,and etc. Not anymore!!

We learned to read in first grade. Period! Now many are starting to learn in kindergarten. I think we are rushing our kids and no longer allowing kids to be kids. And now if you don't go to pre-school for a few years you are already behind.

We went home for lunch. Everyday. Regardless of the weather, we walked. Now most kids eat at school. Here in our district they don't even get the option to go home for lunch. We are too far away from their school anyway. 

Also when I was going to school there wasn't any talking back to the teacher. If you talked back you were sent to the principal's office. AND your parent was notified.  Most often, the fact they were telling your parent, was enough to make you stop what you were doing. In the principal's office hung a paddle. It had little holes drilled in it. To make it hurt worse when you were hit with it, so they say. I never knew anyone that was actually paddled at school. I think the threat of it was enough. 

The stories my grandchildren tell about their school days raises the hair on the back of my neck. The language kids use to a teacher is so disrespectful and disgusting. I cannot believe teachers have no recourse. Harley tells me that even if these kids go to the office, not much is done to them. So what's the point? I heard from another teacher, who teaches at a grade school,  talk about some of the disruptive students in her classes. Now and in the past. They spend so much time trying to control those who are  disruptive that I wonder how they are teaching anyone anything. And once again she gets no support from anyone higher up. It does no good to complain. Parents will come to the school and cause a huge stink and no one is doing anything to change behaviors.

There is a child going to the kids school who doesn't like getting up in the mornings. So, at least one or two days a week, mom lets him sleep in and then she brings him to school. Once again, no repercussions. Wonder what it will be like when he starts working at a real job. 

I am certain these are not just stories happening in my hometown. It is sad! So Sad!
What are your thoughts on education? Do you hear the horror stories too? 

39 comments:

  1. I don't hear the horror stories like I used to when the kids were in school, but I do admire those teachers that try to teach and the struggles they have to do so. I think the most important thing a parent can do for their children through their school days is instill respect for their teachers. I didn't always like the teachers the kids had but I taught them to respect the teachers, listen to them or take the consequences.

    These days too with cell phones its got to be a nightmare with the teachers to keep control of the classroom even with the policies they put in place with cell phone usage.

    It is a hard job and they are underpaid to do it!

    betty

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    1. It IS a hard job. One that shouldn't be as hard as it is. Why can't parents just teach their kids to behave. Honestly, I can't remember more than once or twice during all my grade school years when there would be disturbances in my classroom. And now it seems like it goes on all day. And so many of the parents just don't think there is a thing wrong with their little Johnny or Sally! Shaking my head, is about all I can do!

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  2. It's just as bad here in the UK. Many teachers are leaving the profession. It's a real worry for future generations.

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    1. Yes, it is a worry! Somehow I am comforted to know that it isn't just happening in America

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  3. A video was making its way around the internet about a child in Georgia getting paddled in school because corporal punishment is legal there. I don't remember ever seeing a paddle or a nun's ruler used as punishment in my small hometown. I do remember Dad picking us up from school for lunch at home, and Mom making three meals every single day.

    Gail’s 2016 April A to Z Challenge
    S is for Saving Our Planet

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    1. I think corporal punishment (or at least the threat of it) would help. But the parents of today will never allow it. I think there is just too much protecting kids going on in the world. Thanks for visiting me today.

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  4. Same for me. I taught 2nd grade in the early 70's - for four years. It was a hard job then. But I tried to maintain the same level of behavior and attitude that I experienced when I was at that age - in a Catholic grade school. Then I went on to do something else. Then I visited the classrooms when my kids were growing up. I noticed a decline in atmosphere. By the time my kids were in high school and I visited those classes, the noise level was so bad and the behavior so foreign to me that I was glad I had left teaching. There were no consequences either. Our permissive society and parents who were not engaged in their children's education or behavior had resulted in much of what you described. I remember the HS teacher just teaching on like nothing was going on. I was so distracted by the kids that I couldn't follow what was being said. And what was sad is that it seemed like the norm.

    Our upcoming generation will have problems related to this lack of discipline and control ... and if they don't have problems, the our society will be in big trouble, if it isn't already.

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    1. I think the society will be in big trouble. I don't see this turning around any time soon!

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  5. Don't get me started. My neighbor quit teaching in a public school years ago because parents complained that she expected too much from their children - like doing their homework, which apparently interfered with what their parents thought they should be doing. And all these helicopter parents make me crazy. They worry about everything and think danger is everywhere. I think my grandson ate a bug the other day, but he'll survive. Kids need to be kids and need to learn how to make decisions. But they also need discipline. Everything just seems so messed up. I understand why so many parents want to home-school.

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    1. I think all of those parents who are home-schooling kids are adding to the problem. Kids need some of the education that is taught in school. Like waiting in line. Raising their hand and waiting to be called on. But with the amount of disrespect going on yes, I do understand why they keep them at home.

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  6. Parents are to blame now for our kids. The kids are not learning about real life and true consequences. Very sad! My SIL is a teacher and I cant believe the stories I hear about the parents of these students.

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  7. We let government start telling us how to raise our kids

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    1. I think we just go too lazy to keep trying to bring them up right!

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  8. I learned to read in kindergarten. Back in the '70s. So, that's not new.

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    1. Yes, reading is started in kindergarten here too. But it sure wasn't in the 1950's. We played in kindergarten and learned how to share and get along with others.

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  9. School is different now, for sure--and I think there are many, many contributing factors to all of that. Whatever the causes, it can be very disheartening to think about.

    This is only slightly related, but I was horrified to read the other day that the dean of students from the high school I attended longest (Army brat, so I went to three high schools) was arrested earlier this year for having heroin and needles in her office at the school. Unbelievable in any case, but especially in the relatively small town in New Hampshire where it occurred.

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    1. That is so sad too Masked Mom! My desk drawer would be filled with anti-anxiety meds so I could cope with these kids!!

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  10. We began reading in first grade also and had no problem learning to read. I was ready for it and for the school experience. Kids are not ready at five. So many kids today seem to have no respect for their parents. That's were it begins, after all. If you don't have that, you will have no respect for teachers and other persons of authority.

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    1. I agree with you Inger. I think they are much more ready to learn if they are older!!

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  11. I don't have children but I have heard some of the horror stories. I remember the paddle: Our principle, Mr. Ross, would come into the cafeteria and bang that paddle on the table to get our attention when he had some "reaming" to do. Everyone was afraid of that paddle!

    I think it's horrible that that mother lets her kid sleep in just because he wants to. What?? OMG, she's going to be sorry when this kid is a teenager...

    Things are definitely not like they used to be, that's for sure.

    Good post Paula!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. That kid I was talking about is in high school!! He's a sophomore. This isn't the first year he has been doing this!. The mother calls it in and he is excused!

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  12. I recently watched my grandchildren for several days while their parents were out of town. I was amazed at the kindergartener reading a book to ME. When I was in kindergarten I remember nap time, learning to tie my shoes and write my name. Oh, and I learned how to use a graham cracker to saw another graham cracker in half. Important stuff. (We had graham crackers and Hi-C punch every day for a snack in Kindergarten, provided by the school.)

    I agree, the attitude and behavior some children have at school nowadays can be frightening.

    Trudy at http://reelfocus.blogspot.com

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    1. It is so sad that we are pushing them through school so fast and yet there seems to be such a great lack of discipline anywhere anymore.

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  13. Such an interesting post and discussion! I work in education and have strong opinions. So many factors. Sometimes it's not the parents. (Sometimes it is.) Mob (or herd) mentality has a strong influence on students. Group behavior is often very different than a student would have if they were alone. In larger schools where there are fights everyday, fights that end in arrests and expulsion have to be nerve-wracking on students and I think it changes them with that exposure. Students are not only having fire drills and tornado drills here, but violent intruder drills now too. Good to practice and scary bcause the danger is real. In my position, we've already had an actual lock-down, not a drill, and it lasted over four hours until everything was secured. It changed the environment immensely. When GN was in early middle school, I was responsible for getting one of her teachers fired. She gave the children quiet reqding time, which was supposed to be 5 minutes for their age and it frequently dragged on for over half an hour because the teacher was in her email or texting. Because they had been ignored for an inappropriate period of time, they got restless and then she disciplined them. PLUS the same teacher would actually put deodorant on in the classroom with the students there. I waited until conferences and asked her about it. She denied it and because she was not open to discussion of my concerns, I reported her to the principal. She was let go. Kids know a good teacher when they get one and they know a bad one when they get one, too. Sadly, (read this about MN teachers) when a teacher is let got for non-criminal activity, they are put into a pool of teachers who have to show up someplace to sit and wait for a sub assignment, whether short-term temp, or longer-term subbing so they just change locations. One of GN's current trimester teachers was fired this week for using the 'N' word to a student AFTER the student had first called the teacher the 'B word' in the classroom with a full class! Neither word is appropriate, but the 'B word' and the 'N word' do not have cultural expressive equivalence, so the teacher is gone! Same day within an hour after it happened. There are parents who don't care and the students know it, so that attitude gets acted out at school. GN was tripped with her crutches only two weeks after her accident. Yikes! I can't wait for GN to graduate. So much. Too much! I really like it when teachers love their job enough to TEACH. As for the parents, though, (or us grand-families) we have to get the children to school on time, fed and ready to learn. And we have to care that they learn and care what they learn. We need to give them a good lunch cuz in high school they don't get recess and PE is no longer required (at least not here).

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    1. I agree with you than 'mob' mentality has a lot to do with the problems. Kids are seeking any kind of attention they can get. Much of the blame lies with the parents as far as I am concerned. So many of them are either not involved at all or so involved that their kids are never away from them. I have heard parents rip into teachers for not giving their kid an A on a paper that was obviously not done by the child. I have seen parents become so enraged at Boy Scout meetings because the Scout Master was questioning whether their child had done the project or the parent had done it. These kids grow up with never winning or losing a game. Everyone gets a participation trophy. We are so scared to hurt their feelings. At our high school the kids only have to take PE the first year. Both Darian and Harley play some type of sport or have taken a PE class every year. It is so sad what is expected of teachers in our school systems now!!!

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  14. What a sobering state of affairs. I'm guessing today's educators must have a real passion for what they do. Like others have said, I lay most of the blame on the parent(s).
    I used to feel sorry for those home-schooled children, missing out on the camaraderie of football games and proms. Now, not so much.

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    1. Tom's son is sending his children to the Montoressi schools. Good grief, the just-turned 7 y/o is playing chess and learning to speak Mandarin Chinese.
      Unfortunately, his daughter's children have practically had to raise themselves. Teenagers, and it seems whatever they do, her response is, "They're just kids." No accountability.

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    2. It is really a shame what has happened to our public school systems. And I blame the parents and the administration that is too afraid to take on these parents who protect their vulgar, out of control, kids! Yes, saying 'they're just kids' and not making them accountable for anything is part of the problem!!

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  15. Having worked in a public school system as the liaison officer made me very sad for the students who wanted to get a good education and had to put up with all the disruptions and problems that a small percentage of them caused.

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    1. I can't even imagine the things you had to deal with! It is very sad!!

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  16. I can't speak for other kids who learn early, but personally, I taught myself how to read before pre-school (only one year). I have a sister 2 years older than me, and when she brought home books from kindergarten (I was 3) I picked them up and started learning on my own.

    I don't think learning early is a bad thing. I do think pressuring a kid to learn early isn't always helpful, but doors opened to me by reading young: For instance, I got to start taking piano lessons. The teacher had a rule that only children who were able to read could learn to read music. Done and done. I know now there are other ways to learn, but it stuck with me!

    I do agree that behavior in schools is disgraceful. And I believe it partly stems from this "self-esteem" agenda that doesn't allow for anyone to be better than anyone else. i'm VERY glad not to be raising children these days.

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    1. I think there is the rare child who doesn't have any problems with learning early. My youngest son knew how to read before kindergarten because his older brother was learning and he learned with him. My complaint is about parents who are pushing their kids at such a young age and not allowing them to be kids. Of course there is that rare child. You must have been one of them.

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  17. I like you went to school in the 50's/60's. We had a large population and I never remember a class being out of control. I agree that parental guidance/discipline was different. Also, drugs were not an issue. But I don't know what other contributing factors there are.
    I wonder if all schools in this country are having experiences like the ones you described. I know my granddaughter comes home with stories about fights etc. She was involved personally in one incident where a fellow student told her and two of her friends that he could hurt them and then pulled out a set of brass knuckles. He was suspended for a week, but is back now and still causing trouble.

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    1. Drugs were not an issue when I went to school either. But underage drinking was a huge problem back then! And all the kids smoked behind their parents backs. I think many of the public schools have the same issues!

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  18. Walking to and from school, even for lunch. I remember that well. Very few kids ever ate lunch at school back then, and they had to make special arrangements. It was a very different time.

    Thanks for visiting Nickers and Ink Poetry and Humor - and happy A-Z. Here comes the final week!

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    1. Yes, we live in a different time now. Not sure it is a better time. But then again doesn't every age say that??

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