In the early days of public education, there were no books, pencils, or paper.
There were no holidays, vacation days or snow days.
There was no breakfast or lunch provided, no snacks sold at recess.
In the early days of public education, children were sent to school and expected to learn whatever lesson was taught that day.
If more than one child in the family was in school, the siblings were in class together, each learning to read, write and cypher at their own pace, helping each other succeed educationally and ultimately helping their parents learn what they were learning in school. Students moved through the curriculum at their own pace and graduated when they demonstrated mastery knowledge of the information presented.
In the early years of public education children were expected to complete their home chores, go to school, come home, do their homework, do their evening chores, eat dinner, and go to bed.
There were schedules, there was a time for when things had to be done and that time was not flexible. If you were not on time you were late and there were consequences. If you were not prepared for the work that must be done, there were consequences. If you didn’t pay attention, if you misbehaved, if you were disrespectful to others, there were consequences.
In the early days of public education, teachers lived in the houses of the children they taught.
Communities hired a teacher and that teacher knew the families of each student personally. The community respected the teacher as someone who had authority, knowledge, and integrity. Parents worked with the teacher to make sure their child was doing the work and was respectful, they supported the teacher’s efforts to educate their child.
Everything changes with time. Some things become outdated, some things improve, it is rare that a system can get continually worse and still survive.
Public education is devolving. It is dehumanizing our children.
What worked in the past is no longer available for use today.
Our children deserve an “old school” education.
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