A lot has changed for schoolchildren over the years. Larger classes, different rules, and a new set of social norms have shaped the way that teachers conduct their classes and what they are allowed to do at school. Here are 10 things we grew up with that certainly would not be tolerated in elementary schools these days.
10) Your Turn
Years ago students could always count on being called up to the blackboard to do math or lessons in front of the whole class even if they hadn’t raised their hand.
9) Blackboard Punishment
Teachers would make a misbehaving student draw a circle on the blackboard and then the student had to put their nose inside the circle for five minutes as punishment for doing something bad. It was humiliating to say the least.
8) Percussive Discipline
Getting casually hit with a ruler was only one of the many admonishments and punishments that students tried to avoid throughout the school day. Sometimes it didn’t work and the best plans for talking in class or passing notes still resulted in a smack from Teacher.
Time out in the corner of the room is not something that is allowed in most schools these days. But, back in the old times this was a very, very common punishment for younger children.
6) Doing Some Errands
It was once quite common for school children to be sent on errands to help the teacher, janitor or the lunch lady with something (like cleaning erasers or other small tasks).
5) Having to Stay Inside
Another common punishment was having to stay after school or stay inside during recess to write sentences on the blackboard (or on paper) because a child had been unruly. Today, each child must make it to the school bus or home at the same time everyday. But, back then it was not the same at all.
4) “Correctional” Learning
Left-handed kids were sometimes made to put their left hand behind them to write on the chalkboard or at their desks- forcing them to write with their right hand. Some even were subjected to having the left hand tied down while they sat at their desks.
3) Holding It
Making young children “hold it” until the lesson was over was really common in decades past. But, nowadays there are bathrooms inside many classrooms, which means there’s no “holding it” until class is over.
2) Penmanship Competitions
There was a time when the teacher would hold penmanship competitions in class to see who had the best cursive in the class. Not only do most schools not focus on cursive anymore, the concept of academic competition is a little outdated these days.
1) Rewards for Best
The aforementioned academic competitions would very frequently have a prize attached. Small things – like a sticker or an fun eraser – would only be given to the child who proeved themselves best at whatever the subject was. Today this might even be considered favoritism by some.
A lover of antiques and a collector of all things vintage, discovering treasures has always been a passion for Rose. Once a seller of antiques, collecting early 20th century advertising art has become her main focus, in addition to studying and writing about history.