Beliefnet
Small Town America

As a child, I was always excited and more than ready to have school start in the fall.  It’s that time of year again.  By the first of September, millions of children and young people will be “back in the saddle again”. Most will be happy to get to see their friends and begin once again the activities of the school year.

There have been so many changes in our educational systems since I was a child, that sometimes I really think, “those were the good old days”.  Then, the teacher was the boss and you better listen.  If you said a cruse word, you were punished.  One would never even dream of talking back to their teacher.  Today they curse non stop and mouth off to teachers daily; sometimes a student will actually physically attack a teacher.

I am a teacher and have been for over 40 years.  I believe that unless the teacher has control of the classroom, there is no learning going on.  Children cannot learn when their world is full of fear, confusion, and distractions.  I have taught many a student to read and write.  But I also taught them how to be kind and helpful; how to give and earn respect, and how treat others like they would want to be treated.

Now it’s all about passing the proficiency tests.  I know personally several excellent teachers who have taken early retirement just because they were tired of “teaching for the test”.  What ever happened to teaching the three R’s and manners.  In health class we learned about personal hygiene and the function of body parts.  In History we were taught about our nation and how men and women fought to keep America safe.  We got to read literature from famous authors and try writing out own. We were encouraged to follow our dreams.

Now children learn to add  and subtract on a calculator and send text messages to they friends instead of listening in class.  They gang up and get into mischief and the bully other students.  They carry weapons to school and threaten their peers and teachers. Perhaps we should have allowed God to stay a part of our educational system.

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