School Days of Long Ago

Many behaviors, activities and methods have changed in the classroom over the decades. The schooling your grandparents got is quite different, especially compared to elementary classes today.

The classic light punishment for passing notes or talking out of turn was getting a casual hit with a ruler on the hand. Not done anymore.

Helping around the classroom was once quite common. School children would be sent on errands to help the teacher, janitor or the lunch lady with something (like cleaning erasers or other small tasks). Maybe help in the classroom but helping the janitor or in the lunchroom, just not done.

A ‘corrective’ behavior was to have many left-handed children put their left hand behind their back, forcing them to write at the desk or the chalkboard with their right hand. Not done today.

Teaching cursive handwriting was once done quite a bit, even with penmanship competitions to see who had the best cursive writing. Schools today do not work on cursive handwriting.

Students were called up to the blackboard with chalk in hand to work out math problems in front of the rest of the class. Not done anymore.

If a child misbehaved, they could have been sent to the corner of the classroom or even put their nose inside a chalk circle on the blackboard and keep it there for however the teacher set as a time. Never done now.

Things have changed for sure.

Photo: Typical classroom of youngsters in the 1930s.

Related Blogs:

School Life

Social Life and School in the 1950s

Dick and Jane Books in School

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