Dick Hunt's Blog

August 28, 2012

That Was Years Ago.

Filed under: Current — Tags: , , — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 3:28 pm

That Was Years Ago.
by Dick Hunt, August 28th, 2012.
When Ruth was teaching school in Williams Lake,B.C., in 1957, she had a class with unruly grade nine boys in it. One in particularly was loud, intrusive and given to using filthy language in class time. Ruth marched over to him, tapped him lightly on the lips and said, “don’t you ever use that kind of language in my classroom, ever again” and sent him out of the room to cool off. He marched right out to the Principals office and reported that Ruth had assaulted him. Ruth was told to report to him to answer the charge. She told him exactly what had happened and he told her to never touch a student in that way again. Things settled down in the class. About five years later, the same young man asked me to officiate at his marriage. I duly counselled him and his Bride to be at some length and officiated at the marriage. At the reception he asked the best man to deliver a large package to Ruth where we were sitting. When she opened it, she found lovely twelve place settings of glasses with gold rims. They are here in our China Cabinet. From the bridegroom. It was obviously his way of saying thank you for stopping his bad behaviour. By that time he was well employed and happy.

Years before when I was a School Trustee in a large Rural School Division, my area had a one room School away down in the ‘corner‘ in which two unruly boys had put the run on all the young teachers who dared to go there. Finally the Superintendant asked a little white haired retired teacher to go there. She was forewarned about the two boys. Her first morning she quickly identified the two by their smirks and introduced herself to the pupils. She said,” I am here to teach and you are here to learn. Please sit down.” Then she asked the two boys to come to the front so she could get acquainted with them. They swaggered up and stood together, smirking. The teacher said, “please stand very close together’, which they did. Then she quickly reached up and banged their heads together, an action totally unexpected. Then she said, “thank, you, you may sit down”. They did and she had no more trouble with them. Had that happened nowadays, a teacher would likely be hauled into court.

In all my ten years in a one room public school, there was in a drawer in the teachers desk a strap made of heavy rubber belting, about two inches wide. Infrequently it was used to punish bad behaviour. That school housed grades one to ten and to say the least was an almost impossible assignment for any one teacher. Bad behaviour could not be tolerated as it would have further stressed the already overloaded teachers. When I started there, there were 36 pupils in 10 grades. Teaching resources were very slim. Text books, Scribblers with the ‘ Times Tables’ printed on each. A library of about 100 books. A map case on the wall with an assortment of maps. Chalk boards around two walls.

The teachers made up ‘Flash Cards’ and all sorts of tools to help them get the lessons across. We had ‘Spelling Bees’ each Friday afternoon. Games in season were encouraged for all grades, the seniors aiding the younger. I cannot remember any teacher staying more than one year. However, one of the pupils in an upper grade when I started School reappeared as our teacher when I was in grade nine. She is still alive and bright in a nursing home in the area where we both grew up, now about 105 years of age. Her name is Dorothy James and she has been a legend in the lives of a great many people.

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