Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Features / Living

September 16, 2012

Randolph Garner: Remembering the good old school days

 

The last few weeks I have been going to various schools and preparing for school at the Nolan River School to start. I have been out of the classroom for a number of years. 

Times remain the same and yet there are constant changes. Children are children, and teachers are teachers. I remember thinking teachers never get paid enough and students do not study very hard. Still, I see in Chicago teachers are striking for only making $76,000 per year. I made only a little over half that as superintendent. 

Today we learn with the necessary computer. Students have laptops and cellphones. Students do not learn cursive writing. Why should they if everything is on the computer? 

Students have everything and so little responsibility even from home. We learn that drugs are a problem all over. We hear about bullies. Any sort of dress is seen in public schools. 

Administrators and teachers work their hearts out. Financial concerns are everywhere. Just how much can the taxpayer pay?

In the 1950s, when I was in school the big thing was chewing gum. I would see if I could get away with it and when I was caught I already had the 150 sentences of “I will not chew gun in class” written. That was the big school problem. 

One thing was for sure. No one wanted to go to the office and visit Mr. Odle. There were a couple of students who dropped out rather than meet him. By the way, their parents did not care for education either. Everyone knew those kids would not amount to much.

The Nolan River School at the Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum on U.S. 67 in Cleburne provides a moment to reflect on education when the county was new. Students were students then and education was viewed a bit differently. Yes, as now, education was then key to school. Students left the eighth grade in many ways more prepared to enter society. 

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