When I was in grade school from 1946 to 1954, there were 50 to 55 students in a classroom with one nun as the teacher. These nuns were fortunate if they had two years of college. The school was so crowded that we had classrooms in the basement and gym. The gym was divided into four classrooms by hanging sheets on clotheslines for walls. My brother had 59 students in his classroom. One year enrollment reached 1,760 students.
I graduated from eighth grade with 176 classmates. After 50 years, I found 167 classmates for a class reunion. I discovered that 97 percent graduated from high school and 60 percent went on to college.
Our children today have 20 to 25 students in classrooms with teachers who have at least one college degree or more.
We didn't have math or science coaches, no pre-kindergarten, no parenting classes, no nursing assistants, no teaching assistants, no hall monitors, no extracurricular activities and no school police. The boys brought pocket knives to school to play a game in the dirt during recess. We didn't have stabbings or shootings in our schools.
With all of the above extras, why are students of today not doing as well as my generation?
Our generation had respect for our parents, teachers and the law. If you failed a grade, you repeated it. Bad behavior was not tolerated in school or at home. We were motivated by our parents to do our best. There were no excuses for poor performance.
Hilton Head Island