Friday, April 26, 2024

Sir Bob Jones: The way things were

Recently someone sent me a faded photo of my standard four class in Lower Hutt, 75 years ago.

The oddities vis a vis the current situation were first, a total of 44 of us. I’m told in state schools today the maximum class size at that age is nearer 30 or less and in private schools, about 20.

But the strangest feature was the gender ratio, specifically 16 boys and 28 girls, God knows why there was such an imbalance.

Other oddities compared with today was not one fat kid and the male teacher, Mr Nicholson, spectacled, besuited and moustached. It wasn’t until I went to secondary school that I encountered female teachers, and then very few.

Imagine today a bloke telling you he was a primary school teacher. One would view him as embarrassingly wet, but back in those post war blue collar days, any white collar and suit-wearing job, of which there were few, automatically commanded prestige.

Sir Bob Jones is a renowned author, columnist , property investor, and former politician, who blogs at No Punches Pulled HERE - where this article was sourced.


Robert Arthur said...

Approaching same age and similar recollections. Can clearly recall the one of each mildy obese girl and boy. (Now less than the norm at local school) for the large non colonist group.) I suppose some were driven to school but I do not recall a jam of cars. Many went home for lunch. I was unaware of any sense of brand obsession, so vital to moderns, and only vaguely aware of parent prosperity differences. The teacher managed control. He had and used a strap (and did the deed for the neighbouring female teacher who also thereby maintained control and attendance. I clearly remember some of the public demonstrations and the remarkable steadying influence.) All could do long multiplication and division, and hold a pen like a person and not a monkey. Bob does not comment on the ethnicity; about 2 brown faces as I recall, plus a few studious Chinese who remarkably succeeded despite parents in some cases with bare English. Te reo limited to Pokarekareana. The National Anthem in....English!! All work was marked. Reports showed class ranking; preparation for the realities of the outside world.

Anonymous said...

The strap was a violent weapon providing sadistic pleasure to its users. I recall the look of pleasure on their faces. Often given for the likes of failing a spelling test.

And no, I never got the strap or the ruler but the process including the whacking and cracking sound, lingers.

And dont forget the flicjed and smaxhing ruler.

We wonder about domestic violence?

Anonymous said...

SRJ, I think that it was the same education process around NZ that set us up well for 70 years.
It was a good system - why did the woke muppets change it to a the current dysfunctional debacle ?

Ray S said...

My Primary and Intermediate male teachers always wore collar and tie. Women always dressed in what I describe as "business attire"

Same at Grammar, however most masters wore gowns over suits. Only two woman as I recall, one worked for the head and the other in the tuck shop.

Brutal prefects, military drill with real riffles and 25lb artillery, Live shoot for selected few every year.

Very class structured.

Discipline was the thing I remember most, 95% of it effective in my case.

J.lee said...

So according to anonymous there will be no domestic violence or did I read that wrong? Prefer a little classroom violence to all the public violence we have today.

Anonymous said...

Classroom violence teaches domestic and public violence and normalises it. Just like childhood bullying and smacking.

There are more effe tive forms of discipline but may be not as easy.

Robert Arthur said...

My school had a concrete wall on the back boundary as a .22 range. No adjoining neighbours, their cats, windows, teachers or wrong gang students got shot. At the time adult hunters used to get on the Auckland express carrying their rifle slung....