II The good old days

In times gone by – the good old days –

  When kids still showed respect

The teachers helped them mend wrong ways

  Their flaws they did correct 


They were called teachers way back then

  This term they did allow

Some of them women – also men –

  Called educators now 


Teaching to them – not just a job –

  It was a passion grand

Through every fibre did it throb

  Their life around it planned


They were not called bricks in a wall

  No learner’s mind they squashed

Controlled kids’ thinking – not at all –

  No talk of small brains washed


A pillar of society

  Each one looked up to him

A model of sobriety

  She always was so prim


Respect of the community

  To teachers did accrue

Most led their lives with dignity

  Thought leaders they were too


Reading writing and ‘rithmetic

  The three R’s they did teach

They showed kids every single trick

  Helped them their goals to reach


Good teachers unlocked knowledge stores

  Of wars fought far away

Facts drawn from long forgotten drawers

  Life’s lessons did convey


A love of reading kids were taught

  Both poetry and prose

Instilled respect for what books brought

  Their treasures did disclose


By these fine teachers – rather strict –

  Good order was maintained

Rude ones from class they did evict

  No one ever complained


Though discipline was very strong

  Kids seldom felt abused

A stripe or two – when they went wrong –

  The cane was freely used


Correction took some other forms

  Like lines and donkey ears

Or being locked up in the dorms

  When grounded – a few tears


The law a teacher never broke

  If he a child would hit

The moms against it never spoke

  Indeed promoted it


In fact if they per chance would meet

  The dads would calmly say

If this boy’s naughty please do treat

  Him in your chosen way


And if you need to please kind sir

  Then use the stick or cane

Or if you would the whip prefer

  Then do it once again


It did not do them any harm

  To get a smack or five

And neither did it cause alarm

  When boys were skinned alive


In those days naughty boys would smoke

  A cigarette or four

In wash rooms secretly did stoke

  The next day craving more


For headmasters in every school

  It was a great concern

For them – the greatest breach of rule –

  When boys tobacco burn


Some kids for smoking were expelled

  That was a great offence

On this some teachers strong views held

  Accepted no defence


Such discipline had the effect

  That learners’ minds were won

Learning took place – one could detect –

  High standard teaching done


The teachers were shown great respect

  Most learners rules obeyed

To teach a pleasure – each aspect –

  They seldom were dismayed


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