2023-11-29 21:25

Kobus van Wyk

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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