2014-08-06 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

It ain't what it used to be, but it is still very good!
by Terry Toole

Here we are into August. There were several days with temperature not reaching the 90s. Seems like I can remember when we had some fall weather in August, along with some gathering of crops.

I know that school didn't start until the crops were gathered. That was sometimes in late September.

School started last Friday, and other than some folks didn't know where to go or some didn't seem to know where to send them, things went well.

Wanda and "ye scribe" got there just before 7 a.m., and took several hundred photos of the kids and teachers.

Didn't see too many crying, and I can understand why. Don't believe I would cry if I was fed, free before I went to class.

For some reason, the kids know me better than I know them. I have to ask who their grandparents are.

I won't have too much trouble getting Wanda to help me since her first grandchild started first grade. One of the first ones I saw and heard was Emma Grace hollering, "Papa!" Another of my favorites is Holden Richardson who made sure I got his photo of first day.

For the most part, the young folks from the little ones up to the seniors seemed to be happy to be back in school. Even the teachers were hugging and greeting the kids like they really liked what they were doing, and for the most part, I think they do.

It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. I've been around them all my life, and seems like I still will be with Joanna, my favorite granddaughter, getting ready to finish her formal education to be a teacher. She will make a great one. The first requirement a teacher needs is to love children, and she does love all of them, and they love her.

Seems like teaching might run in our family. Grandma Zula B. Toole rode a bike to five different schools teaching most grades, at the same time. In her spare time, she established the first newspaper run by a woman. That was before women could vote.

My Ma was a teacher and my daughter, Donna, has taught for over 30 years, and still loves it. Her only complaint is that the government has made teachers bookkeepers instead of teachers.

Things have changed, as you well know it. When I was coming along from the 40s to the mid 50s, we had to do what our teachers said do, or we would get it from the home. We would do anything the teacher or principal wanted us to do if they just wouldn’t tell our parents we were not doing well in school. If our teacher told our parents we were disrespectful or disruptive in school, that was a bad thing. What we got would be considered child abuse today.

That is part of the problem with schools. The parents don't want most teachers to teach, and the children can't be taught, without respect for and discipline from teachers.

When the government got into the teaching business, the education of our youth went bad. Many of our leaders today are a testament that we need to give teachers and administrators the authority to discipline students, and get God and the teachings of the Bible back.

Now if you knew me, you would think I had lost it to wish it was like it was back when I attended Miller County Schools.

Those really were the good old days. Education meant learning, and competition, not no child left behind. If you didn't study, you didn't pass. If you couldn't learn, you did something else.

I was an average student, so I had to work and scratch for what I got. Looking back, that was some of the best training I ever got. I was taught that if I didn't get it, someone smarter would get it. In life I have learned that those lucky enough to have something usually work hard to get it or keep it. I've gotten old enough and wise enough to realize that we own nothing, and all of us leave this earth with what we came here with. The blessings we might enjoy is what we help others do to help themselves.

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