View Full Version : Teachers taught fifty years ago without Ritalin

05-15-05, 11:55 PM
How did they do it back then and how come their classes were not out of control? Fear, public embarrassment, and high dropout rates.

Fear- Pain or fear of pain, is a great motivator and focuser. Try it out with lab rats sometime if you don't believe me. I'm older so I remember the strap, and I remember actually seeing a teacher bend a student over his knees and whack him hard with a ruler. I have been thrown into lockers and have seen teachers punch students.

If the fear of the teacher wasn't enough, then there was your parents. The further back you go, the less likelihood there was, that any problem wouldn't be dealt with in a direct and physical way. Teachers were respected and what they said was accepted as fact. You didn't try to give your side of the story.

Public embarrassment- Back then teachers could and did call you any derogatory name they wished and they did this believing that you would try harder. You're stupid, how can you be such an idiot? They did this because they could. If a teacher called you an idiot, chances are your parents didn't know any better and may have believed this to be an acute observation. The dunce cap was real. My sister in law had to get up in front of the whole class and say that she was an idiot. You learned to keep your mouth shut and not to attract attention. One of my teachers would think nothing of whacking you hard with a yard stick for the slightest infraction as he patrolled the rows of desks. He liked to target your fingers.

High drop out rate- I should also mention that many kids with disorders were institutionalized. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the last institutionalized women in our area. She had Asbergers and liked to talk a lot. She could have easily functioned in society but at an early age was institutionalized and was still there in 1992 in her mid fifties. How many kids got institutionalized back then? Many who did not fit the norm. Drop out rates were also much higher back then. If you didn't succeed at school you got married really early or got a job before you could shave.

05-16-05, 12:24 AM
That's about how I see it too.

Albino Fox
05-16-05, 12:36 AM
*sigh* Just what I expected.
My sister in law had to get up in front of the whole class and say that she was an idiot. Boy, that'd be tough...

"Now say it." "You sure you're not jumping to concl-?" "Say it." "I am what my teacher calls an idiot." "Just say the four words." "I'm sorry but I can't." "And just why not‽" "I can't lie."

That's me for ya:o:D... polite, but just can't give in to authority no matter what. I 'respect' authority, but am sure to come short of downright obeying it.

05-16-05, 11:03 AM
I don't miss those days.

05-16-05, 01:20 PM
Thank you Scuro for this thread. Lately, I have been hearing comments about how we didn't have ADD/HD problems in schools in the good old days. At times I am almost being accused of spoiling my child for not going crazy on her if she is struggling in school and losing focus and not being miss perfect. It's good to remind the older generation of what happened to children in the good old days and why ADD/HD is not a "new" phenomenon, it's just that we are looking at it in a different way. Thanks. I am sure I will have to mention your thoughts to a few "well-meaning" family members in denial over add.

05-16-05, 04:20 PM
I laugh with my fellow friends about the good ol days and about how whacked some of my former teachers were. For some reason the worst of them collected in the Senior Public school which is grade 7 and 8 up here. We had one teacher who put us in rows from the smartest student to the "dumbest" student. Even the place in your row had significance. The closer to the front you were the less he thought of you and he let you know about why you were sitting where you were. The worst place to be was the row closest to the door at the front of the class. My friends still bug me about being in the row second closest to the door. I can laugh about all of this now but in reality it was the low point in my life.

Back then the Vice Principal wanted to give me the strap for breaking my arm on the playground. He said I was faking it although you could clearly see that the arm was bent in an unusual manner. It was the Principal who intervened. That VP would egg difficult students on to fight him so that he could suspend them. There were many good teachers back then and I still think that rote memorization of basic Math and English facts is important...but it certainly wasn't a time or place that was conducive to adhd students.

05-16-05, 06:21 PM
I learned nothing in 5th grade.
The first day of school my teacher sat me next to the "smart girl"
And I was told she would help me and I should just copy off her papers.
Our papers looked exactly the same except when they were handed back to us.
Her's would always have an A+ grade and mine had a C grade.

05-18-05, 07:12 PM
If you didn't succeed at school you got married really early or got a job before you could shave.

Yet another reason in it self that AD/HD is an issue. It seems as if avenues to success other than becoming "formally" educated at a higher level are becoming less and less these days. is a very interesting website with respect to this (not ADHD related, though).