Fond Memories Of The Crazy Days

In Australia,we follow both British and U.S systems and traditions, and a few we have created all by ourselves.

Of course,we make the necessary changes so that they become what we consider workable within our society. This is well highlighted if you examine the history of our school system(s).

Our schools originally based on the British school system, have American influences that have crept in to create a mix of the two, producing the N.S.W system the QLD system etc etc etc.

An exception to this of course are private schools; which primarily held onto their British identity and traditions much longer than the public system and, to some degree still do, as far as the very generous government grants they now receive will allow.

As you would expect we pay more out of pocket expenses for our child to attend a public school than we did in the past.

For example,all I was sent to school with was a pencil case, a few exercise books and my lunch in a brown paper bag.

The biggest cost each year (that I can remember) was a new pair of shoes and a couple of uniforms along with the ugliest school bag ever, you know the bags that were real bags? The mini suit case people will now pay a fortune for as decorator items.

They say that ones mans rubbish is another mans treasure. Well, it also holds true for time as one decades junk is another decades gold. How many times have you heard, if only I knew then what I know now? And who has tried to impart that knowledge onto their children only to find their “junk” as trashed as yours was.

But I digress, my point was, under our school system when I was a child the government would supply, pencils; lead and coloured, rulers, text books (all of them) dictionaries etc etc.

The public service was a different animal back then too, and they never really got the hang of making sure supply controls were adequate; so many pencils were being used that they could have assumed some great works of literature were being scribed by half the children in the country.

There was no end to the supply; I know this because I was just one actively testing this by constantly requesting more and more. I’m sure that if you looked in my bedroom as a child I could have supplied a small school with pencils for at least a year or two.

This was not the only thing that amazed me, for every pencil had Commonwealth of Australia printed on it in gold lettering. Really? Was this necessary, cost effective, and, was their an inspector somewhere that was out checking for pens and pencils belonging to the government.

Did you notice I mentioned pens? Yep they were supplied as well just not to primary school kids but high school students and public servants were rolling in them.In fact I don’t think you could walk into the home of a public servant and not leave without a free pen when you were a kid in Canberra.

I can’t even imagine how much stationary costs were allocated in the federal budget each year however, It would have been enough to keep a number of companies alive and possibly became the foreign aid budget once the buy ya bloody own system was introduced, to claw back a budget deficit without raising taxes; which would have been much more unpopular. Although, there is always the possibility it was just revenge during a time when unions were at their strongest and demanding and getting greater pay rises. Now the unions are much weaker and it seems pay rises come when our biggest companies want us to pay more for everything.

The government continues to get its revenge on the generation of stationary thieves by making sure the book list is not only bigger each year, but also requires more exotic and specific items, apparently our children now need a scientific calculator and iPads in primary school!!

What was wrong with number blocks? I say bring back the abacus, and the sentence maker.

I must admit however I spent most of my time in maths asking why don’t they just teach us to use a calculator, which just goes to show I was way ahead of my time or possibly that the education department of today have only just caught up with the ideas of a primary school child of the 70’s. That one I will leave up to you to decide.

Needless to say under the now normal system my child has a collection of pencils, pens, calculators,etc that fills a large box, this does not include the old txt books and partially used exercise books that in my opinion were a just incase we can fit them completely into the curriculum items.

The fact is most of the work these days is done on work sheets downloaded while drinking a glass of red the night before and printed on the multiple reams of paper also purchased by us the parents.

I wonder just what the government does pay for, teachers wages that are obviously too low to keep the good teachers teaching, and maybe the electricity, and the odd new building and library book. However, I then have to wonder what the voluntary contribution and other fees are for? Is the government actually paying for anything other than the staff?

“The revolution” I now understand the education revolution, it’s a revolution against the people and the school system itself and it never started in the 21st century it just continued.

All it needed in the 21st century was new camouflage to convince the public they could continue to believe a quality education available to all; and they can, but what do we now call quality? Because I believe that has changed dramatically over the years.

I certainly hope that a move to create a national curriculum will be a move we can all be happy with. It will be interesting to see if it levels the playing field when funding individual schools, and allows teachers the freedom and ability to change locations and remain in an education system they are well trained for.

Honestly, the education system I went through was much better than is currently being delivered in the so called “age of technology”. And I believe in free pencils, pens and exercise books. I believe the gestetner machine was great at producing worksheets that were created with love and attention to detail, they smelt great and got me out of class on more than one occasion to turn the handle for the teacher.

I think it’s true to say that teachers enjoyed teaching much more in the past than they do today. I believe we have lost so much that was good in trying to prove that the next generation could run the system better, we need to admit they couldn’t, and take a few steps back.We need to get the older teachers back into the system that they created and ran so well for so many years.

What I believe is that we have created a situation, where we can never expect to go back to a place & time I thrived in. A place that needed the corruption fixed not the system. A place where I felt part of the future and not just a vision of the past.

Once They Were Good!

When does a child stop being that innocent little angel we love and adore so much?

Honestly I believe that once they have the ability to move independent of the parent that innocents heads for the door and keeps going until one day it walks out and says ” that’s enough, this ones the spawn of the devil” going down.

Ofcourse we will always love our children, and we will want as hard as we can to believe in their innocence. But does it wain at any time?

Could it be maybe the first time they bite another child to get that doll they wanted to play with quicker than it would otherwise have been offered? Or is that one of those times when we would say they have never bitten before maybe the other child did something to provoke them, yep that’s it, the innocents is still intact, and I’m a perfect parent, because Ofcourse everything my child does in life reflects my parenting skills and not the child itself or society right?

Ok so we still have the assumed perfect child only bitten once, phew, and after I apply my perfect parenting skills and explain how you should never bite, that will never happen again.

Woo hoo it’s a new day and everything other than my bank balance is perfect, my child is still an innocent little angel, and someone else has the devils spawn to deal with, until, you drop them off at day care and for god sake they are smiling, is that normal? Shouldn’t they be yelling and screaming that they want to stay with me?

However, they are so sweet, they give you a kiss and a cuddle and immediately run off to play with the other children including the devils spawn that made them bite the day before, who by the way has deliberately taken your child’s favourite doll again!!!

That afternoon you return, hoping and praying that they have had a good day as you walk through all the security gates in place to keep your little angel safe from harm, when unexpectedly the director starts to approach you, with a look on her face that would shatter anyone’s hopes and dreams of ever being able to return, and in the back of you mind your thinking “oh crap what now” while maintaining a perfect smile, ready to greet her, while willing something good to come out of her mouth.

As it turns out, and this is true by the way, your child has completely lost their moral compass by the age of 2 and has not only been to the staff room and eaten the directors lunch, but they have also been through her hand bag and taken anything that might have looked like a credit card just like daddy has.

Again you convince yourself that your child is still a little angel, how could they know that the staff room was not a place for them to be, and that other peoples property be it lunch or credit cards are not to be touched? The simple fact is, you just haven’t had that talk with them yet, it’s your responsibility as their parent to make sure they develop that moral compass, right?

I mean the number of times I have been with my child going through someone’s handbag taking credit cards just like their daddy’s was ummm zero, but that’s not the point, they have no way to know at the age of two.

If the director had been doing her job they would never have been able to be away from the group long enough to eat and steal/explore in a room that should have been locked. So now you have someone else to blame for your child being evil, and you can still get to sleep at night.

Many days and many incidents (about two weeks) and finally you are asked to remove your child, ” we just can’t cope with them, and they made one of or workers cry” (true story) and now you begin to wonder, what the hell is my child thinking, their not that bad at home, am I really a bad parent?

The next week you have them enrolled in a new centre, and all is good?? No one is complaining, no workers are crying, and everyone is telling you how perfect your child is.

Nah,I’ve picked up a look alike surly. And so it continues, with your little angel back with only the odd complaint as you would expect with any child, and you know that you are a good parent, until…..PRIMARY SCHOOL…

Omg how things change when the one on one has to be shared with twice as many children,
Forget the little angel, be prepared for every other parents lessons to be unleashed through their children as well as your own, and watch what comes out at the end of that. No matter how hard you try there are just some things that you can’t reverse once your child has been exposed, and if you do succeed to convince your child not to be like the others, you have just set them up to be bullied for the remainder of primary school.

It’s then that you realise that innocence is nothing more than an indicator of learnt behaviour and by the end of primary school, the only thing you can hope they haven’t explored is sex, but deep down you know that wether they have or haven’t, high school is just around the corner, and for some people, it may well be time to move so that you can get them into a school with a decent reputation. And so it was, but has it made any difference?

I don’t think so, because now it’s all big kids, and those behaviour issues that your little innocent angel only displayed at school for the most part, have come home and are hiding somewhere in the bedroom where they spend a great deal of time after telling you that the rapid clicking of the computer mouse was part or their maths homework and not them playing a game.

And so it continues, the struggle between good and evil, and the hope that at the end you will have beaten the devil and delivered them from evil for thyn is the parent (the good parent) forever and ever AMEN.

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