Discipline a Necessity in One-Room Schoolhouse

Schoolteacher in one-room schoolhouse needed to be in control.

| Good Old Days

Fifty years ago I taught in a one-room country schoolhouse called Diamond. With twenty-four pupils and all eight grades, a teacher needed to be in control. One particular day two of my older boys, Luther and Kermit, tried my patience to the limit. I am not even sure now what the incident was, but I judged I needed respect as well as obedience.

The boys were instructed to stoop down, put hands on ankles and lean forward. I proceeded to paddle them and when I was through, I sat down and cried with them.

Several years later Kermit enlisted in the Army and wrote me a letter thanking me for my influence on his life. Later he was killed and I felt sad of his death but glad he served his country and I'd been a part of his life.

The other student is now retired, and at one time we were backyard neighbors. There had been no mention of the paddling until one day I heard him tell his two grandsons, "You'd better be good because that lady was my teacher and she can paddle."

Recently I met "one of my boys" and gave him a big hug. He, too, knew that discipline was and is necessary. Memories like these make teachers proud.

Euna Vaye Ukena Brant
Hiawatha, Kansas

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