My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt4

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt4

4 of 8, SS Natya N0. 4048 1923-25

Part 4 - Discipline & Respect

All the children who came to school were well-fed, well-clothed and clean, and there were no problems with sickness such as epidemics. Nor were there any disturbed children - no disciplinary troubles whatsoever. We didn't have any aggressive children either; I never used the strap - there was one in a cupboard that someone had left - but I never used it, there was never a need. There was a corporal punishment book where incidences were recorded whenever a teacher had to use the strap, but I think there was only one entry in it.

I never had any problems with children using foul language or being cheeky. In later years I struck quiet insolence at High School, but that's different.

The school teacher in those early days, was respected. The parents respected you and set the example. I don't know that teachers get the same respect today. And you were looked up to in the community. I could still feel that respect at the "back to Natya" celebrations. I said, when I was interviewed then, that I think that those children all came from fairly good homes, where the parents all wanted them to be educated - that's the point.

The children came from happy settled, but hard-working homes. The parents seldom came to the school, and they never worried me at all, nor did they complain.

We had our School Committee meetings, but not very often.

The School Inspector called every year. Mr Barry was the first one to visit me, and I don't remember that we were apprehensive about him coming. I didn't know when he was coming, nor did I ask. He spent the best part of a day at the school, and he carefully and thoroughly examined the children. He didn't come to examine me so much, he came to examine the children, and he was really interested in what they were doing.

The inspectors, in those days, were a great help to you. I think it was part of their work, to help teachers and advise you on any problems you had, and Mr Barry was a great help. He came from Melbourne and travelled by car - a Ford, I think. Inspectors were all based in Melbourne then.