Sunday, June 6, 2010

New School, New Rules?

Another day another background. This one makes reference to the integration of Charlotte schools in 1957. Many whites showed their objection by refusing to allow their children to ride school busses with black children. I thought it was appropriate to place this scene behind the image of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, founder of Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina, a school for African-American women founded in 1902. A staunch educator, Ms. Hawkins was known for her 'rules' in the classroom:

1. Always greet the teacher when meeting for the first time, whether it be morning or not.
2. Be sure that you have everything you need-- text, paper, pen, etc. Don't be a carpenter without tools.
3. When called on to recite, always make some sort of reply. Don't sit dumbly in the seat and say nothing. Don't even think too long. Valuable minutes are wasted thus.
4. When standing or sitting, hold yourself erect. Don't slouch. Talk clearly and sufficiently loud for everyone in the room to hear.
5. Don't make a habit of laughing at the mistakes of others. This often hinders a person from doing his best.
6. Don't deface property. Writing on or cutting into desks or chairs, writing and drawing in books, breaking the backs, or turning down the corners of pages of texts are evidences of poor training.
7. Make it your business to keep the room in order. Straighten the shades, keep the floor and desks free of waste paper, and erase the boards when they need it.
8. Don't Cheat. You will never learn by "copying" from your neighbor or from the book.
9. Do not argue with or contradict the teacher in class. If you think that she has made a mistake, wait until the hour is over and discuss it with her quietly at the desk.
10. Do not yell out the answers to questions; wait until you are called upon. The teacher will let you know when concert recitation is desired.
11. Don't mistake the classroom for a lunchroom or a bedroom.

Today's schools could use Ms. Brown!

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