Thursday, November 8, 2012

Remember These?

Remember these?  

available from yesteryours 

Maybe you are too young to ever have gone to school and sat in one of these desks. Or maybe you think these older versions are "quaint."

available from antiqweeker  
Well, the other day I heard that a young teacher said that these would eventually be in a museum as "torture chambers"!  I beg to differ!  I spent many a happy day in one of these and I learned a lot.  But the comment made me think.

These days school children sit at a table, communal style, about six to a table.  Some of these tables are rectangles, some are circles.   The circle ones leave little room for table top work space because they are pie shaped and children sit almost elbow to elbow. Supplies at these work stations are communal.  Children share supplies from a pile or tray in the middle of the table. There is no room for anything else.  They learn to take turns.  Now this may not seem bad on the surface, but I beg to differ.  In the old desks, one had to learn to be responsible for his own supplies.  Your supplies were in your desk.  If you broke your own crayons, you suffered the consequences and used crayon bits for your drawings.  This taught you to care for your items. It taught responsibility.  And, by-the-way, Johnny got in trouble for taking something from someone else's desk.

I am sad that children today, may be learning an entitlement mentality and it is no wonder that our society is becoming more socialistic. They are learning it from a young age.  And it is further not a wonder that the entrepreneurial  spirit is being assaulted. How dare one be different! Are we to become just a part of the Borg,  a cog in the system?  For me, I still value creativity, individualism and old desks.  Just sayin . . . . .


memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I agree that children should learn responsibility at a young age. Sharing is good too, but both actions have a place in the classroom.

We had the old wooden desks in elementary school. Then we had the stupid plastic ones in high school...I much preferred the wooden ones where I could store all my belongings :)

Rose said...

As a teacher, I'm definitely in favor of the traditional desks. I agree that students need the responsibility of managing their personal supplies and also benefit from personal work spaces.

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

I agree too! We had the wooden style desks, but they were individual ones, not hooked together like in your second pic. The desk part opened for supply storage and under the seat was a space for your books. My kids had the communal tables in early elementary, and then went on to the individual desks starting in 3rd grade.

Splendid Little Stars said...

hmmm... certainly food for thought. I always had my own desk throughout my school years. I believe my kids did, too.

I think responsibility is something that has been highly underrated and not promoted as a value (by Parents) for quite some time. I speak generally. This is not true for all. Parents wake kids up, take lunch and other missed items to school. My friend who's a teacher had a parent who was doing his child's homework ( so it would be done correctly). crazy.

tamdoll said...

I remember the desks with the lids, we'd keep our stuff inside & had to be responsible for it... much better than communal supplies now (everyone touches them and it's a germ-fest). I'm reading the comment above & agree- some parents today don't leave their kids for a moment to even make a mistake - it's nuts.

Anonymous said...

Hmn...when I was teaching (elementary) just a few years ago, our students had those rectangle individual desks. But, they are still grouped rather than in rows. Each kid had their own stuff though. I never thought about this communal supplies thing, but it sure explains a lot when they came to my class, art, where they all the sudden shared supplies with the whole school!! I remember being so angry having to find erasers all over the floor at the end of the day!