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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Two Days Rolled Into One

Today I took my Year 8 class out. Originally we were supposed to visit the Ragged School Museum, as a follow up to their study of Oliver Twist, but the timing was such that they could squeeze in a visit to the nearby Museum of Childhood on the same day.

The kids were great, and the Victorian lesson taught in the Ragged School Museum was amazing. The actress playing the teacher dressed in front of them, explaining the items of clothing as she went. (She kept on her own clothes underneath, I hasten to add.)

She made them sit upright and still, not even allowed to scratch. They had to copy the alphabet in curlicued script on a slate board with a slate pencil. She showed how teachers were allowed not just to cane children, but to insert a board to make them straighten their backs, and bind their hands if they were too fidgety. She demonstrated the use of the Dunce's Cap.

The only problem was the appalling signposting and street signing in London. We got lost repeatedly (even with a Satnav) and turning round two large school minibuses in small London streets is no joke. Luckily I was not driving...

10 comments:

beatlelady said...

I went to one of those old-timey schoolhouses when I was in elementary school. Accidentally sat on the boys' side. The "teacher" embarrassed me in front of my whole class (who hated me already). I will never go back again. I'm perfectly happy with my modern life, thank you very much.

SnarkAngel said...

Is that teacher still alive, Beatlelady? Ya know, it's never too late to settle an old score . . . heh-heh-heh. Just put on your "Nicole Wallace" cap and go for it.

JoJo said...

I would love to visit that museum/school. In the Little House books, Laura wrote how children had to sit completely still at school, church and at home on Sundays. No fidgeting, no swinging their legs. I find that an impossible task.

Lozzie Cap said...

JoJo I adore those books. I am so pleased my daughter likes them: gives me a perfect excuse to revisit them.

fenwayspal said...

i had a first grade teacher in a public school on long island who made us behave like that; she pulled hair, yanked kids outta their seats...talk about a holy terror!!

val, what age are the children that you took to the museum?

Goddessdster said...

Oh, I wish I could have relived my Little House fantasies in such a way! How cool was that? Thanks for sharing, Val.

jazzy said...

they sent me to a catholic boarding school *outch* some teachers there still having nightmares about me.

val said...

Susan, the children are 12 and 13. About half have some level of autism.

Diane said...

We seem to have gone from one extreme to the other in the space of a century. Now it's practically against the law to interfere with the youngsters 'right' to express themselves or do anything they damn well want, when they want to. Sorry, not a great kid-lover. I'm appalled I was one once ;0)

ann said...

I remember the children at my old school having a Victorian day... it was certainly an eye opener for them but I think their parents could have done with lessons in good behaviour

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