Still Struggling with Behavior

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, April 11, 1913:  I got a regular call down at school today. Made me rather mad to think I did such a thing as to deserve such a raking. Am busy making out an outline.

The old slate chalkboard now sits on the floor.

This is a recent view of the second floor of the building that once housed the  McEwesnville School.  A hundred years ago today, Grandma probably looked in anger out this window and wished she was not sitting in this classroom–

Recent photo of building that once housed McEwensville High School.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Good grief—What did Grandma do now?

Behavior (or to use the old-fashioned term—deportment) still seemed to be an issue. Grandma was having a difficult last few weeks of school.  She wrote several diary entries about her struggles with behavior, but provided few clues to exactly what she did.

Here’s a recap of Grandma’s diary entries over the past 16 days which address her behavior at school:

Teacher gave the school a lecture, but it was really meant for me. I don’t think what I did was so bad, but I guess I won’t do it again. I might catch it right there. . .

March 26, 1913


Don’t have my lessons out very well for tomorrow, but anyhow, I’m not going to get them out tonight.

March 30, 1913


Got my report card today. Had quite a fall in deportment. I must be really very bad . .

April 9, 1913

Of course, the class play was held on April 5, and Grandma was very busy with it—so maybe she had an excuse for not doing homework and other behavior issues.

Hmm. . . If a student today did the same things Grandma did, what would the teacher do?  Have standards for student behavior changed over the past one hundred years?

21 thoughts on “Still Struggling with Behavior

  1. “Good grief—What did Grandma do now?” Your comment made me chuckle. Grandma does seem to have been in quite a bit of mischief, huh??

  2. Oh… how impatient you must be Miss Muffly to get school over and get on with your life. I’m looking forward to it almost as much as you are. I reckon 🙂 xxx

  3. I’m sure it was Sheryl. Also their studies were harder too I think. There was just a news article tonight, a school district in Alberta wants to change reporting from percentages to Average/Good/Excellent, which would mean someone scoring 67% gets the same report as someone scoring 100%. Parents weren’t having it. I think school districts are looking to pad their scholastic achievements to earn more favour with future enrolment.

  4. It depends on the teacher, really. Some joke around with the students and don’t really care what goes on in the classroom. Others discipline their students, and then there’s the occasional teacher that is WAY too strict or cranky. While I think individual teachers have grown more lax over the years, most school policies and expectations have probably stayed the same…*and maybe even grown a little stricter*…

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