Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 17

Biene’s High School in Velbert

Biene wrote this post.

 Life was school, and school was life for me in those days.  Everything revolved around school. Every morning, except on Sundays, school started strictly at 8:00 a:m. and the big portal with the stained glass motto “Not for School but for Life”  was locked by the caretaker.   If you were late, you had to ring a bell.  The custodian would open for you and ceremoniously accompany you to the principal’s office on the school’s top floor.  Frau Lindemann reigned like a queen at her huge shiny mahogany desk.  She was a short, round lady with snow-white hair, bright blue eyes, and red cheeks.  She looked kind, but that was deceiving.  She was a strict disciplinarian.  She would give you a severe reprimand the first time you were late. If you were late three times, you would be suspended.  If you had three suspensions, you would be dismissed from school. We feared Frau Lindemann and would only enter her office with great trepidations.

Typical High School Classroom of the Olden Days
Photo credit: Eventfotografie von Tom Schweers

Our classrooms looked austerely functional. There were giant blackboards on the front and side wall opposite the big windows.  We would sit in neat rows of two side-by-side desks facing the central blackboard in front and the teacher’s workstation. The room was bare of pictures, displays, plants, or decorative items.  There was nothing to distract us. However, we had the most exciting experiences in this dull physical environment.  We would vicariously relive humanity’s quest for scientific knowledge and spiritual truths.  Most of our teachers were passionate about expanding our minds.  They tried to teach us skills to foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective oral and written communication.

10 Replies to “Walter Panknin (1898 – 1977) and His Family Ch6 Part 17”

  1. Our classrooms were set up similarly, though there probably was more on the walls—maps, charts, whatever.
    Today kids sit at tables in groups and the teachers wander around the room. All so different!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. But you seemed to have been lucky with most of your teachers, which was fortunate. It is to important to have good teachers, who aim to really teach. We had one or the other who seemed more to enjoy to have power over us. And some really boring ones 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally identify with the austere classroom. I suppose one could say that that kept the focus on the real subjects of learning and experimenting and scientific querying and seeking answers.

    Like

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