There was a time when teachers did not necessarily require a high school certificate. Most were taught, even self-taught, on the job, which is an extremely effective way to weed out those not suited to it. The number of teachers tended to swell and shrink with the number of pupils to be "educated," and of course there were no unions.
And hardly any administration, either. Our ancestors couldn't afford such things, and the unavoidable administrative tasks tended to be pieced out among the teachers. A principal was in effect the senior-most teacher, captain of the team hired by a very local school board.
It strikes me, after two-score years in and out of the "profession" (as it is now called), that my entry into it would be inconceivable today. My critics might perhaps celebrate this indubitable indication of "progress," but in my own view it is a great pity.
My task, as Mr. Davey quickly explained, was to "try very hard not to fit in."
I am of an obedient nature, and have been trying to follow Mr. Davey's instruction ever since.
A Buddhist goes to a hotdog vendor and asks for a dog with everything.
The vendor prepares the hotdog, takes a $50 bill from the Buddhist, hands over the food, and then turns to the next customer.
The Buddhist says "Hey! What about my change?"
The vendor says "True change comes from within."
-- Chi An
Source: quoted in A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's fight Against China's One-child Policy, Steven W. Mosher ( New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993), p. 212-213.