One Room: Schools and Schoolteachers in the Pioneer West
In One Room: Schools and Schoolteachers in the Pioneer West. Gail Jenner tells the story of American one-room schools, a valuable history and doubtless a labor of love that demanded extensive research. In small towns and rural communities during the 19th and early twentieth century children walked or rode their horses to school, tending them during recess, and learned the three R’s, ‘reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic from teachers often little older than themselves.
Communities constructed their own school buildings mostly heated with a wood fueled pot-belly stove, no running water, and outdoor privies. Some kids went to classes temporarily held in back of a log store, tents, backyards, and sod houses where snakes and other critters came in and rain turned the dirt floors to mud. Generally a single teacher (married ones forbidden!) taught all eight grades in the one room, supplies might be limited to small slates and a few McGuffey readers.
As if the words needed complementing, the pages are filled with really fun class photos, and images of the actual schools. Jenner shares responses to the letters she wrote to retired teachers and glimpses from the memoirs of earlier educators. One-room schools, with occasional larger ones, served all the western states from the Dakotas, through California and Texas with several in between where on occasion the whole student body was fewer than a dozen boys and girls.
|Page Count||192 pages|
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