Superintendent’s Visit to One-Room School Was Scary

Neither the schoolteacher nor the school children looked forward to the county superintendent dropping in.

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One of the scary things I remember during both my student and teacher days was the visit from the county superintendent. This lady would drop in, unexpectedly if possible, like the proverbial thief-in-the-night to learn if the teacher was following the prescribed course of study or wandering down some avenue of learning not recognized by the authorities.

During one of my teaching years, everything seemed to go wrong the day the CS dropped in. That night I couldn't sleep and these lines flew into my head:

With Apologies To Poe
Today is dark and dreary as March days often are. In my bones I sense some trouble in the future not too far.
What can it be, I wonder, that is lurking my way? Will I know what 'tis I'm dreading before I've lived the day?
Thus I ponder, ponder, ponder, but I ponder it no more. For the County Superintendent is a-standing at the door!
I know she will not hurt me, but my senses all have left. I'm really scared quite spit-less, of my speech I am bereft.
She quietly sits, smiling, but I close my eyes and "squench" For just where she is sitting there is coal dust on the bench.
There quite cozily beside her the wash basin sits And tells a vivid story of some mighty dirty mits.
Someone dropped the soap jar, floor's slick as a banana. And there for every eye to see is dust on the pianna.
My precious little darlings with their talents all so rare Must vie at making noises so she'll know that they are there.
Why must they drop their pencils,
Squeak their shoes and slam their books,
And why above all these things must they give her coy looks?
As I view their strange behavior, I vow they will repent,
But shall I knock their teeth out now, or wait till she "has went?"

Marjorie Crouch
Uvalde, Texas


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.