First Job Was In a One-Room Schoolhouse

Memories of teaching in a one-room schoolhouse.

| Good Old Days

In the fall of 1934, while the nation was yet struggling through the big depression, I began my first teaching job at a one-room schoolhouse, making $35 per month.

Being fresh out of high school, with an extra year of teacher's training (which was then a high school subject), the money was good pay and looked good to me at the time.

I still have in my possession the six-inch brass bell which was used each morning at 9 a.m., for the 30-minute morning and afternoon recesses, and at the noon hour. At the sound of the bell the children would gather at the steps of the building. The flag would be raised on the flag pole and the allegiance repeated. They would line up in an orderly fashion and march into the building.

Upon entering the building the children would hang their coats and caps on hooks or nails on the back wall with a shelf above for their lunch pails.

The opening exercises consisted of a Bible reading, recommended by the State Course of Study, followed most times by the Lord's Prayer. To the delight of the children, I would then read 15 or 20 minutes from a book such as Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, etc.

By then we were ready to work. All eight grades were represented in the group.

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