What do you think it would have been like teaching in a one-room school house?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Teacher_Lyn, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jan 16, 2009

    I was a big Little House on the Prarie* buff growing up and I always used to wonder what would it have felt like day-to-day being a teacher in the days of "one room school houses" and one teacher catering to 60 or 70 kids ranging from the age of 4 - 16.

    From the way it looked on LHOP, it seemed that all the students were perfect little angels who respected and adored their teacher, rarely fought and even when they did disagree, it was very calm like, "Teacher, I'm sorry I called Johnny B. a silly head. That was wrong and I'm sorry Johnny B. Let's be friends!"

    What sorts of things would you teach? How would you do small group instruction (would it not exist?) Would the ollder ones help the younger?

    AND, most importantly -- What kind of classroom management plan would you have? I would think paddling students all day would be great for awhile, then tiring. :lol: (if we were still allowed to paddle, my "paddling' arm would look like Arnold S. by now)

    Plus kids didn't take medication for ADHD, bi-polor and other ailments that cause them to act up in class. YIKES
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    My best friend did, and still would if it hadn't had to to close. Nebraska's stupid unicameral voted to consolidate all Class 1's, as they were called, with their parent district. The parent district could decide if they should keep the school open or not. Many did keep them open, but hers did not, to the objection of the parents. She had 3rd-8th grade, with an average of about 7-9 kids per year spread through those grades.

    Before I got my job, I subbed for her on occasion, and I have to say, they were nicer than other bigger public school kids. First of all, they all knew each other and had since they were born, many of them were siblings, and it was just a different vibe in the room.

    She had a system of pulling a star or something, but never had to use it for management.

    None of the schools I know that are one room have 60-70 kids though. Most have 20 or less in K-8. Some, like my friend's, have 2 teachers-lower rooms and upper rooms. Some are lucky enough to have an assistant also. My step sister-in-law is an assistant in a one room that only has 5 students, I think they are K-6. So they have 2 teachers for 5 kids (she is certified).

    They have their own sports "league" and do many activities together, along with homeschool kids.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I know there are a couple of teachers on here that have taught/teach in a one room school house. I think it would great to experience something like this. I'm sure that teachers still had problems with kids, though on TV you probaby wouldn't see it. Back then, I'm sure all it took was a paddle from the teacher or the dad, and the student would shape up. As far as the actual teaching, I'm sure that the teacher would group students who were working on the same level.
     
  5. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    3 of the teachers out of 7 in my elementary have taught in a one room, I forgot to mention.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I haven't heard of any in Texas.
     
  7. cubfan

    cubfan Rookie

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    My dad attended a one room school house from 1st to 8th grade. He and another girl from his one room schoolhouse attended the public high school. He was valeditorian and she was salutatorian. He says he was doing 7th grade work in 4th grade because he could listen to those lessons. Regarding behavior he says that back then you didn't dare misbehave in school because of the fear of your parents!
     
  8. wikteacher

    wikteacher Rookie

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    I would guess that you wouldn't NEED much of a classroom management plan if it were an old-time one room schoolhouse. Kids now are very different in many ways than kids back then. Different family structure, different expectations, different level of responsibility, different toys and pasttimes, different diets - all of which impact their behaviors, IMO. :dunno:
     
  9. Teacher_Lyn

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    WOW! Thats really cool and I never thought about how the trickle down effect of little kids hearing the older students lessons might make them better students :D
     
  10. Teacher_Lyn

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    Please tell me this was like 50 years ago. I can't even fathom this being now in the 2000s or even the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s or 50s.

    There's no way I could even handle 20 kids that were only a year apart (ie: second and third graders) because kids are so different in each grade! :eek:
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    That and the fact that any kid who was the slightest bit "high maintenance" for academic or behavioral reasons was removed from school working on the farm at a very early age (like six or seven).
     
  12. Teacher_Lyn

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    ooooooh yeah! that's a great point i didn't think of. it would have been like, "I'm awful sorry bout Billy's behavior Teacher Lyn. He just ain't cut out for schoolin', so we're gonna put 'em to work plowing the fields."

    Why did parents respect teachers so much more back in those days? do you think it's because education was valued more and they admired that teachers could read while they could not?
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    My guess knowing my grandfather almost 100 had to do all of this. I think is respecting the fact that things weren't given & not taking anything for granted. Some where in our fast pace must have everything world we have lost this!!! I think the kids knew back then that they would rather be in school than working the farm. It was proabably a lot easier to be in a classroom than out there in the heat & what not. But you have to remember how many kids were pulled in the spring & fall to help with planting & harvesting. I know my grandpa graduated a year later than he should have because he had to help on the farm.
     
  14. Learner4Life

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    Heck yes it's now. My mom taught in a 3 room school house 3 years ago! She taught 3-5th grade with 9 students. The local district school could choose to admit or reject students from the little rural schools too so they would accept those with no behavioral or learning disorders and deny those that did (claiming they had no room at the time).
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Where's Jaime??? She taught in one in Maine a few years ago. (OK, actually a 2 room schoolhouse-- but she and the aide were the only adults)
     
  16. MsMar

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    I too was thinking Jamie would have chimed in!

    I think the best part of it would be having the older and younger students work together when possible. It's not at all the same thing, but in the pre-k class I taught (20 kids, 2 teachers) our age range was just turned three to "turned 5 in Sept and missed the Kindergarten cut off" and I loved having that 2 year difference in age in my class. Again, not the same as 1st grade through 8th grade, but I did observe the "big kids" helping the younger ones and the younger ones learning from the big ones.
     
  17. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    It is wonderful! I miss it a lot. It was just to far away from my family to stay there. I had ten students in grade k to 8th. The older kids helped with the younger ones. And it felt like a big family.
     
  18. kcjo13

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    No. This was 2 years ago. One rooms are very widespread in Nebraska, a lot due to the extremely rural conditions.

    Here's an interesting story...when all the one rooms had to close/consolidate, there was a teacher who had been teaching for something like 40+ years at one school. She was now half time teacher, half principal of the school. The parent schools had the option of absorbing the teachers, but this parent school didn't want to take her because her salary had built up to...get this...

    $96,000.

    That's not a typo. She had 4 students for half a day, and supervised 2 other teachers.
     
  19. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Divide ISD outside of Kerrville is a whole district in one school! I think it serves about an average of 6-8 kids in pre-k to 6th grade.

    I am not sure it is easier or more difficult, just different. Every grade and every class has unique challenges.
     
  20. Proud2BATeacher

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    I teach a self-contained class for students in grades 1 thru 6, does this count?
     
  21. Jem

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    I was a second grader in a second/third split. It was awesome because I could be in the third grade reading group, but go back to second grade for math and spelling (two weak areas).
     
  22. Blue

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    My grandmother taught in a 2 room school in the early 1900's. She told me how she dealt with discipline--one of her students threw his books out the window, so she threw him out the window too.
     
  23. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    You can do it. It's not that hard once you get into a routine. Of course I cried the first month. And now that I have all one grade. I so want to go back to my little school. but it is way to far away.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Split/combined grades are very common here. At my school this year, all of our classes except for grades 1 and 8 are splits. Yes, there is a wide range of abilities, but that is true for a "straight" grade as well. It takes a little more planning, but it really isn't that different.
     
  25. MissFroggy

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    back in those days, learning was by rote memorization. You memorized important dates, math facts, the alphabet, proverbs, etc.

    There would have been a lot of citing going on. Younger children can pick that up easily enough.

    I know they were given primers that had EVERY lesson in them. I have this thing that I bought at a flea market called the Columbia Speller, from 1870 or so. It basically begins with short vowels and goes through very complicated spelling rules and patterns, greek roots etc. It's like a spelling manual for K-12th grade. It's about 200 pages with small font throughout, though maybe it's slightly bigger in the first chapters.

    I think a text book would have just been used your whole life!
     
  26. glenn

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  27. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I have such a fascination with one room schoolhouses! but I wouldn't want to teach in one. My grandmother taught for several years and I have the bell she used to call the children in for class. My dad attended a school where he had to walk over a mile for school. His mother made him wait until he was 6 and his younger cousin (5) could walk with him. Imagine us today sending 2 little boys off with their lunch boxes (I have Dad's) to walk that far along a country road.
     
  28. Dawnathome

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    I wonder if part of what might make a one room school house easier though is that there are models for younger kids and expectations for older ones. Younger kids see the older one behave and assume that's what done and the older ones understand their responsibility to behave in front of the younger ones. In the homeschooling groups I occasionally get together with that's generally the dynamic I see.
     
  29. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    That makes sense, Dawn.
     

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