Thursday, February 11, 2010

The One-Room School

Do you have memories of a one room schoolhouse? Maybe you were a student in one. I grew up listening to my father tell stories of his school days as a young boy who attended a one-room school. What adventures! His stories were rustic, cozy, and unique compared to my elementary school experiences as a student attending a sophisticated elementary school in a college town. Most of my teachers were 'master teachers' who trained student teachers, but my father's teachers probably had no more than a 10th grade education. The education my father received must have been good, though, because he grew up to become a teacher in a one-room school for a year or two before going back to college to complete his education and become a college professor himself.

This one-room schoolhouse is not far from where we live.  It is owned by my friend, Toni.   Visiting it recently filled my mind with questions and made me want to know more! Some of my fondest one-room schoolhouse stories were those written by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her "Little House" books. I'm sure her stories had an influence upon me and my decision to become a teacher when I grew up. Look at this schoolhouse. Why are there two doors on the front side? Why does one have a porch and not the other? And note the windows that you see through the large windows on the side of the schoolhouse. Can you see how they are so high up? I decided it must be because a chalkboard is below them, so they needed to be high enough to accommodate it. They couldn't be eliminated because the light they let in was probably a necessary commodity of nature.

If schoolhouses could talk, I'm sure this one would have many stories to tell!


  1. Good Morning La Tea Dah! Great post on the one-room schoolhouse. I love the Little House stories and STILL love watching reruns of Little House on the Praire. There are shots of the schoolhouse in almost every single one. Loved the photo, too. Sincerely, Susan from

  2. How very cool. I've always been intrigued with the one room school houses. What a challenge as a teacher to keep all those ages on task and learning. Dear's mother taught in a one room school in Kansas in the late 30's early 40's.

  3. My Aunt Mary taught in a one room school. I remember going with her a few times before I was old enough to attend school. As I gre older and she moved on to get her college education, she told me many stories of what it was like to teach in a one room school in rural Appalachia.

  4. No, I didn't attend a one-room schoolhouse, but I did attend a little red schoolhouse for my first three years. Love that row of windows! Now they board them up and shrink them down and wonder why kiddos have no scope for the imagination.

  5. I love one room school houses. The first time I met Santa was in a two room school house at the Christmas program. The camp ground where my children went as children has a one room school house where they sometimes hold small weddings now. The wood floors and wood heat are so warm and homey too.

  6. I didn't attend a one room schoolhouse, but I did spend 6 years (grades 3-8) in a 2 room schoolhouse. Not as picturesque as the one in your post LOL, it was a metal building with a thick "curtain" down the middle separating it into 2 classrooms, for our weekly worship & other important meetings we pushed the curtain open and pushed desks to the side, pulled chairs around so we were all together.

    Academically & socially there were pros & cons, there was only one "clique" and since I wasn't interested in the boys, make-up and rock & roll of the "clique", I didn't have many/any friends. Thankfully I'm an introvert so it wasn't a huge deal, but still . . . academically, it depends so much on the teacher, a less than ideal teacher isn't ONE year, it's FOUR! And I had a less than ideal teacher for grades 5-8. Very nice person, meant well, but not a great teacher. For ME it was probably the best thing that happened to me in my school "career" I decided I was going to get As in spite of the teacher so I learned to read the directions and figure out how to do the work w/o a teacher's help, served me well throughout hs & college, and in line (and is a skill I plan to emphasize when homeschooling my children), but for less motivated &/or less, I hate to say intelligent, but not sure how else to word it, it was horrible because they couldn't rely on the teacher to actually TEACH them the material.


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