Just jotting about one-room schoolhouses

By Jim Sherman Sr.

(This Jottings was first published on Thursday, March 21, 1984.)
Think about it!
Time magazine, which makes such a big thing of it’s covers, showed a one-room school as a lead to their coverage on “America’s schools are getting better.”
Too, the campaign by school-conscious people called “We Care” has as its symbol the one-room school.
Yet, no one is building a one-room school. Obviously, this floor plan must be best… why else continually point it out as representative of education for our children?
With the persistent use of a single room country school as a symbol, and the epidemic insistence to build and continue to use multi-room schools, aren’t students having their minds confused by the contrasts?
In a way it’s no different than an adult telling young people not to wear their hat indoors, walk on bleacher seats, or jay walk, then doing those same things in front of them.
It’s warping their little minds, perhaps causing all sorts of difficulties that will either create a generation of unusuals or fill psychologist offices.
We have just got to be more careful.
Or, we can really build one-room schools. This brings me to my elementary days, in which direction many of you probably thought I was headed.
Ah, bring back the backhouse at Fremont, bring on the bell ringing at Garrison, and let me get rejected once more by a first grader at Knagg’s Bridge.
I do not yearn, however, for the repeat of the one school box social we had as a 7th grader in Fremont, which is (was) just northwest of Bancroft.
That was another rejection, which probably shouldn’t have upset me, except I’d forgotten the others between age 5 and 11.
I won this pretty-young-thing’s box of goodies, only to have her turn her back on me in one of those double seats, cry, and wish some kid named Brace was with her.
But, I do think there’s something to be said for having all classes open. First graders heard teacher and students from all grades as they learned in the front of the room, as did all grades hear all grades.
There wasn’t any misleading symbols for education and millages in those days. Only the promise that if we passed the 7th grade we’d get to go to the mufti-roomed school in Bancroft.

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