My dad's first teaching job was in a one-room schoolhouse on a reservation way out a dirt road in northern California in the early 1930's. He was responsible for teaching all of the children from first grade through eighth grade in that one room. Besides teaching math, reading, and history at eight different grade levels, he also taught music, sports, and drama-and was the administrator, counselor, secretary, and janitor. Whether the children were advanced for their age or needed remediation, anything they learned was taught by him; he was their special ed teacher, their subject-matter and resource specialist, and their gifted-and-talented mentor. I don't know how he did it all. By today's standards, such an assignment would be considered primitive, inefficient, overwhelming, and nearly impossible.
But from a teacher's point of view, there is something immensely appealing about a one-room schoolhouse: you are in total control of the situation! And the all-encompassing nature of the work gives Read the rest of this entry »