Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Rookie

      I've been including odd photos at the end of my posts or else blogger sees fit to pick photos and I don't want them. So if I put my own photos in and blogger leaves me alone.

     Okay, the last photo happened to be me in my first year of teaching. You see it's the only school photo I have that's scanned! Because of comments on the last post, a post topic came into my head. The photo was a very poor scan of a picture.

     So I was reminded of my start in teaching. It was as many of the things that happen to me. I bumbled into teaching without any clear goals.

     I surprised myself by finishing high school in 1957. I never had a goal of finishing high school. I bumbled along from year to year and finally it was over. Many boys at that time dropped out of school in gr. 8 and stayed on the farm.

     When high school was done I had to think fast. I really didn't want to stay on the farm with my Dad. What could I do after high school. I decided to try teaching and if I liked it, that was it. If I didn't like teaching, I hadn't lost much.

     At that time you could take a one year program and then teach. I entered the program at age 17. The year was fun and very different for me. My high school class had eight students. There were 400 students at Teachers' College. The program included some basic methods classes. We had a very good class on teaching primary reading. There were some academic classes and a few fine arts classes. At  the end of the year we were given an interim standard teaching certificate. We could teach for three years and then we had to take more classes. 

     I found myself finished Teachers' college and looking for a job. As I'd gone to a one room country school this is a job I applied for. At 18 I was a teacher in a  one room country school house . Pretty scary! EH?Most country schools were being closed at that time.The school I taught at was on its way out. As some of you  noticed there were only 10 students. A school with just ten students was not economical to keep open. There were 3 grade ones, 2 grade two's and one each in grades three, four, five, seven and nine. I really liked teaching the grade ones.

     I had a very enjoyable year so much so that I decided right then that I would stay in teaching. The Superintendent was most supportive. Harry would quietly show up and stand in the doorway until I saw him. He'd give me the nod and I would go out on the steps and talk to him. He was checking that I was not having problems and give me a few pointers and a pat on the back. Sometimes he'd come and dismiss the kids for an hour and talk to me.

   My first year teaching is one that stands out over all the others. I often wonder how an 18 year old was able to give instructions for a year. The community were most supportive and good to me. They wanted me to stay another year but I had decided to enter university.

     Nine years earlier when I was in grade three in a country School. That country school just happened to be named Hiawatha!