This section will cover my grade eight and nine years . Again for the same reason as other groupings...I had the same teacher.
All the time that institutional learning takes place, lots of learning takes place outside of school. This is one thing I stressed at the beginning of this series. What you learn in school helps you make sense of things in society. The reverse works when we learn things in school.
As I grew up I gradually did more work on the farm. Much labor was needed on small farms. People like my Dad couldn't afford to hire people to work for him so his sons pitched in and did much farm work. We could run most farm equipment. We milked cows and fed livestock. Most of the time it was pleasant and I learned to work hard. Making hay wasn't much fun. As a result I missed many days of school in the spring and fall. In the fall I had to help with harvesting.We put in long hours and worked until midnight. Absence from school was also caused by some illness and times when weather prevented us from getting to school.
My grade eight and nine teacher had taught in the same school from 1938 -44. She was known to be extremely tough and was very much disliked. In 1953 the school board needed a teacher and asked her if she would teach again. Her comment was that she had mellowed. Indeed she had changed greatly. There were about 12 kids and I remember her usually standing in the middle of the group and giving directions and helping kids. It was a good strategy as all kids received attention. It was like one big family. Yes, she had mellowed and was liked.
Again, I got to spend time in the library lost in some books. Other kids didn't care to visit the library so I was not interrupted.
I was now one of the two big guys in the school. We had clout! We got to organize some of the activities.
At that time many of the farm boys dropped out of school at the end of gr. eight. I thought that I would drop out. But not me! My parents insisted that I continue with school.
Grade nine was a whole new world. They didn't teach grade nine in the country schools. They had a system called Correspondence school. All lessons and assignments were made up and sent out by the Dept. of Education in the mail. There was a schedule for the student to do the work. For me , it was decided that I should sit in the school and work on the lessons. It was thought that this would keep me more structured. I needed help sending the lessons to the Dept of Education for marking. I credit my Dad for helping me to stay organized and do assignments on time. I remember him going over the corrections when the lessons came back. With Dad's help I was able to pass gr. nine. Since I'm a bit of an introvert this program suited me.