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Schools were a lot different in 1912 than today. In the rural areas there was still only one teacher many times that taught all of the grades in a single room building. In larger areas a student may have a teacher for two or three grades before moving on to another teacher for the couple of grades.

Teachers were a lot stricter than they are today. It was common practice for mischievous student to be paddled, stand in the corner, have additional assignments or stay after school to write on the board.

Single Room School

Today we hear a lot about extra curriculum activities. Things such as art, music and dance were learned in the home or from a neighbor.

Children often enjoyed plenty of exercise, but not as a physical education class. From a very young age they were assigned chores. In rural areas, farming and mill {textile work} were very prevalent. Children often left school to help the family earn a living from a young age.

Early Classroom

My great-grandmother only had a fifth grade education. She came from a large family, and went to work in the mill to help support them. This was in the days before there were child labor laws, although President Taft did pass the Children’s Bureau Law in 1912.

Middle and upper classes often stayed in school longer than their counterparts. It was only the brightest and most ambitious of students that continued on to college.

One Room School in 1915

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