1950’s ONE-ROOM PRAIRIE SCHOOLHOUSE – Lynne
Before school buses and as early as 50 years ago, many rural students attended a one-room schoolhouse.
A single teacher would typically have students in the first through eighth grades, and she taught them all. Beyond grade eight, lessons were available by correspondence.
The government required a minimum of 8 students before they would supply a teacher. Many of the teachers were Permit Teachers, meaning they were graduates of grade 11 or 12 and were permitted to teach in these one-room schoolhouses in lieu of further high school. At the conclusion of a year of teaching they could attend Normal School to obtain a Teacher’s Certificate.
Students were encouraged to work on their own and to help others when they finished their own lesson. One of the advantages was that students could learn “above their grade” because they were exposed to the lessons of older students. If students couldn’t keep up, they repeated the grade. If they learned quickly, they were pushed ahead.
Heat came from a wood stove and water from the well outside. There were two outhouses, one for girls and one for boys, and sometimes a barn for those students who used horses for transportation. At recess and lunch time, the students played together in the school yard until the teacher rang a bell to call them back to the classroom.