In the nineteenth century, the American classroom was sparsely decorated and furnished. School design was simple, expressing the frugality of a largely rural, agricultural economy. Rural communities had few resources to expend on education, and there was a lack of commercially available products for schools. Often the school would be open only for a few months of the year, usually when children were not needed to work at home or on the farm.
In the one-room schoolhouse sat students of all ages and abilities. The sole teacher was usually an unmarried woman; sometimes the students were older than the teacher. Using only the most basic resources — slate, chalk, and a few books — teaching and learning consisted mainly of literacy, penmanship, arithmetic, and “good manners.” Recitation, drilling, and oral quizzes at the end of the day were the norm in classrooms across America.
Today, our schools are a much different place. Large systems of education govern schools. Teachers must have specialized training and a college degree, and are a more diverse, highly-qualified group. Students are separated by grades. Classrooms are filled with books, maps, and electronic equipment. Technology empowers students to cull information from around the world directly into their classrooms. Students can participate in classes led by teachers in other states and share with their peers on other continents.
The classroom has been transformed. Our students not only learn about the past, but are shown the importance and value of developing a plan, or vision, for their own future. We embrace these changes and invite you to partner with us as we lead our community into the next generation.