My How Things Have Changed…Or Have They?

The classroom I am moving out of was built in the 1950’s. I wonder what changes that room has seen over the years. When my mom was a student at McAdory in the 1960’s my classroom was the kindergarten classroom.  I enjoy hearing her tell stories about school when she was young.  She tells of how teachers would “disappear” as soon as their pregnancies would start showing. (teachers getting fired for things they did outside of school?! Sounds like facebook issues of other generation!) Or how difficult school was for her learning style and shyness.

When I was in school my classroom was the classroom of Mrs. J. Walker (we had two Mrs. Walkers in 4th grade) she was a strict teacher, I did not have her, but was in the classroom next door. What I remember about her most is that she would make the entire class hold hands and say the blessing before lunch! I know that was 20 years ago, but still shocking.  When I was in fourth grade we would change classes for math and reading based on our ability level.  I was in one of the lower math class – shocking now since I am such a math brain.  I remember standing outside Mrs. J. Walker’s room while my math teacher (next door) told my reading teacher I was stupid and a trouble maker  and would never go to college so I needed to be moved down to the even lower math class.  I highly doubt schools do this today either.  Do not doubt kids still over heard teachers say that.  (By the way I went to college, and beyond, then beyond again.)

My brother was in my classroom in 4th grade and 7th grade.  In 7th grade he was in that room with a teacher who cared about him in and out of the classroom.  This teacher was a large part of my brother’s life throughout high school and even ended up officiating his wedding. It was also the first year McAdory was not all one school.  The elementary had moved to another location.

The classroom is now gutted and will be demolished soon.  Many years of history.  This one plug-mold filled-mouse infested-orange dust covered room will be gone very soon.  But I wonder if the first teacher who was in the room ever thought about who would be in the classroom for years to come.  What teaching styles would be used.  Wonder if she ever imagined that the last teacher in that room would be technology obsessed and almost get in trouble for hiding a wifi router so her students could use netbooks to research real-world data or even better had a PLN that spanned the globe.  I wonder if she used “play” to teach her little 5 year olds or if they had to sit in rows.  I wonder if she was able to collaborate with teachers who also taught the same grade as her. I wonder if she was stressed about standardized test.

Teaching and education is changing so rapidly these days, some for good. some for bad. Two months from now I will be starting my first day as the first teacher in my new classroom.  I wonder how education will change during the next 60 years.  I wonder how that teacher will be teacher her students.  Will she be worrying about standardized test or worrying about her students learning.  I hope when I am 89 years old, I can see it!!!

4 thoughts on “My How Things Have Changed…Or Have They?

  1. MrDuez says:

    Best of luck on the new room. It’s a great adventure. I think the same kinds of things about my school. So wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 65 and limping around. Wonder if people will point at me and say, “Oh my, there goes that old grumpy guy. Can you believe he was the first ever teacher of the year at this school?” LOL

    Sounds like you are building a career. That’s the best thing you can do is keep a long term view. 🙂

  2. Thomas Boito says:

    Nice piece, Amanda. All but a handful of my years have been spent in around classrooms as a student, then a teacher, and now as a tech coach. I haven’t seen it all nor will I ever, but I have seen an awful lot.
    I rolled with more than 30 years of evolving teaching and learning. The things I’ve seen come and go are mind boggling. Ideas have been in vogue, faded away, and sometimes returned with a new name.
    The only constant has been change.

  3. Nick Provenzano says:

    I loved this post. I teach in a building that is 80 years old. What did those teachers think when they started in a brand new building with a new classroom. My new room for next year has a stage with working lights. Was that the huge envy of the school. Was that teacher an innovator? Thanks for being a part of my PLN and making men think and ask the important questions.

    -Nick

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