Saturday, May 3, 2014

Week Before Washington, Part 3: Marshall University One-Room School Museum

Yes. That's right. Outside of Jenkins Hall (where the education classes are held at Marshall) is a former one-room school. How often, in this age of departmentalizing classes, integrating technology, and high stakes testing, do you get to be transported back to a simpler time of chalk dust and McGuffey Readers? When I came upon the One-Room School Museum, I was tickled. When I asked if they would consider letting me take a peek inside (it is locked except for special events) and said sure, I was about half giddy.

Punkin Center School

The One-Room School Museum used to function as Punkin Center School  in Cabell County. It served students in grades one through eight from about 1889 until the 1950s. The building was relocated to Marshall University in 1995, with period pieces such as fold up Peabody desks, textbooks of the era, and a pot belly stove (complete with a coal bucket). As you step onto the wooden floor boards, the nearby traffic fades away and everything before you takes you back - way back!

Are you ready to step inside?

Desks all in rows, for students of all ages

Another view of the room - note the stove in the middle of the room to keep everyone warm

More one-room school facts
Before there were school buses, you walked (this school was attended by students in Cabell and Mason Counties). Before there were computers, you wrote - in chalk.

The original tablet device!

What your desk would look like during the turn of the century!

More desks and books donated to the museum
What about discipline in the 1890s? If you didn't behave yourself...
You might find yourself writing sentences on the board after school!

Or, maybe you would end up in this corner, wearing the dunce cap for all to see.
Berkeley is going to have an even better post on what it would be like to learn in a one-room school, once he recovers more from his Washington adventures. I think about what it would be like to be a teacher with the the demands of today in a one-room school, with basic supplies to fulfill the needs of every student. What we've come to expect of our students and teachers has drastically changed in the last century. I'm proud to represent a profession and a people that has historically striven to bring the next generation further than the last.
The WV Teacher of the Year...and the One-Room School

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