Days in a one-room schoolhouse were treasured


Today I’ll tell you about my days of teaching in a one-room school in the Kentucky mountains. Those were interesting days.

Restrooms were actually outhouses which had to be scrubbed regularly. Hand washing was in the nearby creek. I installed a hot lunch program. The father of some of the students worked at the dairy across the mountain. He gladly brought milk on the way home and dropped it off at my house. I shopped regularly for other groceries and supplies.

I had a four-wheel-drive vehicle so I was also the bus driver – providing my own bus! Before seat belts.

We had running water in the school. That is, you could call it running water if it was a cold day and the kids ran when they went to get it. The water was bailed out of a coal bank – a spot dug into the bank of a creek where those in need could dig out coal if needed, but it also collected a nice pool of cool, clean water. Yes, the water tested pure.

I was administrator, head cook, and, on occasion, teacher. The kids did the janitorial work. I was counting up the other day and, from one family alone, I had six kids at the same time, all boys.

One of those boys didn’t like to read. Somehow, I instilled in him the pleasure of reading – until I had to watch to be sure he read his lessons as well as the library books. I soon said of one of his brothers, “Philip is college material.” He became an attorney.

I felt these students should have the same advantages as those in consolidated schools, so before their eighth grade graduation they had the opportunity to tour their state capitol.

Though I taught years earlier and later, this was probably my best teaching experience for both the kids and the teacher.

No doubt a great share of the credit for growth was our dependence on faith. We opened every day with Bible reading and prayer. Usually, one of the students led this part of the day.

In spite of what we see on TV these days, the old adage holds true – “God is good all the time; all the time God is good.” Get to know Him and trust Jesus as your Savior.