January 12, 2014

Sharing Memories: I Did Not Like Grade 1

Here is a Challenge for all genealogy bloggers. I want you to keep a weekly journal called Sharing Memories. Some of you may recall that in 2010, 2011 and 2012 I provided weekly prompts to help with writing up memories of ancestors and ourselves. 

If you missed this weekly series called Sharing Memories you might want to have a look and see if any of the prompts appeal to you. Many readers asked me to continue with the prompts this year so that is what I am going to do.

If you write your own blog and you are participating in this challenge, please use the hashtag #SharingMemories if you are posting on Twitter or Google+  That way I can provide links to your blog posts at the end of the week.

The prompt for this week is Grade 1. Don't worry, we aren't going to go through writing about each grade week after week. That would get boring! But we will eventually write about our memories of each grade before the year is over. Next Sunday will be a different writing prompt than school. But for now.....let's talk about Grade 1.

Sharing Memories: I Did Not Like Grade 1
Grade 1. I hated it. I was pretty excited about getting there at first. We were moving out of Kindergarten where I wasn't allowed to touch the books and into a new Grade for bigger kids. I was pretty sure I could touch the books once I got to Grade 1!

Sure enough our teacher gave out our readers on the first day. For those of you old enough to remember them, these were the original Dick and Jane readers. 

The reader looked pretty easy to me but I was still excited and at the end of the day I took mine home. I read the entire book that night. 

Next day I went up to my teacher's desk and gave her the reader. I told her I had finished it and was ready for my next book. She looked stunned for a brief moment and then she gently explained that this reader had to last me the entire year! There was no second book! 

Yep, I was pretty upset. Then began the real torture. Every day each student in turn had to stand beside their desk and read one line from the book. It was unbearable for me to listen to each kid stumble and hesitate over the words. But we weren't allowed to do anything else except follow along in the book. 

Sometimes I skipped ahead and re-read chapters just so I didn't have endure the torture. But if the teacher caught  me she got mad. It didn't seem to matter that when it was my turn to read I would jump up and read the line super fast, I still was not allowed to read something different. 

And so I hated school. I grew resentful. I would think about how it wasn't my fault that I went to school knowing how to read. That the teachers were mean. 

I don't know when I started getting into trouble but I'm pretty sure it was Grade 1. I played hookey. I locked bathroom doors from the inside and crawled out underneath. In short I did everything I thought I might get away with. I was incredibly bored and I was pretty determined to liven it up somehow!

I've always thought it was Grade 1 when I started playing hookey but since I was only 6 years old then, I'm rethinking that to Grade 3 when I was 8. I don't see how I could have dreamed up the scheme or gotten away with it until I was older!  

Besides my older sister took me to school until she was in Grade 7 when she had to go to a different school than me. So if she was in Grade 6 the last year she walked me to school, I would have been 7 years old that year. And I don't think I could have pulled off the stunt if she was still walking me to school.

 So I'm going to omit my story of playing hookey for weeks until I start on my Grade 3 memoirs.


bgwiehle said...

In Grade 1, I was learning English, beside the regular curriculum. There was no Kindergarten in the one-room schoolhouses of our township. The consolidated school, with bussing for rural students, opened when I started Grade 2.

Amelia said...

The school I went to was different. When it was discovered that i could read I was promoted to Grade 2!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Amelia, how I envy you! But I bet I'm a lot older than you. There was no such thing as Gifted Programs or teaching geared to individual children in my day. Ugh!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

bgwiehle -my mother in law also attended a one-room schoolhouse. Her experiences and memories are so different from mine!

Linda Schreiber said...

Grade one was interesting.... [This is the 'old-time' grade one public school, Lorine. Ya know.) Luckily, I could already read, etc., thanks to mom.
My teacher was tenured, and had been losing it badly for a year or so. Many of my first grade memories are about getting in trouble by defending other kids from the teacher. The summer after my first grade year, she had her breakdown, and didn't teach again. Now the *second grade* teacher was fantastic....

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Wow. Linda, that's an amazing story! Imagine you being so wise even as a child, that you could (and would!) defend those other kids.

Kudos to you!

saveeverystep said...

Great to see the memories 'log' back again!

Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Lorene, I think it depended more on the teacher, not on special gifted programs, which didn't come until much later. I'm guessing that I'm not younger than you, and I was also skipped up to grade two (that would have been in 1945). The 1st grade teacher in the small Ohio town was a friend of my mother's who was a high school teacher. (There was no kindergarten) The first grade teacher ran out of books to give me to work on my own with about the 2nd week of school, and consulted with mother. They decided I should skip. It was an easy decision, because my mother had done the same thing when she went to school about 1912!

Elaine said...

I attended a one-room country school for all 8 grades. There was no kindergarten but the grade l's did leave earlier in the afternoon. Our early books were also Dick & Jane. They may not be the chosen method to learn to read now but they did work! I did learn to read & enjoy it to this day. Our school library consisted of a large bookcase with maybe 4-6 shelves at the back of the room. I was thrilled to be able to start school (1952) & remember that my Dad (a farmer) took me the first day(likely due to the fact there were 4 other siblings at home & my mother didn't drive). I had a really neat pencil case - it was wooden with a sliding top etc. I was really disappointed when I learned I would not be able to keep it as I was told they make too much noise if they fall etc. I believe I was told I could have it back to take it home at some point but am sure that didn't happen for whatever reason. We had a good & fair teacher so I am not sure why. At some point in my education (not sure at what age) she taught me how to say the letter 's' correctly. At the time I was upset & embarrassed but she meant well & it worked. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to go to a country one-room school (actually same one as my father)the same as I do at being a country girl. I feel it all contributed to my education that I would never have had otherwise. In later years when our 2 daughters were in the junior grades, the teachers were on strike & I searched for some 'Dick & Jane' schoolbooks which I used till the teachers went back to teach. About 3 years ago, my sister made me a large lap quilt with 'Dick & Jane' quilt blocks on it. I also bought 'new' Dick & Jane books & gave to my siblings as a gift. I was at an antique/collector's store in MN I believe & there saw a very new version of Dick & Jane that had roller blades & blenders in it - sure seemed strange.
I live in Ontario, Can.