the new school
After two or three weeks the new school building was done. It was situated to the right as you drove through the gate. (When we lived there the gate was merely an open place in the fence. The fence was to keep the free ranging cattle and horses from wandering through the mission area and leaving “gifts” in the process. Since McCormick has gone on to be with the Lord the mission has passed on to other hands. There is now a gate that is CLOSED most of the time. And the area that the young people used for entertainment and refreshment is CLOSED. And access to the well of free water is CLOSED. And apparently most of the buildings are not used for community purposes. Every time I go to visit I ask our family about the work being done by the current missionaries; there seems to be very little. That’s sad.)
But back to happier days.
The new school was huge compared to our little house school. Off the long narrow covered entrance there were two doors. The door on the riht led directly into the older intermediate age rooms. The door on the left led into the jacket area and then into the kindergarten room (to the left) and into the primary room (directly ahead) On the right as you came in were the restrooms.
That first year we only used the intermediate classroom with grades 1-3. The kindergarteners used the primary room because the kindergarten room was not finished. Those five or six kindergarteners rattled around in a room designed for 20, but it gave Lorene plenty of room for play time when the weather was bad.
The intermediate classroom had two large chalk boards to the left as you came in from the outside. The door to the primary room was between them. There was a widow next to the door and room for a science display table between the window and the corner. I had two large bulletin boards in the room. One was on either side of the huge window that looked out on the drive and the community on the end wall. My desk was against this wall in the far corner of the room and my own shelves at right angles beside it. The far wall had another window to balance the opposite side. There were several sets of shelves around the room for each group of kids.
I arranged the room that first year with the third graders in the five desks immediately by the door. The second graders were in the center of the room and the first grade was on the far end of the room, away from most activity. It helped a great deal to be able to keep the texts now in the children’s desks and to keep the supplemental materials and paper on the shelves next to the actual group. It saved a lot of time distributing materials.
Once we were in the school building things smoothed out. By this time I had all the children’s names associated with the right faces. My classroom schedule was established and it was easier now to accomplish everything in each area that I need to get done. My work schedule was pretty well sorted out too. I had kids assigned to dump the trash at the end of each day. The children put their chairs on the desks when they left. That first year, I did the sweeping myself in my room and Lorene did the other room. As the children got older one older child and one younger one were assigned to help with sweeping every day. That worked out well since we had five older ones each year.
Saturdays started out a little slower than other days. I didn’t have to be in the classroom at 7:30. In fact, I didn’t have to be in the school at all, but if didn’t get myself over there, I wouldn’t have any lesson plans for the following week, the classroom floor wouldn’t get mopped and there would be no worksheets for the children. Nor would there be any new pictures for the bulletin boards. I tried finding my pictures from various sources but that took so long that it was quicker to just draw and color or paint the pictures I needed. Once all of that was done I could go and do my own thing for the rest of the day.
Now I had time to begin enjoying the kids and teaching.