Quest in Roots:
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MEMORIES OF TEACHING AT INGELOW SCHOOL
I came to Ingelow January 2, 1924 as a teacher for Ingelow School, which at the time was known as Woodlea School. I remember the first day. I came by train from my home. It was supposed to arrive at Ingelow at 4 a.m. but was very late and did not get there till noon. Mr. McQuarrie met me with horse and cutter and we were soon at his home, where I was to board, across from the school.
The children had been at school all morning and as we passed the school, I could see their faces pressed against the window pane trying to get a glimpse of the new teacher.
The school was not large and seemed to be filled with desks of various sizes. A large Waterbury heater occupied one corner. There was a library cupboard along the back wall and a small cupboard where the pupils put their lunches. A pail of water was put on top with a dipper that was used by all.
This cupboard was moved to the porch in the summer, making a little more room in the classroom.
There were eight grades and about 20 pupils.
Being fresh out of Normal School, I found it difficult for a while to get through all the work of eight grades.
The school was very cold on winter mornings.
The furnace did not hold fire all night and had to be lit every morning. Some days it was almost noon before the school would be comfortable. In the summer the building was very warm and flies buzzed, and all the lovely sounds and scents of summer drifting in through the open window, made it difficult for the pupils to be interested in anything the teacher was trying to teach.
The playground had little equipment, but the children amused themselves with games like prisoners'' bar, baseball, drowning gophers, picking wild fruit in season and wild flowers along the road sides. Nature study did not need to be taught.
There never seemed to be trouble with discipline.
At Christmas the children took part in a Christmas Tree Program. They practised drills, plays and recitations in preparation. The program was held in the church.
In June the children took part in the field day program, held in Carberry, Man. It was always an exciting day - being at the school early to be loaded into cars for the trip to Carberry, along with lunches, banners and poles. Usually it was a tired sunburned group which returned at night.
There were very many happy memories of the two and one half years spent at the old Woodlea School, and a few tears by teacher and pupils on the final day. The memory, experiences and friendships which have lasted through the years are a valuable part of my life.
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