One-Room Schoolhouse

By Taylor Johnson

Random Facts

  • Schools were set up where people settled
  • Not all children would end up going to school
  • Life of a child was "grey"
  • Rules in the 1800's were hazy- Start, finish, absences,
  • Tardy was almost like a sin

Life of a Teacher

  • Teachers walked to school as well
  • Usually only has a high school education
  • Single, went to church, live nearby, stay with families
  • Often bilingual- (English and German)
  • Fired if they couldn't control their students

Student Curriculum

  • Reading, Penmanship, Arithmetic
  • New immigrants responded negatively
  • Said a class prayer after the pledge
  • Many older children would mentor the young
  • Many different age groups
  • Teacher taught life lessons- responsibility, respect, honesty, integrity
  • Paddled or whipped as punishment


  • If the class had an ineffective teacher
  • Poor attendance
  • No structured curriculum
  • Special needs children
  • Libraries were inadequate
  • Same books all through grades
  • Unsanitary, unorganized
  • Shared drinking supplies (germs, sick in winter)
  • Run out of firewood or coal(Main heating source)
  • Bullying

Schools in General

  • Most had a picture of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln
  • Built before churches in town
  • No two stories
  • Expensive to maintain (Nowadays)

Where can the schools be found?

These schools can mainly be found in the country (Kentucky, Iowa, Kansas, etc.) And some are still preserved today.

What did it look like?

The schoolhouse on the outside was was made of wood and sometimes brick. It was usually painted white to make it more appealing and visual. On the inside, one could find a furnace, desks, chairs, windows, shelves, books, writing utensils, chalkboards, etc.

Amount of Children

Most schools ranged from as few as 7-8 and grew as big as 12-15.

Would I attend this school?

Definitely not permanently. I would enjoy it for at the most maybe a week or so, just to get the feel/vibe of the classroom and what it would actually be like to live in that era. However, I enjoy the use of technology, and the comfort our classroom provides (comfortable chairs, carpeting, AC and heating when necessary).


Country School: One Room, One Nation (video)

Houghton Mifflin Company, Millian Schoolhouse General Information. 1999. 26 September 2012 <>.

CMU, The Teachers. 26 September 2012 <>.

One Room Schoolhouse Center. 1998-2012. 26 September 2012 <>.