I began formal education in 1941 in a two-room school a mile from my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. My brother and I walked to and from school each day. It was not uphill both ways, but it was a long walk for short legs, especially when cold weather intervened.
There was a pot-bellied stove at the front of each room. Our water fountain was a bucket carried from a neighbor’s house. We brought lunch from home. The parents of three of my classmates worked for a local farmer and lived in a house on his property; when there was farm work to be done, those children did not attend school.
My fifth-grade teacher graduated from high school the spring before she began teaching; she had attended teachers’ college during the summer. I had one high school teacher who was eminently unqualified to teach the geometry class consisting of five boys; we taught her.
I am not confident that different classrooms, larger gymnasiums, better athletic facilities including scoreboards and maybe a press box will enhance learning.
I do firmly believe that children whose parents take an interest in and encourage learning can attain higher educational success than those children who are not similarly blessed.
James H. Wilson