My favorite books about America’s teachers

15 Jul

Books and Movies about teachers that I have loved:

                I have always enjoyed books about teachers. Perhaps my favorite is Tisha, the true story of a 19 year old teacher in Alaska in the 1920’s.  It was exciting and enlightening. I enjoyed and learned much about rural teachers in The Thread That Runs so True. It is based upon the author’s actual life as a 16 year old teacher in rural Kentucky in 1925.  Christy was delightful and was based upon Catherine Marshall’s mother’s adventures as a 19 year-old teacher in the Appalachian mountains of NC.  There must have been some interesting stories to tell of teachers on the early Western frontier as well. I read that between the years 1847-1858 over 600 young women answered the call to become teachers in one room school houses in America’s rural frontier. I wonder how many of those girls recorded stories in a daily journal? 

                I loved the TV mini-series “Anne of Green Gables.”  When Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote the book it was set in a time period a few years before Elsie’s adventure in Arizona. The TV mini series came out shortly before I began my research into Elsie’s Arizona years. I read on-line that the date set for the second part of the series was supposed to be 1915. So I loved looking for similarities in the dress styles, in attitudes and in things like red-tin tobacco lunch boxes. I watched it over and over imagining what it must have been like to teach in a one-room rural school.

                I have discovered that, at age 25, Elsie was older than many western teachers of that time who were teaching in their teens.  Many states had such a desperate need for teachers in one-room schools that the qualifications were minimal. California was apparently unusual for that time period in their requirement of a 5th year of teacher’s training before a teacher could qualify to teach.

Do you have a favorite “teacher”book?

One Response to “My favorite books about America’s teachers”

  1. Kristen February 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Laura Ingalls Wilder!

    I have read so many books by her and about her, and have done much research on her teaching years because I found her story to be fascinating.

    I actually read your book as a segue from my LIW interest, and truly enjoyed it. Your book has made me want to give LIW’s two “journal-based” travel books a second chance.

    My grandmother taught in one-room schoolhouses in rural Iowa when she was young, and I am so thankful that I had the presence of mind to get her memories of her teaching years on tape before she was claimed by cancer in 2007. Your book helped me remember all the wonderful memories I have of her, and I thank you for it!

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