Monday, January 30, 2012

Those Depression Years Part 3

Some teachers taught two or three months without  pay or until the new tax money began to come in. I
 was more .fortunate because I was teaching in a  consolidated district and the school money was in  different banks, some that did not fail.
I received $75.00 per month for the first three  years of teaching. Then the pay dropped back to$55.00. It was about this time the state legislature said rural districts were to pay tuition for their students who went to high school.

 The two rural schools in which I taught (Mission Branch and Reavley) were considered large rural  schools with an enrollment of 33-35 pupils. Perhaps  this accounts for the fact that neighboring schools  paid $35.00 per month. After teaching five years in  the rural schools, I went to Foster where I received  $60.00 per month, did no custodial work and taught  two grades instead of eight. I paid $2.00 a week for  board and cleaned the house once a week for my  room. In 1939, I came to Rich Hill where I taught at  room. In 1939, I came to Rich Hill where I taught at  the South School with Miss Add Pettus. We did our  own janitor work and carried our coal. It was not until  World War II that experienced teacher's pay went to  $80.00 per month. It was at this time that many  teachers left the school room and went into defense  work where the pay was better and there were social security-benefits.
It was in the 1930's that a hot lunch program was started in the rural schools.It was not a hot lunch in the way we think of it today. At the Reavley School one parent loaned us a two burner kerosene stove.
The older girls prepared the hot lunch while the younger ones had class.Students brought a lunch from home,supplemented by one hot dish prepared at school.Each family furnished ingredients for one days lunch   On Monday there was hot cocoa Tuesday vegetable soup, Wednesday rice, Thursday beans, and Friday chili. A list was made out so that each family would contribute an equal amount over the year. Consideration was given to what each could contribute without making a hardship on anyone.Hand washing drills were also introduced. Students formed two lines outside the door. One student  came along, poured warm water on the hands, then another with soap and a third one with warm rinse water. Every student brought a clean towel once a week. Then we were ready to eat, again each furnished his own bowl for his hot dish. Of course  since this was a large school with thirty-five pupils grades one to eight, no one had to miss class to do  the extra jobs. I am sure the smaller schools worked  out their own plans.
  Once a month, the last Friday afternoon was reserved for a ball game, spelling or arithmetic match with a neighboring school. This was an event everyone looked forward to and it didn't require money. We walked to the neighboring school and they to ours.
    In the summer of 1933 I bought a 1929 Model A Ford, brown with black leather top and yellow wire spoke wheels for $150.00. The boys thought this was quite a flashy car, and one of them still tells me how much he admired that car. There was no heater and Jf the windshield wiper didn't work, I got out ancleaned the snow off with my hands, hoping that I cleaned the snow off with my hands, hoping that I
were also no snow tires and the radiator wouldn't  hold anti-freeze, soon a cold day I drained the water after arriving at school and filled it up again before starting home.

 It was teach school from September to the middle of April. Then spring and summer school until the middle of August, but I had also earned fifteen hours of credit. I was lucky if I didn't have to borrow money to go to school

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kathryn said...
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