Mary Palmieri Gai

Montessori probably got the idea from a one room schoolhouse. Students all learned from each other. Older students had their early lessons reinforced by the young ones and the little guys could get a glimpse of what was to come overhearing what the older students were learning.  The best way to learn is to teach……..each other!!

Period interior a typical one room school house but don’t forget to read the account to the right of what was really going on at the time.


Located on the grounds of the Historical Society in Huntinton, this school was originally located at the corner of Trap Falls and Huntington street and was moved to 70 Ripton Road in 1970.

From The History of Education in CT by Dudley 

One Room Schoolhouses in the 1800s.

The school buildings themselves were in horrendous condition. Architectural structure, as well as instruction, had changed little from the early colonial Period. Of the one hundred and three schools examined in the 1830s only thirty-one could be classified as in good repair and only seven as really comfortable. The majority were still quite small, with the average room size being twenty square feet with an eight foot ceiling. Stoves or fireplaces provided heat, but only three schools in one hundred and four school districts surveyed had an out-house. The walls and desks were, “ . . . cut and marked with all sorts of images, some of which would make heathens blush.”8 Most rooms were without maps, globes, or other supplies.

What was a teacher paid in 1880?

In 1813, the teacher’s salaries were between $6-$9 per week, and in 1910 the salaries rose to about $11-$15 per week.

Before the civil war, most teachers were men but they went  off to war. From then on teachers were mostly women.  

RECOLLECTION OF S.G. GOODRICH (circa late 1790s) Ridgefiield CT

The school being organized, we were all seated upon benches, made of what were called slabs-that is, boards having the exterior or rounded part of the log on one side: as they were useless for other purposes, these were converted into school-benches, the rounded part down. They had each four supports, consisting of straddling wooden legs, set into augur holes. Our own legs swayed in the air, for they were too short to touch the floor. Oh, what an awe fell over me, when we were all seated and silence reigned around:

The children were called up, one by one, to Aunt Delight, who sat on a low chair, and required each, as a preliminary, to make his manners, consisting of a small sudden nod or jerk of the head. She then placed the spelling-book—which was Dilworth’s—before the pupil, and with a buck-handled penknife pointed, one by one, to the letters of the alphabet, saying, “What’s that?”

I looked upon these operations with intense curiosity and no small respect, until my own turn came. I went up to the schoolmistress with some emotion, and when she said rather spitefully, as I thought, “Make your obeisance:” my little intellects all fled away, and I did nothing. Having waited a second, gazing at me with indignation, she laid her hand on the top of my head, and gave it a jerk which made my teeth chash. I believe I bit my tongue a little; at all events, my sense of dignity was offended, and when she pointed to A, and asked what it was, it swam before me dim and hazy, and as big as a full moon. She repeated the question, but I was doggedly silent. Again, a third time, she said, “What’s that?” I replied: “Why don’t you tell me what it is? I didn’t come here to learn you your letters:”

ONE Room Schoolhouses and Teachers in 1908 WESTPORT, Conn. From Journal of Education.

Journal of education 1908 Westport. The teachers in the local schools this year are.

Superintendant WH Wheatley of Fairfield,

High School B.S. Boyden Principal, Ruth B. Hall, Jessie Brown, Mary A Judd eighth Grade, Catherineine McCann Seventh Grade,

Bridge Street Minnie Thompson, Linda McMahon, Sarah Purcell, Rose M. Coyle

Greens Farms, Alice Clack, Evelyn Banks, Pearl Schamp,

East Saugatuck, Mary Moore, Ella McGauley

West Saugatuck, Eva Bowen Ida  M. Lovegrove,

Cross Highway, Mary E. Cassidy;

Poplar Plains, Jessie L McAustan,

Coleytown, Maude Green,

West Long Lots Miss B.M. Wilcox

A cool snippet from Newspaper for Weston School Houses from 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to change your password.

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

Sign up with email

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

By clicking the «SIGN UP» button you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Powered by Estatik