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Joyce E Bowling

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Reliving History in Our One Room School
By Joyce E Bowling   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, January 28, 2007
Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2007

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This article was published in our local paper in effort to keep the one room school on school property. Our city wants to move the structure and use it as a welcome center to our town...I as many others feel it should remain on school property so our student may benefit and learn from a piece of history.

Reliving History at Manchester Elementary


Past a parking lot, behind a brick structure, and beyond a modern playground, nestled in the edge of the hills of Clay County silently stands a site that has sadly become a thing of the past; a one-room schoolhouse. The old one-room schoolhouse that is located behind Manchester Elementary was actually reconstructed from two different one-room schools that were built with similar designs that was located in different areas in the county. The best of each of the remaining buildings was salvaged and combined to reconstruct and resurrect a piece of Clay County history, and a dying memory from the past.

My name is Joyce Bowling and I feel privileged to teach at Manchester Elementary where I have the opportunity to teach my first grade students a hands on lesson that allows them a realistic glimpse back in time through the access of this one-room school. Each year I enjoy sharing an entire day with my students at the old schoolhouse. On this special day a different style of teaching and learning takes place. The setting allows us to better understand our ancestors, our heritage, and an opportunity to discover and relive a part of history.

This year the big day began at 9:45am. The students as well as myself were filled with excitement and anticipation as we walked the long path that leads to the old school. We carried our supplies that were needed for a day of adventure, knowledge, memories and an unforgettable experience. During the course of the day I shared a virtual story with the students to help them better understand the time period and the history of the school. We ate our packed lunch inside the schoolhouse, and had recess outside playing games such as red rover, and tag helping the students realize that they could have fun, even without slides and swings. After recess we went back to work inside the old school. Students completed a spelling test, math lesson, writing assignment, and an unforgettable science lesson outside. The sounds of singing filled the air as we began our mile hike through the woods on the wonderful nature trail behind the school. We took a close up look at nature and the wetlands that we are fortunate to have. All of the students enjoyed learning how to make sundials from stones and twigs. We didn’t forget the importance of gym we exercised outside in the fresh air and what better way to cool off than in the shade of the trees. Who needed air conditioning?

However, during the day of experiencing this rugged lifestyle of the past, we did allow for two modern conveniences, bathrooms and the delivery of Shakers pizza and juice for an afternoon snack. Students enjoyed their snack while relaxing in the shade at the picnic tables in the outside classroom located beside the old schoolhouse.

As the ending of the day was quickly approaching many comments were made and questions were asked such as; Meghan Rice stated; this is the funnest day of my life Mrs. Bowling, do we have to go back? Emily Baker explained the day as; the coolest day ever. Makayla Burns and Kailee Nolan described the one room school as; more fun than our school, I wish we could stay. Chad Carmack described the day as; being the best day ever. Ryan Nicholson and Jacob Davidson said; this was fun, I wish we could do it again? Amari Cotton and Felicia Hall both asked; did the day have to end? Cameron Sester and Chandler Sizemore both simply stated; that this was a great day! Comments such as these and many others will be etched forever in each of our hearts and memories.

After cleanup and one last glance around the old schoolhouse the students posed for a picture of a memory filled day and a social studies lesson that came to life in Mrs. Bowling’s first grade class at Manchester Elementary.



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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 3/5/2007
This is amazing, write on and be blessed
God Bless
Reviewed by Loretta Scott 2/26/2007
What a beautiful article, keep up the good work, you are an amazingly blessing.

Loretta Scott
Reviewed by Daring Sunshine 2/14/2007
What a creative & sensitive first grade teacher to share history in such a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 1/29/2007
Hi Joyce,
What a beautiful write! How fortunate for the children to have such a wonderful opportunity. Brings back many memories. My one room school house sits in a park now.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 1/29/2007
a piece of Clay County history, and a dying memory

I truly hope your efforts to save it are successful, Joyce. We seem to have a modern penchant in this nation to very callously tear down most of our historical buildings, and I truly think that is a shame for generations of our children yet to come.

On my many travels across the U.S., I always make it a point to visit both historical old barns, and historical old schoolhouses - they are both vanishing far too quickly for me.
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 1/28/2007
Joyce , I would like to offer a couple of suggestions which might help. Write a petition and get it signed by as many as you can and present it to the town council. Contact your local historical socity and enlist their help. Have the school designated as a historical land mark. Enlist the help of students , other teachers, and school officals to keep it as a one room school. Your idea of the children reliving school life in a one room school is excellent! Maybe it could be utilized by all teachers in your school and surrounding schools. The school could be fixed up by volunteers and shown as a historical landmark to visitors on a parttime basis. Hold a rally . I hope these ideas will be of some value !........M
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 1/28/2007
That must have been a special treat for you and the children to spend a day at the old schoolhouse. I have a picture of an old schoolhouse--long torn down--in my home town that has lots o memories.

What a shame that such historical buildings can't be preserved. There is much of America's history, traditions, and morals in old buildings in small towns and cities across our nation.

Joyce, you and I knew a time when it was safe to leave your doors unlocked, a time when we respected others--not because they deserved it--but because we were taught to be respectful. I guess those days are buried in little old schoolhouses as like the one your picture.
Reviewed by Victor Buhagiar (Reader) 1/28/2007
Stand up for what you think is right. Trust others to try and destroy what produces a good thing. Victor
Reviewed by Denise Contreras 1/28/2007
The world needs more teachers like you. Thanks for this
Hugs Angela
Reviewed by George Carroll 1/28/2007
Where would our Nation be without dedicated teachers such as you.
Reviewed by Randall Barfield 1/28/2007
i completely agree. it's important that kids see that in the past things were "evolving" and not always as they are today. why aren't officials proud of the little structure? they need to ask themselves that question

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