Tittle and Author
School tales by Corey Elizabeth
Date of Issue
American heritage magazine 2011, volume 61, issue 1
The article is a web version, link: http://www.americanheritage.com/content/school-tales-letters-home-young-teacher-reveal-life-iowa-prairie-1905-1906
The article is about young, naive, and irresponsible 20th century Iowa teacher. The teacher documented her memoirs from early life to maturity. Her writings provide an unusual look into rural America at the time the Wright Brothers were busy developing and inventing the first aircraft.
The story of “Bess’ Corey is narrated by Corey Elizabeth. The story is about challenges that affected girls in their pursuit for education. Girls experienced challenges while going to school in the early 20th century. Bess Corey’s challenges increased when the father died in 1905. After the death of the father, some of her siblings had to take care of farms and crops in the firm. Corey had to pursue a degree in teaching. However, she could only manage a ninth grade due to the challenges that affected girls in early 20th century. In these early days, only two in ten high school-aged children attended school.
Early education was also dominated by boys. Girls had various challenges that prevented them from achieving educational qualifications. Bess asserts that the school had seven girls and eleven boys. The ration of boys to girls was at its lowest level in the 20h century. In addition, pupils had the ‘cant’ habit. They believed that attaining eighth grade was impossible. Further, pupils as well as teachers had to walk long distances to school. There were few schools in the early 20th century. Girls experienced difficulties because the distance to school was as far as six miles. Poor enrollment of girls into educational institutions could be attributed to few schools and long distances to the available ones. Climatic conditions also affected the ability of pupils to seek education. Heavy rains and cold mornings affected their ability to access schools.
In the early 20th century school absenteeism was a major challenge to the girl child. Girls could not become regular school goers. However, Bess Carey’s class had pupils with hope and optimism. Absenteeism was not a major challenge to girl child education in Corey’s class. According to the documented memoirs, all pupils had hope that one day they would achieve academic grades required for an individual to become a teacher. Bess Corey also had hope that she would attain her degree in education. Although it took several years to get a degree in education, Bess Corey had hope that success could later be realized through her hard work and optimism.
The story is narrated through poor spelling and grammar. Inappropriate language indicates the education level that Bess had attained. Poor spelling and grammar also indicate the ability of the education system in the 20th century in helping girls achieve their full potential. While at school, girls had to socialize with their peers. Bess Corey developed relationships with boys. Socialization of boys and girls helps pupils to learn from their peers and the challenges they experienced in the process of achieving success. Home sickness could also affect the ability of pupils to learn. Bess Corey documents her feelings once she left home. She describes the classroom as being too hot for studies. The classrooms were also small and narrow compared to the rooms they had at home. Bess Corey documents how pupils failed exams in her class. Pupils failed exam even after being taught by their teachers, they could not master concepts of square root, cube root, and longitude time. Pupils could blame their teachers for their inability to pass exams. However, they believed that Bes had done her best in teaching necessary concepts to pass exams.
Despite the challenges, Bess Corey also had joys about education. She believed that one day she would become an important member of the society. Education was the only method she could use to realize her dreams. The early 20th century education also witnessed child labor. Children could not attend school because they had to seek employment. After the death of Corey’s father in 1905, her siblings, Fuller and Rob, tended crops and looked after livestock. Bess Corey’s story represents the typical America’s voice in the 20th century. Education was not well developed compared to the current educational system. Young Girls and boys had to undergo challenges and experiences of rural setting. There were also no roads and bridges in the early 20th century to help children locate school. In addition, pupils had to walk long distances, as well as experience cold mornings. Rains complicated the journey to school because bridges would overflow with water. In essence, school tales represents the challenges experienced by both girls and boys in the early 20th century while trying to achieve academic credentials.
The author used documented diaries to present the story of Bess Corey. Documented memoirs reveal her joys and challenges in the process of acquiring education. The memoirs also indicate the challenges Bess Corey experienced after the death of her father. Historical accounts are also used by the author to in from the audience of the challenges experienced by rural pupils while going to school.
Historical evidence is used by the author to present reasoned arguments. The death of Corey’s father in 1905 is historical evidence used by the author to present the challenges that affected Americans in early 20th century. Children could not find it easy to achieve required education standards after the loss of a parent. Corey’s brothers had to take care of her father’s crops and livestock. Early 20th century represents a historical period in the development of aircrafts. The Wright Brothers invented the first aircraft in early 20th century. During this period, there were few pupils being enrolled into schools. In addition, documented diaries and memoirs act as historical evidence. The author uses the documented diaries to explain the different challenges and jot experienced in the process of attaining degree in teaching.
Poor enrolment of girls into schools is presented through the number of girls and boys present in the classroom. Bess’s class had seven girls and eleven boys. Historical evidence of heavy rain in the early 20th century presented challenges to girls and boys who had to walk long distance to reach school. Pupils in the early 20th century also had ‘cant’ habit. They believed they could not achieve eighth grade. The early 20th century education witnessed several challenges, especially for rural pupils. There was shortage of schools. Available schools were about six miles away. Pupils had to walk long distances with no bridges so that they could achieve their academic goals.
In early 20th century education, absenteeism was a major challenge to girl child education. Girls could not become regular school goers. However, Bess Carey’s class had pupils with hope and optimism. Absenteeism was not a major challenge to girl child education in Corey’s class. According to the documented memoirs, all pupils had hope that one day they would achieve academic grades required for an individual to become a teacher. Bess Corey also had hope that she would attain her degree in education. Although, it took several years to get a degree in education, Bess Corey had hope that success would soon be realized through her hard work and optimism.