One Room Schoolhouse

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The one room school house of the past required one teacher to meet the needs of many, usually in isolation, with limited resources and inferior materials. The legacy of the one room school house is deeply steeped into the modern education system, the effects of which make teaching difficult, especially for the novice teacher. Most teachers enter the education field with positive attitudes and lofty goals. They believe they can make a difference in the lives of their students. Difficulties in the classroom often overshadow their enthusiasm. Beginning teachers often leave the field of education due to frustration, disillusionment and negative experiences in the classroom. Three aspects of the legacy of the one room school house which are particularly difficult for new teachers are inadequate induction programs, inequity in the work place, and isolation in the classroom.

Induction programs are often inadequate and do not support the teacher when it is most needed, during the first year. Would be mentors often leave the novice teacher to their own devices to see if they can handle the pressures of teaching on their own. Much needed advice and role modeling is withheld and learning by example is not accessible. Another difficulty first year teachers face is a lack of resources. Teachers are commonly known as hoarders because it takes years of teaching to gather the supplies and materials necessary to run a classroom smoothly. First year teachers are given a minimal budget for supplies, have not created materials of their own, have not had the opportunity to benefit from parent donations and are often left with subpar classroom resources from the teacher that previously occupied the room. These issues, coupled with difficult teaching assignments, give new teachers little hope when struggling in the classroom. New teachers lose their idealism based on the environment. They can become disheartened and lose their inspiration to teach.

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