Island Schoolhouse: One Room for All

Overview

On six remote, windblown Maine islands, children are still educated in one-room schools. Island families are determined to keep their communities viable, and all agree that a school is a central part of a stable, year-round community. You might think that these tiny schools are an anachronism, offering an old-fashioned approach to education. You'd be wrong. They are among the most technologically savvy schools in the state and offer a culturally rich educational experience. Eva Murray moved to Matinicus in 1987 ...

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Overview

On six remote, windblown Maine islands, children are still educated in one-room schools. Island families are determined to keep their communities viable, and all agree that a school is a central part of a stable, year-round community. You might think that these tiny schools are an anachronism, offering an old-fashioned approach to education. You'd be wrong. They are among the most technologically savvy schools in the state and offer a culturally rich educational experience. Eva Murray moved to Matinicus in 1987 to teach in the one-room school, married and raised a family on the island, and has served on the school hoard and volunteered in the school. Traveling from island to island, she has collected the stories that tell how these small communities promise their handful of children a modern education within the context of a specialized and sometimes extreme offshore lifestyle. The hows and whys will fascinate educators, and the details of island life will interest everyone.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884483403
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,183,516
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 2.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Living and Learning on an Island

Going to School on Little Cranberry Isle 1

On an island, we rely on each other.

The Numbers on One-Room Schools 9

You can't Google this.

It's Not About the Architecture 11

A one-room schoolhouse?

Matinicus 14

Home of the pirates!

Criehaven, Matinicus's Neighbor 19

A cautionary tale.

Island Logistics 22

You can't get there from here.

Getting the Job Done 28

Our teachers had better understand the business end of a wrench.

A Bit of the History

A Day in School on Matinicus 33

Skiing to school.

Memories of Years Ago 39

The teacher ate moose meat all winter and never knew it.

Early Schools on Matinicus 44

Constructed of lumber salvaged from a shipwreck.

School in the Fifties and Sixties 50

One of the earliest telephone calls to Matinicus.

Picket Lines and Flush Toilets 55

The great one-room-school teacher's strike of 1968.

Fundraising for Equipment 59

We never, ever wanted to see another soup label!

Figuring It Out for a Year, Twenty-Five Years Ago 65

He had spelling words like "Czechoslovakia."

So, How Do You Teach All Those Grades at Once?

Going to School on Frenchboro 79

This job rocks!

Differentiation, Standards-Based Education, and Some Observations 90

How can anybody teach all those different ages at once?

Exchange Trips and the Inter-Island Event 105

Collaboration-what you lose in control, you gain in momentum.

The Island Teacher's Conference, the Critical Friends Group, and the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative 111

Your practice and my practice.

Mission and Institute 124

Auxiliary islanders!

Place-Based Education 135

Squid lab and exquisite cider.

This is the Real World

Visiting the Monhegan School 144

It's 20 degrees below zero and you want organic spinach?

School Is in Session 149

We are not Old Sturbridge Village!

Myths and Misconceptions 152

Do you even have electricity?

Thoughts on a Childhood Without Soccer 157

It's a heck of a place to raise a kid!

Budgeting for a One-Room School 162

Who pays for all this? Teaching on an Island Is Not for the Faint of Heart 169

Circular, moral, and impotent.

How Did You Get Here?

A Visit to the Isle au Haut School 173

A hundred years and counting.

Isle au Haut Invites People to Move to the Island 177

We need families.

The Twenty-Four-Hour Interview 179

The first thing we do is try to scare the applicant away.

Matinicus Was Closer 186

I thought I was headed for Alaska.

Doug and Michelle Finn, Frenchboro 191

This is not the Peace Corps.

Mimi Rainford, Swan's Island 193

I really wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Josh and Heidi Holloway, Cliff Island 195

Fish and coconuts.

David Duncan, Matinicus 198

I was afraid my wife would think I was crazy.

Tom Gjelten, North Haven 199

That's not really a small town.

Jessie Campbell, Monhegan 201

Wow, I have to do this!

Rachel Bishop, Frenchboro 202

It must be so nice to only have five or six students!

After Being an Island Teacher 203

Where do we go from here?

Term Limits, Secession, and Consolidation

Monhegan Goes to the Legislature 205

Small schools at risk.

Teacher Term Limits and a Visit to Long Island 208

It takes more than a year just to find all the light switches.

Secession Keeps the School Open for Early Grades 214

Chebeague Island offers good home cooking-at school!

Protecting the Brick School at Peaks Island 218

A neighborhood of Portland?

Twelve-Year-Old Commuters and High School "Away"

Going to School by Boat 223

Cliff Island kids know the ferrymen by name.

The High School Options 229

Every man for himself.

Island High-Schoolers Correspond with Their Slightly Younger Neighbors 237

You guys should hold a big dance, and practice!

From Matinicus to Phillips Exeter 238

Quite a little hooligan.

A Big Change at Home, Too 243

It was sad when her room was empty.

Two Gould Academy Graduates Reminisce 246

Ski Patrol changed my life!

Pilots, Ranchers, Miners, and Loggers

Cold Bay, Alaska 253

We also have to contend with brown bears.

Maybell, Colorado 255

A three-day weekend to recuperate.

Decker, Montana 258

The school is on a dirt road, nestled in the foothills.

Bismarck, North Dakota 261

We have students who ride their mules or horses to school.

Mandan, North Dakota 261

There are fewer and fewer of us.

The Last Two Inland One-Room Schools in Maine Close 263

Watch for moose!

Looking Ahead

Who Does Best in a One-Room School? 275

Not being all things to all people.

Critical Mass 278

How few students are too few?

Oral History

Everybody is doing a story on the one-room schools. 286

Acknowledgments 288

Selected Resources 290

Index 296

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