One Room

“I never wanted to be a teacher. All the Mutton girls were teachers and I wasn’t going to be one.” Muriel and Rena, both born into a family of teachers, recall their long careers in one room schoolhouses in rural Ontario in the 1930s and 1940s. With the eye of the community on them, teachers were under pressure to manage 8 grades, maintain discipline without backup (read: the strap) and could see promising students eschew a high school education for much needed farm labour.