Monday, November 18, 2013

Living History

Baconstown school was established in 1842 and in order to do our bit for The Gathering we are having a reunion. We are thankfully in a newer building across the road from "the old school". As it is a pre-famine building the façade of it has been preserved while the inside has been renovated and used as a community centre.
In class we decided to have a Living History Day, where we would spend a day as if it was the 1900's and we were attending the old school. The kids did their research by interviewing grannies and grandads, looking at the school records and any old photos we could find. We got permission to spend our schoolday in the old building, where parents brought any old desks, posters or whatever would add to the atmosphere of the day.
Of course, not wanting to be left out I got into character too.
Never one to miss an opportunity to get into a costume!
To make it more authentic I got the loan of a "High Nellie" bike. Needless to say I DIDN'T cycle all the way from Raharney. I parked Roxy around the corner from the school in a neighbour's driveway and went from there.
One of our younger pupils, whose granny lives in the house, saw me arrive and practice a few circuits of the yard before I ventured out on the road.
She rushed into the school playground to proudly announce to everyone
"Granny is out in her dressing gown teaching Miss Noeleen how to ride a bike!"

Under strict instructions
"Don't pull the front brakes."
"Get off the bike going around that dangerous corner."
I set off for school.
I made it there in one piece. You can imagine the excitement of the kids, seeing their teacher making an absolute fool of herself!
I must admit the day has been the highlight of my teaching far.
I have a few years left!
The effort that the parents and kids put into their costumes, hairstyles, lunches made it seem as if we had really stepped back a hundred years.

The old classroom was set up with the original desks and the children had to write on slates. We tried our hand at Old Irish Writing.

They did very well!

Of course it wasn't easy writing while being squashed three to a desk.

The rate things are going in the Dept of Ed. we'll be back to that soon!

Their lunches consisted of brown bread, butter, an apple and a bottle of milk.
No low-carb diet for teacher today.

People wanted to know if they brought a sod of turf for the fire. Of course they did!
Then it was outside to play, traditional games of course.

Our main reason for the day was to reproduce a photo that was taken outside the school circa 1914.

Okay lads, line up at the wall.

Right, watch the birdie!

And the photo was taken....

Which all goes to prove....
Oh and I also discovered the beauty of being able to use the cane, when your principal gets in your way!!!