My mother was a school teacher

My mother was a school teacher for all her working life. She and my father met at western Maryland’s Frostburg State Teachers College (now Frostburg State University).

She taught first, second and third grades, mainly at the Winter Street School in Hagerstown, Md., and Williamsport Primary School in nearby Williamsport, Md. Her career stretched from the 1920s to the 1960s, and in the second half of her career, she taught some of the children and a few grandchildren of some of her earliest students.

She had the reputation of being an outstanding teacher.  Parents were pleased to get their children in Mrs. Ebersole’s class.

The only way she was evaluated was that, every now and then, a supervisor from the Board of Education would come around to observe her in the classroom.  When that happened, she would use whatever teaching method was in favor at the time; otherwise she would use her own.

Then, too, she always took care that her attendance registers were in perfect order, with no smudges or crossings-out.  Evidently the school principals of the day always checked these carefully.

Today’s educational world is very different from hers, but it is the same in one respect.  You can use all the quantifiable measures of student performance you like, but nobody really knows what goes on in a classroom except the teacher and the students.

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