I’m still at Oakview Elementary School. However, it has changed. Instead of Grades 1-6, it now has Grades 4-6. The first three grades now attend Fords Prairie Elementary School. Grades 4 had the newer part of the school and 5th Grade had the older part of the school. 6th Grade met in portable classrooms. There were four classes for each of the grades.
My 5th Grade teacher was Mrs. Mabel Olson (no not the same one I had in 3rd Grade). This Mrs. Olson was my mother’s 4th grade teacher! One of the first things my mother told her was that we didn’t know our times tables. Boy, did we have to learn them. We were tested every week. Not only did we have to learn our times schedules. She made us practice our penmanship. We also had to learn our State Capitols. I can still remember most of them.
Made lots of new friends that came from Fords Prairie. We still had classroom parties for the various holidays. I can remember Mom helping out on Halloween. As we were getting ready to do the parade to other classrooms, she asked me who the new student was. I said we didn’t have a new student. She didn’t believe me until she looked at the name plate on the desk after we left the room. She cracked up laughing. It was one of the boys who dressed up as a girl (borrowed his sister’s clothes, had a wig and make-up). He did a fantastic job – Mom didn’t recognize him!
Mom made me a new dress for school – it was a real pretty pink and had ruffles. Don’t remember too much about it but I wanted to wear it to school for the Christmas party. I was all dressed up in it and went downstairs. Told mom my backed itch and would she scratch it. She started to then took a look . . . I had the Chicken Pox. One of the kids took the treat bag to my Dad (he drove school bus and took kids who lived in Galvin/Lincoln Creek). But what a way to spend Christmas. And I gave it to my little brother. When school started back up after break, I was wearing that dress but no teacher, she was ill.
So our Principal, Mr Robinson, taught us that first day until he could get a substitute teacher. He was great! By the way, he had a nickname for me = Zenkner Valley Girl. I was the only student in the school that lived up Zenkner Valley. My normal bus had to take students from Oakview over to the High School then pick up those kids that lived in the Valley then come back and get me. School was out at 3:30 but I didn’t leave the grounds until after 4pm. Mr. Robinson would sit with me until Mrs Clark came back to get me.
Other changes we had were music teachers. We had a couple of guitar players that came in and taught us songs to sing. We also had them in the 6thGrade. Some of the songs we sang included “Yellow Submarine”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Lemon Tree”, plus others. Math changed again. Boy, no wonder I struggled, it kept changing on me. And our teacher had to learn along with us. We also had an opportunity to learn a band instrument. I wanted to do band but we couldn’t afford it. Band was done during the lunch periods. 6th Graders got to help out in the lunch room (and you got free lunch when you did this) – so I did that when the kids who had band couldn’t work their shift. Mr. Jensen and Mrs. Case (the lunch room workers – Mr Jensen was also the school janitor) loved it when I worked because I never complained and did a good job.
6thGrade was my first male teacher and it was his first year of teaching. His name was Mr. Arlen Branch. That was the year I learned how to talk in class and not get caught. It was also the year I came down with the flu and when the doctor prescribed antibiotics, I broke out. He had mom discontinue and bring me in. Instead of an allergy reaction, I had Rubella Measles (even though I had been vaccinated). It was also the year that I had to start wearing glasses – I had troubles seeing the black board.
We were also broken up into level appropriate classes for Reading & Math. I was put in the upper levels for both. In reading, we created a newsletter and wrote various articles. We also had to write up book reports. Math was still a struggle for me. However, we were in the gym where the Principal, Mr. Robinson, taught us. One of the first things he did was asked what we were struggling with then he taught us shortcuts on how to learn it. My main issue was fractions. His help is what got me through basic math the rest of my school years (and one of the reasons why I’m an accountant today). For Social Studies, we got extra credit if we obtained literature about foreign countries and did up a report about them. I remember writing to several Consulates and getting literature. One of the other classmates did a better job than me. I was jealous.
5th& 6th grade was also the time that they brought in a female doctor (a rarity at that time) to teach us girls about puberty/menstruation. We had to watch a film. The boys were sent off to another classroom and I’m not sure if they had a similar topic on puberty for them or not.
One of the sad things, due to school levy failures for several years, we as 6thGraders did not have the Outdoor Classroom field trip to Mayfield for a week. Also, for the next year, several schools were closed. More about that later.