Memories of Hill Country Teachers Revisited
by Diane Daniels Manning
My decision to write Hill Country Teacher: Oral Histories from the One-Room School and Beyond was motivated by the desire to preserve the stories of teachers who began their careers in one-room country schools, often as teenagers. Although I now live in Houston, I was then Chair of the Department of Education at Tulane University in New Orleans. My students didn’t believe me when I told them many teachers once had to choose between marriage and teaching. I realized the road these pioneers had walked, the gates they had opened, would soon be gone.
My original idea was to interview teachers throughout the country, but I decided to begin in Kerrville, Texas, a town with a vigorous community of retired teachers. Once I began, one person’s story led to another, and eventually there was a book. These were published as part of the prestigious Twayne Oral History series in 1990.
In the intervening years, several things happened. The original book went out of print, the copyright reverted to me, and self-publishing became a realistic possibility. I decided to reissue the original book at today’s lower pricing, so that it would be more affordable as a gift or to keep for readers who would be most interested—teachers past and future.
More information and reviews of Hill Country Teacher can be found on my website www.dianedanielsmanning.com.
The book can be purchased as a paperback or e-book on amazon.com. Reviews posted on Amazon are extremely helpful and most appreciated.
Link to purchase on Amazon: HILL COUNTRY TEACHER
Please join Sibyl Sutherland (and the others) as she begins their stories….
“I didn’t want to teach. My mother practically drove me into it. I’d been to Schreiner College for two years, and then I stayed home a year. I’d finished high school at sixteen because I started school when I was five, and we didn’t have but ten grades at that time. I just stayed home and trapped. I caught fox and ring tails and so forth.
Then one day Mother said, ‘You can’t sit around here. You need to get out!’
She told me later she was just like a mother bird shoving her little one out of the nest. She said she could just see me staying at home ‘til I was an old lady.”