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tv   Crowded Out  CSPAN  September 6, 2015 4:00pm-4:31pm EDT

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go. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> with the sudden death of president harding, vice president calvin coolidge takes off. grace coolidge was in the norm is a popular first lady and influence the taste of american women by becoming a style icon, although she married a man known as site like cal. she's her office to bring attention to issues she cared about. this is c-span possible original " from, "first ladies -- martha washington to michelle obama. that on american history on c-span3. >> each week, american history america" brings
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you shows that brings context to today's issues. the program addresses problem of overcrowded schools as a result of the post-world war ii baby boom. the program begins with a frustrated teacher writing her resignation letter and then shows how her once happy classroom gradually becomes dysfunctional and argues that overcrowded classrooms are incompatible with that education practices. it's just under 30 minutes. ♪ >> this is the classroom. the teachers professional home. louise roberts has spent half her waking life for the past five years helping children to learn. feeling her worth as a teacher.
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regrets, i hereby submit my resignation as a teacher in the school system for reasonshcoming year for -- >> it had happened within the school year. so many changes. changes that had taken so much out of teaching. there once stood the pno. there, once the science corner and library. special projects built around the world in which children live at cap their minds rimming with ideas.
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but all of this is passed. reasons? how did the teachers explain -- how did the teacher asked her reasons for resigning? i read myoberts, may report now? name of my report is the telephone trip. my class went on a trip to the telephone building monday. we saw the switchboards and then we went to another room where we heard the click click from the people dialing on her phone stop >> kassie and her classmates learning to read, write and spell, creating their own stories about field trips into the city, learning what it means to live in a community, learning how people work and live together.
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>> number please. stimulated, the children carried over into the classroom with they had seen. >> this is the dentist office. but one group practiced using the telephone. while a more advanced group conducted a simple experiment in the transmission of sound. a third group practiced using the telephone directory. >> that's fine. now, benji, let's see if you can find your name and we will write your number down and the class directory. >> one 4913.
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>> kassie, her eager mind running over with questions. >> that's fine. children, may i have your attention, but you kassie wants to know if she had to get a message quickly to someone in a foreign country, how would she do it? , kassiefor example wanted to reach someone in france. here we are and here is france all the way across the ocean. what that she do? david? >> couldn't she just write a letter? >> i'm sure kassie wants something faster than that. >> she could send airmail and put rush on it. >> yes, billy? >> there is a cable that runs under the ocean.
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>> my father was in the middle of the ocean and got a telephone call and the middle of the night and it was my mother wishing a happy birthday. call from thehe telephone wires on the water? >> it would have to go from ship to shore over short wave radio. >> informal discussion -- questions leading children into broader field of learning, all as art of a school day for top >> we have learned a great deal in the two weeks we've studied communication, not only about the telephone but other ways of sending and receiving messages. what would he a good way to show each other what we have learned? we will have a test friday on
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the new spelling words we have learned. we will need a committee. children were learning to work independently. committees were responsible for developing their own projects. artwork helped the children express their feelings and ideas. then of course, there was time for functional drill in the yard and small working groups according to each child's needs. reading, asilent more advanced group working out the dramatization of a story they had just read. >> we do have a train.
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while using special teaching aids, miss roberts gave extra attention to those in need of help with their reading. >> becky? you tell me what betty wanted to do? can you read it? let's betty said i want see the dollhouse, but i would also like to ride the hobbyhorse. but that's right. ng, can you tell us what and wanted to do? what ann wanted to do? >> 24 children, all different visibly, mentally, emotionally. children who could not be taught all in the same way.
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learning was related to today's experience, with writing and spelling part of daily class responsibilities. and there was plenty of arithmetic. with class work each child rate of progress. >> you musteven
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learn to make straighter lines. a seven should look like a policeman with his handheld stop traffic. try again. >> kassie, enjoying her work and learning. but needing help with her reading. please,nxious to needing recognition. benji, needing to be pulled out of his shell. advanced, needing greater challenge to prevent boredom. >> all right, children it's time for recess. kathy?
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could you stay after school a few minutes today so we can work on your reading? >> yes, miss roberts, i can stay. >> this was the classroom -- 24 pupils with time for each child. time to know and understand each way and girl, to handle and guide them in different ways along new paths, feeling her work as a teacher. until -- thet was construction of the huge industrial plant that triggered the community to new life.
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suddenly, almost overnight, the quiet suburb became a small city. >> boys and girls, we have children for our class. this is bargaining -- this is barbara baker from cleveland and mrs. john sykes from atlanta.
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until we get new desks, we will have to find a place for you to sit. will you please show them where to put their coat customer lacks but it had only started. just as the community changed, so did the classroom. one by one, the class projects were removed to make room for more desks, more and more as the months went by. triedtime, miss roberts to continue small-group work, reluctant to give up helping children with their individual needs. but various elements were working against her. space, the sheer physical closeness of one child to another. lack of classroom projects to
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occupy their attention once they had completed their assignment. nothing to do. no place to go. what was the use? keeping discipline had become one of the biggest chores of the crowded classroom. >> those of you who have finished, get out your language books and fill in the blanks on page 72. the rest of you go on working so, to control the crowd , miss roberts was forced to return to teaching the mass instead of the individual, rote with no
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relation to everyday problems, with no time to build on children's interest and experience. teaching no longer stimulating to the pupils or the teacher. but, there were other losses. losses in learning time, waiting for help, waiting while others received attention. waiting until miss roberts found time to give them the attention they needed. benji, the quiet child waiting, moving her into his shell. joey, the gifted child, frustrated, waiting for the school day to end. kassie, her
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eagerness slowly stifled. children lost in the crowd. staff needing, teachers tried to find solutions for what was happening. let's we are worst to work with groups that are much too large. they are not getting the attention that they need and the bright ones are bored. but i have been trying competitive games with my, but even games can't keep these older children quiet for long. >> i had to postpone a parent conference this afternoon. i simply could not work it in. but you are right, and it gets worse every day. but for the time being, we've got to live with it doing the best job we can. but even if it's a bad job market lacks we are all carrying a pretty impossible load. i'm probably not doing the best job in principle can, but i'm trying the best i know how. that is what expected of all of you.
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the best teacher knows how -- playground supervision, hall duty, cafeteria monitoring, crosswalk monitoring morning and afternoon, working late each day to catch up, get test papers and reports piling up. >> here's another one we need to work on. think of the difference between these two sounds. jennifer? can you give us a word with sound? , children.there wait until you are called on. i'm going to say a word. see if you can tell me you hear this sound in the beginning, middle, or end of the word. draw. kassie? give kassie a chance. >> kassie takes too long.
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please or to tidy up your desk before you go, children. roberts, i'm still having trouble with my reading. but i wish i could help you today but i have duty. >> no, better let her go. cassini's help, but so do others and so many, there just is time. avoided -- avoided if he tried, she knew something happened we can for her the meaning, the word of teacher. something had corrupt the value of her chosen career. but was that sufficient reasoning for retiring? where did her sense of failure start mark >> miss roberts, i did know you were still here.
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get a phone call a couple of minutes ago from mrs. williams, i think it was. but it's all right, mr. brady. but she says she's just got to find you. >> kassie's mother. that's for the doubt in her mind had begun, in kassie's home. >> that's enough tv, kathy. with work on your reading until mother gets home. and ellen, do i have to eschew mark >> gracious those you can do with practice. are.we where we left off. change the subject. come on. the first building the prince saw was the stable. saw allhe looked in, he
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these forces. he went into the castle. that. know better than >> what does it mean? >> high. how are you? margaret williams, your daughter's reading is simply did horrible. she barely knows half the words, let alone their meaning. second --re reading we were reading sleeping beauty in the second grade. if jim were alive, he would be doing something about it. i keep telling you that it's her teacher -- miss roberts. >> miss roberts is a good teacher. next don't bother your little head about this. it's not your fault. just try getting her into a these in college when she grows up with their crowded
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conditions. if you had any interest in your daughter's education, -- >> of course, like every mother, you want the best for your child. but there are other cares on your mind. , you take time to inquire of other mothers. indanny has fallen behind arithmetic. but this roberts is his teacher to. >> that's the way things are run these days -- slipshod. >> as the week go by, you realize something is happening to kathy. then, that sunday morning, with kathy home from sunday school, and ellen visited time for her to read a bible story. next all i can say is you should
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have heard her yourself. were kassie in front of all of those children, i was never so humiliated. >> maybe you have that tiny feeling that she's receiving a second rate education and it turns into anger, anger looking for a target. all that sunday, you try to call miss roberts. when you fail to reach her, your irritation grows and suddenly, your mind is made up. the next day at work, you get in touch with the member of this board with whom you are acquainted and arrange cmf's home.
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casem come you state your against miss roberts. >> if it were only kathy, i would have her transferred to another teacher, but there are other children. >> are you and is in the pta, ms. williams? in any school activity? i imagine our teachers are really busy -- too busy to give individual attention. this year, your child's nearly doubled its enrollment. and you know how birthrates all over the country are still going up. >> i came here to talk about getting rid of a teacher who obviously does not know her job and i'm speaking not only for myself. out to the school and talk. >> you are right. ms. williams -- ms. roberts
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isn't doing a good job. ms. roberts would be the first to agree with you. not that she is in a good teacher, she's one of our best. but she's not being given a chance to teach the way she has been trained and the way she wants to teach. >> come now, mr. morris. we are all overworked. >> you haven't in here recently. i not take a walk through the corridors and take a look at the classrooms before you talk to miss roberts. -- il have one of your will have one of our seventh graders show you around. i think you'll find you have acted a bit hastily. >> you see a classroom in a court or. another in a basement. see a classroom being set up on the auditorium stage.
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library taken out of circulation. classes double up. you see a class operating nearby. a playground area designed for the safety of less than half its number. a child crowded out. by the time ms. roberts'room, your confidence and judgment is a bit shaken. nevertheless, you attend the
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next meeting of the school board. there, you sit among vacant chairs, of those who in the long run frame school policy, who are responsible for our schools. the school board and superintendent try to meet the problems of overcrowding. as they strive or solutions, you begin to wonder, whose fault is it that kassie is not getting the best in education. ms. roberts? suddenly you feel it is dire to help. you try to work out these problems with your neighbors, through your community organizations. also, because it essentially you are a fair for some, you begin to feel a sense of guilt about miss roberts. guilt that grows, especially the next day when you're from another teacher that ms. roberts intends to resign.
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you couldn't blame kassie's mother. it was only natural she should want the best. >> they walked from one silent room to another. discovered maranda calhoun. there she lies. he fell asleep.
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>> what if he said all we could do for the present is try the best we know how eschew mark but still, was that enough for the teacher? was that enough for kathy mark -- for kathy? [telephone ringing]
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♪ >> with the sudden death of resident harding, vice president calvin coolidge takes office. grace coolidge was an enormously popular first lady and influence the taste of american women by becoming a style icon. although she married a man known as silent cal, she used her office to bring attention to things that she cared about. that's on c-span's original --ies -- "first ladies from marthad --
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washington to michelle obama. c-spanican history tv on 3. in the fall of 1781, american soldiers under george washington and french soldiers under comte de rochambeau defeated british forces in yorktown, virginia, officially ending the revolution. thert selig talks about washington-rochambeau national historic trail. the society of the cincinnati hosted this event. it's an hour and 15 minutes. institution -- the american institute of the society of the cincinnati presidents

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