About the diary writer

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Kansas City, Missouri, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
~ About: A 1961-65 Park College Diary ~ As a high school girl and then a college coed in the first half of the 1960s, I wrote nightly entries on the pages of one-year diaries. In January 2010 I began transcribing the entries into a blog and gave each one a title. I grew up on three farms within 30 miles of Iowa City and the University of Iowa with its Iowa Writers' Workshop. As the oldest of four daughters, in my diaries I sometimes referred to my sisters as "the kids" or "the girls." We helped our parents, but we also had good, wholesome fun - a characteristic I took with me to Park. Park is 300 miles southwest of West Chester, Iowa, in Parkville, Missouri, on the Missouri River 10 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, and across the river from Kansas City, Kansas. In 2000 Park College became Park University. Today Park's flagship campus is in Parkville and there are an additional 41 campus centers across the nation. Park was one of the first educational institutions in the United States to offer online learning. My last post was on May 22, 2018. I may be followed on Twitter @BarbaraMcDWhitt.

August 25, 2017: Student Teaching in the Parkville R-5 School District in 1964

In the fall of 1964 some of the other education majors and I did our student teaching in what was then known as the Parkville R-5 School District. The R-5 indicated its designation as a reorganized school district, meaning that neighboring towns' former school districts had merged with the Parkville district. Today it's known as the Park Hill School District.

Under the direction of a Park education department professor, Dr. Young Pai, some other elementary education majors and I did our student teaching in September, October and November of 1964 in the district's Southeast Elementary School. Miss Mary Dyer was a third grade teacher there and was my supervisor as I learned teaching skills while in her classroom. She was a no-nonsense, little tolerance for deviation from her norm, strict teacher, and her students respected her.

I believe the following headings, which I compiled in 2014 while transcribing my diary's 1964 entries on a daily basis, tell the story of my ten weeks as a student teacher:

Friday, September 11: Met Our Supervisors for Student Teaching 
Monday, September 14: Observed Miss Dyer Teach Her Third Graders
Wednesday, September 16: Taught the Third Graders Their Spelling Lesson 
Friday, September 25: Will Begin Teaching Reading on Tuesday
Sunday, September 27: Made an Outline for Third Grade Indian Unit
Tuesday, September 29: Reading Group Did Well on Their Seat Work

Monday, October 12: "Housing" Part of Indian Unit Went Well
Tuesday, October 13: Worked on "Clothing" of the Plains Indians
Friday, October 16: We Are Half Finished with Student Teaching
Wednesday, October 21: Sat in on Two Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thursday, October 22: Southeast Principal Came to Observe Our Classroom
Sunday, October 25: Made Up a Test as Part of Indian Unit
Tuesday, October 27: Dr. Pai Came to Observe This Morning
Wednesday, October 28: The Indian Unit Test Results Are Quite Good

Monday, November 9: Students' Notebooks Have a Total of 806 Pages
Tuesday, November 10: Feeling Great After Parents' Insights Tonight
Wednesday, November 11: Tom-toms and "Sound of the Medicine Man"
Sunday, November 15: Will Try a Different Approach with Worksheets
Monday, November 16: Am Ready to Teach the Class All Day Tomorrow
Thursday, November 19: Starting Salary Next Year Will be $5000
Friday, November 20: Student Teaching Efforts Were Appreciated

Evelyn Gatton and Kathy Webb went with me in my parents' 1961 Chevrolet to Southeast in the mornings on a Monday-Friday basis. It was the one semester that my parents in Iowa agreed it was necessary for me to have a car on campus. The above diary dates' titles are the ones that I gave precedence to over Park College studies, activities, student interactions and my personal reflections that were given titles on other days and nights at Park, in Parkville and in Kansas City. On most nights I also wrote about Miss Dyer, the third graders and Southeast even if they weren't "headline" news on a given day.


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