were only a dozen students in the one room school on the Koyukuk River
in Alaska but they still went through a teach a year. Some years
the teacher didn't even stay the whole school year. When their latest
teacher left without any warning, Fred thought maybe they were running
out of teachers and they wouldn't get another one. But a week later,
Sam, the pilot who brought the mail, also brought the new teacher.
The year is 1948 when Miss
Agnes arrived to teach in the small Athabascan village. She was different
than all the other teachers. She was older and she wore pants, an unusual
thing for a woman to do in 1948. Miss Agnes talked funny, too.
When Fred (short for Frederika) asked why, Miss Agnes told her she was
English. Then she brought out a world map and showed Fred how far
England was from Alaska. From that moment Fred knew that this school
year would be different.
One the first day of school
with Miss Agnes, everything was way different from any time they'd come
to school before. The desks weren't all lined up. Miss Agnes
had put them in a circle, around the edges of the room, and there was a
long table in the middle of the room. Miss Agnes' desk was just back
in the corner, not where it used to be in front of the blackboard.
Desks in a circle looked like more fun -- and a teacher's desk in the corner
looked friendlier, too. Everything was different, but good different.
What other surprises does Miss
Agnes have for her students? Will she stay through the year?
Will she be the first teacher to come back after summer? Learn more
about Miss Agnes and Fred and the other Athabascan children in THE YEAR
OF MISS AGNES by Kirkpatrick Hill. (New
Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee, 2002)