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Looking back: 100 years at Glen elementary school in Coquitlam
On Friday, May 30, Glen elementary school in Coquitlam will celebrate its 100th birthday with a special event. In preparation, Luciano Stella’s Grade 4 and 5 students have been studying how their school has changed over the years. From writing tablets to tablet computers and wireless communication, Glen has undergone a dramatic transition. At right are some of the changes Stella compiled...
• The original Glen school was a one-room schoolhouse with 13 students aged six to 14 years, with a single teacher overseeing multiple grades.
• It had a well pump and there was no electricity so kerosene gas lamps were used.
• Outhouses stood out the back and, to keep warm, students and the teacher kept the wood furnace going; firewood was stored in the basement.
• In wintertime, the kids would hang up their coats and mitts to dry by the furnace.
• The Lord’s Prayer began the school day for students.
• In the spring of 1914, Glen had an Arbor Day and pupils planted a row of trees along the front of the one-acre property.
• The eldest pupils took turns raising and lowering the Canadian flag every school day.
• Students studied geography, spelling, grammar, writing, mathematics, British history, Canadian history and nature.
• The first teacher was Miss L.C. Howe and she earned $65 per month; she used a blackboard for her lessons.
• Students used small chalkboards and writing tablets; quill pens and inkwells were used; hand-writing was considered very important.
• Students sat in wooden desks in rows.
• Corporal punishment — the strap — was used and teachers were strict.
• Students would walk on gravel roads to school on their own and had to look out for bears and deer.
• At home the students had chores; students who lived on farms looked after the chickens, cows, pigs and other animals.
• Students played traditional games during recess: tag, hop-scotch, hide and seek, marbles, skipping games, Red Rover.
• Lunches or snacks were usually carried in tin containers or baskets, or wrapped in a piece of cloth.
• Students ate snacks outside during recess: hard-boiled eggs, apples, cheese, homemade bread, cake or cookies, or jelly, jam or peanut butter sandwiches.
• Students listened to records played on a gramophone, watched silent movies at theatres in New Westminster and learned how to tell time on analog clocks and had watches.
• The fifth Glen school is a French immersion school with 20 classrooms (12 English and eight French immersion) and 482 students from kindergarten to Grade 5.
• Glen has a principal, vice-principal, secretary, 32 teachers and 17 support staff.
• It also has three bathrooms each for girls and boys, a library, gym, multi-purpose room, computers, internet, elevator, photocopier, a radiant floor heating system, a security system and sprinkler system.
• Some students walk to school on their own and many are either walked or driven to school.
• Students usually sit in groups instead of in rows.
• Classrooms are inclusive.
• Students use pencils, mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens, gel pens, felt markers, fine liners and pencil crayons.
• Ms. Swayne’s Grade 4 students are part of a One to One project and do their work on laptop computers.
• Teachers use whiteboards, computers, projectors and Smart Boards, which are connected to the internet, in the classroom.
• Every classroom has a phone and teachers use email to communicate with one another.
• Students can use the internet for research and for completing assignments.
• Students play tag, soccer, basketball or skipping games, or go on the adventure playground during recess.
• Some students bring video games and cellphones to school.
• School subjects include spelling, reading, writing, science, math, social studies, health and career planning, PE, music, art and French as a second language for the Grade 5 kids.
• Students take part in the annual Terry Fox Run, Halloween activities, winter/christmas concert, dance festival, Kilometre Club, Music Monday, Spirit Days, hot food days, and sports day.
• Grade 5 students can join the volleyball and basketball teams.
• Students listen to music played on radios, iPods, CD Players, iPads and laptop computers.
• Students watch educational videos and movies on televisions with DVD players, laptop computers and online.