I am in the front with the dark plaid dress, white collar, and ringlets
They told us that our teeth should show when we smiled, which accounts for our rather ferocious-looking expressions
After my family moved out West from Maine when I was an infant, I lived in San Francisco until I was 11 years old and about to go into the 6th grade. All of these photos were taken at my two schools in San Francisco's Sunset District, the Francis Scott Key School and its Annex. Information about the Annex can be found on this page under "Other Improvements and Neighborhood Amenities" on the extensive historical site, Western Neighborhoods Project; Preserving the History of San Francisco's West Side.
It was pretty surprising to look up my old school and find that my experience is considered historical! I can gaze at these photos for a very long time, looking at the rooms and the kids, and picking out details. Look at the formality of our school clothes--all the girls are wearing dresses, and everyone's "school shoes" were kept for "good."
I also like to see that the teachers in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades set up hands-on experiences, like the play grocery stores. When you look at the third grade photo, you can see that we have pretty much put all that nonsense behind us in favor of sit-at-the-desk type learning. Nowadays, much of the school day is spent doing hand-on learning at all levels.
However, I really loved the structure and quietness of the structured school room. Those little desks in a straight row, with the books and papers lined up just so were very satisfying to me. When I was older, in 6th grade I believe, I visited the third grade class where my mother taught, using the new methods. I found the noise and apparent chaos quite disconcerting, with children moving all around the room from learning station to learning station.
I am on the left in the first row with the short kids
That Scottish-looking outfit was designed and sewn by my mother
I am in the first row, just above "Scott" on the classroom sign, trying to keep Ronald's boy cooties off me