Interview with Jean McGuire
QUESTION 3
JACKIE SHEARER:

So what about, what about this, this-





JACKIE SHEARER:

So, I want you to go back in time, you're a beginning teacher, 1960, give me the litany that you were just giving me of what you didn't have to work with.

JEAN McGUIRE:

All right, if I can remember, the thing that hit me the most when I came in was the dichotomy between what I had seen when I was a student teacher and, at the present doing some graduate work, you know, where I went off to Tufts and to BU and took courses to further my masters was that this school didn't have so many things that I thought we should be taking for granted. It didn't have primary type-writers. We didn't have new crayons, we had a box of old nubbly crayons. Pencils had to be collected at the end of the day so you would have enough for the children the next day. There wasn't enough White paper.** The yellow paper was brown on the edges. It had been stored and saved and hoarded so there would be enough. Primary lined paper was very hard to come by. We didn't have a record player because we had DC current. We didn't have a tape recorder. We didn't have a music teacher to come in. There were no music lessons. I bought flutophones for the parents who couldn't save up a dollar and we used to play music on the flutophones so I could teach music. There were no science labs. There was no gymnasium and the yard was so small, it was the size of maybe a large classroom, one for the boys and one for the girls. You couldn't do run games, duck duck goose and name-ball and things like that where you stood in place, but you couldn't play tag or have relay races or any of the other things that were in the curriculum. There were no other kind of art labs or jewelry classes or any of the things that you would see in a school like Shady Hill where this really facility's for children. There were just so many things that would have made life for the teachers and the students so much more exciting and so much more meaningful. And then of course, our schools, in many parts, you see, were very crowded, particularly in the areas where Blacks were complaining about the need for changes. Um, there were books like "Little Black Sambo". There were no pictures on the wall, anything that would let you know there were anything but White people in America. We had to read the Bible in school then. It was a Catholic Bible, and because I had Chinese and Asian, ah, kids and kids from different religions, I used the Old Testament and stories like Esther and Ruth and Daniel in the Lions Den and Proverbs, things that were literature to, to, to make it--

JACKIE SHEARER:

Great, cut. Great, we got it. OK, so I think we have indicted the Boston--