In the days before a backpack with a Notebook or
the student's first priority, the student's supply
list was short. First of all
is the lard pail for your lunch. Then you need
pencils, a ruler, eraser,
crayons and scribblers (with newsprint grade paper).
Grade 1 students started
with a beginner's pencil (thicker and with a heavier
lead than the ordinary HB
pencil) then progressed to the thinner pencil when
they were confidently
printing the words they learned.
In higher grades after students
had learned cursive
handwriting, a straight pen was used for "good"
work. A nib was
inserted into the pen, then the nib was dipped into
the inkwell in the desk (or
ink bottle) and, very carefully, beautiful letters
flowed across the page – if
you were lucky! The scribblers (or loose leaf paper)
used now had finer quality,
smoother paper that did not "bleed" the ink through
the paper. Lucky
was the student who managed a whole page with no ink
Teachers had their own "back to school" list.
Except that theirs usually related to the curriculum
to be taught, ensuring
that an adequate number of textbooks had been
ordered, setting the timetable
for the class. Myrna Mutzeneek, an 18-year-old
having completed the 6-week
Emergency Teacher Training program, drafted separate
timetables for her combined grade 6/7 class in Rich
Valley School in 1957-58.
These were tucked inside her school register along
with information about the
newly adopted system of "rental sets" of textbooks,
an application to
enroll in the Canadian Junior Red Cross ($2.00 per
elementary classroom per
year) and numerous newsletters from Lac Ste. Anne
Note: Miss Mutzeneek taught for
two terms, married Ron
Johnson and forsook teaching to raise a family.