School

I would like to write a little about the school in Fjelstervang and how it functioned. There were seven classes. Class 1, Classes 2 and 3 who were together in the same room, as were Classes 4 and 5 and also 6 and 7. One began school at the age of seven and left at fourteen. The school year began in April, and as a result I began school just before I was seven. There were only two class rooms and therefore the division was that during summer the younger classes 1 to 3 went to school four days/week in the summer and two days/week in the winter. It was vice versa for class 4 to 7, they went

to school only two days in the summer and four days/week in the winter. This division was no doubt made so that the bigger and older children could work more in the summer. There was less farm work in the winter. Many boys including me had jobs on other farms during summer while we attended school two days/week.

When I started, Class 1 and Classes 6 and 7 were taken by the head teacher,a Mr. Nielsen and Classes 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 were taken by Miss Christensen- a very strict disciplinarian. No talking in her class - nobody dared and hardly anybody dared to not

learn their homework by heart. It was customary that a teacher played the organ at church and the head teacher led the singing. This was the case in Fjelstervang. I think they were paid for it, since I do not think Miss Christensen, probably 40 by then, was very religious. She had made a scandalous comment about St. Paul saying he was an idiot with respect to his attitude to women which did not go down well in this community!

There were no exams though during the last day of a school year the priest normally came to listen to teachers asking questions of their pupils. Sometimes the teacher in consultation with the priest kept a pupil back for a year longer in a class particularly Class 1. This was very shameful for the child to whom it happened.

The children came from a radius of about 4 km and the small children walked to school all the way. Some of  the  children from the older classes had bikes.