​Lessons to be learned from a one-room schoolhouse

But for some, it's hard when the day comes to go to the big city high school. It can be, in a word, terrifying.

"I mean, you're going from, you know, seven, eight kids to thousands," said Jon Dupuis.

How did he handle it? "Pretty poorly at first. But as freshman year moved on, I came out and was able to, you know, make friends, talk to people, get on with my life."

Jon Dupuis -- now a senior who's going to college next year for a degree in computer science -- says that, in balance, the one-room school was the unique basis for a life of learning.

Petersen asked, "How do you think you did academically against the kids who had gone through a normal school system?"

"In the top ranks," Dupuis said.

Why? "I think it was the push of education here. There was no discouragement. It was always, what can you learn, what can you do? You can do this. You will learn this."

"I'm with these students 180 days a year for nine years of their lives," said Judy Boyle.

"You have a real personal interest in these kids," said Petersen. "These aren't just kids behind a desk for you."

"You can't help but love them," Boyle said. "You're a part of you. And I'm a part of them."

No wonder that when it comes to education, the teachers and students in one-room schools so often consider themselves the lucky ones.

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