Friday, October 14, 2011

100 Years Ago #6


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.

O. Kamprath placed in Bloomfield, NE who was then serving in Williamsburg, IA.


The month of June 1911 marked never-to-be-forgotten days for the class of eighteen who were to be graduated from Concordia Teacher's College Seward, Nebraska at the end of that term. I shall never forget the evening after devotion, when our sainted Director Weller read the list of assignments, among which was the remark: Kamprath, Bloomfield, Nebraska. Eine sehr schwierige Stelle [A very difficult place]. Being obliged to leave the institution without graduation exercises was a great disappointment.

On August 13, 1911 I was installed as the first teacher of First Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, Nebraska. Here this nineteen-year old greenhorn began his career in a school of forty-six pupils, ranging in age from six to nineteen years, having been called by a group of the members with the permission of the congregation. After having served one year, and the enemies of the school having been somewhat subdued, the congregation accepted me as their teacher.

Here I served in the work of feeding the lambs for a period of twelve years, during which time the enrollment varied between thirty-six and sixty. A mixed choir, a male quartet and an orchestra were organized under my supervision. In 1914 a new church was built, the old church remodeled for a school and a teacherage was built.

August 6, 1913 marks the beginning of our happy married life. Miss Martha Buehrer decided to share the poverty of a teacher's family, so she consented to have her Pastor, Rev. Rittamel of Marysville, Nebraska to make us one. Here in Bloomfield, Milton, Victor, and Norma were born. One son died at birth.

In 1923, a call was received, and I accepted to St. John Congregation near Homestead, Iowa, Rev. F. Wolter, Pastor. Here I faced an enrollment of fifty-six pupils in all grades, but during the second semester the pastor took charge of the lower grades, and the following fall a student was engaged to teach the lower grades. This a two-room school was organized and exists as such to the present day. This congregation to this day has services in the German language only, with religious instruction in school primarily in that language also. Here I spent the eleven most pleasing years of my teaching career. Loretta, Ethel, May, Elmer, and Donald were born here and thrived on plenty of milk from our own cow and plenty of good old Iowa fresh air and sunshine. In 1928 this congregation built us a beautiful nine-room house which we enjoyed for six years. A male choir and a mixed choir were in my care at this place, the former consisting mostly of older men who enjoyed singing the good old German songs, both religious and secular. This choir had the privilege to broadcast a program over Station WSUI, Iowa City several times a year, featuring German hymns and songs.

But the Lord willed it that I move once more. In August 1934 I accepted a call to St. Paul's Congregation at Williamsburg, Iowa, where I am teaching a one-room school again with a present enrollment of forty pupils. We hope to build up this school to a two-room soon. The pastor T.H. Joeckel, who was installed here this past January, is highly interested in schoolwork. This congregation has a male choir, a ladies' choir, a Walther League Society, A Ladies' Aid and Altruistic Society [another ladies group - possibly the English speaking organization].

Concerning my family, I might add that Milton was married on December 28 last year and is now living in Williamsburg practicing the tonsorial art on the heads and faces of its citizens. Victor is completing his sixth year at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest. Norma graduates this year from the Williamsburg High School: incidentally the three highest ranking students in this class are from our Christian Day schools. Loretta, Ethel May, and Elmer are attending my school, and Donald is still keeping company with his mother.

For twenty-five years we have been leading little children to Christ, and by the grace of God, may look back upon more or less success. Only eternity will fully show the success of our work. May the motto of our class, "Deo Duce" [With God for a leader], help us to carry on this work also in the future.

Oscar Kamprath



Image: The Teacherage, mrsrivergirl, Uploaded via flickr July 20, 2011, Creative Commons License

Friday, October 7, 2011

100 Years Ago #5


This article is part of a series written by educators from the college graduating class of 1911 upon their 25th college reunion in 1936. We are constantly facing changes in education, however you may be surprised to find some parallels between schools in 1936 and schools in 2011. I hope you enjoy some history of education, specifically Lutheran education.

The following words were originally shared via the Lutheran Education Association Administrators' Listserve by Greg Hassedahl, principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Overland Park, KS.

These words are from the graduating class of 1911 from Concordia University, Seward, NE upon their celebration of 25 years from graduation. The verbiage and punctuation is as they wrote it for their commemorative booklet from 1936. I added necessary [rough translations] from German.


W.H. Hinrichs placed in Bonduel, WI who was then serving in Williamsburg, IA.


Do you remember how eagerly we awaited the return of Director Weller from St. Louis in early June of 1911? The calls had been assigned. Of course we pretended to be more or less unconcerned, but in reality we were rather eager to learn of the place of our future activities. Someone who professed to know, told me I was to go to Lockwood, Missouri, which honor was accorded to Veits, as it developed later. When, that evening after devotion, Director Weller came to my name, he said: "Hinrichs, Bonduel, Wisconsin. Hinrichs wird sich freuen. Er wird eine Band haben." [Hinrichs will be pleased. He will have a Band.]

Due to the machination of Mr. H. Bloch, we left Seward hurriedly and without planned closing exercises. Of course, we were all coming back the next year, but -- of course, we didn't.

After a few happy months spent on the farm at home, I left for Bonduel, arriving there on September 1. On September 3, I was installed as first teacher of Zion Congregation near Zachow. I was told by the school board that I could have Monday to get things lined up for the opening of school on Tuesday. I was up bright and early on Tuesday morning, and so were the youngsters of the congregation. About eight o'clock they began to come in groups from every direction. When all heads were counted, there were sixty present. What a responsibility the congregation and the Lord had placed on my frail shoulders! I felt rather insignificant and unworthy of the confidence which had been placed in me, but with the enthusiasm associated with youth, I set to work to do the best I could under the circumstances. The next year the enrollment was sixty-four.

In the summer of 1912, Miss Dora Schultz of Deep River, Iowa consented to be my helpmeet. She was a woman of fine Christian character who had four years of teaching experience, and was therefore a great help to me. She was a woman such as is described , Proverbs 31, 10-31.

[ 10[d] An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.] ESV


After spending the first four years of my professional life in this beautiful country of Northern Wisconsin, I accepted the call of St. John's congregation of Garner, Iowa, where I taught for the next nineteen years.

During my years of teaching I had the usual experiences, joys, disappointments, etc. I need not elaborate on them since you are familiar with them, but a few high lights are expected. On the evening of September 20, 1919 some unknown friend (?) helped me to get a new modern school-house. At about eleven o'clock that night the coal shed just to the rear of the school-house was discovered to be ablaze. The flames were shooting up into the gable of the school-house. The building had been a church and therefore was quite high, and it was impossible to approach the fire with the equipment at hand. The mystery has never been solved, although a car was heard to start and leave, making a great noise, just before the fire was discovered[,] and a five gallon can with a little gasoline in it was found near the coal shed.

During the Christmas holidays, 1923, two days after our classmate, Leuthaeser, was called to his reward, my wife, after a week's illness with pneumonia, was also taken from this vale of tears to the Heavenly Mansions, leaving me with seven small boys. Those were sad days that followed, but we experienced real Christian love on the part of the congregation as well as of individuals, and the Lord held His protecting hand over us. The boys have been a source of comfort during these years. Now they are growing up. Donald graduates from the seminary at St. Louis this year, Erich graduates from Concordia Teachers College at Seward next year, D.V. William works in a store, Enoch graduates from high school this year, Joel is a sophomore, while Gerald and Allen are in grades eight and seven respectively.

During my last few years at Garner a situation developed which was rather unsatisfactory, and in the summer of 1934, after serving the congregation for nineteen years to the best of my ability, it was found "necessary to close the school in order to save it". In November of 1934 I moved to Williamsburg, Iowa, and found refuge in that haven for discouraged teachers, the Aid Association for Lutherans. My territory is the south eastern part of Iowa.

After working in this field for one and one-half years, I find that it affords many opportunities for serving the Lord and His church. The work is not nearly so nerve-racking as teaching.

Thus a few "high spots" of my experiences during the last twenty-five years have been given. All in all, I must say that the Lord has been with us.

W. Hinrichs


Image: Powell School-18, Melinda Shelton, Uploaded via flickr January 7, 2011, Creative Commons License

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Little "Steve Jobs" In Every Student


My MacBook, iPhone, and iPad are all a huge part of my life. As a Mac user, Steve Jobs has made an impact on my life. With the passing of Jobs yesterday, many people are discussing and thinking about the impact he made. The discussion often comes around to the word “innovative.”

Jobs’ creativity and leadership was innovative and you do not have to do much research to find how he impacted the world. Not just the world of technology, or the world of educational technology, but the entire world. Tom Whitby posed a good question on twitter today:



In addition to Whitby's thoughts, an article I read today, “Can Creativity Be Taught?”, encourages us to stretch ourselves and our students toward developing an ability to be creative and to be innovative.

Today is a great day to reflect on encouraging the creativity in our students. You may not have the next “Steve Jobs” in your classroom or your school, but I would like to think that there is some “Steve Jobs” in every student.

San Francisco 2010 - 22, Luca Zappa, Uploaded via flickr May 2, 2010, Creative Commons License

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Everyday Is School Picture Day


Each year, there is an awkward tilt of the head, a forced smile, and a bright flash. Today is school picture day, and almost 400 people at our school will have their photograph taken. Each flash of the camera is a permanent snapshot in time, a frozen moment that will last for countless years in yearbooks, school hallways, and on grandma’s living room wall. The camera has the power to capture one moment in time and make it last, whether it is some uncombed hair, a toothless grin, or some breakfast that landed on your shirt.

Educators have an opportunity for MULTIPLE snapshots each and every day. Whether you work with teachers or students, they capture gestures, comments, or smiles for years to come. Consider your interaction today with the individuals in your building. Maybe someone will need an uplifting word today instead of hearing what he or she did wrong. Perhaps a smile that a student receives upon entering your classroom is the first smile they see that day. It is possible that a student that experiences success will remember the thumbs up you sent their way for the rest of their life.

Everyday is school picture day. Take advantage of opportunities for positive snapshots.

Dad's school picture, Kim Scarborough, uploaded via flickr August 29, 2005, Creative Commons License