Can you tell me about early 20th- century teacher Miss Angeline Post?
Photo by Wilton Historical Society
Most Wilton locals have driven past the historical Hurlbutt Schoolhouse, but few know that Miss Angeline Post was a dedicated and disciplined teacher who spent 17 of her 41 teaching years (1918-1935) instructing students from first grade through eighth in this picturesque one-room schoolhouse. Miss Post believed a single-room setting was excellent for the development and education of children, and began writing a book about her teaching philosophy.
Although it was never completed, Wilton Town Historian Carol Russell preserved Miss Post’s rough drafts, which now serve as an illuminating glimpse into the past. “She really loved the kids and they felt it,” explains Russell. “She was as stern as she had to be, but I also think she made school fun so they would keep coming.”
Students enjoyed the close-knit classroom dynamic that mimicked that of a large family, where teamwork and efficiency ruled the day. Post fervently believed that the one-room school was not just a catalyst for teaching the traditional three Rs (reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic), but also for teaching responsibility, companionship, independence, and honesty. Post believed her students achieved strong character and excellence because of their opportunity to grow in a “learning sanctuary.”
In her notes, she exhorted the reader to “think a moment of how this situation compares to today, with everyone going in different directions, and little time to sit down and really enjoy life.” And this was written long before the advent of personal computers, iPads, smartphones, and online streaming. Sometimes simpler is better.