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THE LITTLE COTTAGE ON THE COLLEGE CAMPUS OR EVEN THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER WAS A Ph.D.

Posted By: Randy Fossum


Dr. Dorothy Koehring was my first teacher. She was a small woman in her late fifties with gray hair and kind eyes. She taught nursery school and kindergarten, and we all loved her.

My sister, Barbara, would walk me up the little sidewalk to the Iowa State Teachers College campus. Mother would say, "Take Randall by the handle and lead him off to school." My dad asked me what I did at school, and I said I played and played and played.

Iowa State Teachers College was one of the premier colleges in the country for the training of teachers. Its mission was to prepare young men and women to become teachers. My dad was a professor at the college.

To achieve that mission the college had to teach students how to teach. For that purpose a laboratory school was developed where college students could develop their skills. As a child I attended that school from nursery school through high school. My teachers were all professors at the college and most of them had a Ph.D. They taught both at the college and at the Lab School. Many times there would be college students observing the classes I was attending. My teachers were actually teaching two classes at the same time, one for my classes and the college students who were observing. It was a school within a school.

I have been in school since I was four years old as a student and as a teacher for forty six years. My grandmother was a teacher, my mother taught in a community college, and my dad was a professor, and my brother and his wife were teachers as well. Most of my best friends were teachers.

Iowa State Teachers College became the State College of Iowa, and later the University of Northern Iowa. The university has grown tremendously. The little cottage on the campus is long gone.

I'm sitting in my computer room listening to some BLUES ROCK on my iPhone and remembering Miss Koehring, Dr. Paul Brimm, Mardell Mohn, Mrs. Blackman, Bud Happ, Dwight Curtis, Corrine Harper, Howard Vanderbeek, Marguerite Struble, Al Moon, Marshall Schools, Al Potter, Mrs. Holmberg, John Aldrich, Thomas Wikstrom and Ross Nielson

From my yearbook: "The Malcolm Price Laboratory School is an important part of the Iowa State Teachers College. It is here in the Laboratory School that the college students who plan to become teachers have practical, first-hand experiences in the learning to be teachers. We, all of us, have a responsibility to help them in every way possible to become good teachers for the boys and girls in the state of Iowa."

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