Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Isaac Brock brings history alive

Heritage classroom opens ahead of school centennial

  • Print
Teacher Darcie Kiene spins a 1907 favourite on a crank phonograph for students in Isaac Brock School’s newly opened heritage classroom.

PHOTOS BY SEAN LEDWICH Enlarge Image

Teacher Darcie Kiene spins a 1907 favourite on a crank phonograph for students in Isaac Brock School’s newly opened heritage classroom. Photo Store

Isaac Brock School cut the ribbon and started bringing students into their Heritage Classroom Museum last Wednesday.

"When you’re going through this door it’s like you’re going through a portal in time," teacher Darcie Kiene, dressed in a long flower-pattern dress, told a group of fifth-and sixth grade Isaac Brockites waiting in the hallway.

The room, which was moved from École La Vérendrye in Fort Rouge, is reminiscent of a late 19th/early 20th-century classroom, complete with bench-style desks and a raised platform for the teacher.

"Back in the day the teachers would stand on a stage higher than everyone else," Kiene told students, explaining it was to remind them the teacher was in charge.

Discipline for students who defied teachers was different 100 years ago, she said. Sitting in the corner with a cone hat was a possibility for a misbehaving pupil, or worse.

"The strap and corporal punishment were part of it…we know now that’s not a good idea and we don’t do that anymore. We have other ways," she told them.

Kiene, who is based at École La Vérendrye, will give lessons in the Isaac Brock heritage classroom one day a week.

"It’s open to all schools in the division. Anyone can come, free of charge, and I’ve got programs ready to go," she said.

Kiene used a vintage crank phonograph to play a 1907 recording of School Days for the students. She allowed the record to slow down, demonstrating the need for a few more cranks to bring it up to speed again.

"I call it my giant iPod," she told them.

Old lesson books sit on her desk, and a large collection of books from the era fill bookshelves at the back of the room, which Kiene told students were able to survive this long because they were treated with care and respect.

From there, she segued into talking about attitudes towards material things that existed 100 years ago.

If she ripped her long floral dress on a nail sticking out of her teaching platform, Kiene said, she would repair it. If it couldn’t be repaired, it would be made into a pillowcase or put it towards a quilt.

"Nothing was thrown out," she said.

Nine old photos from the school, including Grade 8 girls on skates circa 1937 and the 1919 Isaac Brock track team, have been enlarged and dry-mounted for handling. Kiene used them to contrast the past with the present for students.

She explained to a group of nursery and kindergarten children that Isaac Brock School — itself a living piece of history — is marking its centennial this year.

"The school is having a special birthday — 100 years old," Kiene told them, which led one little girl to let out a sustained "wow" in hushed amazement.

After feeling the weight of a slate that students used for writing on long ago, six-year-old Abby Schnerch declared the classroom "cool."

The old phonograph, she said, is "bigger than a music player."

Principal Sherry Anderson said she was pleased with students’ reaction to the classroom.

"Interest is extremely high, and whenever students are engaged, they’re learning," Anderson said.

She said her goal was to get the classroom completed and let all of the school’s students — about 300 — experience it before the school’s May 23 to 25 centennial reunion and celebration.

To see old photos of Isaac Brock School or for information on centennial events go online to isaacbrock100.com

Facebook.com/TheMetroWPG
Twitter: @metroWPG

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

The forecast says we're going to get a blast of warm weather, but we all know what's coming. Are you ready?

View Results