Photo caption: An Amish schoolhouse in northern Indiana, one of 80 that dot the countryside in the Shipshewana-Middlebury area.
By Kevin L. Williams
Either next week or the week after, this website will debut a new column called “Teacher Mahlon.” These will be the weekly writings from an Amish schoolteacher named Mahlon who will share his perspectives from the classroom. I want this website to be a place where we can learn from a variety of Plain voices; we’re missing the male perspective, so this is exciting to me and I hope for you also. Stay tuned!:)
Meanwhile, I’m not sure why I find Amish schoolhouses so enchanting, but I do. There’s just something endearing about the thought of the very back-to-basics learning going on inside. In a world where most schools have been transformed by high speed internet, smartphones and social-networking, the idea of blackboards and books and a school-teacher just seems so refreshingly retro. While the Amish generally (with some exceptions) go to school through the eighth grade, there have been cases of Amish wishing to leave the church and going on to college after passing a GED with flying colors.
Next week, I’ll share with you the inside of an Amish school building. For now, let’s enjoy some of these school scenes I’ve collected from various settlements. I’ve seen them made from corrugated metal, wood, cinder-block, log, and anything in between. Each school sort of has their own distinct personality and characteristics. To see a photo album of Amish schools, continue reading
SCHOOL TOUR GUIDE: Top photo, schoolhouse in Flat Rock, Illinois New Order community; second from top, school in the Wheat Ridge-Unity settlement in Adams County, Ohio; third from top, Amish school in Kingston, Wisconsin, fourth from top, school in Rexford, Montana; fifth from top, Amish school in Holmes County, Ohio and at the bottom, an Amish school in the New Order settlement of St. Ignatius.