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Sundays in hopes that it would stay lit until Monday rolled around. She added logs to the fire during the week to keep it going. After her second year at Viborg, she talked to the principal about her desire to work elsewhere, where she could have more pupils in the classroom. The challenge with teaching such a small class, she explains, “I had to find more extracurricular activities and teach them at the same time.” She often found that she ran out of things for them to do over the long school day. Her desire to change schools soon became essential when her father made an alarming discovery as he lit the wood stove one Sunday. A bum had been living in the school during the winter, seeking warm shelter during the bitter winter nights. Switching schools for her was now a necessity for her safety. She began teaching near Mission Hill at another rural school a couple years later, her dad requesting that she continued to get more teaching experience before moving forward to try teaching in Yankton. She enjoyed the larger classroom size at Mission Hill, now having a class of 21 pupils of different ages. She structured the students by pairing up the 1st and 2nd graders with whom she spent more of her time with. She grouped together the 3rd with the 4th grades, the 5th with the 6th grades and 7th with the 8th. The 7th and 8th grades were sometimes split because she had to prepare the 8th grade students for their exams at the end of the school year. During that time, Anderson met her future husband and later they had a son, David. She continued teaching while her husband traveled for the military. She taught in rural schools for a total of fifteen years before she was hired in the Yankton School District in 1955, with a salary of $2,400 annually. She started off her first year teaching math classes and soon realized that she wanted something more. “I needed something else, because they weren’t all interested in math!” Her matter-of-fact response makes me laugh. Some of the spelling curriculum was then added to her agenda. She explains her teaching style, keeping the students accountable for their work. “I kept them going. They had to turn in papers, and they had to get them done in class so that I knew it was done in class and not somebody else helping.” After approximately 13 years as a math teacher, Anderson became the Math Department Head and stayed with the school system until 1987. During this time, she saw her salary climb to more than $27,000, which included an additional $606 for her Department Head duties. She saw her class sizes increase each year to approximately 24-25 students in each class. After 32 years with the Yankton School District, she took on a new experience of teaching an evening Algebra class at Mount Marty College for three years and then tutoring first graders at Beadle Elementary School. Anderson has made an impact on the lives of many students over the years and still has prior students recognize her; she recalls many of her previous students as well. At a recent event in the Majestic Bluffs activity room, she was approached after the event by a former student who recognized Anderson as her former teacher. It was a good feeling for her. She enjoyed her years teaching in all venues. Thinking about her career, she is most proud of the fact that she received a large enough salary to support herself, not having to depend on her father for assistance. She is thankful that she put money away to help her cover living expenses throughout her retirement. As Henry Brooks Adams states, “Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops.” Myrtle Anderson’s extensive teaching career of helping young minds blossom will, for many, carry HERVOICEv6vHERVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020v9

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