“The Thread That Runs So True” is an autobiography that relates to the early experiences
of a Kentucky teacher as well as the author of this book, Jesse Stuart. Stuart narrates his story as
an educator in six different parts, with every episode addressing a stage during his career. At a
tender age of seventeen years, Jesse was able to teach for the first time in a one-classroom in an
isolated school in the rural eastern of Kentucky. The pay was $60 per month. The classroom that
he first taught in had 35 students, all who were bare footed, and ranging between five to twenty
years old. It was the passion that his students showed towards learning that reinforced his love
towards teaching (Attwood 45). Following the conclusion of the six month term, Jesse spent the
subsequent five years finishing high school, while working in a steel mill for one year, and ended
up graduating from college 3 years later (Lincoln Memorial University, Tennessee). After that,
Jesse was hired at “Winston” High School that is located in “Greenland” County in Kentucky.
He was the sole teacher of 14 people for a salary of $100 per month. Stuart worked very hard as
compared to the students during the eight-month school term so as to stay ahead of them. He
later accepted the position of the principal in "Landsburg” High School.
In the book “The Thread That Runs So True,” the author, Stuart clarifies that the book is
proposed to be a testimony towards teachers as well as the significance of teaching, Which Stuart
cogitates the greatest profession globally due to its ability to nurture all the other professions.
Therefore, the book provides a case history of a youthful, vigorous, as well as idealistic person
who has entered the teaching profession under exceptionally challenging situations along with
learning from that experience (Forje 66). As the story comes into a conclusion, Stuart, by the age
of 31, has worked as an elementary teacher, principal, as well as school superintendent.
While he was a teacher, he would teach all the subjects. He shows the work can be,
incorporated with play. His students range widely in terms of ability as well as age. Amongst the
most remarkable stories is the account of a fistfight involving him and his big, 20 years first-
grade pupil. By the end of the school year, Jesse Stuart had transformed the rudimentary
philosophy of education children's natural work is to play. It enables them to learn, and therefore
the teacher ought to promote learning interest through establishment of games that are
competitive academically (Stuart).
As a teacher, Jesse Stuart was able to learn the essence of interesting students as well as
engaging them actively as well as competitively in an atmosphere that is game-like. During his
time as a principal, he discovered that both parents and community members ought to become
engaged in the promotion of a learning environment within the home setting as well as in the
school. While he was a superintendent, Jesse Stuart learned that the negative consequences of
teaching as well as learning, which were; of ill-informed interference, political conflict, along
with poor funding. His condemnation towards the old trustee system as well as a dual system
was devastating, as he preferred city systems, discriminating the rural schools. The key towards
the excellence of Stuart in education was to drive interested, dedicated, as well as well-educated
teachers in all the classrooms. Regrettably, the Kentucky that existed during his generation was
wasteful in terms of education, as there lacked support for schools.
There are a number of supporting characters used in the book. Don is a son to the School
Trustee, and he is a walling and a bright boy. John Conway is the chairperson of the local school
Board, as well as a sugar cane farmer, who has a big family, and no education. There are as well
Xenia and Jenny, Minnie and Edith, Sally, Billy, as well as Naomi Deane.
Jesse in the book is involved in many activities that take place. He begins his teaching
career at a local primary school as a young man, and this is the place his fascinating journey
starts. He then moves to the college after leaving Lonesome valley the place he started his life as
a teacher. At Landsburg High School, Jesse receives a little pay, and he gets a lot of challenges.
He then becomes the principal at Landsburg High School where he faces a number of challenges,
but is in a position to solve them. The book, therefore, covers more on the life of Jesse than any
other character. He plays the key roles in the book that is the platform of other events. His life as
a teacher has many drawbacks that evidence the problems that were there in education system of
Kentucky. For example, Jesse is poorly rewarded for his work at Landsburg High School as he
only receives a pay of 100$ monthly. It is an evidence of the poor treatment that teachers in
Kentucky get which is a key challenge to education sector. Jesse favors teaching in schools in the
urban areas other than schools in rural areas due to the problems associated with rural schools.
For example, in the rural schools, people study while old, and this is a key challenge to teachers.
It also shows how education in Kentucky was poorly managed since management did not care
much about the rural schools.
Mr. Stuart curriculum is directed by both learners and the society. There are few young
men who are very reluctant in pursuing of education. However, the promises that Mr. Stuart
makes to them enables them to realize the importance of education to their lives. Reluctance of
these men to pursue education shows how Kentucky was slugging behind in education. It was
very dangerous as the number of people who pursued education were few. The living conditions,
educational conditions and educational disagreements were the main challenges faced by
From my point of view, it was greatly surprising to see the living conditions, education
conditions and the disagreements present in education system in Kentucky. From my view, the
living condition especially for people living in rural areas is poor since they are ignorant, and
they study in schools whose conditions are very poor. Those who teach in these schools are
rewarded poorly and are faced b a lot of challenges. The challenges in rural schools made Jesse
move to an urban school. The disagreements in education system at Kentucky are the have
resulted in poor performance of education system in Kentucky as there are few people who come
to study. People are also not informed on the importance of education in their lives and thus are
very reluctant to pursue education. The book draws an apparent picture of the nature of Kentucky
and the challenges faced by those living there. Poor living conditions in Kentucky mainly in the
rural areas are evidenced by the poor schools with a lot of challenges. It is also evident in the old
people who come to study. Disagreements in the educational system in Kentucky are shown by
Jesse and Jason, who have personal differences. These disagreements have resulted to poor
management of education in Kentucky hence poor performance. It has also been a major
hindrance in solving the problems that face education system within Kentucky. It is also the main
cause of poor education condition and poor living condition for the people of Kentucky.
As a result of the great challenges that Kentucky is facing in matters pertaining to peoples
living conditions, education conditions and disagreements in education, there should be
strategies to change these conditions. To start with, educations management team should focus
on rectifying the poor condition of rural schools so as to bear learning activities at the rural areas.
It will also motivate more people to come and pursue education. Secondly, there is a need to
come up with education forums in Kentucky with the main aim being educating all people about
the importance of education in their lives. It will help in reducing the reluctance of pursuing
education by the young people in Kentucky. Thirdly, teachers' should be properly rewarded to
motivate them in carrying out their activities. It will help in boosting performance of education in
Kentucky. It will motivate the teachers to teach even in rural areas hence boosting education in
all areas of Kentucky. Young people should be encouraged to join schools were they could
pursue education. Awareness among these young people should be created to help them know
the important roles that education role play at individual and society level. Lastly, they should
involve youths in co-curriculum activities in schools so as to attract them in schools. Curriculum
activities involve engagement in activities such as sports that are diverse with various games
such as football, basketball and athletics. The activities usually are social activities. It unites the
youths with different settings such as poor backgrounds and different literacy levels.
In conclusion, each stakeholder in education system in Kentucky should focus on making
it better through strategy development to solve the current problems in education. The different
models that Stuart came up with ca be very resourceful in addressing the issues that face the
education system in Kentucky. Nevertheless, some of the model cannot actually conform with
the system of education, such as recognition of playing as an important aspect of learning. This is
as a result of the mixture in people students whose ages vary so much. Young people ought to as
well be encouraged to pursue education, and this could be a good means of improving education
in Kentucky. Education should be the first thing to prioritize within Kentucky to better the future
lives of people. By so doing, then Stuarts’ assertion that teaching is the greatest profession
globally due to its ability to nurture all the other professions, would apply in an extensive