"I work close to the paper, wrapping one arm over in a sort of cocoon, with the smell of the varnish part of the dull peace"

Working alone in the classroom
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumWorking alone in the classroom - Credit: Gospel Oak School
The 1950s classroom was a place of tyranny when the teacher was addressing the class, looking for any signs of disobedience, but when the children were working on their own a peace (or at least stillness) and quiet descended upon the class which allowed for a level of concentration that perhaps is not possible in classrooms today.