Roughly one hundred years separate the experiences of these two teachers. In that time, the context of teaching has changed dramatically, particularly in the relatively new institution of the American high school. The numbers and characteristics of students who attend school, and for how long, the physical and organizational structures, the activities of district, state, and federal policy makers - all converge to alter the context of teaching in secondary schools. What is it like to teach in a high school today, and how is it different from Lucia Downing's time?