Cotton-Patch Schoolhouse is a memoir of the author's year as a young and inexperienced teacher in rural Marengo County, several miles from Linden, Alabama, in 1926. Seeking to earn money to continue college after her freshman year at AlabamaCollege in Montevallo, the author welcomed the opportunity to teach eight children at five different grade levels in a one-room schoolhouse in the middle of a cotton field. Youthful enthusiasm, native wit, and a sense of adventure helped her transform the simple schoolhouse into a place of learning and excitement.
Susie Powers Tompkins, writer and award-winning artist, received her bachelor's degree from Alabama College, Montevallo, in 1928. Later she and her husband moved to Tuscaloosa where she owned a private school for speech and art for a number of years until World War II. During the war and the resulting teacher shortage, she began teaching at Verner School. She taught there for more than fifteen year while raising her two children.