What was it like to be a teacher "back in the day"?

Today, many teachers met their students for the very first time. These teachers will work tirelessly all year to instill in their students academic excellence, confidence, and the determination to succeed. Most of these teachers are female. In fact, according to The Institute of Educational Sciences, 76% of teachers are female.

On this, the first day of school, how about a blast from school days past? What was it like to be a teacher before electricity, the Women's Rights Movement or the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution? 

This is an excerpt from the book: Socrates to Miss Crabtree: Teaching Through the Ages, by Pamela Michael. Some of the rules are, well...you decide.

Rules for Teachers: 1872

  • Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
  • Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
  • Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
  • After ten hours on school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the bible or other good books.
  • Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
  • Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
  • Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
  • The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

As you can see, times have surely changed!

*image courtesy of Barbara Evans


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