The Life of a School Teacher

In doing research on anything historical for my novels, I often come across very interesting and amusing details about our past. As I read another blog post earlier this week, I remembered this morsel I had sitting in my drawer which I picked up at a historical museum. I have seen it in other museums since, but I always love to read it again. I hope you will find it as fascinating as I do.
 

Rules for teachers 1872

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, trim wicks and clean chimneys.

2. Each morning teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.

3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.

4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they attend church regularly.

5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the bible or any other good books.

6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. The teacher who performs his labour faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five pence per week in his pay, providing the board of education approves.

It seems a male teacher would have to be a regular church goer to get the best opportunity of finding a wife. I never knew going to a public barber shop could give rise to suspicion! And if you were a woman, you clearly had to choose between a career and marriage. How times have changed, and yet our teachers still have a difficult career.

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Published in: on 8th July, 2011 at 6:51 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing this. I may have to print it out 🙂
    So glad those dear men had one night for their courting!

    • I knew you’d like it, Dots! 🙂 I love how they were to fill their spare time with bible reading. hehe

  2. How stunned those colonial school teachers would be if they could fly forward in time to the twenty first century to see how times have changed. Only one thing hasn’t changed, they were well worth their pay.

    • Yes, Paula, they would probably be scandalised about how many married teachers there are. But yes, they are worth every cent and probably more.


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