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Rules for Crook County teachers appear stricter and seem humorous compared to today's standards

ARTWORK COURTESY OF BOWMAN MUSEUM
 - Rules for Crook County teachers have changed a lot since 1872.

A recent discovery of a list of rules for Crook County teachers in 1872 reveals somewhat restrictive requirements compared with today's standards. In retrospect, the rules even appear to be humorous. There were nine brief rules that are listed below:

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.

2. Each 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 go to church regularly.

5. After 10 hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or 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 labor faithfully and without fail for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

In 1872, most of the schools in Crook County were rural, one-room schools that taught multiple grades in the same classroom. Schools were usually situated in a central location for students to walk or ride horseback a minimum of five miles.

Most teachers alternated living with families of their pupils as most schools did not have a teacherage to live in. Many teachers were single young women and they would teach for three-month terms. If a woman teacher married her contract was not renewed for teaching in the school system.

Many of the rural school continued in operation until the mid-1920s and then were consolidated into community schools.


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