As teachers close down their classrooms for the summer, pile their belongings and weary bodies into cars and head home for the summer, let’s hope it’s a summer of the rest and relaxation they so richly deserve – not a second job. Teachers across the country have marched and carried signs this year, trying to create awareness of their very real needs for higher pay and better treatment. Let’s hope they get both.
Each of us probably had at least one teacher who inspired us, believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. I had a high school English teacher who was the first person to tell me she thought I had a talent for writing. She wrote those words on one of my essays and I kept that faded piece of paper for years. Sometimes, it takes only one person believing, to send us on our way to achieving our dreams. Enjoy your summer – all you teacher believers, you supporters of dreams! You are greatly appreciated!!
AND, if you ever get really depressed about your working conditions, read this and remember…it was worse in 1872.
RULES FOR TEACHERS…1872
- Teachers will fill lamps, clean chimneys each day.
- Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
- Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the taste of each pupil.
- 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 in school, 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 he will not become a burden to society.
- Any teacher who smokes or uses liquor will be dismissed.
- Any teacher who frequents pool halls, or gets shaved in a barbershop 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.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning author and poet. She has published four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing; Revolt of the Teacups; Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library, illustrated by her granddaughters; Buddy the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; and two books of poetry, Tapestry; and Captured Moments.