Rules for Teachers in 1872

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

One can see that the job for a teacher in the 1800s involved many things besides teaching by this list of “Rules for Teachers” which was dated 1872. If a woman got married, then she had to quit being a teacher. It is not known when this policy stopped. One can also see the different ways that female teachers were treated as opposed to male teachers. The rules were: Paint Rock School 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 ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining evening 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 intention, integrity, and honesty.

9) 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.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, January 2018.