Monday 26 October 2015

Teaching in a one-room school

Millie Morton’s biography of her mother is, as the subtitle says, about: A teacher’s life, one-room schools, and a century of change in Ontario.

Here a few features of teaching in the early 20th century:
THE STRAP: a black strip of heavy leather about two inches wide, eighteen inches long, and a quarter of an inch thick. One of Grace’s teachers had a terrible temper and used the strap often, especially on a boy named Roger. Since he wasn’t a willing victim, she had to chase him around the room and catch him before landing sharp whacks on his hands.

KEEPING THE SCHOOL CLEAN: When Grace was interviewed for a job, the trustees explained: We pay one of the pupils to sweep the floor each day and light a fire in the stove. The caretaker cleans the school on a regular basis, but after concerts, we’d like you to be responsible for the cleaning.

A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION: Miss Grace Dayman has given splendid satisfaction. She takes a great interest in all children and children’s work, gaining the respect and love of them al. The Inspector also reports that “Teacher gets splendid results, has a pleasant classroom manner, and that discipline is excellent.” She also takes a very active part in all church and Sunday school work and is a good example in any community. 

For more info on the book:

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