Did You Know This About Teachers in 1915? No Ice Cream and No Men!
November 8, 2016
We ran across an interesting page in the Old Farmer’s 2016 Almanac the other day, and it reminded us that American Education Week is coming up November 13-19. The page showed a list of rules for teachers in 1915…and by today’s standards, it’s pretty comical.
Teachers today have never been smarter or more ready to teach. New York State requires teachers to obtain their Master’s degree and be certified in their subject. And in our sophisticated information age, a good education has never been more important for our kids. So the old rules of teaching have been thrown out and replaced with Common Core and Teacher Accountability.
Which Makes These Rules For Teachers in the “Good ‘Ol Days” All The More Ridiculous
- You will not marry during the term of your contract.
- You are not to keep company with men.
- You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.
- You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
- You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board.
- You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
- You may not smoke cigarettes.
- You may not dress in bright colors.
- You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
- You must wear at least two petticoats.
- Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
- To keep the school room neat and clean, you must: sweep the floor at least once daily, scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water, clean the blackboards at least once a day, and start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.
We know of a Mohawk Valley man, since passed away, who many years ago married his sweetheart IN SECRET because she was a local teacher. If his hush-hush marriage had been known to the school board, see Rule 1 above…his wife, the local teacher, would have been fired!
The times they did change!
So it’s American Education Week November 13-19, sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) along with the U.S. Department of Education, National PTA, American Legion and more. This year’s theme is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.” (Though we here at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig also salute our educators at Notre Dame Schools, too!)
The Surprising Reason the American Legion is a Cosponsor
Notice that the American Legion is a sponsor of American Education Week. The story behind that is in its founding in 1921. Both the NEA and the American Legion at the time were upset over an issue that would seem to be more a problem of a 3rd world country today. It turns out that of all of America’s World War I draftees, 25% were illiterate!!
That unbelievable stat convinced both organizations to adopt resolutions of support for a national effort to raise awareness of the importance of education. The first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4–10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as cosponsors.
So everyone here at SZW salutes our teachers, administrators, and building maintenance people who all help to prepare our kids to be productive citizens in today’s often complicated world.
To everyone in education here in the Mohawk Valley, a hearty THANKS for everything you do for our community.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
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