Rules for Teachers Courtesy of East Detroit Historical Society

I came across the East Detroit Historical Society web page featuring the East Detroit Public Schools 1872 Halfway Schoolhouse. While I found the schoolhouse history, photographs and descriptions very interesting, as a former teacher, I really enjoyed the rules teachers had to follow.

People always question the validity of  affirmative action laws, etc. You only have to know our history to understand why these laws are in place. Men were allowed one night off per week to court, and two nights, if they attended church regularly. I see no such perks for women. In fact, the rules state women will be dismissed if they marry or engage in unseemly conduct.

You’ll also see that the tradition of teachers bringing their own supplies is longstanding.

Rules for Teachers, 1872:

  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 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 fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Check out the 1872 Halfway Schoolhouse restoration project here.

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