Make your own free website on

powered by FreeFind
P.O. Box 505         Coldspring, Texas 77331          Hours: 10-4 Thurs-Saturday           936-653-2009
Old Jail Museum
Old Town
Tell us your story
Contact Us
Site Map




*  Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
*  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 individual tastes of the 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, the 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 that he will not become a burden on society.
*  Any teacher who smokes, used liquor in any forms, frequents pool or public 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.


Truly, the life style of a schoolteacher has changed radically in the last 50 or 60 years.  For example, a 1915 teachers' magazine listed the following rules of conduct for teachers of that day.

*  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 pm and 6 am unless attending a school function.
*  You may not loiter downtown in any of the 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 under no circumstances dye your hair.
*  You may not smoke cigarettes.
*  You may not dress in bright colors.
*  You must wear at least two petticoats.
*  Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above your ankle.
*  To keep the schoolroom neat and clean, you must: 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 am so the room will be warm by 8 am.

(President's Notes. Pennsylvania State Education Association)


Good students in early schools were expected to earn more than high marks.  There were many rules to follow and duties to perform.  The schoolmaster really was the 'master' of his pupils.  Children were told to obey the master of the school even if obedience meant having to stand still while being strapped.  Here are a some rules for students.

*  Respect your schoolmaster.  Obey him and accept his punishments.
*  Do not call your classmates names of fight with them.  Love and help each other.
*  Never make noises or disturb your neighbors as they work.
*  Be silent during classes.  Do not talk unless it is absolutely necessary.
*  Do not leave your seat without permission.
*  No more than one student at a time may go to the washroom.
*  At the end of the class, wash your hands and face.  Wash your feet if they are bare.
*  Bring firewood into the classroom for the stove whenever the teacher tells you to.
*  Go quietly in and out of the classroom.
*  If the master calls your name after class, straighten the benches and tables.  Sweep the room, dust and leaving everything tidy.


*  Some schools were open only for a few months each year.  The rest of the time children worked at home.
*  A teacher could not teach all the students at the same time because they were in different grades.  They had to wait their turns.
*  Some students were older than the teacher.  They soon learned all the teacher had to teach.
*  The bigger students could not fit their long legs under the desks.  The smaller students had to dangle their legs from the high benches.
*  Often the teacher was too busy to think of interesting ways to teach.  Many classed were devoted to reading or memorizing.
*  Even art class was boring.  Students had to draw objects on a slate exactly as the teacher told them to.
*  The teacher did not tell exciting stories about people in history.  Students memorized names and dates instead.
*  Children marched to and from their desks.  This was the only exercise they had.  There was no gym stress.
*Discipline was harsh in many schools.  Children hd to stand in corners, wear dunce caps, balance on blocks of wood and wear signs tied around their necks.  Many teachers also gave the strap.