With the school year ending shortly, I thought this woman teacher’s contract from 1923 was interesting. It was hanging on the wall of a historic school at the Guy Woodward Museum in Ramona. Obviously, it was for a women but which made me wonder what kind of contract a man teacher had to sign.
First of all, “the contract would be null and void immediately if” a teacher married…drank beer, wine or whiskey…smoked cigarettes…or kept company with a man. Then it restricted her to staying home “between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless she was attending a school function. She could not ever leave town without the permission of the Chairman of the Board of the Trustees, and she could not to ride in a carriage or automobile with any men except her brothers or father. Then it added that she was not to loiter downtown in ice cream parlors. It didn’t say whether she could do that if she had an escort.
As to her clothing, it could not be in bright colors and dresses couldn’t be more than two inches above the ankle. Under that, she was required to wear two petticoats. She could not dye her hair or use face powder, mascara, or paint her lips.
In addition to teaching, her duties were to keep the schoolroom clean, sweep the floor and clean the blackboards daily, scrub the floor once a week with hot water and soap, start the fire at 7 a.m., and carry out the ashes once daily.
I’m not sure what I was supposed to be, but it definitely was not a teacher. I like ice cream too well! Unfortunately, I remember that type of desk, chalk board, and ink well!
God Bless all teachers everywhere…and anyone who works responsibly with kids. … until next week.
Minshall’s RVing Alaska and Canada ($19.95) and RVing Adventures with the Silver Gypsy ($16.95) are available thru Amazon.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”