nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

early schooling in New Brunswick – teachers in 1888

with 6 comments


In my family, teaching was a much-revered profession. Both Mom and Dad were teachers, as were my Aunt and Uncle. Mom, and my Aunt and Uncle, taught in one room schools. Mom began teaching in the early 1940s, when she was only 16, just after her graduation from Grade Twelve. At first, she taught with a temporary teaching licence issued during the Second World War. Later she went to Normal School to obtain a permanent licence.

~

Scan0006

a copy of the reader my Dad used in High School in Nova Scotia, about 1933 (High School Reader, 1913)

~

To learn a little about teachers in one room schools in the late 1800s, I have continued to read the Annual Report of the Schools of New Brunswick, 1888  by the Chief Superintendent of Education. In 1888, teachers in New Brunswick were trained in the Provincial Normal School. Of the 1,582 teachers, 1,534 were trained and 48 were untrained. Teachers, depending on qualifications, were in three classes: I, II and III.

~

In 1888 in New Brunswick, there were many more female teachers than male:

 Class #Male

Teachers

# Female

Teachers

I 114 141
II 157 644
III 108 404

~

Scan0004

High School English Composition, 1913

~

The salary of a teacher in 1888 was certainly small compared to today! The average yearly salary for teachers in New Brunswick in 1888 was lower for female than for male teachers:

  • male teachers $536.90 (First Class) (average salaries for the three Classes ranged from $231.00 to $536.90)
  • female teachers $328.49 (First Class) (average salaries for the three Classes ranged from $187.47 to $328.49)

~

The Superintendent does not mention the inequity in pay for male and female teachers. He focuses on a decrease in pay from 1888 to 1889, criticizing the government for not being more generous to teachers. His worry was that teachers would not stay in the profession if salaries were too low.

… it is an ill-advised economy that seeks to maintain on the scantiest allowance a service which is essential to the preservation of order and the strength and progress of a country.

~

The budget for all schools in the Province in 1888-1889, from provincial, federal and district sources, was $404,145.00 (not including building and property costs).

~

Scan0003

two of the old school books in my collection: Nova Scotia Readers, 1911 (used in Nova Scotia) and The Canadian Readers, 1924 (used in Alberta)

~

Copyright  2016  Jane Tims

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Totally fascinating: the proportion of male to female at level I (versus II, and III) is very interesting, especially given the higher numbers of female teachers at the lower levels. Some things never change: a vital place in the community — but not much cash. As my school careers adviser said to me, a long time ago: “A degree in the Arts? Ah well, it will teach you to scorn the money it prevents you from earning.” How right he was.

    Liked by 1 person

    rogermoorepoet

    May 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    • Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There were probably local demographic influences that kept the numbers of men in the profession low. Thanks.

      Like

      jane tims

      May 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

  2. My mother taught in a small rural and probably one room school in the early 1930’s. And my father also taught for a short time. I wish I had listened closer to their stories. And I taught and retired from teaching the little ones. I probably wouldn’t recognize the inside of a classroom today.
    The stories about teaching I told my family around the supper table most likely were the reason my own kids did not choose teaching as a career!!! And I am glad they didn’t. lol

    Thank you, Jane for your lovely comments about my posts for National Poetry Month. Much appreciated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    ladysighs

    May 2, 2016 at 7:27 am

    • Hi. I also wish I had listened more carefully to stories. I remember snippets but not details. Perhaps a life skill is learning early to register family stories.

      Like

      jane tims

      May 2, 2016 at 7:54 am

      • That life skill is never learned until it’s too late. 😦 Of course maybe parents could bribe their kids into listening. Or perhaps take away social media privileges if they don’t listen to stories. lol

        Liked by 1 person

        ladysighs

        May 2, 2016 at 8:00 am

      • Hi. Other cultures, especially those with oral traditions, must have ways of getting their children to listen. I always listened, loved the stories Mom and Dad told, but the key is ‘remembering’.

        Liked by 1 person

        jane tims

        May 2, 2016 at 8:48 am


I'd love to hear what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: