Thursday, 27 January 2011

I Am A Teacher.

As I sit here today looking back, oh no not again, it strikes me I might have problems if I ever went on a quiz programme. I watched one last night just before my evening meal. What struck me were the number of people who introduced themselves in the following way. My name is John Smith I am 69 and a retired banker. Now can somebody please tell me what does a retired banker do? What does a retired lawyer do? I suppose they do the same kind of things I do with my day. So in reality if we are all doing the same things we could be retired whatever we want to be.

As some of you know I left school at the early age of 15 to begin work in an abattoir and butchers. I did that for a few years then got my life in gear and went to university to become a minister of religion. Having done that for some time I re-entered university to become a teacher of world religions and philosophy.

So as I stood on the platform of the quiz game what would I be a retired butcher, killer, minister or teacher? Would I have the nerve to claim to be an artist.

These thoughts were brought to my mind when yesterday my friend happened to say to me he would not like to have to write my CV. Because he would also have to include things like prison chaplain, hospital and school chaplain and magistrate.

So I found myself asking just who on earth am I and what would I want remembered for. So I googled all of the things I have listed above, (yes I am guilty of wasting time) to see which looked best. During the process I found this little gem and I just had to share it with you. Especially those of you who are teachers.

1872 Instructions to Teachers

1.Teachers will fill lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks each day.

2. Each teacher will bring a scuttle of coal and a bucket of water for the day's use.

3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs for the individual tastes of children.

4. Men teachers may take one evening a week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

5. After ten hours in the school the teacher should spend the remaining time reading the Bible and other good books.

6. Women teachers who marry or engage in other unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

7. Every teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reasons to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.

8. The teacher who performs his labours faithfully without fault for five years will be give an increase of 25 cents a week in his pay - providing the Board of Education approves.

Now this made me realise that first and foremost I am glad I was a teacher but so happy I did not have any of the above rules.

I hope this just starts your day off with a little smile as it did for me when I found it. Two of them made me smile even more than the rest what one did you like most?

This blog is linked to my other.  Spring Will Come Again


  1. You usually do start my days with a smile, Ralph. Thanks for that. Once a teacher always a teacher, methinks.

  2. I love the fact that marriage is included in 'unseemly conduct'....what a riot! And as long as you go go church regularly you get to court two nights a week! And a shave in a barber shop .... why didn't they just 'lock' the teachers in the school and be done with it.
    Reminds me of my first office position....not only did we have to 'dress up' ... we were expected to wear 'heels' of a certain height, no bright lipstick or nail polish and were expected to 'smell good'.

  3. Good Morning Ralph, I think the list of rules is pretty adequate, it would be the exorbitant pay raise I might object to!

  4. This is a fun post as I'm dragging myself off to school, wishing it was Friday. At least the rules have eased up ever so slightly. I cant see myself carrying coal and water every morning... The retirement thing makes me think. I might be retiring next year and then who will I be?

  5. Ralph..I love the thinking about what you might call are a sum of all those things. Thankfully you don't have to keep it at one thing for a quiz show soundbite! I call myself an artist. It took a long time for me to say it without wondering if I was a fraud. But I am more than that. The list could goon for a while. I had a lot of different jobs over the years..none of them individually defined me..but probably they all added to the mix.