Tag Archives: conduct for teachers 1900s

Conduct For Prisoners… Oh… I Mean Teachers

Rules of Conduct For Teachers (from a 1915 school bulletin for a one-room school house near Winneconne, WI)

1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.

2. You are not to keep company with men. (This is closely tied to number 1 – don’t think you’re going to “keep company” just because you can’t marry! Here, see this burka? Put it on.)

3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function (Who checked? “OK, ma, I’m goin’ to bed just as soon as I drive by the school marm’s house and make sure she’s in bed. Just gonna peek in that there window.”)

4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores. (Taverns? Yeah, OK, it is Wisconsin, but if we catch you lingering after finishing your cone… your ass is ours.)

5. You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board. (Dear Chairman of the Board: I was thinking of picking apples on Sunday outside the city limits… is this OK?)

6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother. (Don’t EVER let us catch you with an uncle, cousin or your grandpa. We know all about your grandpa.)

7. You may not smoke cigarettes. (Pipes, OK, everyone enjoys a good pipe by the fire now and then.)

8. You may not dress in bright colors. (Think Calvin Klein, not Chico’s)

9. You must under no circumstances dye your hair. (Hair dye is for the wicked!)

10. You must wear at least 2 petticoats. (Who checked? “Hey, Phyllis, you’re looking a little deflated today… are you only wearing one petticoat?”)

11. Your dresses must not be shorter than two inches above your ankles. (“We’re just getting comfortable with all this ankle skin, we’re not ready for more!”)

12. To keep the schoolroom neat and clean you must: sweep the floor at least once daily; 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 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m. (Pass out from exhaustion at 10:30 a.m.)