The Idaho Education News published the following code of ethics a teacher in 1923 had to sign. She must agree:
1. Not to get married. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher marries.
2. Not to keep company with men.
3. To be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless she is in attendance at a school function.
4. Not to loiter downtown in ice cream parlors.
5. Not to leave town at any time without the permission of the chairman of the Board of Trustees.
6. Not to smoke cigarettes. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher is found smoking.
7. Not to drink beer, wine or whisky. This contract becomes null and void immediately if the teacher is found drinking beer, wine, or whisky.
8. Not to ride in a carriage or automobile with any man except her brothers or father.
9. Not to dress in bright colors.
10. Not to dye her hair.
11. To wear at least two petticoats.
12. Not to wear dresses more than two inches above the ankles.
13. To keep the schoolroom clean; to sweep the classroom floor at least once daily; to scrub the classroom floor once a week with hot water and soap; to clean the blackboards at least once daily; to start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm at 8 a.m. when the children arrive; to carry out the ashes at least once daily.
14. Not to use face powder, mascara, or paint the lips.
The monthly salary for a teacher was $75.00.
Ilo-Vollmer Historical Society, School Bells & Ink Wells, (Craigmont, ID, 2011) pg. xix.
She can’t loiter in the ice-cream parlor?!! BUMMER! This was interesting. Thanks for sharing, Judy. My next WIP has a school teacher for the heroine, so I will have to check and see if I can find any contracts from the late 1880s.