I often hear people say — and I often say it myself — that we have it tougher in today’s fast-paced world than workers of earlier generations.
But do we really? Here’s a notice a School Board sent to its teachers — in 1872 — as part of their job description:
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 the children.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5. After ten hours in school, the teacher should spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other food books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in other unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Every teacher should lay aside from his pay a goodly sum for his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes or uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason for suspecting his worthy intentions, integrity and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labors faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents a week in his pay, providing the Board of Educations approves.
I dunno. Maybe we don’t have it as tough as we think….