The Reverse of the school inspection form illustrates a list of duties for the school trustee, the teacher, and the inspector.
The Trustee’s directions are to make sure that the schoolhouse and furniture are kept in good repair, ensure that the teacher is doing his/her job and using authorized materials, and take the inspector through the school.
The teacher has to oversee the smooth daily running of the schoolhouse. Upholding the mandates of the community and the trustee were also very important.
Finally, the inspector’s job was to ensure that the students were learning, the teacher was teaching appropriately, the schoolhouse was in good condition and that all materials required were present. The inspector would then report back to the board on the status of his findings.
As I’ve never had the pleasure of conducting a modern review of a school, I can only assume that the process is much more detailed now. We have standardized tests to examine student achievement, teams of custodians to monitor school cleanliness, and multitudes of systems (e.g., electrical, plumbing, HVAC) to maintain.
In 1895, the inspector visited a school in North Marysburgh and determined: the floors were a little dirty, the school needed a map, and the closets needed attention. The rest was satisfactory.
The cost for a map was $3.75.
It’s difficult to believe that a school inspection was that easy (and a large wall map was that inexpensive).
During World War II, the Government of Ontario issued an exception for attendance at schools. Students who worked on farms were allowed to begin school in October, instead of September. The students were commended for their work during the war and their contribution to the war effort. The difficult part for those helpful students would be getting caught up on missed work when they returned to school.
That kind of exception must be difficult for modern students to fathom. Provincial attendance exceptions never occur.
Recently, the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives was given the opportunity to put up a display in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Our display was part of the Community Exhibits Program, which allows Ontario organizations to showcase some highlights of their organizations. Our display used some educational artefacts and illustrated who we are as an organization. Our Member of Provincial Parliament will be notified of our display and some professional photographs will be taken.
If you are near Queen’s Park between now and late November, stop by and take a look at our interesting display!
This note is a request to pay a teacher his salary. The salary for an entire year is eighty-seven dollars and fifty cents. Using a rough inflation calculator, it seems that the teacher’s salary would be around $1,989 in modern times. A modern teacher making that salary would live in dire conditions. In 1877, the teacher lived with local families and scraped by due to the generosity of the community.
What would we do if this was the case now? Would our communities be so generous?