Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teacher Tidbits by Shirley Raye Redmond

A few years ago, when I was writing my historical romance novel, AMANDA’S BEAU, I came across the following while researching teaching contracts in 1905. The following were the standard requirements for elementary teachers in Payson City, Utah back in 1923.

  • This contract becomes null and void if Teacher marries.
  • Teacher is not to keep company with men.
  • Teacher many not leave town without permission from the Chairman of the School Board of Trustees.
  • Teacher must not loiter in ice cream parlors.
  • Teacher is not to smoke or drink.
  • Teacher may not ride in a carriage with any man, except her father or brother.
  • Teacher is not to dress in bright colors. At least two petticoats must be worn at all times.
  • Teacher must not dye her hair or wear dresses more than two inches above the ankles.
  • Teacher is to bring a bucket to school and clean the building once a week.

Can you imagine today’s teachers agreeing to most of these rules?

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker,Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of two inspirational historical novels, PRUDENCE PURSUED and AMANDA’S BEAU, as well as two dozen children’s books. Shirley Raye holds an M.A. in literature. She has been married to her husband Bill for forty years. They live in New Mexico and are blessed with two grown children, two adorable grandsons, and one spunky Scottish terrier. Touch bases at shirleyrayeredmond.com or Facebook and http://www.writechildrensbook.com/blog


  1. No Shirley, I am afraid that our teaching occupation would be in dire need of people who would, first accept and then, be able to keep these requirements. Thanks for a fun post!

    1. You're welcome. It was just too amusing not to share.

  2. wow, Those are stringent rules. I do not think that the teachers that I know would want to abide by those rules this day.

  3. Oh my goodness. Null and void if the teacher becomes married? How can she get married if she can't see any men? Most of the teachers must have become spinsters.

  4. There would be so few teachers if they had rule/guidelines to follow as these. I had read some of these in historical fiction stories. Thank you for sharing.

  5. No loitering in Ice Cream Parlors. Sorry, no can do. I just got fired before I even started.
    Janet E.