Tag Archives: Little White Schoolhouse

Schools Close: Lack of Teachers in Saskatchewan’s History

29 Sep

The Inveterate Fox

Schools Close: Lack of Teachers in Saskatchewan’s History

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How are pupils supposed to learn? School trustees, inspectors and the Department of Education addressed the lack of teachers in Saskatchewan’s One Room School houses.

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Parents, students and school districts across the province of Saskatchewan dealt with a serious shortage of teachers through the first half of the twentieth century.

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in the early 1930s there were 4,371 rural schools operated under 4,371 school districts, and this number multiplied to 5,151 by the end of 1937. 1941 counted 8,628 teachers, of which 76% had been been paid less than $700 per annum.

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The dearth of teachers arose from several factors. In the early settlement era there were no trained teachers out west. “Studies show that teacher expertise is the most important factor in student achievement” (1996, p. 6) according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.

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After Normal schools were established, teachers may opt for more profitable career paths in the private sector. Service in the armed forces deprived the country school of teachers who enlisted. The drought and depression years saw a mass exodus from the farm and rural areas to the cities in hopes of employment.

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“Who can blame the teachers for quitting and forsaking their profession? The low salaries, which had to be collected in main directly from the farmers who were themselves in serious financial straits, were certainly not conducive to enthusiasm among the teaching profession — even if they were paid, which quite often they were not,” stated Mr. Townley – Smith, President of the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, in the February 19, 1942 edition of The Leader Post

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School districts through the early 1900s posted want ads proliferously seeking teachers for the one room schoolhouses. School trustees were advised that “School boards advertising for teachers will invariably obtain more satisfactory returns if the amount of salary is stated in the advertisement. In the case of school districts not located at a railway station, it is advisable to state distance of school from station and from boarding house.” The Morning Leader Feb 14, 1917

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As of 1944, schools with an enrolment of less than 15 students closed, and accordingly, 2,750 schools closed between 1951-1971. “One has to only look at the ‘teachers wanted’ columns of the newspapers’, to see the serious teacher shortage said G.D. Eamer, general secretary of the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation in the August 30 edition of the 1963 Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

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As a consequence of school closures, parents and students of closed school districts faced long distance and transportation expense to new schools. The shortage of teachers and school closures hit the remote areas the hardest.

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Teaching attracted men and women to the profession as a transitional step page 151. Men may start out in teaching as a stepping stone in their career. Women viewed the teaching career as a journey of independence, community status and an opportunity for marriage or adventure.

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“Nevertheless, most teachers found that the rewards of teaching outweighed the troubles.”…teachers remember page 156 “the beam on her students’ faces when they first learned to read, ‘ when it finally click[ed] and they [got] it.”

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“In spite of these difficulties the majority of immigrants planned to provide their children with an education, hoping that their decision would give the youngsters a better chance in life than they had themselves. Eventually a school district would be formed and a building of some sort erected. It mattered little whether it was of log, stone, sod, mud or boards so long as it could be called a school. Yet with all its shortcomings and lack of qualified teachers it was able to educate.” introduced John C. Charyk page 1, in The Little White Schoolhouse.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
English novelist (1812 – 1870)

Further Reading

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Visiting your ancestor’s homestead.

3 May

Blossom by Blossom the spring begins

Visiting your ancestor’s homestead.

 

So you have heard that it is delightful to connect with ancestral history and become acquainted with their workplace and living conditions. It is great to experience that area where they walked and homesteaded, and imagine the customs and language of the settlement, what would have been the hard times, and what would have made the joyous times.

It is wise to make a few preliminary preparations before setting sail on your journey and adventure. Contact the local genealogy society, and library, make enquiries at the regional town office and museum. Send a letter of introduction to the reserve head office if your ancestors were part of a First Nations Indian band.

Locate the community church and see if there are any records which can help place branches onto a family tree. Remember to locate the cemetery where your ancestors may be interred on a regional map. Find out the size of your ancestral family on an historic census and imagine the lifestyle in a sodhouse or log cabin.

Post your queries on a genealogy query board and mailing list for the area, and you may get lucky and have a long lost cousin meet you at the airport.

Delve into resources at the National Library and Archives and find out if they served overseas in a war effort which may mean a memorial is standing in the hometown. Look up Metis scrip records or Dominion land grants to help determine place of residence. Read the local history / family biography book to determine which buildings, and places of interest are the same as those your ancestor saw, and which have been designated as historical sites.

Discover the one room schoolhouse which your ancestor attended and visit a museum or restored schoolhouse to see what childhood education was like. See if the building is still standing, or if the history of the school district is commemorated with a heritage marker.

Visiting the local museum will shed light on the lifestyle that your ancestor had. The agricultural implements and tools evolved greatly through the late 1800s to early 1900s. The home furnishings and housekeeping utensils also varied depending on the era.

The contacts you make and information you glean before setting out will be invaluable and provide an amazing vacation, perhaps even the best you ever had as you walk in the footsteps of your ancestors.

Compiled by Sask Gen Webmaster Julia Adamson. ©

Just a little fun by Aum Kleem (AumKleem) on 500px.com
Just a little fun by Aum Kleem______________________________________________________________________________

Related posts:
Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Where were Saskatchewan Homesteads Located?

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Image: Blossom by Blossom the spring begins

Thank you for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated. All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem. All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed throgh Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.

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Saskatchewan Normal School

2 May

Mellow yellow

Saskatchewan Normal School

It was not a well known fact amongst the general public nor one room school district trustees that the “Normal Schools” were indeed a college to train teachers. From the French, an École Normale provides instruction in the “norms” of educational training.

Bismarck is credited with the quote “What you would have appear in the life of the nation, you must first put in your schools.” This is the sentiment taught to teachers at Normal School, or as another instructor said “It is the duty of every teacher to participate in the work of the community as it is the price they have to pay to occupy their three by six plot of ground for eternity.”{Charyk. The Little White Schoolhouse. p.229}

In the 1886-1887 year the Board of Education pressed for professional instruction in a centralized training school. Nothing was forthcoming until 1889 and 1890, when Mr. A.H. Smith, B. A., of Moosomin conducts lectures. And at the Moosomin Normal department, Inspector Hewgill also trains teachers in 1890 but no students proffered themselves for classes at the Regina Normal department. In 1892 and 1893, teachers were trained by inspectors in Regina.

From 1889 to 1920s the school class organisation was for elementary levels; Standard I, II, III, IV and V; followed by secondary school beginning at Standard VI. Standard X corresponded to a junior or Class 3 provincial certificate, Standard XI would give a Middle, Class 2 provincial certificate, and finally Standard XII would result in a Senior, Class 1 provincial certificate. A level of attainment of at least Class 3 Standard was needed to teach during this time.

Classes at the Regina Normal School commenced in 1893. In Regina the “Red School” was erected in 1895 providing high schools classes. A portion of this school later named “Alexander School” was set aside for teacher training and called the Normal School. In Saskatoon, two rooms were rented in 1912 at the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute (now the Nutana Collegiate Institute) for a Normal School, which expanded to four rooms the following year.

The first official Normal School had its own building in Regina as of 1913, classes commencing 1914.

Moose Jaw and Saskatoon erected Normal schools after the Great War. Moose Jaw normal school operated classes between 1927 to 1959. Regina and Saskatoon Normal Schools were surrendered to the Royal Canadian Air Force for Air Training Plan recruits.

The Nutana Collegiate, originally monikered the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute, opened up in 1909. On August 20, 1912,the Saskatoon Normal School held its first classes. The demand for teachers was so high, that after one year of training at a Normal School, students graduated from Normal School to begin teaching at a rural one room school house. To help train students to become teachers, even a section of Valleyview School in Estevan was designated as a Normal School until 1927.

It was following the First World War that the Saskatchewan government enquired at the University of Saskatchewan for a site to locate the Normal School. It was desirous to obtain a ten acre plot, yet the University of Saskatchewan could only allocate about four acres south of Emmanuel college. A large enough plot of land could be found south of the University, but not at the aforementioned optimal site. The University grounds were abandoned, and a site on Idylwyld Drive was chosen on Estate land of the Drinkle family. M.W. Sharon, the provincial architect designed the building. The corner stone was laid 1921, and the official opening ceremonies were held in 1923.

A study conducted in 1925 found that about 400 were enrolled in Normal School in Saskatoon students could complete their education at Nutana receiving a class one teaching certificate after four years of study or a class two after three years.

The Normal Schools published year books, the book in Saskatoon was termed The Light, the Regina Normal School published href=”http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cansk/school/Aurora1926/index.html”>The Aurora, and Moose Jaw Normal School captured memories in the Normal Echoes.

The name of the Normal school, was later changed to the Saskatoon Teacher’s College, and is now known as the E.A. Davies Building. It was the year 1953 when the Moose Jaw Normal School adopted the name Saskatchewan Teacher’s College, and in 1959, the Normal School in Regina took on the name Saskatchewan Teacher’s College.

The early one room school teachers used their ingenuity for practical circumstances above and beyond their Normal School teaching. For example, heating the school house in the early winter mornings meant abandoning the desks for a warmer queue near the wood stove. In these cases, the teachers would adapt the lessons to this seating format.

It was in 1964, that teacher training moved to the University of Saskatchewan, and in 1969 also to the University of Regina.

compiled by Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse webmaster Julia Adamson

Bibliography

Charyk, John C. The Little White Schoolhouse. Volume 1. Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon, SK. 1979. ISBN 0-919306-08-X. pp. 100,228.

Kerr, Don and Hanson, Stan. Saskatoon: The First Half Century. Ne West Press, The Western Publishers. Edmonton, AB. 1982. ISBN 0-920316-35-2bound ISBN 0-920316-37-9. pp 231, 241-2, 244, 246.

Delainey, William P., Duerkop, John D., and Sarjeant, William A. Saskatoon A Century in Pictures. Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon, Sk. 1982. ISBN 0-88833-09-1 bound ISBN 0-88833-099-8 pbk.pp 72.

Charyk, John C.Syrup Pails and Gopher Tails Memories of the One Room School. Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon, Sk. 1983. ISBN 0-88833-115-0. pp.6, 8, 10, 56, 110

Vajcner, Mark. NcNinch, James. Normal Schools. The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center. University of Regina. 2006.

Adamson, Julia. One Rooms School Project Evolution. Rootsweb.ancestry.com. 2010.

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Related posts:

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

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Image: Mellow Yellow

All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem. All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed throgh Getty images. .. Peace and love be with you.
Namaste.

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Follow me on Flickr, Word Press, Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, and Flickriver

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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