Principal’s Perspective: A Teacher’s Influence
One hundred and fifty years ago, our forefathers lived with extremely different values and expectations than we embrace today. The following is a list of rules that were expected of teachers in 1872:
- Teachers will fill the lamps and clean the chimneys every day.
- Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
- Make your pencils carefully. You may whittle tips to the individual taste of the pupils.
- Male teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
- After 10 hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
- Teachers who engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
- Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years, so he will not become a burden on society.
- Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reasons to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
- The teacher who performs his labor faithfully for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay.
Your child’s schoolteacher may not want to fill the coalscuttle each morning, but he or she does want to fill your child’s heart with love and encouragement. It may not be popular in today’s culture to be a wholesome role model for children, but here at NCS, we believe the respectful and responsible behavior of a teacher can offer a child a wonderful advantage. Studies have proven that an exceptional teacher can inspire and strengthen a child’s academic performance for up to three years. The joyful and responsible teacher instills a drive and desire in a child that lasts long after the child has moved up to a higher grade.
In his book, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, psychiatrist Edward Hallowell emphasizes that a moral home and school were the only indicators that protected a child from self-destructive behaviors. One person, who believes in a child, can make a tremendous positive difference in his or her life. Dr. Hallowell concludes, “An effective teacher’s influence will stay with the child and empower them for several years after they have moved on.” Our children are blessed by the gracious and respectful character they see every day in our teachers. To shape a child’s life for an eternity of blessings, begin with a godly home and school.
Remember your child’s teacher in your prayers tonight.