Schools and Teachers By Camille Lombaerde and Nadine McMahon

Long ago, in America, schools were run by churches. There were 70 children in each class, and the class was usually at the teacher's house.

A schoolhouse

They used goose feathers and homemade ink to write. You had to cut the tip of the goose feather so it would be sharp enough. Teachers did not have a lot of tools for the class. Boys had to learn how to write clear and small. If they did so, spelling did not matter as much.

A classroom a long time ago.

While boys learned more advanced academy subjects, girls learned to assume duties of the Mistress and plantation. Girls learned to sew, to cook, to nurse and to plant.

All boys had to bring firewood to school each day. If not, he had to sit in the coldest part of the room all day. You got whipped if you didn't behave and you were called dunce if you didn't know your lessons. If you were talking to a friend during class, you had to wear wooden whispering sticks in your mouth. If you bit your nails, you had to wear a card saying, "Bitefinger Baby". A very mean teacher made a cut on the end of a tree branch and you had to wear it on the tip of your nose for at least an hour.

The hat for the dunce

A child learned to read with a horn book which wasn't actually a book. A horn book was a flat wooden book with a handle. It had the alphabet and the numbers ( 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ) carved into it. It also had a prayer which was called the lords prayer. It said, "Our father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. And give us this day, our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil. Amen."

horn book

Children did not go to school every day, like us. They only went to school when there were no chores at there house or at the Mistress' house. At the house, girls worked on cooking and plantations. While, boys worked on building houses, or getting food for the family. They went to school from 9 am - 4 pm.


Created with images by katerha - "Old School" • sarahstierch - "Wye Oak State Park - Wye Oak House (a little crooked..)" • fxxu - "classroom school old classroom" • ~Pawsitive~Candie_N - "Dunce"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.