- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - Quebec
- Category Tools and equipment for communication
- Sub-category Written communication tools and equipment
- Department History
- Museum CMH
- Materials Slate, Wood
- Measurements Length 27.3 cm, Width 20.0 cm, Thickness 1.0 cm
- Caption The Teacher
In 1900, 95% of rural teachers are female. Female teachers are paid less than men - on average $105 per year compared to the $220 received by men - so thrifty school boards favour women. School mistresses play an important role in the village hierarchy, and their behaviour is closely observed by both parents and school authorities. Well-liked and respected teachers are asked to write letters, to read farmers the instructions for new farm products, to act as informal counselors and to participate in family events, both happy and sad.
Teachers have many responsibilities and have to be dedicated to their work. In addition to teaching subjects such as reading, writing, grammar, arithmetic, geography, and history, they are also responsible for religious education and practice. Schools in Quebec are divided along religious lines and Catholic schools are considered as second only to the church in providing religious education. Students say prayers several times a day, learn their catechism, and religious texts and sacred objects are distributed. In May, teachers are sometimes asked to lead prayers when the community gathers at the roadside cross nearby. Teachers often live at the school and are expected to clean the floors, to maintain the building and the fence in good condition, and sometimes even to care for student boarders.