Faust Park Schoolhouse

One-Room Schoolhouse

Rules for Teachers – 1872

  1. Teachers will fill lamps and clean chimneys.
  2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
  3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
  4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
  5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
  6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
  7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
  8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
  9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Faust Park is one of the more unusual county parks here in Saint Louis. Attractions that it houses include the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Butterfly House, the Saint Louis Carousel, the second Missouri governor’s mansion and a historic village. Yesterday, a second one-room schoolhouse was dedicated. Not the one pictured, but another one, a black schoolhouse built in 1893. It is still a bit of a work in progress and was also overrun with spectators, so I chose the already installed white schoolhouse instead. Both schoolhouses date to the 19th-century, were built elsewhere and then moved to the park. As part of its dedication, the African American school hosted a substitute teacher who had taught there in the fifties.

Adorning both schools were various American flags, with their number of stars that dated them all to before the Civil War. It was interesting to see how the different flags arranged their stars. One of the flag’s designs was created by a student. His teacher did not like it and had given him a C for his design, but when it went on to win the national contest and was chosen as the new flag’s design, the teacher had to change the student’s grade to an A. Whenever a new state is admitted to the union, its star is not added to the flag until the following Independence Day. This gives time to create the new flag design and time for enterprising teachers time to sell copies of the new flag as a fundraiser.

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