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Rappel, Joseph J. / A centennial history of the Manitowoc County school districts and its public school system, 1848-1948

Certification of teachers,   pp. 8-9 PDF (943.8 KB)

Page 8

                       CERTIFICATION OF TEACHERS
    Pioneer teachers during the territorial days were hired as teachers if
they could
read, write, and cipher. Among the early settlers there were usually a few
who were considered "well educated." Such persons were usually
chosen to conduct
the district school or they might even set up a private school of their own.
No quali-
fication standards were required. After the office of town superintendent
was created
in 1848, that official was given the power to examine and license teachers.
There was
no uniform examination and few town superintendents were qualified to conduct
aminations. Judge Jerome Ledvina, who wrote an interesting history of the
school in 1907, states that the first teacher was licensed in this manner:
"She was
given a Bible and told to read a verse. If she read this satisfactorily,
she passed in
reading. Then she was told to write the verse to qitalify for the teaching
of writing.
Of course, they always passed in writing! She was then given a column of
figures to
add. If she did this correctly she passed in arithmetic, and she was then
qualified to
teach school!"
    In 1852, the state for the first time, prescribed the form of certificate
to he issued
each candidate who was found qualified to teach. The form was as follows:
        "I do hereby certify that I have examined  ---------------------------
    and do believe that he or she is qualified in regard to moral character,
    ing and ability to teach a common school in this town for one year from
        Given under my hand this ------------ day of ------------- A.D. ,8_..
                   S ig n e d . . .. . . . . . .        - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
                     Town Supt. of Schools for town of------------------
    The law creating the office of county superintendent of schools also
provided, for
the first time, general control over examinations for teachers' certificates
by naming
the subjects in which the applicants were to be examined for the different
grades of
teaching certificates to be issued by the county superintendent. An act of
the legis-
lature annulled all teaching certificates granted by town superintendents.
The teach-
ing certificates authorized under the county superintendent's act were of
three grades,
and were to be issued only if the applicant had "good moral character,
learning, and
ability to teach." The third grade certificate required "passing
grades" in orthoepy,
orthography, reading, penmanship, intellectual and written arithmetic, grammar,
geography. For a second grade certificate the subjects of physiology, physical
raphy, elementary algebra, U. S. history, and theory and art of teaching
were also re-
quired. For'a first grade certificate all of the above subjects plus algebra,
and philosophy had to be passed.
    Just what a "passing" mark for teachers in 1877 was is indicated
by examining a
third grade certificate issued by Supt. W. A. Walker to P. H. Lynch and reproduced
in full here:
1(i        I
                  '_ aMAN IT0W0C COUNTYIDD
       (.6K~*  Y~               ~.
     ,r., r 4i ~~it/ i~t~ 1k ~ A4, ýa ? ea qnt1 c(
A1. ýft7  .114  tAfl,   #101W 4etIti,,  *(: /,,,aa Vl /

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