Contributed by Gigimo
Description: Applicants for School Teachers' Certificates.Date: September 7 1879
Newspaper published in: Cairo, Illinois
Mrs. P. A. TAYLOR, County Superintendent of Public Schools, was engaged, yesterday, in an examination of applicants for school teachers' certificates. Mrs. T's examinations are said to be very thorough, and her marking close. The time was, and not many years ago, either, when these examinations were simply farcical. The applicant was required to spell a half dozen words of three or four syllables, and if his hits exceeded his misses, he was considered "sound" in orthography. He was required to furnish a specimen of his writing; and tell how many barrels of flour, at four dollars per barrel, a man could buy with $100. It was rarely indeed that the examination embraced English grammar. If it did, however, and the applicant knew that a noun is the name of a person, place or thing, and that an adjective is a word added to a noun to express some quality, he was considered "high up" in grammar, and his certificate was made to cover the right to teach all the elementary branches of an English education. The entire examination did not, as a usual thing, consume more than fifteen or twenty minutes. Recalling these facts, and remembering the methods and discipline that obtained in the average country school, even a quarter of a century ago, some idea may be formed of the difficulties the gray-heads of today had to surmount to acquire, even their knowledge of readin', ritin' and 'rithmetic.