The Common School

Decent Essays

From the start of the common school, teaching as a profession has been designed for women. As settlers first began to move to and populate the West, people were greatly spread out with school districts covering wide expanses of territory. Students would travel miles to secure an education, but said education was not possible without a teacher there to guide them. School boards placed an emphasis on the role of women as natural-born nurturers and child-raisers, and seemingly found the perfect solution to the lack of teachers in the schools of the West. Catherine Beecher, a wealthy aristocrat, agreed with the school boards and began to form colleges where women would be educated on the art of teaching before being sent into unfamiliar territory to teach the populations of young learners. After many years supporting this movement by the school boards to place women in teaching positions, Beecher announced that she had supported women in the classroom so fervently because she saw the lack of careers for women and was giving women a more equal advantage while also advancing the public education system in the West. The feminization of teaching not only created more jobs for women, but also created a new and growing stigma that women had the ability to be successful in their own careers, eventually leading to advancement in women’s rights. To this day, women still dominate the field. In my own experience, I did not encounter a male teacher until my late middle school years and even

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