Today the teachers in my county go back to school. I have a critique group session this morning and in honor of this event, I'm wearing an apple necklace one of my students gave me once upon a time.
Ah, the teacher work days. So important. What a great invention, but also what a modern invention. The teachers I'm writing about in the 1940's would have been thrilled to have a paid day to prepare for the year. They showed up when the children showed up, or they came ahead on their own time.
They were paid every twenty work days. So twenty school days from today, these teachers would get paid. That worked fine back then until the few vacation days intervened. Two days for Thanksgiving pushed pay day back two days. Christmas break, even longer. At the end of 1946 the Christmas break was extended by two weeks of snow and poor road conditions. (Remember, this was before most side roads were paved.) Pay day came after the twenty work days and this year it was almost into February before they got the days. Late November to late January equals long dry spell.
In today's society with house payments due, car payments, credit card payments, and college loan payments, a young person could not survive with this system. The teachers in 1946 couldn't either, which is why the ones in Burke County hired a judge to advocate for them at the state general assembly. Not just any judge, either. The future great Senator Sam Ervin, Jr.