Public Private Lives and Emerson's Clairvoyant Solution
My intelligence was sparked when exceptional people opened doors in my mind I didn't know needed light. And while my parents played a part in this I remember more strongly the hand that my teachers played in expanding my mind. Generally there are certain aspects of school that a student remembers but always there is a teacher. For me there were several, and I know I was lucky. I do remember some of the lessons, a few specific classes, but what I remember more is how they acted as people and not just as teachers. I recall the way they taught me silently through the examples they set in their lives. Teachers, by the sheer nobility of their positions, have this responsibility whether they desire it or not.
The historical nature of teachers was to educate with an enormous focus on the morality of the students. Education often came directly from the bibles of the students and the religious doctrine the church had decreed. Teacher's primary goals were to create good and moral citizens. Churches many times were the origin of the school doctrine. Horace Mann states that one of the three most essential elements of being a teacher is "the ability to manage and govern a schoolroom and to mold moral character" (Spring, 127). Emma Willard was of a similar opinion. Spring writes, "Willard believed that development of character was the first aim of education and placed a great deal of emphasis on that and on moral virtues" (Spring, 126). At this time moral education was held superior to the "standard", non-moral education of a child. These "standard" subjects were taught only second to religion, which in turn produced a very narrow education and a narrow view of the world.
The strict view of morality forced the teacher, the classroom's 'moral example', to fulfill all of the scrupulous principles society demanded. Teaching was in the past, as it is in the present, a public position that leaves educators with limited security of privacy. This is easily exemplified through the boarding of teachers with the families of their students. The teacher would live for designated amounts of time with families in the communities. Is there any less private manner for a teacher to live their life? Teachers were constantly under the eye of scrutiny.
Since that time many laws limiting the aspects of a teacher's life have been abolished.