Strength by Gentleness by Julia Adamson
Moose Jaw Normal School ~ Endless Echoes.
As immigration came west in Canada pioneers settled on their homesteads with young families. Families, with young children in need of schools and teachers. The Council of the Northwest Territories made set out guidelines to establish school districts. Moose Jaw had the dubious distinction of pressing forward in applying for their school district, being the first in the Territories to have their petition to the Government approved. The one room schoolhouses, initally staffed by teachers recruited from Eastern Canada and overseas, or teacher appointed by the school district superintendent. The Northwest Territories Council made provision initiating Normal Training Sessions for teacher training. Permanent Normal Schools were established in Regina, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw, with classes held in any Union School where demand warranted a special session. The Department of Education (now the Ministry of Education) continued regulating education after 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province.
The city of Moose Jaw began when two explorers, James Hamilton Ross (1856-1932), Hector Sutherland along with a couple of other homesteaders searched land suitable for settlement that would also make an excellent railway divisional point. In the summer of 1881, the forks of Moose Jaw and Thunder Creeks was chosen as this site, and by July 1882, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) arrived connecting the settlement with Winnipeg, and Portage la Prairie. Six months later, Moose Jaw was connected with Calgary via the CPR. As settlers arrived, families realized a there was need to educate their children. In 1880, a federal government grant was available which paid half of a teacher's salary if there were fifteen pupils in attendance at a school. A Provisional Board was appointed to establish public education in a school. This civic-minded board with John Gordon Ross (1891-1972), son of Senator James Hamilton Ross, at its helm soon had Moose Jaw incorporated as a town in January of 1884.
"As for the need of a school, let me say that education is one of the most sacred responsibility entrusted to parents. Government schools will soon lead to government control of what is taught. Education is a matter for the home, and when more formal instruction is required it should be a matter of choice. Many citizens are willing to share that responsibility with the church, but not with the government.~John Gordon Ross nomination speech for mayor of Moose Jaw February 1884."Brown, Page 18.
Brian A. Brown reports that the Moose Jaw Public School was located in the Brunswick Hotel, then the Foley Block (later the Churchill Hotel). Classes relocated to a lean to addition on the Moose Hotel (later the Bank of Commerce). Between 1886 and 1889 students were taught in Mr. W.R. Campbell's building (later the Walter Scott building).
A permanent eight-room school house was built and opened in 1890 under principal Mr. William Rothwell, and Mr. J.N. MacDonald, teacher. The following year Mr. Calder was appointed principal of the Moose Jaw Union School District Number One, with two teachers serving in the newly constructed permanent school location.
|“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless"~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta|
The naming of the school as a Union school was significant as it "A Union School could be protestant, public, separate or private. This was a common designation to set apart schools of a certain standard in which teachers could be trained in the absence of any other training facility, university or Normal College."Brown P 45.
In 1888 provision was made in the Northwest Territories ordinance for the establishment of union schools. These schools combine the teaching of a high school curriculum, a teacher training curriculum, and a public school curriculum."The principal was required to be a graduate of some university in her Majesty's Dominion, or in the opinion of the Board of Education equivalent thereto.
"He was required to satisfy the Board of Education of the Northwest Territories that he was qualified by knowledge and ability to conduct such a school (union) and to train teachers according to the most approved methods of teaching."-Department of Education recordsBrown p. 46.
In 1908,the governing body of the University was established under President Walter Murray. Moose Jaw assembled a petition of 2,217 persons with their claim to establish the provincial University in Moose Jaw. Premier Scott placed the decision with the board of governors to recommend a site upon deliberation and examination of all options and information available. In the following year a site in Saskatoon was chosen after surveying Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Battleford, Fort Qu'Appelle, Indian Head.
Moose Jaw continued to grow as the third largest city in the province, showing a population of 13,823 by 1911. Regina was the largest urban centre with 26,127 residents, Saskatoon 12,004. In 1911 Dr. Angus A. Graham, United Church minister, arrived in Moose Jaw and erected the Moose Jaw College. The Moose Jaw College was a boys Christian Residential College offering public school, and high school courses. The college also offered short commercial courses over the winter term when demand warranted. Complete commercial courses were offered, as well as high school classes up to the completion of first year University. Special courses were also arranged for student requests. Due to the depression and drought in the 1930s the Moose Jaw College closed its doors in 1931 and students transferred to the Regina College.
Planning of Ross Collegiate School began in 1913, becoming ready for classes until the spring of 1914. Moose Jaw's growth reached 16,934 in 1916 third largest in the province; Regina came in at 26,127 and Saskatoon 21,048. During the Great War (1914 -1918) Ross School was converted to a military hospital, and resumed secondary high school and Normal School classes in the fall of 1920. Teacher training for 45 pupils was also undertaken at Alexandra school under the tutelage of principal, W.J. Hawkins, B.A. who happened to be also the Moose Jaw Rural School Inspector. N.L. Massey and S.G.M. McClelland also taught normal school classes alongside Hawkins. These student teachers earned their third-class teaching certificates, and were able to teach for three years under this designation.
A fifteen week teacher training session was made available in Moose jaw under school inspectors as teachers. 62 students applied for normal school teaching, and the call was answered by Inspectors Griffin, McClelland and Keith in the fall of 1923. Additionally, a sixteen week winter normal school sessions was proposed at Prince Albert, Moosomin, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current and Estevan facilities if twenty-five students enrolled. A facility was looked at in Yorkton as well for the same extra Winter session. This session was out of the ordinary, as traditionally sessions began in January, however it was thought that teachers could make use of the normal school winter session while the rural schools were closed during the winter vacation period.
The Department of Education needed to meet the increasing demand for teachers, so the Moose Jaw Normal School was opened in 1927. There were now three normal schools in Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. Eastern Canada adopted the French term école Normale which gave rise to the term Normal School where teachers learned the "norms" in school education methods.
"The rewards of teaching do not at present encourage the expenditure of time and money in professional preparation. So long as a third class teacher is paid the same salary as one holding higher qualifications, there is no inducement for a young man or woman to spend an additional year at high school and an additional term at the Normal School. Salaries have not kept pace with the increased cost of living. Teaching is so poorly paid in comparison with other lines of work that it has suffered by competition. The teachers' services are too often regarded as a commodity to be purchased at the cheapest obtainable rate in the open market. Until the public realizes that there is a close relation between the kind of education available and the price actually paid for it, we cannot look for any improvement in the quality of our teachers or any permanency in the teaching profession. ...The best teachers will gradually drop out and the rising generation will be handicapped through life because inadequately qualified "permit" teachers were in charge of their early education, " said J.F. Bryant, President of the Saskatchewan School trustees, "Another matter which demands our serious consideration is the lack of men in the teaching profession...Since 1906 the percentage of male teachers in the province has dropped from 43.4 to 16.7 per cent. The majority of the men are to be found in urban districts where they carry on as principals and high school masters.The Morning Leader. Feb 26, 1920."
The Moose Jaw Provincial Normal School opened in 1927. "In reference to the selection of Moose Jaw for the location of the third normal school, Mr. Gardiner [acting minister of education] stated that a large majority of the students who presented themselves for normal school training lived in the more settled parts of the southern part of the province."The Morning Leader 1927. During the first term, some 300 students were in attendance at the new normal school in Moose Jaw.
|“The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts."~ John Greenleaf Whittier|
Honourable James G. Gardiner, Premier and Minister of Education laid the corner stone for the Moose Jaw Provincial Normal School on Tuesday, October 2, 1928 before a crowed of about one thousand. The cost of completion came to $500,000. Richard Geoffrey Bunyard, the first practicing architect located in Moose Jaw, supervised the construction of the Normal School. The Morning Leader recollected that the Regina Provincial Normal School was established in 1912, and the one located in Saskatoon in 1921. ( Moose Jaw Normal School was located where the Moose Jaw SIAST Palliser Campus now stands. )
During the early years of operating normal schools, short-term sessions were held proffering third class teaching certificates to turn out a larger number of teachers for the burgeoning population of Saskatchewan. Even though short term sessions were used to a great extent in the early 1920s and discontinued in 1926, a four month course offering a third class certificate was revived in 1929. In 1928, a short term second class session lasting 18 weeks was held at the three normal schools, and an 18 week short first class session was offered at the Regina and Saskatoon Normal Schools. However, if demand warrants it, a short first class session was available in Moose Jaw for an enrollment level of 40 students. These classes short term classes were made available to those teachers possessing a third class certificate who wished to upgrade to an interim second class (of first class) teaching certificate by taking an additional four month training course.
Robert Whiting Asseltine (1870-1953), Bachelor of Arts, teacher at both the Saskatoon Moose Jaw normal school was appointed principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School between 1929-1930. Following his tenure as principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School, Dr. Huff went on to become deputy minister of education for Saskatchewan which he held until 1934 when he retired.
|"Looking forward into an empty year strikes one with a certain awe, because one finds therein no recognition. The years behind have a friendly aspect, and they are warmed by the fires we have kindled, and all their echoes are the echoes of our own voice."
Alexandra school in Moose Jaw, the previous home to teacher training "short courses" opened its doors to the newly established permanent Normal School, offering practicum experiences in the field for the student teachers.
|"These teachers [at Normal School], it must be explained, were not so much engaged in teaching, as in teaching how to teach. It was their task to impart to the young men and women in their care the latest and most infallible method of cramming information into the heads of children. Recognizing that few teachers have that burning enthusiasm which makes a method of instruction unnecessary, they sought to provide methods which could be depended upon when enthusiasm waned, or when they burned out, or when it had never existed. They taught how to teach; they taught when to open the windows in a classroom and when to close them; they taught how much coal and wood it takes to heat a one-room rural school where the teacher is also the fireman; they taught methods of decorating classrooms for Easter, Thanksgiving, Hallowe'en and Christmas; they taught ways of teaching children with no talent for drawing how to draw; they taught how a school choir could be formed and trained when there was no instrument but a pitch-pipe; they taught how to make a teacher's chair out of a barrel, and they taught how to make hangings, somewhat resembling batik, by drawing in wax crayon on unbleached cotton, and pressing it with a hot iron. They attempted, in fact to equip their pupils in a year with the skills which it had taken them many years of practical teaching, and much poring over Department manuals, to acquire. And often, after their regular hours of duty, they would ask groups of students to their homes, and there, in the course of an evening's conversation, they would drop many useful hints about how to handle rural trustees, how to deal with cranky parents, how a girl-teacher of nineteen, weighing one hundred and ten pounds might resist the amorous advances of a pupil of seventeen, weighing one hundred and sixty pounds, how to leave a rural classroom without making it completely obvious that you were going to the privy, and how to negotiate an increase in pay at the end of your first year." Martens. (R. Davies, The Salterton Trilogy (Tempest-Tost), 79).|
During the depression years, school enrollment was capped at 800 students for the three provincial normal schools, rather than train a full complement of 1,200 teachers. This decision to limit attendance was considered more advantageous in 1931 rather than closing the Moose Jaw Normal School. Statistics Canada recorded a population of 20,753 for Moose Jaw during this year, Moose Jaw's sister cities for the other two normal schools, Regina was at 53,209 and the city of Saskatoon 43,291.
The Normal Schools published year books, the book in Saskatoon for the Normal School was termed The Light, Regina Normal School published The Aurora, and the Moose Jaw Normal School had the "Normal Echoes".
|"What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past."
“When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes."
~John A. Shedd
"In 1921, when 595 certificates were issued and 889 teachers trained, salary paid a first class male teacher was $1,452...in 1935, when 1,326 certificates were issued and 911 teachers trained, salary for the same teacher amounted to only $523.The Leader Post. 1937. " Due to the drouth and depression of the 1930s, salary arrears for teachers in the province "were reported totalling $777,380 at Dec. 31, 1934; $964,149 at Dec. 31, 1936.The Leader Post. 1937. " Though Saskatchewan schools experienced a shortage of teachers during the Great War, the depression years of the dirty thirties showed an oversupply of teachers. The difficulties during this era saw former teachers re-applying to the teaching profession. Desperate for a job, residents turned to normal schools and teacher training colleges. Academic and professional qualifications were raised by the normal schools in response to the high number of applications for teacher training, and enrollment levels were capped.
This situation changed following the second world war. Regina Normal School closed after World War II due to declining enrollment. In the fall term of the 1944 school year, enrollment for all three provincial normal schools came to only 321 applicants, and the previous year, 1943-1944 there were only 450 enrolled. In comparison, the 1939-1940 school term had an enrollment of 820 with 211 attending the Moose Jaw Normal School, 344 Saskatoon, and 272 attended the Regina Normal School. Between 1943 and 1948 short courses were again offered, however this brought down the number of full time students. The pre-requisite for normal school applicants was a grade 12 diploma, Saskatchewan residence, medical examination, and successful completion of normal entrance examinations through grades nine, ten and eleven. 877 students were in attendance the next year, and by the 1941-1942 school term 950 were enrolled in the normal schools across the province.
Mr. H.C. Andrews, B.S.A., B.Ed, principal of the Moose Jaw Normal School reported 146 graduates at the 1946 spring convocation. "Teachers must act as pivots, in a community around which education is interpreted to the people there, and prime essentials required are that the young teachers starting out must have faith in the future and faith in the youth, with whom they come in contact," the Honourable Woodrow S. Lloyd, Minister of Education said, "Teachers in beginning their careers, must develop an ability to interpret that which they read and hear, must have good health, a good background of learning and especially be civic minded.The Leader-Post, 1946."
A new curriculum along with re-designed entrance requirements were both introduced for the fall of 1945. Normal school applicants required a letter from their high school teacher or principal attesting to the students aptitude for teaching. The first two weeks of Normal School consisted of medical and intelligence testing and staff interviews to procure students suited for the profession of teaching.
|"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." ~
The University of Saskatchewan accredited the Normal School teaching program as a year of University work in acquiring a Bachelor of Education degree. Normal schools were junior colleges of the university in 1946.
"Teaching is the most important business on earth, " said Dr. S.W. Steinson of the Moose Jaw Normal School..." After determining the aims [of every lesson], you must choose the tools and techniques with which to work, and, lastly, evaluate the extent to which you have achieved your aims.Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Oct. 14, 1950."
In 1951, members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) discussed re-opening the normal school in Regina, in addition to the Moose Jaw and Saskatoon normal schools. (Moose Jaw had a population of 23,069 in 1951; Regina 60,246 and Saskatoon 46,028) It was during this debate that it was "pointed out that the northern part of the province was more heavily populated than the south...and Moose Jaw didn't have a full complement of students" at that time. Students enrollment across the province dropped from 894 students to 745 enrolled in the fall of 1951. The Normal School at Moose Jaw saw an enrollment of 225, 49 less students than the previous year, Saskatoon Normal School was down 31 students, and the University of Saskatchewan's College of Education saw a reduction of 69 students as well.
Entrance exams in 1952 consisted of basic language, mathematics and general intelligence tests. "Even our Normal School students agree that one year training is not sufficient, and there are only hurried discussions during the semester," explained Marion Scribner from the Moose Jaw Normal School, "with an inspired teacher, the ideal school could become a realty."Saskatoon Star-Phoenix 1952 Though it was felt that Saskatchewan had the "most advanced system of practice teaching in North America", a teaching certificate was offered after a one year Normal course.
|"When the school existed mainly to develop skills and to impart information, the teacher, to be successful, required to be master of his subject and drill techniques, and able to keep order, either by strength of personality or muscles. Beyond this little more was essential.Today aims of a different curriculum made greater demands on the teacher, Mr. Lewis [Normal School teacher] declared.
To train pupils to think, the teacher must himself possess this somewhat rare ability. To teach pupils to enjoy beauty he must have the soul of the artist. To develop good citizens he must have at once the attitudes of a good citizen, a thorough understanding of its benefits.
To deal with many types of children and help those who are maladjusted he must have an understanding heart.
Many young men and women who obtain a high school education do not have the other qualifications necessary to make such a teacher.
They can be obtained only if young people of high ability, steeped from the earliest years in our culture, enter the teaching profession.The Leader-Post, 1948.
During the 50th provincial anniversary celebrations, Robert Kohaly, MLA said that "teaching has possibly become the most important of all professions...members of the teaching profession have the responsibility of seeing that 50 years from now, the residents of Saskatchewan will be as proud of the present generation as we are of the pioneer residents whose memories are being commemorated this year.The Leader-Post 1955."
A three year study to clarify the quality of teacher education and define who was responsible for teacher education curriculum. The study began in 1955 according to Balfour examining whether
- a) teachers colleges should be kept, but the courses expanded into a two year session;
- b) teachers colleges become federated colleges;
- c) or all colleges come under the University.
A ten per cent salary increase was offered to those teachers with teacher's college training in 1957. The "minimum salary for teachers with teacher's college training is $2,400, reaching a maximum of $4,00 in nine years.The Leader-Post 1957." Gib Eamer, Executive secretary of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation spoke to the success of the salary increase in retaining teachers in the province.
The Moose Jaw Normal School closed its doors in 1959. Moose Jaw normal school student year books were published under the title; "Normal Echoes."
|"The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Honourable Woodrow S. Lloyd, Minister of Education, announced that the Provincial Technical Institute will open in the Moose Jaw Teachers College building. The province, in 1958 had only two Teachers Colleges, one located in Saskatoon, the other in Moose Jaw. With the opening of the Provincial Technical Institute in Moose Jaw, the Teachers College will re-locate from Moose Jaw to Regina. The former Regina Normal School building (after renovations amounting to about $400,000) was used again to provide classrooms for teacher training for the Regina Teachers College. In the fall of 1959, the Regina Teachers College opened to an enrollment of about 400 student teachers. Principal H.C. Andrews speaking to the new students said that they faced a "great responsibility and you must be ready to accept it. Never let it be said that you came to the stairs of learning and refused to ascend.The Leader-post Sept. 8,1959." At the time of the transfer, the Moose Jaw teachers college was under the head of H.C. Andrews, principal along with 15 staff.
"Before a teacher can obtain a permanent certificate in Saskatchewan, two years of study after Grade XII are necessary. The first of these is usually taken at a Teachers College; the second must be at the University. If a two year course is to be a minimum requirement, or even if it is to be provide for effective coordination between the University and department, the problem of proximity of institutions is important....Teacher training will then be carried on, still at two centres in the province, but at those centres in which the University also operates, said Wilson.Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 1958."
Moose Jaw not only said farewell to its Teachers' College, but also the Soo Line, when ran its last passenger train in the spring of 1961. The CPR Moose Jaw - Macklin 480 kilometer branch line also ceased services. A once busy divisional point, with trains arriving continuously all day, Moose Jaw rail traffic was reduced to two cross country trains daily.
|"Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart.
Emile M. Cioran
Moose Jaw's population on the 2011 census was 33,274; Saskatoon 222,189, and Regina 193,100. Once the province's largest industrial city, Moose Jaw rings out her proud heritage. Reaching through time, reclaiming hundreds of unique memories, they truly live up to their new slogan, "Moose Jaw: Surprisingly Unexpected." (Placing a spotlight on their old slogan, "the Band Capital of North America" a story in itself.)
|"Most of your reactions are echoes from the past.|
The Regina Normal School was established first in 1893, followed by the Normal School in Saskatoon in 1912, and then demand warranted as well, the Normal School in Moose Jaw by 1927. The Regina Normal School building was used for teacher training opening in 1914, closing between 1944-1960, when it reopened to serve until 1969, with a total teacher training facility era of 76 years. The Saskatoon Normal School building opened in 1923, and was used until 1970, its era serving teacher education covering a total of 50 years. The Moose Jaw Normal School building, opened in 1930, and closed in 1959 when classes continued at the Regina location. The Moose Jaw Normal School building had a lifespan of 30 years as a teacher training facility before being used by Saskatchewan Technical Institute.
From humble beginnings, the echoes from the Moose Jaw Normal School ring out. Friendly fires are re-kindled, looking at the reflections of history. Through time, hundreds of student teachers passed through Normal Sessions carrying with them lasting memories.
Article written by Julia Adamson
- Saskatoon Normal School ~ a History ~ Education is the movement from darkness to light
- The Saskatoon Normal School (1912-1953)
- The Saskatoon Teachers' College (1953-1964)
- University of Saskatchewan College of Education (1927-present)
- Table 1. Table Showing Number of Pupils, Teachers and Schools 1904-1920 in Saskatchewan, Canada;Table 2. Estimate of Population of Saskatchewan 1931-1950 Chart;
Table 3. Teachers according to Salary Received in Saskatchewan 1939.
- The Era of Saskatchewan One Room School Houses
The little white one room school house, what is remembered about it?
- Regina Normal School~ a History ~ From potential to realty
- North-West Territories Normal School 1893-1905
- Regina Provincial Normal School 1905-1927
- Regina Normal School 1927-1953
- Regina Teacher's College 1953-1961
- University of Saskatchewan ~ Regina Campus 1961-1969
- Faculty of Education USRC 1969-1974
- University of Regina 1974-
The Drastic Shortage of Teachers in Saskatchewan's History and A small sampling of Teacher wanted ads.
- From potential to realty ~ The Regina Normal School (aumkleem.wordpress.com)
- Moose Jaw has some wonderful oddities: Photo Essay (ominocity.com)
- Things to Do in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (livestrong.com)
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan: Mac the Moose (middleofnowherecanada.wordpress.com)
- Moose Jaw Junction: Hunting Down Good Times Up-North (gigigalt.com)
- My Inspiration! (msinclair18.wordpress.com)
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="75"] The Moose Jaw Standard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75"] Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Location (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="75"] English: A small grain elevator on a farm near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75"] Mac the Moose stands on the edge of Moose Jaw. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="75"] Welcome to Moose Jaw (Photo credit: jimmywayne)[/caption]