I thought you would enjoy the following list of "Rules and Regulations for Teachers in 1872":
1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks.
2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and scuttle of coal for the day's sessions.
3. Make your pens carefully: you may whittle nibs to the individual taste of pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5. After 10 hours in school, the teachers spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Each teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or get shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labors faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
I was intrigued by the wording of #9 above. It sounded somehow familiar to me. Then it dawned on me that there is a similarity to what Jesus had to say to the seven churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2 and 3.
"Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Rev.2:10b)
"...[T]hey shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (Rev. 3:4-5)
There are a couple of significant differences, though, between the promise given to teachers in 1872 and the promises given by Jesus. Jesus doesn't require that we live "without fault" (and oh, how I'm thankful for that!). The reward that Jesus promises is considerably better than 25 cents for every five years of service (and I'm thankful for that as well!). And it's not a matter of gaining the approval of a group of men. The only approval that matters is the smile we'll see on our Father's face.
Father, thank you for the promises that you have given -- not just the promise of a crown or of white garments, but the promise of an opportunity to be in your presence, to be held in your arms. I don't live before you "without fault", so I thank you for your grace as I seek to live faithfully as your child. I commit all that I am and all that I have to be used in your service. In Jesus' name, amen.