Time Machine Tuesday: Teaching In Colorado

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day, a day for thanking the educators who made differences in our lives and for appreciating the hard work they put into it! With new technologies and other cultural changes, teaching is quite different today from what it was a century ago. Yet one thing hasn’t changed…teachers’ dedication and desire to see their students succeed.

For a fascinating insight into the teaching profession a century ago, take a look at the Colorado State Course of Study in Education handbooks, which have been digitized by our library. These handbooks were issued by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction (today’s Department of Education) and given to all school districts in the state. They include tips for teachers about ethics, professional growth, community relations, etc., but their main content is the grade-level curricula. Here is outlined in detail exactly what lessons were suggested to be taught in each subject at each grade level, from kindergarten through high school. It is quite fascinating to see what the students were learning and at what age — some of it may surprise you. Comparing the books also gives an interesting look at how the profession, and curriculum, changed over time. We have Course of Study books available digitally for the following years:

Check our library’s online catalog for other resources on Colorado teachers and school curricula through the years.

Finally, for a historical look at some of Colorado’s best teachers, view the Colorado Department of Education’s list of Colorado Teachers of the Year from 1963 to the present.