Teaching-Inspired Altered Book, Part III

Hello all! Happy November! Hope this month is off to a great start for you! Here is another page from my teaching-inspired altered book.


In direct contrast to my last page, which was dedicated to the teachers who’ve found romance with their colleagues in the classroom, this page is for all of the unmarried schoolmarms through history who have devoted their entire lives to the children they teach, eschewing marriage and family life by choice or by circumstance.

In the early days of public education in the United States, female teachers who wished to remain employed in their chosen profession were generally not permitted to get married; once a woman married, she was expected to relinquish her teaching license so that she could exit the workforce and become a ‘proper’ wife and mother, as all supposedly decent women of the era were expected to be (of course, it goes without saying that male teachers were not bound to the same restrictions). I imagine many career-minded individuals who found fulfillment in their work struggled a great deal with the heartbreaking decision of whether to marry. I’m sure there were also others who discovered that the heavy workload of teaching as well as the isolated, rural locations of many schools were inconducive to having an active social life; they likely struggled to find time and opportunities to connect with potential marriage partners. This page is a testament to the passion these women felt for their vocation and the pride they took in helping parents to ‘raise’ multiple generations of children, as well as the difficulties they may have faced in terms of their loneliness, their unrealized dreams, and the questions they undoubtedly had to answer repeatedly from well-meaning family members and friends who didn’t understand.

This page was created with a page from a vintage school textbook, a mathematics flash card, a slide, a graphic clipped from a vintage greeting card, a photograph, a German language flash card, an old punch-out coupon stamp, a Scrabble tile, and text trimmed from old books.

Thanks again for stopping by! Have a great weekend!






About Jenny Petricek

I am a mixed-media artist who loves collage, bookmaking, journaling, and memory art.
This entry was posted in altered books, Mixed-Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teaching-Inspired Altered Book, Part III

  1. Evelyn Flint says:

    Fabulous inspiri9ng collage work Jenny….

    Liked by 1 person

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