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Cwmdeuddwr National School 7
Pupil Teachers

The difficulties of the role
The system which the first state schools used was the monitorial or pupil teacher system by which older pupils could do some simple teaching of younger ones whilst pursuing their own education under the Master's supervision with a view to winning a scholarship at a teacher training college.

For brighter working class children in the late 19th century this was a first real opportunity to "better themselves". However the role of pupil teacher must have been a difficult one to assume successfully. Few teenagers could take upon themselves the right authority or be mature enough to display the right diplomacy. The pupil teachers at Cwmdeuddwr had their problems also.

Log Book
  This entry from 1889 reads:-
"Standards II & III are in a disgraceful condition. The fault lies with the teacher, Wm. Jones". A month later poor William gave up the struggle and resigned. After recording his resignation the Headmaster notes:-
County Archives
log book entry

"I am very much dissatisfied with the conduct of Wm. Jones of late. This afternoon he had a class out in the yard, but instead of taking his children in Reading he was reading some other book."
William Jones got a job as a goods clerk at Rhayader Station and was probably much happier there.

John Jones
William Jones' fellow pupil teacher did not fare any better in the role. He failed his exams and displayed even less aptitude in the classroom as the entry below (also from September 1889) indicates. 

  log book entry 

"John Jones P.T. prepared a 'notes of lesson' on the Parts of the Human Body. I asked him to give the lesson this afternoon, but could get no more than half a dozen words out of him. The pupil teachers one gets in this district are of no use to the Master. I have to do almost all the work myself."
John Jones also gave up the role,and like his colleague also got a job as a clerk at the station. 

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