Today, three-quarters of teachers in primary schools are women. It wasn’t always that way. Prior to 1850, teaching was primarily a male occupation. Men received an education, and women were taught how to run a household.
Industrialization changed all that. The new economy led men into business and better wages, creating a teacher shortage. This left the door open for women to step in.
It was a tough job. Teachers taught in one-room schools with as many as sixty pupils. Female teachers commanded less pay than their male counterparts, but the job did give women more independence.
In my book, Wooing the Schoolmarm, Miss Maddie Percy has come all the way from Washington D.C. to teach school in Colton Kansas. Instead, the feisty red-haired schoolmarm finds the town burned to the ground and her only shelter an isolated sod house belonging to widower Luke Tyler and his young son, Matthew. Never one to be deterred by setbacks, Maddie is soon making friends with the local Indians, setting up a tepee to live in, and finding her blood racing every time Luke comes near.
Luke Tyler has no room in his life for a woman—especially one as eccentric, spunky, and smart as Maddie Percy. His prairie farm life is too harsh, his memories too painful and his secrets too dark to give in to the feelings she has awakened in him. She might be stealing his son’s heart, but he is keeping his own out of reach. If only he could keep the sparks between them from igniting something as dangerous as lo
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