The Okotoks Museum and Archives has opened its first new exhibit of 2023 celebrating the educators from years past to today.

Teachers Rule! is located on the second floor of the museum and shares stories from schoolteachers in the early days of Okotoks. 

It's a snapshot of life in those older classrooms says Museum specialist Kathy Coutts. 

"[The exhibit] includes a little bit about how you had to go to normal school to become a teacher. It also includes memories of former teachers, both their own memories as well as from the students of the teachers. Some of them are fond memories and perhaps some not so fond memories."

One display features the pay teachers received. 

Okotoks teacher Dallas Bannister taught from the late 1920s to the early 1930s. Coutts explained her annual salary in 1928 was $1,150. Eventually getting an increase in 1930 to $1,300. Adjusted for inflation that would be around $20,000 in 2022. 

A teacher in Okotoks in 1891 would make around 40 dollars a month. 

teachers rule

Also included is a feature on the mischief these young foothills students got up to in the early years of Okotoks. 

"I’ve put in the ridiculous pranks that students played. Putting snakes in the teacher's desk drawer or a Gopher in the drawer. Or throwing BB gun shells into the wood stove and scaring the teacher. Bringing a goat into the Principal's classroom. 

"It probably tested their patience, their sanity and they probably thought ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ "

Coutts is hoping those that take in the exhibit will reflect on their win time in school with an interactive element. 

"I've included a board where people can write down who their inspiring teacher is. I'm hoping to engage visitors and get them thinking about who an inspiring teacher has been in their lives."

Teachers Rule! is currently open and will be free to see until Friday, June 30. 

The Okotoks Museum & Archives is located at 49 North Railway Street, Okotoks.