Time Capsule: Persons Who Should Not Enter the Normal

As we celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first day of classes at the Sam Houston Normal Institute, we present a series of remarks from the SHNI catalogue, as printed in History of Education in Texas (1903):
If you desire to prepare for the study of law, medicine, or theology, do not come to the normal.

If you wish merely to obtain a general education, do not come to the normal.

This is not a reform school. It is not a place for children. Boys or girls incapable of self-control should not enter the normal.

If you have not completed a course of study that would fit you to enter a good high school, you can not be profited by our work, and should not apply for admission.

Our work is special, and will suit none but those preparing for the teacher’s profession. If you wish to teach in our country schools, our city schools, or high schools, we can give you good instruction by trained and skillful teachers, with all needed helps in the way of apparatus, libraries, etc., and special professional training that will be most valuable. But the normal school is not a college or university. If you are merely seeking to obtain a general education to prepare yourself for other than the teacher’s profession, do not come here. Our work will not suit you, and we will not be satisfied with you. Only those desiring to prepare for the great work of the teacher should come to the normal.


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