Ancestors in their own words.
Teachers, do not forget that you can add much to the interest and success of your school by making your school-room look pleasant and attractive. It is no wonder that children have a dread to attend school regularly, when they leave their own pleasant homes and enter the cold, cheerless school-house with its bare walls, which ever present an external sameness, with nothing to please the eye or make a variety of the school-room scenery.
We are pleased to notice that many teachers have taken steps in this direction by hanging or pasting up pictures, maps, bunches of dried grasses, coloured varnished leaves, wreaths of evergreens hung about the room; flower vases placed on the table and filled with water, with a vine trailing from its top downward; little mounds of moss with coloured pebbles at their base, placed on the window-sill or clock-shelf; any or all of these things tastefully arranged in our plain school-rooms will add an irresistable charm to your work, and cause children to love and respect you, which no other incentive can produce. Coloured pictures are the most attractive. They are cheap, and can be found in almost any book-store.
This advice, printed in the July 1874 Journal of Education for Ontario, takes us back to a time well before commercial lesson plans, dry-erase boards and alphabet bunting.