School

From 1800 to 1850, without any doubts, education wasn't a priority for the Acadians. The absence of infrastructures and well trained teachers does not value teaching. For most of the acadian families, survival was a priority. For example, young boys from the age of 12 years old embark on a fishing boat. Others chose the ax, and at 14 years old, a lot of them went in the wood as lumberjacks trying to make a fortune. Finally, others took part in the farm work. Girls help their moms with the house work. Inevitably, for a lot of acadians, school is a part time occupation during the year when their service is not needed elsewhere.  This explains why teachers have to deal with irregular presence of children in school.

However, at the beginning of 1800 years, provincial autorities do their best to valorise education and convince parents of its importance. But material means are weak, manuals are not to be found, and most of them are in English. Also, competent French teachers are very rare,because teachers' training  is only given in English and only started after 1850 in Nouveau-Brunswick. Acadian regions in the province must count on mobile teachers only.  All those factors explain that education is reserved to the English elite, whose members have access to the administrative positions.  However its in those small modest schools, with difficult conditions that a lot of our futur pioneers of the acadian elite receive their first apprenticeships.  Pascal Poirier, Placide Gaudet, Amand Landry, Marcel-François Richard and others do not receive other training at the elementary school than the one given in those small schools often not well maintained and with teachers with no experience.

The structure of this school from Chockpish, near Richiboucto, is with vertical (colombages). The exterior is covered with cedar shingles, interior walls are covered with a three feet panelling pine boards. A small stage  about 20 centimeters high, near the entrance door, serve as a stand for the teacher's desk.  A patch painted on the wall with black smoke, serves as a blackboard.  A small inbox stove constitutes the heating system..