Teachers of Poston (Colorado River Relocation Center)


About 1/3 of the educators who taught at Poston were recuited from across the United States, many by the American Friends Committee.  Many of the teachers came from Quaker and Missionary backgrounds.  There were also Black teachers who had to deal with injustices of the time and the prejudice of Parker, AZ.

The teachers were hired into the hardships of 120 degree heat, dust storms, inadequate living and working facilities with limited supplies. There was a high turn over rate because of the harsh conditions. Many of the teachers brought there families with school age children.  

These teachers were paid a wage agreed to by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the War Relocation Authority.  The teachers and their families lived in better housing and had better food than the inmates, however, the teachers and their familiies were integrated into the camp with the inmates. The staff and teacher's children went to school with the inmates children inside of the camp.

The Inmates supplied about 2/3 of the teachers because of the lack of qualified teachers. About half of these teachers had a teaching degree. The inmate teachers were paid $19 a month, about 1/10 of the white and black teacher's salary. Because of the use of these teachers, the student to teacher ratio was about 25:1.  The resulting education achievement level of the students was on par with the nation.

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RoyKakuda — Last modified Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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