The school and the teacher give rise to different images and sets of meaning. Locating schools is a technique of government and teachers are supposed to act as mediators between state and society. But teachers are also local intellectuals and have actively engaged in discourses of dissent and challenges to the state. This article explores the changing identity, situation and representation of provincial schoolteachers in post-conflict Andean Peru. It draws on material from Tarma province to debate the extent to which the former racist “social order”, upheld by school and teacher, has been destabilised and superseded.