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It is matter of deep regret, that a profession, which affords so extensive a field for usefulness as the teacher's, should be so generally crowded with difficulties and discouragements, as to compel a large portion of the talent, which might otherwise be engaged in it, to seek employment and distinction elsewhere. Io high hopes and with flowing spirits, many a young man enters upon the business of instructing, carrying to the work a well-furnished mind, and a large share of zeal, — when suddenly and unaccountably to himself, he finds that he is surrounded by trials he had never foreseen, — troubles which have come without his seeking, and of such a nature as to render his situation any thing but desirable. He does what his ingenuity and his own warm, fresh heart suggest to remove the evils ; but, though he may change the place, he too often still keeps the pain. A few weeks, or perhaps months pass heavily away in vain attempts to find some mitigation of his difficulties; his days being spent in patience-trying effort, and his nights disturbed by dreams of the future, which are but a literal transcript of the past; or, if they take not their form from the finished day, they still can hardly be so extravagant as to be beyond the probability of fulfilment on the morrow.
Between his waking and his sleeping labors, — his rest being a toil, and his toil a pain, - finding daily his strength failing him, liis Aesh wasting away, his health suffering, and his soul sinking, he de
termines to have RELIEF ; not, however, by committing suicide, for that would violate the law of nature and the law of God; but by abandonment of his profession, which neither violates that instinct, teaching that "sell-preservation is the first law of nature," nor that passage of scripture which declares, that " if any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” This probably is in substance the history of more than one half of those who commence schoolteaching with a view to make it a permanent profession.
There are others, however, who have nerve enough to outlive their first six months, and who devote themselves unremittingly to their labors for a longer period; but very few among these ever become so attached to their chosen employment as to be unwilling to leave it for some other occupation, which may offer; an expedient which, we believe, almost every professional teacher has taken into his calculations for the future, and to which he looks forward with no very particular reluctance.
The profession of the teacher is certainly an important one ; it should be a happy one. The adverse influences should be removed, and the teacher should be left free to devise his own plans, and to find his enjoyment in witnessing the success attendant
their execution. We would not ask for greater emolument, - though considering the fact, that a teacher's best years are spent in his duties, and when his best years are passed away, an enlightened community usually judges him not only unfit for school-keeping, but for every thing else, we are constrained to believe, that the matter of compensation has been little enough thought of. We would not ask for greater respect and attention ; we believe, that in New England, the instructer has received his share of these, in proportion to his merits. But we would ask for sympathy ; for soul-cheering sympathy, on the part of the parents of those we are called to instruct; we would plead for their aid as far as they can assist us, and then we could go to the work at least with some gleamings of encouragement.
We have spoken of the difficulties of the school-teacher. It is not our purpose to enter into a detailed enumeration of these; it is sufficient, perhaps, for us to allege, THAT A LARGE PART OF THEM HAVE THEIR ORIGIN IN THE WANT OF CO-OPERATION, OR THE MISDIRECTED INFLUENCE OF THE PARENTS.
Nor shall we on this occasion labor to arrange proofs of this