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by late attendance and frequent absence to which we have before referred, and many other things literally “too numerous to mention, and who can wonder, that the teacher should sometimes be a little in doubt as to the best mode of proceedure in his discipline ?
We name not these things to complain of our lot as a teacher. That after all is the profession of our choice. But we name them to show why the parent should be slow in condemning the teacher for supposed faults. It seems to us, if parents would but reflect, they would be exceedingly slow to decide against the instructor without a hearing, as the manner of some is.
9. When the teacher is known to be wrong, parents should possess a forgiving spirit. It is a duty enjoined by the Great Teacher, that we should love our enemies, and that we should forgive men their trespasses as we hope to be forgiven. But how rarely is there any such thing as forgiveness for the faults of a teacher. 6 He has done wrong
turn him out,” is the gratuitous decision of almost all who have any cause of complaint against the schoolmaster. Is he their enemy? then they should forgive. But he is not their enemy. In nine cases of ten, he has erred in the midst of well-meaning; he has erred because he was perplexed beyond the sustaining power of hunianity! Surely then he deserves your coinpassion rather than
rebuke, Show to hiin the kind spirit, give to him the support he needs, second his reproofs, if need be, his punishments, give no countenance to the offending and offended pupil, no occasion for others to expect your sympathy if they offend and find the way of the transgressor is hard, - and you do that for the teacher, which he has a right, as your fellow-citizen and your fellow-christian, to expect from you, and that for the school which its best interest demands.
We add but one thing more. Parents should give to teachers their sympathy. Some parents, ready to meet and defray the requsite expenses of their children's tuition, ready to cooperate with the teacher in all laudable plans and aims for the welfare of his pupils, are still lamentably deficient in this one christian grace and virtue. They seem to have no conception that he has wants like other men, that time with its free use and unsettered enjoyment is also to him a blessed commodity ; that confinement within the four walls of a school room, month after month, does not necessarily leave him no tastes to grátify
beyond. They seem not to realize, that the teacher has nerves that need relaxation, languid pulses to be revived, and wasting strength to be renewed, and they can, and not unfrequenily do, grudge the limited vacations, which are absolutely necessary to recruit his crippled energies and exhausted body. We repeat it, we claim the sympathy, the spontaneous, grateful sympathy of the parents, sympathy for the perplexities, the toils, the nameless trials that overtask the mind, unnerve the frame, and wear down the strength of the studious, faithful, devoted teacher.
It must be admitted, that many parents estimate the services of the schoolmaster, in very much the same way, that they estimate the services of the day-laborer in their employ. The man of business pays the clerk in his counting-room, and the cartman on his wharf, and the term-bill of his child's teacher, and in each case feels, in his own mind, alike absolved froin all further obligation. OBLIGATION! Obligation from a parent toward a teacher! We have heard the word sneered at, the idea treated with contempt. But as there is no estimating the amount of good or evil influence upon the ductile mind of a child, extending as it does through his boy hood, felt in his riper years, operating unseen upon the principles and habits of all after life, running into eternity even,
so there can be no estimating, in mere dollars and cents, the unspeakable value of a good teacher's services; and no pecuniary emolument can ever cancel the obligation, unfelt and unacknowledged though it be, which the parent comes under to the teacher, while he sees the germs of fair promise in his boy, shooting into active usefulness as that boy becomes the man. Yes, the parent witnesses the expansion of the bud, the beautifying of the flower; but the genial influences, which operate upon these as the gentle dew and the blessed sunshine of heaven, are wholly forgotten and overlooked. A hand is at work behind the scenes, and the light of eternity can only reveal to the astonished parent, that the sun, the shade, the imperceptible dew on the mind of his child were to be found in the unobtrusive workings, the judicious, persevering, faithful training of the neglected teacher.
There is something cheering and animating in the cordiality of soul, which it is in the parents' power to exercise toward the instructer. If they have not the time for the visitation of the school, or the supposed qualifications for the examination
of their children in their studies, they certainly have it in their power to do much to make the teacher's life a pleasanter one; they can give to him some tokens of a kindly interest in bis success, and of a willingness to cheer him along his toilsome way. And let the teacher see that bis labors are appreciated, bis duties and difficulties properly estimated, his plans cordially acquiesced in and promoted, his acts candidly judged, his faults, (and it will be very wonderful after all if he have not many of these, fairly considered and heartily overlooked-and he would be an ungrateful, soulless piece of humanity, who would not be willing to devote his strength to the last remnant of energy, to requite the confidence, and answer the just expectations of those for whom he labors.
Let parents give their sympathy and co-operation to the teachers of their children, and the profession would soon be filled with devoted and talented men, who would be willing to live and die in their work; and when from their last pillow they should cast back a lingering look to the scene of their labors, the roses would amply conceal the sharpest thorns.