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part of our organization, and contribute | much to its usefulness.

Our happiest time is the Thanksgiving season. As this festival approaches, pupils are reminded of the loaded tables around which they will be seated, of the luxurious abundance of which they will partake, and that there are many in our city who will have scanty fare unless some effort is made to relieve their wants. The Bible lessons in the morning exercises are appropriate to the occasion. "Inasmuch as ye did it to the least of these, ye did it unto me." Young people's hearts are easily touched. The thought that any of their neighbors may go hungry, when they have so much, moves them to active exertions.

Last year, over forty dinners were distributed the afternoon before Thanks giving, and real Thanksgiving dinners they were too. These are special donations, are not supplied from the regular fund in the treasury. Names and addresses of those needing assistance, if not already known to the society, are furnished by responsible persons. While the pupils are advised to contribute plain, nutritious food, I am glad that in this case the teacher's authority is in a measure disregarded. Turkeys, chickens, celery, cranberries and fruit, form a part of the bill of fare. Butchers and grocers wax generous, and our funds go farther than we dared to hope.

The materials for the dinner are sent to a central part of the city, and wagons for the distribution of the baskets are fur nished by the pupils. The committee is enlarged to meet the requirements of the day, and a happy, busy time the workers have. We all wish we could share in the packing and distributing of the baskets, but only a fortunate teacher or two, the officers, and members of the committee can be spared, for the regular routine of the school must be continued. Nevertheless the loving spirit of the day is felt in all the departments. Two years ago the principal of one of the ward schools sent word to our society that her pupils wished to help us with the Thanksgiving dinner. The offer was gladly accepted. They were unable to contribute money, but when the potatoes and other vegetables, the canned fruit, pies, and bread came pouring in, the question was asked, "What can we do with it all?"

We begin our work in the Helping Hand this year under circumstances un

usually favorable, and we hope to perfect our organization and extend the work in different directions. We are already making our plans for Thanksgiving. A hard winter for the poor is feared; many are without work, and the capacity of our Society will undoubtedly be taxed to the utmost. As to our work in the past, we hope that we have done some good to others; we know that we have done good to ourselves.



HE common schools are the nurseries

Testablished by the State for the rear

ing of its future citizens to lives of usefulness and honor. A full, conscientious and successful discharge of the office of teacher in them comprehends more than the routine hearing of recitations in the ordinary branches of the common school curriculum. It includes the awakening of thought and a desire for knowledge, and the implanting in the minds of the pupils, with their daily lessons, ideas of conduct and morals that will tend to make their lives better and purer as their knowledge increases and their intellect expands; and no agency so far devised is better calculated to awaken in the minds of the teachers a realization of the dignity and responsibility of their profession, to increase their enthusiasm in the cause, and to inspire in them higher ambitions and loftier ideals, than comparison of views and methods, the discussion of the various problems which arise in the progress of educational ideas, and the association with others in the same calling, for which these Institutes give the opportunity.

We have had assembled in our midst during the present year a number of bodies of men and women in various enterprises, such as missionary societies, Christian Temperance Unions, Christian Endeavor Societies, Sunday-school Conventions and others, all devoted to the elevation and reformation of humanity; and all of them, without exception, in discussions as to the most effective way

*From an address by Hon. David McMullen, President of the Lancaster School Board, before the Lancaster County Teachers' Institute, Nov. 13th, 1893.

to accomplish their benevolent work, base | might not carry out the mandate in a

their chief hope on reaching the children of the land through the medium of the common schools. We have already, as a result of their efforts in this direction, the statute recently enacted, making it compulsory to teach physiology and hygiene with special reference to the effect on the human system of alcoholic drinks, stimulants and narcotics, and they came near giving us at the late session of the Legislature a compulsory education law. Whether such legislation be considered wise or otherwise, the effort made to secure it emphasizes the fact that all thoughtful people who are striving upon different lines to improve the condition of humanity recognize the fact that in the common school, as regards the great mass of the people, must be laid the foundation upon which alone can be successfully reared the superstructure of moral worth, integrity and self-respecting manhood, so essential to the development of good citizens and useful members of society.

If, as a great advocate of universal education has said, "an uneducated ballot is the winding-sheet of liberty," then there can be no other office so directly bearing upon the perpetuity of our free. institutions as that of the teacher of the common school.

The idea of universal education is steadily and rapidly gaining ground with the people of this Commonwealth. A brief glance at the legislation on the subject will illustrate this.

The original idea of common schools was to provide only for the free education of the poor. The constitution of 1790, as that of 1838, directed that "the Legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide by law for the establishment of schools throughout the State in such manner that the poor may be taught gratis;" and as late as 1851 it required a decision of the Supreme Court to settle the fact that a law providing for the establishment of schools for all who might choose to attend them was not unconstitutional.

When our present constitution was formed, in 1873, the framers of it made the provision emphatic that "the General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and effective system of public schools wherein all the children of this Commonwealth above the age of six years may be educated;" and for fear that the Legislature

sufficiently liberal spirit, they added this clause, and shall appropriate at least one million dollars each year for that purpose." This seems to have been somewhat in advance of the Legislative mind, and that body, for the succeeding years up to 1882, while making the annual appropriation of $1,000,000, in obedience to the requirements of the fundamental law, carefully provided that County Superintendents' salaries and an annual allowance to Normal Schools of from $20,000 in 1874 to $32,000 in 1882, should be paid out of this fund.

In 1883 a more liberal spirit began to pervade the lawmakers, and from that time until 1886, both years inclusive, the County Superintendents and Normal Schools were separately provided for, and the $1,000,000 went to the common schools without deduction. From 1886 a new start seems to have been made, and for the years 1887 and 1888 each one and a half millions were appropriated. For the years 1889 and 1890 the amount was raised to $2,000,000; for the succeeding two years $5,000,000 a year was allowed, and the last Legislature appropriated for the years 1893 and 1894 the magnificent sum of five and a half millions.

These figures show that the people of the State have a rapidly-growing desire for more efficient education. The desire of the people for anything can be pretty accurately measured by their willingness to pay for it; and having within a few years more than doubled their appropriation for schools, they will look to the districts and the teachers for a corresponding improvement in the work accomplished. How to secure such improvement is a proper subject for consideration in Teachers' Institutes. It will probably be sought for through the medium of longer school terms, better school facilities, free textbooks, higher wages, and, let me respectfully suggest, higher qualifications and greater permanence in the teacher's profession. Long terms, good buildings and apparatus are very essential, but a vastly more important feature is a thoroughly competent teacher.

I am well aware that salaries of eighteen, fifteen, and even less than thirteen dollars a month, such as prevailed in some districts in the State during the year covered by the last published annual report of the State Superintendent, are not great inducements for laborious and

costly preparation for a permanent profession; but, happily, such districts are few. High-grade certificates in most districts of the State command fairly remunerative wages, and it seems to me worthy of consideration whether the time has not come when the suggestion of the late State Superintendent should be acted upon, and either the standard required for provisional certificates be raised, or the number of such certificates that may be issued to the same person be limited. Some such provision would tend to eliminate from the ranks of the profession many unworthy teachers, increase the demand for the well-qualified, and be a long step in advance in the cause of better education.



S the first of January is in all departments of life a time for making new resolutions and new beginnings, so in the life of the teacher is the opening of the school year an excellent time to put into operation new plans conceived for the welfare of this little kingdom. The foremost aim of all good teachers is to begin well, for well begun is half done.

Not only should the year itself be begun well, but during the first few weeks it should be the constant aim of every teacher to see that her pupils are beginning to understand that she expects them to be in their places promptly every morning and that tardiness will not be tolerated. No school can attain the best results if the children are allowed to begin their work at the hour that may prove most convenient to themselves. Once the habit of tardiness is formed, it is very difficult to overcome, hence the necessity of using the utmost care to prevent its being formed. So many have at this season new classes and new schools to work with that our opportunities are excellent, and there can be but small excuse for us if we allow the habit of being late to grow to any great proportions in our schools.

Let the children see from your manner that you do not intend to tolerate tardiness on the part of any pupil. Oblige them always to bring you a written excuse from their parents when they come to school late. Never allow them to come into the school-room and take their places with the rest of the children until they have explained to you the cause of their tardiness. Accept no trivial excuses

without letting the offender understand that you do not expect a repetition of the offence.

If possible, create a friendly rivalry between your school and some other school in the same town in this matter, and have reports given at stated intervals. Create

a feeling among the pupils against tardiness, and then the problem is solved. Once this feeling is well established, note the look of disdain that will greet the occasional late comer as he enters the room. Teach the children to come to you to be excused before the school begins, if they are obliged to go on an errand and fear that they cannot return in time for the beginning of the session.

Perchance you may find an individual case that can not be reached in the way mentioned. If so, there will doubtless be some equally simple way of dealing sucfound that the child likes to do before cessfully with it. Some work may be school, and that will assure his presence in the room on time. A kind talk with a careless parent may be all that is needed. At any rate, convince yourself that you are doing your best to prevent tardiness, and in most cases it will in consequence cease to be a drawback to your school-Southern Ed. Journal.


WHATEVER threatens harm to the eyes of pupils in the school room, should receive careful attention. Dr. George G. Groff, of Bucknell University, a member of the State Board of Health, writes The Journal as follows:

Attention has been called to the fact that

light is reflected from the surfaces of slate boards in an injurious manner. One City Superintendent informs the writer that he

has been compelled to lessen the amount of work to be copied from the board. A County Superintendent writes that he cannot sit in a certain high school, without experiencing painful sensations, if he faces the slate boards.

Have other teachers observed the same? Is a slate board more trying to the eyes than slated surfaces? Is a slated surface to be preferred to a true slate board?

Will not Superintendents and teachers who care for the general health of the children in their charge, and especially for the eyesight of the children, communicate with the subscriber in reference to this matter? Answers to the questions are earnestly solicited. Address

Lewisburgh, Pa.



Ta recent teachers' examination, a certain would-be teacher wrote the word "thare" five times and the word "watter" twice in giving one solution. Of course, this young lady was not "divinely gifted with the spelling inspiration;" nevertheless there was something wrong in the very foundation of her education. If her teacher had done her work well, away back in the primary grade, she would never have been allowed to leave the first reader until she could spell "there" correctly, no matter how well she read. Just here is where so many teachers fail in foundation work.

It is partially a fault of modern methods,


With true characteristic American rush, we hurry through the learning of new words without taking time to observe their spelling. By so doing we entirely overlook the training of the power of observation, and thus lose the use of the only faculty which can teach us to spell. In these days, when speed is the ruling spirit in all branches of business, the temptation is great to allow pupils to learn to read without paying much attention to the spelling. Reading can be so rapidly acquired in this way—but at what a cost! Upon the primary teacher, and upon the primary teacher almost wholly, rests the responsibility of poor spelling.

For the first two or three years of school life, reading and spelling should be kept even. Experience teaches that we can do this without injury to good mental development. By insisting upon this we unconsciously develop the habit of observing words, not altogether as a whole but as to the letters used in their formation; and the habit thus formed will cling through a lifelong education. This is no detriment to good reading, and as new words must be acquired more slowly, the second and third readers may not be reached so soon as we could desire; but when they are reached, there is the satisfaction of knowing that the foundation has been well laid. No word should be considered learned until it can be spelled orally, and written and pronounced quickly at sight. If you will insist upon this, you will soon find how well thoroughness pays.

The use of words in written, exercises is another help that should be required daily after pupils reach the second reader, if not before. If you have time for oral

language lessons, to be followed by written exercises, so much the better. If you are a busy teacher, with a room full of restless hands and eyes to keep busy, the written work must be arranged to take as little of your time as possible. For such cases I know nothing better than the language tablets published by the American Book Company. The lessons are all prepared, and require but little explanation from the teacher. If you are looking for something of this kind, send for Nos. 1, 2, and 3, and select the one suited to your class. They cost 10 cents apiece, and each pupil should have one. Each lesson should be written on the slate once or twice before copying in the tablets. This gives opportunity for correcting from memory the errors of the preceding day. There is no factor which enters so largely into the acquirement of good spelling as this daily practice in the use of written words.


Western School Journal.


WEARS ago a young man, working his own way through college, took charge of a district school in Massachusetts during the winter term. ing the winter term. Three boys especially engaged his attention and interest. They were bright, wide-awake lads, kept together in their classes, and were never tardy. One night he asked them to remain after school was dismissed. They came up to his desk and stood in a row, waiting, with some anxiety, to know why they had been kept.

"Boys, I want you to go to college, all three of you," said the teacher.

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Go to college!" If he had said "Go to Central Africa," they could not have been more astonished. The idea had never entered their minds.

"Yes," continued the teacher; "I know you are surprised, but you can do it as well as I. Go home, think it over, talk it over, and come to me again."

The three boys were poor. Their parents had all they could do to feed and clothe them decently, and allow them a term of schooling in the winter. One was the son of a shoemaker; another came from a large family, and the farm that supported them was small and unproductive.

The boys stood still for a moment in pure amazement. They then looked at

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YEAR ago last summer sixty men

and women from all over the United States and Canada, came together at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, for the study of psychology and pedagogy in their advanced forms. Much time was spent in discussing the study of children. During the sessions of the Educational Congress at Chicago, the room in which the study of children was discussed was crowded to overflowing for three days. The feeling was general that some measure should be taken to bring the people interested in the subject into more intimate working relations. A committee of three was appointed to draft a plan of organization, and their report was adopted the last day of the sessions. The President of the society is Dr. G. Stanley Hall, President of Clark University. The society will hold one annual meeting at the same time and place as the National Council of Education, or a day or two before the meeting of the National Educational Association. At this annual meeting, reports will be presented from members in different parts of the country, and an effort will be made to unify the work of the year.

The officers of the Association formed an executive committee which is to issue a suggestive syllabus as soon as possible after each annual meeting to the members of the society, and which is to arrange

for a central bureau of exchange to facilitate the massing of materials in the hands of those who wish to use them. To provide a small fund for printing, an annual fee of two dollars is to be paid by each member. The preliminary announcement and the registration card can be obtained. by addressing the Department of Public Instruction, Harrisburg, Pa.

THESE are interesting school statistics : The cost of instruction in the Prussian Seminaries for the training of teachers amounted last year to 4,944,481 marks, or (counting four marks to a dollar) $1,236,120.25. Of this sum the State contributed 3,361,445 marks, or $840,361.25. One person in 2,764 was preparing to teach, or about seven times as many as there are positions to be filled. The total number of children of school age in Prussia was 5,401,566. Of this number over 91 per cent. attend the public schools, and 74 per cent. attend private schools. One and a half per cent. do not attend school, but receive regular instruction. About one-fifth of one per cent. are kept out of school on account of disorderly and vicious conduct; and only one-fiftieth of one per cent., or 945 in all, are kept out of school contrary to law. Pennsylvania has about one-fifth as many children at school, about one-third as many teachers, and the cost of tuition per pupil is one-seventh more than that in Prussia. The want of a school census prevents a comparison of the number of children out of school. Without doubt one could find many times 945 children of school age out of school in Pennsylvania.

MORE than one hundred teachers of Lancaster county, as reported at the

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