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UNQUESTIONABLY one of the greatest difficulties with which teachers have to contend is indifference or undue interference in school matters, on the part of parents. The charge of indifference is applied to those persons who make no account of the attendance or non-attendance of their children upon schools; who care nothing for punctuality and give themselves little trouble as to whether lessons are learned or not; who seek their own ease rather than the welfare of a child; who prize the school simply because it assumes a responsibility which they gladly relinquish; who are friendly to the teacher so long as he refrains from acts of positive brutality and who suffer the affairs of school to be conducted with little personal attention on their part, thereby furnishing an argument for their children to prove that the whole matter is really of no particular importance.

They doubtless see the necessity of sowing healthy seed in the earth in spring time, if a bountiful harvest is desired, but do not understand that the same care should be bestowed upon the mind of a child. Vol. IX.


Ideas, good and bad, are suffered to take root there without their inspection. They would trim and direct the growth of a young tree but suffer a son to be dwarfed by ignorance. They would protect a tender garden flower from the chilly winds or early frosts, but look with composure upon the ruin of the mind of a fair daughter.

Over indulgence is likely to be a characteristic of one portion of this class, and their boys are generally among the afflicted ones of earth who require, on the score of ill health, frequent absence from school and corresponding exercise in the streets, while their girls, from a like cause, are suffered to remain at home with mamma in over-heated and poorly ventilated rooms, to be dosed into health again with sweetmeats and delicacies. School duties offer no particular objection to a visit of a week or two, during term time, if it suits the convenience of the child.

By interference we refer to the conduct of some parents, who make it a point always to take the part of their children in cases of discipline; who hear but one side of the case and readily render a verdict against the teacher; who rarely carry their complaints to proper authorities for settlement, but content themselves with circulating stories prejudicial to the character of the teacher.

They do not see in the slow but thorough style of modern teaching, that progress which was made in the days when they went through Daboll's Arithmetic, in a single term and made nothing of it, and, finally becoming disgusted with the slow coach of a common school they take their children therefrom, send them to some private seminary where discipline is unknown and where knowledge is laid on in the most delicate and superficial manner possible, and thereafter exert their whole influence to crush the institution which they pronounce an imposition upon the public.

They vote against improvements of every kind, grumble about salaries, make themselves generally disagreeable and unhappy when the subject of common schools comes up, and are finally likely to be rewarded by the discovery that their sons are growing up with a stock of bad habits, quite

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