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PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF COMMON SCHOOLS.
HARTFORD, DECEMBER, 1838.
THE CONNECTICUT COMMON SCHOOL JOURNAL To endeavor to effect a judicious classification of the schol
WILL BE PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH, AT THE PRICE OF ars in the schools, and for this object to increase the number of
FIFTY CENTS A YEAR, PAYABLE IN ADVANCE. teachers, and of school-rooms if necessary, Persons wishing to subscribe, can forward their names and remittan To see that all the younger children in the schools are proces, to the Secretary of the Board at Hartford, or to the Vice-Presi- vided with a slate and pencil, to use in drawing, or writing, or dent of the County Association, or to the postmasters of the town in in any innocent way to amuse and improve themselves, when which they reside, who can render thc Journal essential service by act- not oiherwise employed. ing as its agents.
To inquire into ihe capability of female teachers keeping U All communications relaling to the Journal must be post paid.
the winter schools, and to inake trial of this if practicable. CIRCULAR.
To encourage the coming forward of the right sort of young
men and young women to be teachers of the public schools, TO THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE COUNTY ASSOČIA. and to aid them in qualifying themselves for the employment. TIONS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS. To form a library of books on education, for the use of the
teachers. In reply to numerous letters received from some of your number, and from persons who are anxious to co-operate with
To promote the formation of associations of teachers for mu
tual improvement. you in the object of your appointment, I offer the following suggestions to aid the formation and efficient action of associations nations to give discourses or lectures on the subject of popular
To invite the clergymen of the different religious denomiin your several towns or societies, for the benefit of common schools, auxiliary to the County Associations. Let me beg of education, at suitable times, to their people. you not to defer acting under your appointment, even though
To promote the frequent visiting of ihe schools, by the payou have received no formal notice of it, or of the duties you
rents of the scholars, and others. are expected to discharge; but engage in the work of school
To inquire into the expediency of giving some compensation improvement immediately.
to the Committees and Visiters of the schools, especially the
latter. i. Have an interesting public meeting, with addresses, among which let the address of the Board of Commissioners
To inquire into the evils resulting in the schools from not be read, and remarks accompanying it
, after which, organize. having a sufficient number of books of the same kind and edi2. Choose a President, ?wo Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, practicable with regard to the books used in the schools.
tion in the same classes, and to see what improvements are a Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of three, with power to add four more to their number, if necessary, and also to
To collect all the children in the schools once a year for a choose sub-committees.
happy public meeting. Open the meeting with prayer. Have 3. These officers shall constitute a Board of Education,
a suitable address to the children, and also to the parents and and hold stated meetings, at least once a month, and oftener it teachers. Let there be music, instrumental if practicable, and expedient, for doing, and procuring to be done, what lies in refreshments for the children, with such other expedients for their power, for the benefit of the public schools in the town.
their innocent recreation as may be devised. 4. "The Board of Elucation shall fix the time of their meeting efficiency to the town associations, it ought to be borne in
In carrying these, or similar suggestions, into effect for givings, and make such by-laws as are necessary 19 their success- mind that such associations are designed to aid the school comful action. They shall make a Report twice a year to the town mittees and visiters in the discharge of their duties, and that it association, of their proceedings, and of the state of the pub- is of the highest importance that such committees
and visiters lic schools, and of plans for their further improvement.
5. The President, or in his absence either of the Vice-Pres- should be among the prominent and active individuals who idents , or in the absence of all these, any other member of the organize the town associations, and be engaged in promoting
their usefulness. Board, may call a meeting of the Town Association; and a meeting shall always be called at the request of any three mem-sociations should make known, at short periods of time, the re
I! is, also, very desirable that the Secretary of the town asbers of the Association.
6. Objects for immediate action on the part of the Execu-sults of their efforts, and any valuable information on the subtive Committee, acting under the direction of the Board
ject of the public schools, to the Secretary of the Board, at HartTo ascertain how many of those enumerated by the District ford, as well as to the Secretary of the County Association. Committee are in no school whatever, and to try to induce the A few words as to the Common School Journal. The aid parents of such children to send them to school.
already afforded it, is, it is hoped, but the pledge of that inTo get a minute and accurate statistical account of the con- creased patronage which it is yet to rece're, and which is dition of the public schools, embracing answers to all the in- essential to its complete success. The measure of its usequiries contained in the circular of the Secretary of the Board fulness, if it is capable of rendering any to this cause, must of Commissioners of Common Schools, and especially with be the extent of its circulation. This in some towns is larger regard to the best modes of giving efficieocy to the examina- than we ventured to anticipate. But in others, and those too tion of Teachers and the superintendence of the schools. the large towns and cities from which we expected the most,
To collect the best plans for school-housęs, and for their in- we have hardly a single subscriber. Other good causes find ternal accommodation and comfort, and to see what defects their most generous and willing patrons here. And shall the are to be remedied, and improvements made in the school- cause of Common School Education, which holds in its emhouses in the town.
brace every good cause, be the only one, which neither reliTo inquire of the various teachers what they think can be gion, philanthropy, nor patriotism will take up and promote, eidone on ibe part of the School Committees, the Parents, and ther by personal or pecuniary aid? This periodical must rely and others, for the good of the schools, and to solicit commu- on individual effort. Those who have kindly engaged to nications from the teachers in writing on these subjects. make this effort, and those whose duty it has been made by the
To inquire into the expediency of increasing the compensa- county and town associations, to promote its circulation, are tion of first-rate teachers, and of offering a certaio sum in ad-earnestly reminded that now is the time to give permanency dition to the stipulated wages, if the teacher will keep the and vigor to the Journal. school two years to the satisfaction of those who employ him, In conclusion let me say, that having met all the school conand of the Executive Committee of the Association. This ventions which have been held in the several counties of the sum to be paid out of the funds of the association. The mode of State-having experienced much personal kindness from men raising these funds for this and other purposes, whether by tax, of every shade of political and religious opinion-having given or otherwise, or by both, to be determined by the association. Tand received the hand of fellowship in this cause, and the
pledge of co-operation in the work from hundreds, without SCHOOL SEATS, AND THE TEACHERS' ATTENTION TO koowing, or caring to know their views on other maiters,-let
THEM. me indulge the hope, that tbe same enlightened zeal which
It is of great importance, as we have heretofore remarked, could induce men to abandon their business, and, in many in- that children should be made comfortable while at their seats stances, to travel so far, to attend these meetings, will induce at school. We wish, however, to keep our readers in mind of them to carry out the recommendations of these conventions une important truth, viz: that the teachers must attend to this into efficient and harmonious action in their several towns- part of their duty beiter than many pow do, before the desired an i above all, that this holy work of elevating the character of end can be gained. The patent seat and desk, invented in our common schools may henceforward as heretofore be the ral. Busion, and by some so much approved, even if it possesses all lying point of all who love the State and would promote her irue the excellenciés claimed for it, and be really worth ihe price and durable good, however discordant, and even irreconcileable demanded, viz. fifty dollars, may be used without judgment, their opinions may be on other subjects. Then, shall we realize and so prove worthless. It is so constructed as to be capable of the hope of the Board, that Wisdom from above will direct it, elevation, depression and convenient adjustment to persons of -an enlightened Zeal carry it forward,-a fostering Provi- different sizes, and in various postures. But it evidently must dence insure its success, -and Patriotism and Religion rejoice require some knowledge and attention to be so adjusted; and together in its consummation.
if one school or twenty schools were furnished with such desks, HENRY BARNAND, 20, unless the teachers both understood the adjustinent, and were Secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Common Schools. faithful in attending to it
, the advantages promised could not FEMALE TEACHERS OF COMMON SCHOOLS! (No. III.)
But, on the other hand, a teacher who knows enough to adIn proposing, as the writer does, to rely much more than is just such a desk to every description of his pupils, and feels inthe case at present, on female teachers for our district schools, ierest enough in their comfort and welfare io attend to it prohe wishes not to be misunderstood. He has no idea that male perly, may find means to adjust almost any common seat, so teachers can be dispensed with. He would have our young as to render it commodious and favorable to health and study. men encouraged in all suitable ways to engage in the business We pointed out some of the simple, easy and economical imof teaching. For one, he would rejoice to see in this State a provements which may be made in ill-planned desks and Seminary for the express purpose of preparing them for this benches, in a former number of this paper. If a few short field of labor, and in having the compensation of first-rate in- pieces of plank and a few blocks were kept ready for use in structors of the public schools raised considerably. Indeed, every school, afier making such arrangements as were there this must be done if we expect to command the services of those suggested, a judicious and attentive teacher would be able to who are qualified for the employment. For they will not keep dispense with an expensive patent desk, at least until the disschool, while so many other more profitable and inviting meth-trict or the parents should have made considerable advances in ods of gaining a livelihood and rising in the world, are open their regard for education, and provided the more indispensabefore them, and while so little effort is made, on the part of the ble supplies of books and apparatus. pious and benevolent, to have the department of public instruc A school desk capable of adjustment may be a very desiration regarded as one of the most important fields of doing good, ble thing, at least in some small private schools : but it will be and to induce our young men and women to engage in it from of little or no more practical value than any other, uoless prophilanthropic and religious motives. In the present state of perly adjusted. Cheap substitutes may be provided by having things it is a vast missionary field. But when do we ever graduated desks and seats of a cheap kind, prepared for differhear it spoken of as such ? It must be cultivated by the patri- ent classes, and by having arrangements cheaply made to acotic and the good, if we would save our beloved country from commodate scholars of different sizes in those classes. impending ruin!
More depends then on the teacher thap on the desks and It will not be soon, however, with all the efforts that can be benches, unless, as in some schools, the fixtures are permanent, made, that we can hope to see public sentiment right in these and the district officers permit no alterations, as is done in one respects. There must be, for a long time to come, a lamenta- place which we could name. Yet we would warmly recomble deficiency of well-qualified male teachers for our common mend, that models of improved desks and benches be made and schools. While doing all in our power to provide such, there described, that the attention of teachers and physicians be parwill be no danger of increasing too much the number of good ticularly invited to them, and their opinions and views publishfemale teachers, and of feeling that we must place more reli- ed for the information of the public. “A little knowledge would ance on that sex for aid in the present emergency.
introduce many economical improvements. Some of ihe most But how shall we get along in the winter schools, it is asked, eminent medical men in this country, are decided and indeed with female teachers? They will do very well to teach the indignant in their condemnation of the unhealthy positions younger children in summer, or older scholars of their own sex, which children are generally compelled to take in schools; and but how will they manage a large school of both sexes, and of many diseases and early deaths they attribute to distortions all ages from four years to twenty? Can they be well qualifi- thus caused in early life, especially among females. ed to teach the various branches necessary to be taught in such a school, and will they be able to keep the scholars in order ?
PERSONS OF EVERY CLASS ARE DEEPLY INTERESTED IN These inquiries are very important, and deserve a careful an
THE IMPROVEMENT OF OUR COMMON SCHOOLS. swer. They are answered by facts. Not a few instances, both in our own and other States, have come to the writer's It is the common belief, that none but parents have any diknowledge, where district schools of the usual size in point of rect or intimate interest in education. At least the conduct numbers, and embracing scholars of both sexes, the older ones and expressions of men generally warrant us in coming to this eighteen and twenty years of age, have been kept by young conclusion : for many of the most intelligent and virtuous women, and as thoroughly taught and successfully conducted members of society, and even those who have been counted as they had ever been by male teachers. Particular inquiry among the most active friends of education, have been found was made with regard to their government, and in this respect to slacken their exertions, and to lose their zeal, when their there was no failure. The young men, it was said, had a own children had out-grown the schools: "It is time that I sense of propriety, and a polite deference for the female teach- should withdraw, and leave the care of the schools to those er, that led them to yield to her gentler authority quite as readi- who have children. I have done
share." ly as they had been accustomed to do to that which is made of Such indifference, when shown by men whɔ have been acmasculine and sterner stuff.
tive friends of education, and the chief promoters of the The more the writer has made inquiry on this subject, the schools, somelimes has done extensive injury, by dampening more such instances have been heard of; and it was not long the feelings of others, and by inculcating the false doctrine since that a distinguished and laborious friend of popular edu- with which we are here contending. Every individual in the cation told him he had known of at least one hundred in the community is directly or indirectly benefitted by good schools, range of his observation. The use to be made of these facts or injured by bad ones. in preparing the way for a more ample supply of first-rate teach
The family is benefitted, by more orderly, trusty, intelligent ers for our common schools, will be considered in a subsequent and virtuous children. There is a direct channel constantly number.
T. H. G. open between the place of instruction and the place of action.
The koowledge imparted by the teacher, the examples he sets, This word means drawn towards, as any thing may be the influence he exerts, are quickly transferred to the table and drawn towards you which is tied to a string: the fireside. There is a constant channel of communication. But there is no string which draws a falling stone towards between them, like that kept up by the bees between the the ground. There is none which ties this house down. Yet flowers and the hive. The teacher's words are repeated at the stone falls, and the house presses down hard upon the home; and he in some degree directs the daily conversation earth, as if cords were drawing upon them. So every drop of and manners of the household. If he has learned the harmless, rain, in a shower, comes down from the clouds as if it were the useful, the worldly and heavenly wisdom of his profession, drawn by force. he will teach such things as are of practical, visible and tangible The word altraction is made from a Latin word which sig. value; such as the parents bave learnt to appreciate by the ex- pifies drawidg; and gravitation from one which means heaviperience of real life.
ness, or weight. Therefore, the drawing, or moving or pressWe hope hereafter to show, somewhat distinctly, in what ing downwards of heavy ihings, is called the attraction of modes the interests of persons in various situations in society, gravitation. But giving such a Latin name instead of an Engare in fact intimately connected with the existence and nature lish one, does not explain any thing. As was said before, noof common schools around them.
body understands why a stone falls: but we know that every
thing which has weight is inclined to fall, that is, 10 remove DRAWING IN SCHOOLS.
towards the midule part of the earth. Io many schools which we have visited, the value of draw When a sled slides down hill, it does not fall, because it caning, as a frequent exercise, has been happily tested, in a v nol; but, as it can get nearer to the centre of the earth by movty of ways.
ing down the hill, "it does not remain still, but slides away; In the first place, it is of great use in employing waste time. and when it reaches the bottom it stops, because it can get no Whoever knows the great mass of our schools, must be sensi- nearer the centre of the earth. When a wagon is going up a ble, that their greatesi evil is want of sufficient business for all hill
, the horse must pull much harder than when going over a the children, especially the youngest. The prevailing prac- plain; and when it goes down, the horse sometimes inust hold tice in many schools is, to find the sinall children some lesson back, to keep it from going too fast. When you go up stairs, to learn, which they are called upon to recite; or more com- you find it harder walking than on the floor across a room ; but moaly, perhaps, they are taught in a class once each half day, when you come down stairs
, that is easiest of all
. and during the rest of the time have little or nothing to do. It Some things have more weight than others. as lead is heais often said by teachers, that they keep books froin ibem, ex- vier than wood, and water is heavier than hay. Therecept a short period in each session, because they destroy them fore we say the attraction of gravitation is stronger on lead by handling, while they do not learn, except when under their than on wood or hay: It has been thought that the partiimmediate instruction.
cles, (that is the small parts,) of heavy things are closer toNow ten, twenty, or even five small children leit thus unem-gether than those of light ones. This we know is the reason ployed, must inevitably cause disorder. But give them slates why some things are heavier than some others ; for a handful and pencils, with convenient desks to lay them on, and a of cotton, or a barrel of sand, pressed down, will weigh more great difference will be seen, even if they are left entirely to than one loosely filled. So also, a stick of pine wood, which themselves. Place before them a few cards, with well formed is loose grained, is lighter than a stick of walnut or mahogany letters
, words, the elementary geometrical figures, drawings of of the same size, which is much more closely grained. familiar objects, &c., and they will teach themselves something
But whether the particles of iron are closer than those of of drawing, and more of the letters, spelling, reading, and gold or not, we cannot tell; nor whether each of them has writing. Let them then have the arithmetical tables in sight
, more gravitation. We only know that gold is heavier than maps, running hand copies, &c., and as they grow older, they iron, will soon be found spontaneously learning something impor
We often find it convenient to know heavy things from lighttant in several branches.
This is generally found out by making experiments, But, let the teacher occasionally give the pupils familiar and (that is, trials,) or by observation. Much of this knowledge practical lessons in the elements of drawing, and show him we obtained while we were children; and God made us so that how the letters of the Roman and the written alphabet may be we had a wish to find out the weight, as well as the colors, resolved into the simplest lines. Exercises of this kind are shapes, and other qualities of things around us. Little childconsidered by some experienced teachers as of much more im- ren spend much time in lifting things which are within their portance than the constant training of the hand to a particular
reach. manner of holdiog a pen. In many schools, children are en
We should not blame them, or call this disposition a miscouraged to use slates as early as they can hold a pencil, and chievous one : but we should encourage them io take up and allowed to place the hand as nature dictates, under the belief
, examine such things as will not harm iher, or recieve any inthat in carly life its natural proportions incline it 10 a different jury from bandling: such as smooth stones, blocks of wood, position from that to which it may be afterwards readily short sticks, shells, &c. We shall find they will amuse them
selves in this manner, be happier, better tempered, and keep An experienced teacher, formerly of Connecticut, who now out of real mischief, while they will also learn something useinstructs a common school of 140 boys in a neighboring State, ful. This is a good habit for older brothers and sisters. mentioned, a short time ago, that by the daily use of a slate,
It is often useful to know the weight of things. A child and with but little assistance, a boy of fourteen, who did not might choose too large a piece of wood to carry home, and be know his letters when he began, learned to read in his school unable to carry it ibe whole distance, because ignorant of its in a shorter time than he had ever known any other to do it, weight. A man once loaded his cart so much, that his horse with much more instruction; and he had, at the same time, ioad off. You can easily see that he had unnecessary trouble in
fell down, and could not rise until I had helped him take the acquired the art of writing tolerably well.
beside the trouble he gave me: for he had to load the A SCHOOL LECTURE ON GRAVITATION.
cart again, though more lightly, and lost much time and labor
through his ignorance. Besides, he ran a risk of injuring his TO BE READ BY A TEACHER.
horse, When I let this stone go which I hold in my band, which Many people do not know that their bodies are lighter than way will it move? Why will it not move up?' Why not stay water, when the breath is in them; and no doubt many have
drowned, who might have escaped with their lives, if they had You cannot tell why it moves down, or falls, as we call it. been told of this fact and remembered it. But you should know You may expect me to tell you why it does. But I cannot tell that your body, even with breath or air in it, is but little lighter
We know that ihings heavier than the air than water, so that if your head is in the natural position, and always do fall when dropped, and we commonly say that their you keep still, only about a quarter part of your head will be Freight makes them fall." But the wisest men cannot explain above the surface. This would leave your eye-brows under the cause, any better than the most ignorant. They common- water, and of course you could not breathe. If you should try, ly think that a stone is drawn towards the ground, and they you would draw water in at your nose or mouth, into your say it is attracted.
lungs, which would strangle you.
in the air?
you the reason.
Yet you might bend your head backwards; and this would in a school room not more than twenty-five feet square; and allow you to breathe. You then could float a long time, if sometimes a number considerably larger than this. But every you could keep your presence of mind, and if the water were child ought to have a place at a desk, and more space than is smooth, you might call for assistance. All this you could do, commonly allowed, while there should be at least a few sureveu if you could not swim. It is well to know also, that sali plus seats to be occasionally used. There should also be a water, (such as is always found in the sea,) is heavier than large vacant space on the floor,.for the convenience of the teachfresh; and therefore, a person foating in the sea, would er, and more for the accommodation of classes at the blackhave his head higher out than if floating in fresh water. boards, recitations, &c., the evolutions on other physical exerIt is easy to learn to swim, to one who knows that he can cises of the pupils, and the free circulation of air. It should be float.
reinembered, that the present system of arranging or managing This power of gravitation as it is called is, in truth, nothing a school in any district, may be changed at some future time; but the power of God. It is his almighty hand which thus and that not only more pupils niay be admitted, but more room causes all material things to tend to the centre of the earth. for each may be thought desirable. Not a few school-houses We may well admire this constant and extensive exhibition of might be mentioned, in which extreme inconvenience is sufbis power, so uniform and so beneficial in its effects. For it fered from too circumscribed a plan, or in which much expense keeps every thing in its place, and preserves order on our globe. has been incurred to enlarge it. Were this law of gravitation suspended, or did it act irregu Small anle-rooms are necessary, which may be used for the larly, or at intervals, the greatest disorder and confusion would deposit of ouier garments, or as class-rooms, or both; and a be the consequence. Let us admire in it then both the pow- | liberal allowance shuuld be made for them in laying out the er and goodness of God,
ground. It probably would be within reasonable bounds to say,
That no districi school house ought to occupy less space than
twenty-two feet by forty; while not a few should be considera-
The Boor should be as near the level of the ground as may improvements in the plans of our common school houses, espe- be consistent with a supply of light, air, &c., and the steps or cially as we have reason to believe, that preparations are mak- stairs, (if stairs be necessary) should below and wide. This ing lo erect new ones, in several towns in this state, for speedy point is rarely attended to ; and children are almost compelled use.
to make unnecessary noise upon them, or are exposed to falls, The Sile.-In selecting a spot for a common school house, in consequence of having steps disproportioned to their stature. miany other points are more important than its position, the A school-house ought to be an ornament to the street and the very centre of the district. It is desirable that the people should town; and should have every appropriate decoration, and all be accommodated with a healthful and a pleasant, indeed an the beauty of proportion, required by the rules of pure architecattractive place for their children, and one in which their nor rural taste. All ihis may be secured with but liitle additional als will not be exposed, or their studies interrupted, as well as expense; and even if the cost were considerable, the value of that each should have only such a distance to send, as the law the improvement would far transcend it. We consider it an may be thought to warrant. To secure healthfulness, unwhole object of importance, to view the monuments of architectural some marshes should be avoided, and all situations and neigh- skill in distant countries; and some of our youth are sent abroad borhoods which the physicians, on consultation, may not ap- to cultivate taste as well as knowledge, at a great expense of prove. The approach and vicinity should be dry, to prevent the time and money, and too often at the hazard of moral injury. children froin being exposed to getting wet feet. If there be a Yet how seldom do we find them returning with any real, well steep bank near, or a swift stream or deep pond, it should be founded taste on subjects of this nature! They begin too late. avoided as much as may be. Regard should be had to the If their eyes were eady familiar with edifices well proportione.xposures that a situation may, if possible, be found, which ed, well adapted to their uses, and embellished with approprishall not be very cold in winter nor very warm in summer. ate and tasteful ornaments, how much better and more gene
To afford the children pleasing sights and occupation in play rally would the beneficial influences of good taste be enjoyed ! hours, the yards should be large enough for two flower gardens, It is far from being a matter of indifference whether a schoolone for each sex: and laid out in beds, to be planted and tend- house be a mere hovel or not; and we regret to observe, in a ed by them. To prevent interruptions in iheir studies and plan recently formed and published under the authority of the recreations, is also important. Noisy shops, public houses and American Common School Society, that a building is proposed, squares, parade grounds, thoroughfares, &c., should be out of whose exterior would be a deformity in any place where it sight and hearing if possible, and even the way to and from might be adopted. The Grecian styles should be universal. school ought not to pass near them if they may easily be avoid The Gothic; in our humble apprehension, has nothing to do ed. Demoralizing influences are to be guarded against with with a country where all is open and above ground. It flourishdouble care. Bad words and bad examples, from the vicious, ed in days of ignorance, obscurity and mystery. It makes the degraded, or even the rude and ignorant, often counteract gloomy and ill-defined impressions on the mind, by intimaling the exertions of the best insructors, and render in a degree una- something which it does not show. The Grecian architecture, vailing the precautions and warnings of virtuous and intelli- on the contrary, presents the simple beauty of proportion, and gent parents. The character of common schools may greatly displays utility as its leading object. The plan is intelligible suffer in the public estimation, if laxity prevails on points like at a glance; every part is exposed to the eye, and its design is this; and, on the contrary, timely attention may guard them intended to be understood. The Doric order may prove the against one source of serious evils, and save them from liability most cheap: but it is desirable that adjacent districts should 10 one of the most frequent objections. Let it be ever kept in also frequently display the Ionic and the Corinthian. Our view, that every sound consideration demands of us the most builders and carpenters may find an useful exercise in studying scrupulous caution, to prevent even a single child from beiog the principles of pure taste, and in adapting the models of antikept from the common schools by any well founded objec- quity to our circumstances. It is to be hoped that they will at tion.
least regard just proportions, even in the construction of school The size of the building, of course, cannot be fixed by any houses of the simplest materials: for one might be so formed single standard: but must be left 10 be determined by the pro- of logs, in Ohio or Indiana, as to surpass in appropriateness, bable number of scholars, and other circumstances. "In some convenience and taste, some of the brick academies which debuildings it will be proper to provide for two or three schools, form certain villages in older states. The Rustic style may or departments. In some cases the high price of land, and in , perhaps be introduced in some instances with happy effect, others its cheapness may go far to determine the size or forip where circumstances may render it more convenient; but even of the ground plaa. A small lot may render it judicious, in then the rules of proportion and propriety should be strictly obsome instances, to make a place beneath for fuel: or a crowd-served. The effect of such measures as we recommend, would ed neighborhood may require some peculiar form of the build- doubtless do much for the improvement or architecture in dweling to secure light or air. In general, however, where land is lings and other buildings, noi of a very high price, there is more danger of making the The form of a school-house should be a parallelogram, unground plan, as well as the height of the walls, too large. less peculiar considerations might in some rare instances re
It is true that twenty-five or thirty children are often placed 'quire a deviation from it.
The floor, in common cases, may be level; but in large Do parents seek excuses to avoid the training of their chilschools, for one or two hundred children, great advantages are dren; and under the gaze of parental love, sometimes pay large thought to be derived by having it raised at a gradual slope sums to teachers, to relieve themselves of iheir toilsome duties? from the end where the teacher sits, as it enables him the bet. The schoolmaster or mistress daily bows to the yoke from ter to overlook the scholars, and then 10 attend to his signals, which they are glad to obtain exemption, and receives in addiand to read lesson boards, &c. The floor should not be en- tion a load which would crush almost any other member of the cumbered with raised platforms, large or small, as some foors conmunity: If we compare the task of a common school are. They interfere with the evolutions of classes, the move teacher with that of a professor or tutor of a college, whatever ments of the teacher, &c. beside breaking up the simple uni- may bave been the labor and self-denial of the course which formity of plan. They are introduced into some schools for has prepared the latter for his station, we shall find that he is the slations of assistant teachers, in others for those of moni- free froin many of the most serious embarrassments of the fortors: but if mutual instruction is to be provided for, the more mer. There is no variety of studies and recitations to be atcompact, simple and convenient fixtures of mutual schools are iended to in rapid succession ; there is no great diversity of much to be preferred.
ages, babits or circumstances to be considered in the manageA front door and a rear one will commonly be necessary; meni of the individuals composing his class, the application to where both sexes are taught in the same room, two rear doors, be made of the principles of government and instruction is not and, if convenient, two front doors also will be required. The embarrassed by an endless complication. rear doors should open into separate yards, divided by a high “ But look at the teacher of a common school in our country, fence, or stone wall, or by the wood-house; and the other out- such as he is found in the great majority of cases, surrounded buildings should be placed as far apart as the ground will per-by thirty or forty children, he has a dozen different branches to mit, opening on different sides, and divided into small compart-teach, some to all, others to a portion of his pupils. His first ments. It is desirable to have them built of stone, with a shel- task, that of classification, calls for some of those powers which tered way leading to them. This way should be open to full would be demanded of one who should undertake to yoke to ventilation, and dry under foot.
the plough, the harrow and the cart, a herd of all cattle driven The windows should be large and numerous, rather than together at hazard in a village pound. small and few, that a supply of light and air may be the better “And what unnecessary difficulties are thrown in the way, secured under all circumstances. They should be furnished by the indifference of superintendents and parents! Hear the with blinds; or, if not, with shutters or curtains, with the hope complaints of an insufficient supply of books, bad rooms, furnithat the teacher will dispose them daily and hourly as circum-ture and arrangements, and the long list of evils which the stances may require to regulate the light. The windows teacher learns to appreciate by too real experience! Then conshould be low, if they command a tranquil country scene, or sider the poor preparation with which soine thirty or forty thouother objects of a tranquillizing character: but high enough to sand new teachers annually embark in their toilsome business! exclude near objects, if they be of a nature unfavorable to the Out of the sight and hearing of improvements, and far beyond mind. Both the lower and the upper sashes should be formed the sphere of discussion and enquiry, they have little to enfor easy raising and falling; and, if not within reach, fitted with courage the exercise of their minds in investigating principles, cords and pullies, or other convenient means of opening and much less do they receive light or direction in views not their closing them. The tops of the windows should be as high as own. the ceiling, or nearly so, that the upper stratum of air may be "Happily, however, the employment of a common school expelled by lowering them.
teacher offers peculiar means and opportunities for self-improve-A ventilator should be formed, either by a hole in the ceil. ment. The mind, when urged by strong necessity, learns ing covered with a green blind, or by openings in the upper something of its own resources; for it there exerts its powers. parts of
The ventilators, of whatever kind, should be By practice a teacher perceives the tendency of certain princilarge enough for a considerable current, and lead, without in- ples of instruction and discipline, and his circumstances render terruption, to the external air. The preposterous mistake valuable those which prove successful. True, under the varishould be avoided, of leading them into a close garret, or other ous enibarrassments around him, he usually makes much less confined place.
progress than we could desire ; but every improvement introTo be continued.
duced by an independent exercise of reason and resolution,
whatever benefit may confer upon the school, proves doubly THE LABORS OF A COMMON SCHOOL TEACHER. useful to the teacher. It helps to mature bis character, and (Extracted from a Lecture on the “Management of a Common School," deliver- lays at least one solid stone in his own education, in a firm po
ed before the American Institute of Instruction, at Boston, August, 1835, by sition and a strong cement."
THE LAW OF LOVE IN SCHOOL. on the subject, why are there so many different views concerning the management of common schools ? Why are so few (From The Teacher, or Moral Influences employed in the Instruc. conducted well? Why is the task relished by so small a num
tion of the Young.” By Jacob Abbott. pp. 328. 1amo.] ber of teachers, and understood by so few committees or trus “A most effectual way to secure the good will of a scholar, tees? To a person, however, wbo has considered the subject is to ask him to assist you. aright, and with ihe aid of practical experience, the answer is “ There is a boy in your school who is famous for his skill ready to all these questions. The management of a common in making whistles from the green branches of the poplar. He school is one of the most complex of human employments, and is a bad boy, and likes to turn his ingenuity to purposes of misinvolves some of the principles least understood, and most diffi- chief. You observe him some day in school, when he thinks cult of application.
your attention is engaged in another way, blowing softly upon "Let the occupations of men be considered, let an estimate a whistle which he has concealed in his desk for the purpose be formed of the difficulties to be encountered, even in the prac- of amusing his neighbors, without attracting the attention of tice of the learned professions; and I am persuaded that they the teacher. Now, there are two remedies. Will you try the will be found beset by few sources of perplexity as great as physical one? Then call him out into the floor; inflict painthose which embarrass the cornmon school teacher. If the bu- ful punishment, and serd him smarting to his seat, with his siness of governing men proves harassing and painful, it is to heart full of anger and revenge, to plot some new and less danbe remembered thai the teacher participates similar trials: for gerous scheme of annoyance.' Will you try the moral one ? he is obliged to govern, without directions from a superior, Then wait till the recess; and while he is out at his play, send without written laws prescribed by higher authority, and to a a message out by another boy, saying that you have heard he is great extent, without many precedents known or acknowledged. very skillful in making whistles, and asking him to make one
"Do men of the most thorough education usually find them for you to carry home to a little child at your boarding house. selves unable to communicate well the knowledge they have What would in ordinary cases be the effect? It would ceracquired; and do they sometimes shrink from an examination tainly be a very simple application; but its effect would be, lo into the state of their minds? The common school teacher open an entirely new train of thought and feeling to the bor. must daily submit to what they regard as peculiarly dillicult or · What! he would say to himself while at work on his task, irksome.
'give the master pleasure by making whistles? Who ever