Page images
PDF
EPUB

done, inis circumstance increases, rather than diminishes, the, my view, should be the spirit of an examination, so far as the obligation of school visiters.

mere intellectual qualifications of a teacher to impart merely Fissi, as lo the examination of teachers. A person may intellectual instruction are concerned. Nor can I see how furnish evidence of good moral charucter, and the requisite those committees who are truly enlightened, and rightly disliterary qualifications, and still be deficient in apiness 10 posed, cao hesitate as to the impor.ance and necessity of teach or communicate.

making these examinations thus thorough. For the sake, In examining a teacher, therefore, it seems to me highly bowever, of a few individuals to whom the duties of a commitdesirable to ascertain, if possible, not only his acquirements, lee may be new, and who may not, till their appointment the but his power of communication; not only what he knows, present year, have thought of studying the subject, I will enbut whether he can tell his pupils what he knows. Nor is deavor to answer some of the objeciions which may be brought this, alone, sufficient. A person may be able to lell what he against this form of examination. knows, and yet, for want of skill to tell it in a proper manner, The first objection will be, that it will consume a great deal it may not be happily adapted to develope the powers of the of time. It will, indeed; but what then? Will not the time child's mind. Aptness to teach should be ascertained by be profitably spent ? Can there be any doubt about it? Or school committees at the examination of the candidates. And will it be said, that since the services of school committees in all the examinations which, in the capacity either of com- are gratuitous, if we make their duties more weighty than mittee or teacher, I have attended, and the number cannot they now are, good men will refuse to serve, and thus things be much less than fifiy, -I do not recollect ever to have heard will becouse in the end worse than they now are ? a question of the kind io which I now allude agitated, except But I take it for granted, that in consenting to perform the it were by myself.

duties of a committee for one year, every individual obligates Who has ever asked the candidate for teaching how he himself voluntarily—to do his best. What if he is not under would teach the alphabet 10 a child who had never been oath, especially so ? Is not every elector-nay, is not every instructed at all in it, whether by giving him the names of the American citizen-10 all intents and purposes, sworn to obey whole alphabet at once, for example, oi of only a part of it; the laws, whether in a pubiic or private capacity, to the best or whether he would teach him the small letter's first, or the of his knowledge and ability ? And if it was so that ia enterlarge ones; or whether he would teach the alphabet to his ing upon the office of school committee, no new duties were pupils singly, where he had more than one, or by classes; or in posed, still all conscientious men, one would think, should whether he would begin with letters at all, or with whole teel themselves bound to do their duty, to the full extent of the words; or lastly, whether he would try different methods with spirit of the statutes for at least one year. If the labors are different pupils, or even, if necessary, with the same pupil? found 100 severe, they can then refuse to serve any longer. Will any one deny the importance of beginning right at the I lake it for granted, moreover, that some, at least, of each very threshold of human knowledge ? But if not, will any committee, are men who are willing to make sacrifices for one deny the necessity, or the importance, of making the public goud, especially where the end in view is one of such views of the teacher, and the methods he would adopt, among permanent importance. It is because I believe there are such other things, ll:e subjects of examination ?

men, in greater or less numbers, in every committee, that I Or who has ever asked the candidate how he would teach venture to write. If there be a work of benevolence to which, a pupil to read ? or what he would make his leading aim in as good citizens, we are called, and in which, as the friends of teaching to read? Some teachers simply set a child io repeat-humanity, we are required to make sacrifices, it is the iming the words of a sentence or verse, as fast as he can, in provement and elevation of our common or district scbools. turn with other members of his class, till by long practice he John Howard himself, was not called more loudly to make can repeat them al sight; and this is all. Sonje require not sacrifices, than are our committee men. And are there no only this, but that the pronunciation should be correct. Some Howards among them? require a natural toue of voice, others a high key, and others, Suppose the worst, however. Suppose a committee were again, perait an under tone. Some require distinctness, made up of men who were destitute, wholly so, of a sense of others do not. Some measure the proficieney of their pupils duty, or obligation, and without piety or benevolence. Supby the rapidity of their utterance, while others take a different pose, in one word, they will do nothing without pay. Why course. Some endeavor to have their pupils read but little, should we not pay them? We are parents; they labor for and endeavor to make them understand ivhat they read; while the good of our children; are not their services as well worthy others pay no sort of attention to this point. Some suffer of remuneration as the services of any other persons, which them to read over,-that is, the whole class,-a number of pages we never think of refusing to reward ? How often do we at a single lesson, while others have the lesson short, and find fault with our teachers! And are not those services valendeavor to have it read over and over by different pupils till uable which have a tendency to prevent the evils which our all can read it correcily. Some few, perhaps, teach their children often suffer under the direction of ill selected pupils to form their own reading lessons for themselves. teachers. There are a thousand ways of teaching reading; or rather there I have seen the experiment tried,--and that, too, in the very are a thousand ways of conducting that process which has heart of this state, and in a place where piety and benevolence usually been called teaching reading. Now what committee, and a sense of obligation, might have been found, one would I again ask, make the teacher's plan of communication the ibink, if any where, -and as it appeared to me, with very subject of patient and careful examination ?

great success. I wish it were tried oftener, Men who Or in the examination of the candidate in regard to arith would do their duty without the prospect of reward, would melic, where is the committee to be found who make it an not probably do it less faithfully if rewarded; and there is important point to ascertain what are his methods and prin- reason to believe that if a reasonable compensation were ciples in regard to communication. When and where do we made, we should secure the services of a class of men who, hear it asked, -How do you teach arithmetic to your pupil ? though they now stand aloof from the duties of school comDo you commence, with beginners, by requiring them to mitrees, or perform them heartlessly, are nevertheless, when commit to memory all the rules, explanations, tables, &c., of once obtained, of sterling value. Iam decidedly of opinion, the first, or ground rules, before you allow him to use a slate ? that every town that knows its duty-if school societies will Or do you think it preferable io commence with practical not do it--should make an appropriation every year for the questions, and build the rule, as it were, upon the exercise ? payment of school committees for their services, both in exOr would you teach by rules and exercises at the same time? amining candidates, and visiting schools. Would you begin with the mental arithmetic first, proceeding Let me not be misunderstood, however. ' It is highly desiafterward to that which is written? Or would you begin rable that men were to be found-nine at least in tbe compass nearly at the same time with both, and carry on both simulta- of each schoul society, who are willing "to spend and be neously? Would you make any use of sensible objects in spent," in the service of common schools. Such men have illustrating the properties or relations of numbers, such as been found. I have myself known some such. I may indeed corn, beans, panes of glass in windows, balls, blocks, cubes, say, without boasting, that I have acted in this capacity, and &c. ? Or would you reject all these instruments and methods, would be willing to do so again. I have performed, year as useless or foolish innovations ?

after year, double the ordinary services of a committe man-I These may serve, for the present, as examples of what, in' think'I may even say quadruple those services and that, too,

in the midst of the arduous duties of another profession, and in the custom, already adopted in several of our sister states, of. the midst of poverty; and yet I never received pecuniary having regular meetings at stated times and places, for ihe compensation to the amount of a single cent in my life, and purpose of examining teachers, and of giving public notice seldom, thaoks. Nearly the only compensation I ever re- of the same, so that the district committees can know thereof, ceived, or indeed ever expected, was reproaches and curses. and give information to their teachers respectively.

But if this objection were disposed of-admitting persons Perhaps it would be an improvement siill on the foregoing were to be found willing to devote all the necessary time to plan, if the whole number of candidates for every school socithis service, where shall we find those who are capable of ery could be examined at once, as is now the case in Proviperforming the task ?

dence, R. I., and many other places. In order to this, howIs it then so, that we have no citizens, within the limits of ever, several applicanis to each district would be necessary, our school societies, of long tried experience in school keep- that if one were rejected, another might be received. I have ing? It cannot be. There are old schoolmasters in every known twenty or more applicants for four schools. And if society; some of whom have stood high, that is, comparative competition is ever useful, it would be useful under such cirly so, in their profession. These men had their plans, their cumstances. Each candidate, knowing what sort of an exmethods—their failures, too, it may be-in school-keeping. amination he was to undergo-whether public or privateIn other words, they are men of experience, and this is what would be more likely than now to prepare himself. But is wanted in the examiners of candidates. Ii is not high without departing from the present custom-that, I mean, of scholastic acquirements-though there is certainly no objec- presenting but one candidaie for each district, the whole tion to scholarship*—it is not reputation in other respects, it might be disposed of, so far as the first set of candidates were is not rank or title which is wanted. Next 10 benevolence concerned, ai a single meeting ; and if, by reason of rejection, and piety and a disposition to make sacrifices for the public there were vacancies, still, the new list of candidates might weal, it required, (as a qualification in a school committee likewise attend a single meeting at an appointed time and wan) is what I have here called experience.

place. Some may startle at the intimation that committee men

I cannot see why a day and an evening would not be suffimay be men of failures. But it has been said by a teacher as cient for the examination of a candidate for each district in ibe distinguished as Baron Fellenberg himself

, that we are often largest school societies, if all the candidates were to be examcompelled to learn by a series of failures. He is unfit for the ined together, as a professor or tutor would examine a class of sacred office of teacher who has not had his plans; and he collegiates for degrees or licenses. But if examined separately, who has his plans and methods must almost of necessity, which would be the better mode, on the whole, though no have his failures.

candidate would probably be detained so much as half a day, What I have suggested might be of more value, some will unless he chose to remain longer

, especially if, in the public say, if'all the candidates for school keeping were men of expe- notice given beforehand, it should be distinctly stated which rience. It often happens, I shall be told, that the candidate is district should bring forward its candidate first in order; a young man, or young woman, as destitute of experience in which second, and so on, yet, more than a day and evening of school keeping, as the pupils they are employed to teach the time of the committee would be consumed. Not so much But can such persons be expected to have any favorite plans more, however, as might at first view seem inevitable, if they or methods, either in regard to instruction or discipline. In should divide themselves into companies of two or more, for reply to which, I will only repeat what I have already said, the purposes of examination ; for ihen iwo or three teachers that he is unfit for the office of teacher who has not formed might be examined at a time, in separate rooms; the several his plans for the goveroment of his conduct, however crude sub-committees of examination, afterwards reporting to the and ill digested those plans may be, or however unlikely of whole body. being successful. Nearly thirty years ago, it was common with a famous old school master, whom I knew while acting likely to be brought against the custom of examining candi

These things have been mentioned to meet the objection as a committee man, to tell every candidate whom be exam dates with that minuleness which has been above recommendined, and who was approbated, that he must by no meansed and insisted on, on the ground of its consuming so much begin the work of teaching without a plan. What he meant, time. Nevertheless, there are some advantages to be derived however, was not at the time distinctly seen, for want of from having each candidate examined separately by the whole explanation and illustration-as he was one of those teachers board, even if iwo or three days were to be consumed thereby who fail a little in the art of communicating what they know, in the whole examination. This would be especially desibut the words of advice thus given, were sometimes treasured, rable if, as I have said before, the examiners could be paid to be understood afterwards, when painful experience had for their services. taught it. It will still be objected, that even if committee men could

There are two or three advantages to be secured from such be found willing, either fór love or money, to go through with a minute examination of candidates as that which I have suga process of examination as tedious as that which I have sug, usually spoken of as being the great object of examinations ;

gested. The first has been mentioned; it is that which is gested, no leachers would be found to submit themselves to an ordeal so painful. I know not how this may be; but one

viz., to ascertain the real essential qualifications of the candithing I do know, which is, that as things are now often mao- dates. The second is the necessity to which it would subaged, teachers are often obliged to be at a good deal of expense ject the candidates of being better prepared for their duties of time and money, to say nothing of the accompanying than they usually are. The third is the evils which such vexation. For my own part

, I should be quite as willing to examinations would be likely to prevent. The first and attend an examination which should take up a whole day, or second points are, as it seems to me, obvious; the third requires a day and evening, (having received due notice of the same,)

a little explanation. and have the work tinished, as to be subjected to the uncer

I have already observed, that school committees have power tainty of getting a sufficient number of the committee together to displace teachers. The language of the statute is, “whose to transact business, and after half a day's ineffectual search duty it shall be to examine the instructors, and to displace and effort, be obliged to go home and call again. Yet this is such as inay be found deficient in any requisite qualification, a farce which I have seen acted over again and again in or who will not conform to the regulations by them adopted.". Connecticut. I know, indeed, and I mention it with much But whether this implies that it shall be the duty of compleasure, that boards of examination are beginning to adopt mittees to displace teachers who are deficient, after they have

actually commenced their schools, or only tha: they may dis

place ihem after the district committees respectively have * It was once asserted by a friend of education, in an address which he gave before a school committee in this city, that it is sufficient for a teacher to under employed them and presented them for examination, one stand thoroughly the branches he is required to teach ; that all beyond is, for thing is certain, that however deficient a teacher is found to ough in the branches taught is indispensable in a teacher, it cannot be admitted be, he is seldom, if ever, displaced, after he has actually comthat a knowledge of the higher branches is of no service. The teacher who has menced his school. Such a thing may, indeed, bave hapnothing to do but to teach spelling and reading, will do his work better, other pened; but it is exceedingly rare. As our teachers are usually and pedanttic-acquaintance with English grammar, 'rhetoric, "composition, employed for no inore than a single term of three, four, or five history. geography, mental philosophy, physiology, &c.

months, it is usual to let the school go until the term expires,

under all its disadvantages. It seerns to be thought better to tain very sanguine expectations of his success in teaching the endure the evils which exist, than to break up the school, and Christian religion.* And if it were a person who had already disturb the peace of the district. Whether this is a wisé de- taught school, and knew no better, I think I would not give cision, ! pretend not to say; but it is the decision, I am conti- him a license. On this subject I should be disposed to lay a dent, which is usually made. I have known a dozen, if not great deal of stress. twenty, schools, which it was obvious were a public nuisance, There is a way of teaching the religion of the Bible-or rather than a benefit, simply because the teachers were unfit rather the morality of the Bible-which the experience of for their stations, but could not easily be got rid of. How many some teachers has forced upon them, that is entirely free from a district have I known, which, notwithstanding their general objection, even on the part of the most fastidious. It is to reparsimony, would have gladly given a sum of money largě quire of such classes as may be old enough for the exercise, enough to pay the whole Board of examiners for three days' 10 collect texts which favor particular rules of duty. Thus services could they have thereby got rid of an ignorant, or we may require them for the religious exercise of to-morrow vicious, or inefficient teacher.

morning, to find out, and perhaps write down on their slates, The inefficiency of teachers has been alluded to, but I have all the texts they can find, more or less, which forbid revenge. not dwelt on the subject at sufficient length. This inefficien- For the second morning, they may select and arrange those cy very often resulis from the fact that they have not the passages which encourage or require forgiveness of injuries. power of communicating what they know. Some, indeed, For the third morning, perhaps, all the texts which forbid are ignorant ; persons are sometimes licensed as teachers, pride. For the fourth, all which encourage humility, &c. simply to gratily the whims, the prejudice, the parsimony, or At each recitation, or rather at each exhibition of texts, there the party feeling of a particular district, or for other equally may be conversation, more or less extended, on the subject

. unimportant reasons. Such ignorance, however, is far less Thus, suppose a pupil enters down from Luke vi. 37,-“ Forcommon, than a want of tact to communicate. And it is these give and ye shall be forgiven;" we may ask him who said persons who, though learned, have no apiness 10 teach, with this; to whom it was said ; when; where ; and what conwhich our districts are so often encumbered. Aod it is on this cern we have with it. These questions may involve much of account that I attach so much importance to a mode of examina- the geography of Palestine, or especially of Judea and Gallilee, tion that, in the hands of men of former experience in teach- if the teacher desires it; and the pupils may be interested hy ing, cannot fail to determine the question whether or not the examples given out by the teacher of injury done to them, candidate possesses this important power of communication. accompanied by questions how they would act in the circum

I might have given a more particular account of the manner stances. in which, it seems to me, an examination ought to be con There is not a single virtue or duly recommended in the ducted - I speak now of the examination intellectually—but Bible, not even the higher virtues of active benevolence, selfit seems to me I need not. It is enough for the purpose of denial, and self-sacrifice, that may not, in this or in a similar intelligent men, if I state the principle, and preseni a few way, be inculcated and enforced on most of the pupils of conplain, practical illustrations; and this I have already endeav- mon schools; and this without the least necessity of ever ored to do.

approaching sectarian ground. Not that I would confine a In regard to examinations as to the mural character of a teacher to this particular mode of communication ; there may candidate, our object here, as in regard to bis intellectual be others as good, and possibly some which are better. I only character, should be iwo-fold. First, we should ascertain, if present it as an example of what I conceive to be the true way possible, whether he possesses a good moral character; and of teaching the Bible in common schools. It does not, indeed, secondly, whether he is able to conduct, in a proper manner, produce immediate results, for its operation on the heart is the moral education of his pupils. For as it is by no means slow. In this, however

, as it appears to me, consists its chief every learoed man that can properly cultivate the minds of excellency. Children read line upon line, here a little, and those who are committed to his charge, so is it not every there a little, as they are able to bear it. good man who can properly cultivate their hearts.

But although this, or something like it, is the best way of Nor is it any more difficult, would committees but set them- giving preceptive instruction to our pupils, example is better selves about it, 10 discover the lact of the candidate in this re- ihan even this. And it is by a most consistent example of spect, than that which he possesses in regard to the communica- what Christianity should be, exhibited in the daily words and tion of knowledge. Notebat in either case, the candidate is ex- actions of the teacher, that his scholars are, after all, to be pected to conform to particular melhods which the committee most deeply and permanently impressed; and the individual happen to prefer, by no means. But they must have some who has kept a district school ihree months, without being method, and there may be a choice of methods; and further convinced of this, must, it appears to me, present very doublthan even this, methods stated, may be so obviously defective ful claims as an instrucior; so far, I mean, as his moral qualias to leave no doubt on the minds of the cominiitee of the fications are concerned. propriety, and even the necessity, of a refusal to grant a But I must say a few words on the examination of teachers license.

in regard to their physical qualifications. I know it has not For instance, suppose a canúidate, in reply to the question, beep at all customary in this country to examine our candiwhat method he would take to induce his pupils to be chaste in dates on this point. Yet there is not a committer man to be all their conversation, should say that he would not only watch found, I venture to say, in the whole state of Connecticut, over their language with great care, but employ some of the who would not prefer, as the teacher of his own children, a pupils whose habits were, in this respect, the most perfect, 10 man or woman who was habitually hcalthy : and this for nuassist him in the waich; and would punish, with very great merous weighty reasons. Why, then, should the health of severity, for every improper expression, I should be loth to the man who offers himself as the teacher of our children, be certify to his moral qualifications. Or if he should say– Why, made a subject of examination by schoul committees? I do not I would take the boys and girls separately, and leciure them mean to say, or even to intimate, that no candidate should be on the subject, I should still hesitate. I should wish to see received whose health was imperfect in the slightest degree; him disposed to place example in the foreground, and rely but only that the fact of an individuals' being subject to much less upon precept. Above all, should I dislike the idea chronic, or other complaints which make him continually liaof making one child a spy upon the conduct of another. ble to be peovish, or fretful, or passionate, or even melancho.

Or suppose, that in reply to the question, how he would cou-lic, should be taken into the whole account, and should have its duct their religious education, a candidate should say, be would rely priocipally on the reading of the Bible once a day the place for teaching the Christian religion. But this seems to me a mistaken

* I suppose it will be said here, by some, that the common school room is not in school, and ibe opening and closing of the cxercises hy notion. Even infidei France, as we are wont to call her, has found out her misprayer, with the addition of a series of salutary counsels at Christianity a part of every course of primary instruction. It is sectarianism the close of school at night, just as the pupils were taking which our American people are averse to, rather than Christianity. I shall show, their leave, though I should certainly be willing to make above, that there is a way of teaching Christianity, to a considerable extent, in every possible allowance for youth, inexperience, and a per- honour of our country, as well as the salvation of our children, that religion itself vertel education, in one who had presented himself before is not to be banished from our common schools, because our teachers have the Board for the first time, yet I confess I should not enter there is a "more excellent way."

made a mistake in the method of inculcating it; espcially as it can be shown that

weight on the minds of every committee man who is desirous of ble,--and while he endeavors to elevate the standard and corcoming to a just decision, and taking a just and proper course. rect the opinions prevailing among his employers, by any

Nor is there a commitiee man to be found, who would not means in his power, 10 aim at doing it gently, and in a lone be glad to have the teacher waich, with alınost parental solici- and manner suitable to the relation he sustains ;-in a word, tude, over the health of his own children. Why, then, should let him skilfully aroid the dangers of his pavigation, not obnot his skill in this matter be made, loo, a subject of examina- stinately run his ship against a rock on purpose, on the ground tion ? is not success in preserving and promoting health, as that the rock has no business to be there. important, to say the least, as success in cultivating and de This is the spirit then with which these preliminary inquiveloping the mind? Is health of less importance than arith- ries, in regard to the patrons of the school, ought to be made. melic or grammar? Is the sound mind of much value, when We come now to a second point. attached to a miserable, sickly body?

2. It will assist the young teacher very much in his first The principal objection to making the teachers' methods of day's labors, if he takes measures for seeing and conversing promoting health a subject of examination is the incapacity of with some of the older or more intelligent scholars, on the the board. It happens, however, that, as a general rule, each day or evening before he begins his school, with a view of school committee embraces one or more medical men, and obiaining from them some acquaintance with the internal arone or more ministers of the gospel, both of whom, especially rangements and customs of the school. The object of this is the former, ought to be fully competent to the duty: Perhaps to obtain the same kind of information with respect 10 the on this accouni—the importance of physical education in com interior of the school, that was recommended in respect to the mun schools, and the importance of having teachers who will district

, under the former head. He may call upon a few attend to it scientifically and conscientiously-it would be families, especially those which furnish a large number of well to have each board of examination include at least one scholars for the school, and make as many minute inquiries scientific medical man, and as medical men are sometimes of them, as he cao, respecting all the interior arrangements to compelled to be irregular in their attendance, iwo would be which ihey have been accusiomed; what reading books and desirable.

A.

other text books have been used, - what are the principal classes in all the several departments of instruction,-and what

is the system of discipline, and of rewards and punishments THE Teacher's FIRST DAY IN SCHOOL. to which the school has been accustomed. 1. It will be well for the young teacher to take opportunity,

If in such conversations the teacher should find a few intelbetween the time of his engaging his schoul and that of his ligent and communicative scholars, he might learn a great commencing it, to acquire as much information in respect to deal about the past habits and condition of the school, which it, beforehand, as possible, so as to be somewhat acquainted would be of great service to him. Noi, by any means, that with the scene of his labors before entering upon it." Ascer- he will adopt and continue these methods as a matier of tain the names and the characters of the principal families in course, --but only that a knowledge of them will render him the district, their ideas and wishes in respect to the govern- very important aid in marking out his own course. The more ment of the school, the kind of management adopted by one or minute and full the information of this sort is which he thus two of the last teachers, the difficulties they fell into the na. obtains, the better. f practicable, it would be well 10 make ture of the complaints made against them, if any, and the famout a catalogue of all the principal classes

, with the names of ilies with whom difficulty has usually arisen.

This inforina- those individuals belonging to them, who will probably altend tion must of course be obiained in private conversation ; a

the new school, and the order in which they were usually good deal of it must be, from its very nature, highly confiden- called upon to read or recite. The conversation which would tial; but it is very important that the teacher should be pos- be necessary to accomplish this, would of itself be of great sessed of it. He will necessarily become possessed of it by service. It would bring the teacher into an acquaintance degrees, in the course of his administration, when, however, with several important families and groups of children, under it may be too late to be of any service to hiin.

the most favorable circumstances. The parents would see

But by judicious and proper efforts to acquire it beforehand, he will enter and be pleased with the kind of interest they would see the upon the discharge of his duties with great advantage. It is teacher taking in his new duties. The children would be like a navigator's becoming acquainted beforehand with the pleased to be able to render their new instructer some service, nature and the dangers of ihe sea over which he is about to and would go to the school room on the next morning with a sail.

feeling of acquaintance with him, and a predisposition to be Such inquiries as these will, in ordinary cases, bring to the pleased. And if by chance any family should be thus called teacher's knowledge, in most districts of our country, some upon, that had heretofore been caprious or complaining, or cases of peculiarly troublesome scholars, or unreasonable and disposed to be jealous of the higher importance or influence of complaining parents,-and stories of their unjustifiable con- other families, that spirit would be entirely softened and subduct on foriner occasions, will come to him, exaggerated by dued by such an interview with their new instructer at their the jealousy of rival neighbors. There is danger ihat his re nwn fireside, on the evening preceding the commencement of seniment may be roused a liule, and that his miod will assume his labors. The great object, however, which the teacher a hostile attitude at once towards such individuals ; so that would have in view, in such inquiries, should be the value of he will enter upon his work rather with a desire to seek a be information itself. As to the use which he will make of collision with them,-or at least with secret feelings of deli- it, we shall speak hereafter. ance towards them,-feelings which will lead to that kind of 3. It is desirable that the young teacher should meet his unbending perpendicularity in his demeanor towards them, scholars first in an unofficial capacity. For this purpose rewhich will almost inevitably lead to a collision. Now this is pair to the school room, on the first day, at an early hour, so wrong. There is indeed a point where firm resistance to un-as to see and become acquainted with the scholars as ihey reasonable demands becomes a duty. But as a general prin come in, one by one. The intercourse between teacher and ciple it is most unquestionably true, that it is ihe teacher's papil should be like that between parents and children, where duty to accommodaie himself to the character and especta- ihe utmost freedom is united with the most perfect respect. tions of his employers, not to face and brave them. Those The father who is must firm and decisive in his family govitalicised words may be understood to mean something which ernment, cap mingle most freely in the conversation and sports would be entirely wrong; but in the sense in which I mean of his children without any derogation of his authority, or to use them, there can be no question that they indicate the diminution of the respect they owe. Young teachers, howevproper path for one employed by others 10 do work for them, er, are prone to forget this, and to imagine ihat they must asin all cases, to pursue. If, tberefore, ibe teacher finds by his sume an appearance of stern authority, always, when in the inquiries into the state of his districi, ihat there are sonié pe- presence of their scholars, if they wish to be respected or obeyculiar dilficulties and dangers there, let bim not cherish a dis- ed. This they call keeping up their dignity. Accordingly position to face and resist them, but to avoid them. Let him they wait, on the morning of their induction into office, until go with an intention to soothe rather than to irritate feelings their new subjects are all assembled, and then walk in with which have been wounded before,- to comply with the wishes an air of the bighest dignity, and with the step of a king. And of all so far as he can, even if ihey are not entirely reasona-sometimes a formidable instrument of discipline is carried in

the hand 10 heighten the impression. Now there is no ques

SCHOOL REGISTER. tion, thal it is of great importance that scholars should bave a A convenient form of School Register has been published high idea of the reacher's firmness and inflexible decision in by Brown and Parsons, of this city, and forwarded to bookmaiotaining his authority and repressing all disorder of every sellers in different parts of the state. It costs no nore than kind. But ibis impression should be created by their seeing an ordinary blank book, and embraces distinct columns for all how he acts, in the various emergencies which will sponta- that the law requires to be entered. Its convenient arrangeneously occur, and not by assumed airs of importance or dig. ment and compact form, facilitate very much the labor of the nity, feigned for effect. In other words, their respect for him teacher, and brings the name, age, parents, date of entrance, should be based on real trails of character, as they see them cardiness, absence, or attendance, of every scholar, for each brought into natural action, and not on appearances assumed half day for every month, and the aggregate for each month, for the occasion.

at a glance, under the inspection of parents or committees It seems to me, therefore, that it is best for the teacher first who may visit the schools. to meet his scholars with the air and tone of free and familiar intercourse, and he will find bis opportunity more favorable

REPORTS OF SCHOOL VISITERS AND LOCAL INTEL for doing this, if he goes early, on the firsi morsing of his

LIGENCE. labors, and converses freely with those whom he finds there, and with others as they come in. He may take an interest valuable reports made by schoool visiters, respecting their own

Under this head, we hope to lay before our readers many in all the litile arrangements connected with the opening of the school. The building of the fire, the paths through the doings, and the condition of the schools in their several socisnow, the arrangements of seats, calling upon them for infor- eties, and all such information of a local character, as we can mation or aid, asking their names, and, in a word, entering written coinmunications of teachers and others interested in

gather from personal observation, and from the personal and fully and freely into conversation with them, just as a parent; improving our schools. We have already in type several valuoder similar circumstances, would do with his children. All uable reports, which we publish in the second number, the children thus addressed will be pleased with the gentleness which will be issued on the 15th inst., and be continued in suband affability of the teacher. Even a rough and ill-natured boy, who has perhaps come to the school with the express de- sequent numbers, on the 15th of each month. as long as we termipation of attempting to make mischief, will be complete-invite school visiters to forward to us copies of their reports,

shall be furnished with sufficient matter. We would again ly disarmed, by being asked pleasantly to help the teacher fix the fire, or alter the position of his desk. Thus, by means of and teachers and others to furnish us with original communi

cations. the half hour during wbich the scholars are coming together. and of the visits made in the preceding evening, as described

BOUND VOLUMES OF THE JOURNAL. under the last head, the teacher will find, when he calls upon the children to take their seals, that he has made a very large be authorized and directed to forward to the clerk of each school

Resolved, That the Board of Commi sioners of Common Schools number of then his personal friends. Many of these will have disirict, a bound volume of the back numbers of the Connecticut communicareil their first impressions to the others, so that he Common School Journal, as far as the same can be furnished, will find himself possessed, at the outset, of that which is of including the last Report, and accompanying documents of the Board, vital consequence in the opening of any administration,--a and such selections from official reports, as will present a summary strong party in bis favor.

of the present condition and means of common school education in 4. The time for calling the school to order, and commencing other states and in Europe, and that the Comptroller of public ac. • exercises of some sort, will at length arrive, though if the counts be authorized to draw an order on the Treasurer, for a sum work of making personal acquaintances is going on pleasantly, not exceeding three hundred and thirty dollars, in favor of the Board, it may perhaps be delayed a little beyond the usual hour. for the purpose aforesaid, to be paid out of any money not otherwise When, however

, the time arrives, we would strongly recom-appropriated.-- Res. Gen. As sembly, 1840. mend that the first service by which the regular duties of the

Under this resolution, and the direction of the Board, we school are commenced should be an act of religious worship: made such selections from official documents and reports withThere are many reasons why the exercises of the school should in our reach, as would show the present condition of popular every day be thus commenced, and there are special reasons education in the United States and in Europe, and caused the for it on the first day.- Abboi's Teacher.

same to be printed in the Journal, and bound up with the last [To be continued.] Annual Report of the Board, and accompanying documents,

together with such numbers of the Journal as we had preri. STUDIES IN COMMON SCHOOLS. ously placed at the disposal of the Legislature, free of expense. In preparing this number of the Journal, we have desi- in parcels, for each School Society, ready for distribution.

The volumes thus bound, have been for some time packed up red to pass under the eye of our readers some of the pre-Should they not be called for, or sent by some convenient liminary duties of parents, districts, school officers and opportunity to the clerk of each Society by the middle of teachers, in reference to the common schools which to the November, they will be forwarded to places and persons in number of near seventeen hundred, will soon be in opera- each county named below. tion all over the state. We shall in subsequent numbers

The volumes are necessarily of different sizes, as we could of the Journal, especially in those which will constitute not furnish sixteen hundred and fifty complete sets of the Jourthe first half of the volume, endeavor to enrich our col- and each volume will be found to contain the reports and doc

nal, but each package will embrace at least one complete set, umns with many valuable original communications, and uments of the Board, together with much valuable informatimely extracts from the best works on education, relative tion, and suggestions as to ihe improvement of common schools to the studies pursued in nineteen-twentieths of all our With some knowledge as to what has been done in other states, common schools. We have in our possession the most we feel authorized to say, that under the above resolution, a valuable and recent publications relating to this whole greater amount of information respecting the schools of our subject, and we shall aim to make this volume of the own State, of the United States, and of the principal countries Journal more valuable to teachers and parents, than any parents, teachers, and school officers in the work of school

of Europe, together with valuable articles calculated to assist one or two of these books, by extracting the most practi- education, has been placed within the reach of a greater purncal methods, and hints from all of them.

We have pro- ber of districts and individuals, than has been done elsewhere. mises, also, from several experienced and successful After the 15th of November the packages undisposed of will teachers in our own state, that they will communicate be sent as follows: their views' and methods, for the Journal. We would For Litchfield County-ORIGEN S. SEYMOUR, Litchfield.

New llaren again invite from teachers full and free communications

AUGUSTUS Lines, New Haven.

Windham respecting the best methods of teaching the various stu

Adams White, Brooklyn.

Tolland dies, and any other matter connected with the discipline

Lorin P. Waldo, Tolland.

New London Francis A. Perkins, Norwich. and instruction of common schools.

Fairfield TIMOTHY T. MERWIN,. Norwalk.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »