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its intrinsic value. Every scholar, but especially boys, must learn geography. This branch is regarded as one of the necessary safe-guards for the perpetuation of the republic. The only text-books used are the readers, containing a synopsis of the work to be accompliched. A fine set of outline maps, containing maps of the native canton, the country, Europe, Palestine, the Grand Divisions, and the Hemispheres; a few reliefs and globes, are the apparatus. But the teacher generally understand; his task. He has studied geography, and has learned to teach it. Upon the teacher, not on the text book, depends the success. Prof. Guyot, without a text-book, is certainly to any class in this branch more valuable than hundreds of his excellent books. He would teach more geography in a week than his books can do in a term.
The series of readers used, contains generally three books. The first book has many object-lessons on geography, and serves as an introduction. The lessons are about two hours per week, and commence with home-geography. The slates are used to draw the school-room, the streets, the native village or city. The teacher blends the lessons with local history and legends; the interest is awakened. Breathless do the classes pay attention. (I remember lessons, I thus received thirty-five years ago.) After the necessary home-lessons, the map of the canton is p oduced. Lesson after lesson is recited by the teacher at the map, pointer in hand. The scholars then recite, one after another, commencing with the best. With the geography they learn, partly by the aid of their readers, but principally through their teacher, the history of their state or canton. O! for those vivid descriptions of the old tyrants of former times, of the destruction of their castles, whose ruins crown the tops of the hills and the mountains! How they wake up the patriotism of the young citizen, and increase his hunger for more knowledge.
"The pupils being now well prepared, the map of the whole country is introduced. There they are, the mighty mountains, the blue lakes, and the serpent-like rivers, and among the many states he finds his own. Again, the reader assists; this time the second and third. Geography and history go hand in hand. Years are spent in completing this study. Under the proper manageinent of the teacher the scholar grows a young patriot. He cannot always name the presidents, but certaiưly the heroes and great statesmen, tell their deeds and sing their praises in spirited tunes. The true teacher does not merely teach boundaries, mountains, rivers, lakes and localities, but always adds useful facts connected with the names. The climate, products, inhabitants industry, education, language, character are well delineated.
Well posted in the geography of the country, the map of Europe is presented. At this period, thorough and practical lessons are given in mathematical geography, which now becomes comparatively easy. Every lesson is grasped with eagerness. General history assists the work. The scholars have grown stronger and learn easier, and soon a true image of the entire globe is impressed into their memory. But among the fine and fertile countries of Europe and other grand divisions, only two bright spots are known--the land of the Alps and the United States of America—the countries where no monarch rules with an iron hand. The subjects of other countries may enjoy many pleasures and privileges; yes,
«The bird in the cage may be still,
For his master may kill him when he will.” Learns the young son of the sterile mountains, and his voice sings the hymns of liberty. And is his land too small for him, he knows another land quite well on the other side of the Atlantic, where liberty prospers, and with delight he studies its geography and history.
This is a short description of the method. The teacher has more independence there than here, because he has more power to lead his scholars. And if you would ask for the cause of the patriotism and liberty of the Swiss, I would answer, without hesitation, it is the patriotism of the teacher, reflected on the souls of the pupils, as in a clear mirror. Many of the teachers may not do so well. Yes, the great great progress in politics, the maintenance of the independence, the deeided neutrality in times of war, the bold rebuke of wrongs inflicted by soine great power, the public virtue exhibited by the statesmen, these are the fruits of a school system whose influence is felt in the villa of the rich and the hovel of the poor, and which places their children, without distinction, on the same seat in the school-room.
NOTHING BUT LEAVES.
FROM THE JOURNAL OF A TEACHER, EDITED BY PEN.
SEPTEMBER, 186, We often meet with the crude notion that the young mind is a blank leaf on which parents and teachers may write' whatever they please, or that it is like potter's clay, to be shaped by the educator's hand into any form he wishes. Before I commenced to teach, I gave full credence to those theories, and I vowed to write noble lines on the fairest of those unlettered pages, and to mould rare images out of the pliant material. Alas for the resolutions of inexperi. ence! The children soon taught me the humiliating but needed lesson
that I was not to play the part of God himself, creating the infant mind out of nothing, or shaping new men and women after the example given in Genesis. Each individual child had its own individual mind, yea, every shade of its distinctive quality, stamped with the indelible mark of its Maker, whose grand work I, in the blindness of human vanity, had proposed to do. It was the old, old story of “the Teacher taught;" my first experience of the truth of the words “I know that I know nothing.”
Instead of a desert in need of artificial culture and irrigation, school revealed itself as an orchard over which I was placed as guardian. No need of my whittling my peaches, plums and apples out of sticks of wood (a figurative way of expressing what I intended to do with the blank leaves and the pliant clay), they were all there on those young trees, though not in their finished form. The germs were there, concealing in a microscropic form, the hard stone, juicy pulp, and downy rind of the future peach. These were all there when the tiny bud put forth on the stem its first indication of existence, and all the qualities of the future peach or plum were contained in its atomical construction; all it needed for development were certain conditions-light, warmth and food. Having these, the little bud blossomed and fruited in due time and according to its nature.
So, instead of renewing the story of Prometheus, I found myself an humble apprentice in the art of mind-culture, and a strange and serious work I found it. It made me think of Thorwaldsen, to whom an inferior sculptor said, “It is strange that I can imagine just what I want, yet can never transfer the mind-picture to the marble.” The old man smiled as he replied, “I never try to transfer my ideas to the stone, I see my image in the clay or marble, and all I have to do is to cut it out and free it from the surrounding material.”
That's just the case with the child's mind. The faculties are all there, and all you have to do is to find them by opening the way of knowledge. Your chisels and mallets, scrapers and files are always at hand if you want to bring out the statue~ I do not mean a score of books, they are rather dull instruments to work with, but the senses. The teacher who fully understands their use and end, is a noble follower of Him who also taught by appealing to the senses. His great truths were not uttered in an abstract form, but in the beautiful form of parables, well knowing how easily the mind is taught a lesson which takes the shape of empirical knowledge; should not his example teach us to make a better use of the “ five gates through which may enter heaven or hell?
It is a lucky thing that I am not obliged to write on blank pages, or to form clay images, for in the hurry of doing it for from ninety to one hundred and ten children in the narrow compass of three hours daily, I fear the work would hardly be done artistically. Instead of that I have about five hundred chisels, mallets and files to work with, and a huge block of-alas !-rather variegated marble, out of which to carve my statue. I know that the grand deity is in the material, but I do not always see it, and random strokes make the chips fly without revealing the hidden treasure. And if I must be candid, I must also confess that I have more than once wielded that other instrument, which has but little to do with my work, which mars it, and which I grasped with reluctance at first, but soon with fierce determination the rod. It was a
“ contraband » who first caused me to inflict corporal punistiment. The broiling heat of a day in the beginning of August, had thrown the whole school into a state of torpor, and it was impossible to enforce the plan of lessons. Suddenly the sound of a drum came nearer and nearer, and in a few minutes the whole square surrounding the depot and chapel, was filled with soldiers. They soon covered every available foot of ground, throwing down their knapsacks and blankets, on which they threw themselves, after stacking their guns. There the poor fellows lay in their soiled and tattered uniforms, with bronzed faces and hands, and weary, disgusted faces, right in the broiling sun, at two in the afternoon. Through the open windows we could hear them converse, cursing some unexpected and unexplained event, and “blasting" the officers for commanding them to lie still.
Order in school was now impossible, for not a child was there but wanted to see the soldiers. Many requests to “ go out” were made, and promptly denied, and one little fellow even got up and said that Charlie wanted to see whether his brother was there. I had to break Charlie's heart by refusing to let him find out. Suddenly, a boy from the Scammon school, popularly called Dummy Jing, because his father was employed on one of the dummies, made a sudden start for one of the windows. Before I could utter a word or warning, Jim had cleared the window at a bcund, leaving us in a state of indescribable confusion. At the same time, we heard the hooting and yelling of the soldiers outside, and loud cries of " A deserter! a deserter! Stop, rebel. Trip him up!” A minute later, the door was softly opened, and a group of laughing soldiers presented themselves, holding on to Dummy Jim, who fought like a young tiger, to get away from his captors.
“Here's your deserter, ma'am,” said one of the men," he's a tough one, though, bites like a viper and kicks like an unbroken colt. I guess you'll have to take off some of his hide before he'll give in.”
I thanked the men and then turned to my deserter. The former withdrew, which inspired the boy with the hope of getting off easy, provided
he showed himself without fear. So he met my eye with defiance, and putting his hands in his pockets, he quietly walked to his seat. I requested him to come back, but Jim made no answer nor did he stir. I then warned him of the consequences of such conduct and repeated my command, but Jim was determined to keep his place, where he felt perfectly safe. To enter into a fight would have been worse than useless, so I told him to stay after school. But no sooner were the scholars dismissed, than Jim bounded from his seat and bounded down the aisle. I interrupted him, however, and gave him a sound thrashing, then and there. It was my initiation in the art of 'cultivating the sense of feeling,' as Mr. T., terms it, and a sad experience it was, for now the ice was broken, and the children necessitated a series of repetitions.
After school I always remain in the chapel until half-past five and instruct the girls in needle-work, by special request of the school board. On that day I also gave the first lesson in drawing to a class of about twenty boys. Quite a number of the soldiers came in and watched the boys at their work, some criticising, others admiring. I felt rather uneasy at first when the boys in blue' made their appearance, for it seemed but reasonable to suppose that these rough, war-worn fellows would hardly prove pleasant companions to school children and their teacher. I was happily disappointed, for the tattered and often dirty veterans were gentlemen, and again convinced me of the immense dif. ference between our own soldiers who left their homes to defend liberty and order, and the European soldateska which, in times of war, are the terror of women and children. Prussia is the only country in Europe where the citizen is a soldier, and every soldier a citizen.
The soldiers took much interest in our doings, and were soon overflowing with often quaint, and always humorous stories of their own school-days, and many a spicy reminiscence of schools and schoolmasters was exchanged. Most of the men were between twenty and and fcrty years of age, and had, like myself, received their first instructions (and some all the learning they ever got) in those forlorn back. wood log cabins, where spelling-schools are the only thing that breaks up the dull routine of a monotonous round of studies. These men spoke warmly of the superior schools of the present day, and many thought that had they been but ten or fifteen years later, their chances in life would have been infinitely better than they were. Yet most of them spoke with respect, some with a touching affection of their former teachers, and many declared those school-days the happiest time they had known.
I had made a sketch of the chapel on a card which lay on my desk, and one of the boys in blue asked me for it.