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A large proportion of our teachers obtain only limited licenses, and when thus armed they appear happy and contented with their lot. Persons of this class often have very urgent business that cannot be neglected, about the time Institutes are in session. They do not always attend the examinations, but will call on you, in a day or two afterward, and explain that they “didn't expect to teach," or that their absence was unavoidable; but having engaged schools, and the people being so desirous of securing their distinguished services, you are assured that it is all right, and requested to furnish the customary evidence of incompetency, in the form of a limited license.—M. Kirwan, Manitowoc Co.
I have had many applications this year, as usual, for private examinations, and would renew my suggestion made last year, that each applicant, before requesting a private examination, be required by law to pay into the county treasury the sum of three dollars, and present the superintendent with a receipt from treasurer, showing that said sum has been so paid.”—L. M. Benson, Dodge, West District.
CHEAP TEACHERS. Live, active teachers are the kind we need in our schools, and I notice district officers soon learn that the other kind are not profitable, either for our pupils, or for them, in the sometimes more important matters of dollars and cents. A cheap school is generally a poor school. A cheap teacher is generally a poor teacher, who is always willing to work very little and draw his salary regularly. I do not wish to be understood as saying that a poor teacher will not take high wages if he can get them; or, that a good teacher does not sometimes work for small pay. But, if he is alive to the importance of his work, and feels a vital and thorough interest therein, even though he may know and feel that he is not paid what is justly his due, his work will be the same, and his interest and desire for success just as great as though he were receiving all he might ask.-C. E. Nears, Polk Co.
WHAT TEACHERS SHOULD KNOW. In my opinion, we are requiring too many branches taught in our common schools. The scholar who designs to teach must study some ten or twelve branches. He crams himself with a portion of many of these daily, goes along hastily, and when he comes before the examiner, he fails for want of thoroughness or for lack of knowledge of first principles.
For a third grade certificate, I believe we should require the applicant to be well versed in the following branches only, viz.: orthoepy, orthography, reading, arithmetic (not separating mental and written), geography, grammar (including analysis), penmanship, and theory of teaching (leaving out “art”). For the second grade I would add United States history, physiology, algebra and physical geography. For the first grade I would still add geometry and philosophy.
The constitutions " I would leave out, not because a knowledge of these is not important or useful, but because our curriculum is far too extensive already for our common schools. A knowledge of chemis..try—as now applied to agriculture--physiology and commerce is, in
my opinion, of far more importance than a knowledge of our “ constitutions,” yet I would not introduce into our common schools chemistry as a branch of study. We are requiring scholars to go over too much in a brief space of time, and this prevents thoroughness and healthy mental discipline. The usefulness of our teachers should be measured by their thoroughness in teaching, not by the number of pages they rush their pupils over in a given time.-L. M. Benson, Dodge Co., West Dist.
NATIONAL EDUCATION.—It cannot be denied that the best and noblest blossom on the tree of human culture, the development of the intellect and morals, blooms in every country on its own ground and under peculiar conditions. The educational system of a nation bears, therefore, in every country its own distinctive impress, to understand thoroughly which would require a retrospective view as well as a study of the present condition.
The way in which education developes itself in a country will be the only sure standard for measuring the intellectual development of its inhabitants. The gathering and exhibiting of the facts which express this development are therefore synonymous with the statistics of a nation's most cherished treasure-its intellectual development. Good educational statistics will show the present generation occupied in caring for a future one ; it will faithfully depict a nation's hopes and fears connected with this care, and will therefore enable states and individuals to preserve the intellectual heritage of centuries long gone by, and transmit it to the coming generations. Educational statistics alone can show the way out of the bewildering maze of different educational systems; they will be of more than ordinary importance in a state, occupied with a reform of its educational system. All such reforms would build on a very unsafe foundation, if they had not been preceded and were not constantly accompanied by most exhaustive educational statistics.Dr. Ficker.
Prepared by the Assistant Superintendenti Q. If notice of an alteration of a district is not filed with the district clerk, within three days, as the law requires, is such alteration invalid?
A. It is not; the requirement is directory, and for information, and the delay to give the information does not invalidate the previous action. But the notice should nevertheless be promptly given.
Q. If a town board of directors change the boundaries of two subdistricts and the town afterwards goes back to the old system, do the said districts revert also to their old boundaries?
A. No; they retain their boundaries, as altered, until again altered by the town board of supervisors, or other competent authority.
Q. When a district has changed the time of its annual meeting from September to August, can it adjourn the meeting from August to September?
A. There is no provision of law for changing the time of the annual meeting back; but having met, on the last Monday in August, the meeting for that year can be adjourned to the last Monday in September, or to any other convenient day.
Q. Can a man who was a “ deserter from the draft " be elected district treasurer?
A. There is no law prohibiting it. The minority, who do not like the election, may console themselves with the reflection that since the treasurer was so careful of himself, he will perhaps be careful of the public money.
Q. Can a man who moved into the state in the spring be elected as a district officer in the fall?
A. No, he must have resided in the state one year.
Q. When there are three candidates running" for a district office, must one of them get a majority of all the votes cast, in order to be elected?
A. The man who receives the most votes is elected.
Q. If a person appointed treasurer does not file his bond in ten days, does the office again become vacant?
A. Yes, just the same as in the case of a person elected, and failing to file the bond within ten days.
Q. Must the clerk of a joint district give in the “list of persons and corporations liable to a school tax” in the district, required by section 62, before he can" demand” the information provided for in the latter part of the section, as to the valuation of real and personal property?
A. It is quite reasonable that the district clerk should first give in the list, if the town clerk needs it, in order to give him the "certified statement” desired.
Q. When a tax has been voted, at an annual meeting to sustain a school, can the vote be re-considered at a special meeting?
A. A district always has power to revise its own action. It might be thought best to make it more or less before it should be returned to the town clerk, and this could be done at a special meeting properly called.
Q. “What constitutes a "graded school," within the meaning of chapter 23, general laws of 1868, amended by chapter 6, of 1869, as found on page 36 of School Code? Does this law apply to every school of two or more departments, called a graded school?
A. The law is rather loose, but if it is the fact that the school is taught in “two departments," and if the school is in fact “graded," the law applies to it. It is possible for a school to be divided, and to be taught in two or more departments or portions, without being graded, but such a school is not likely to be found.
Q. If a district passes a vote directing the board to hire the “cheapest teacher,” is the board bound by the vote?
A. Of course not. The board should rather hire the best teacher they can get, for the means at their disposal. In short, they must exercise a wise and prudent discretion. The law does not empower the district to determine the wages that shall be paid.
Q. How can the number of districts in a county or in the state be known, since joint districts are not reported, except by their parts?
A. The number of joint districts is found by dividing the whole number of parts by 27, the average number in a district. If every district had a school-house, the number of school houses would indicate the number of districts in the county or state.
Q. If a school board buys a stove, after the district has voted not to buy one, is the district obliged to pay for it?
A. Section 49 requires the board to “provide the necessary appendages for the school house," of which a stove is usually one. If the stove is necessary, the district must pay for it, at a reasonable price.
Q. My wife's sister has lived with me five years, her mother being dead. She is counted in the district, for drawing public money, but I. am compelled to pay tuition, if she attends school. Is this right?
A. No, if a child has such a residence in a district as justifies its being enumerated as a scholar, it is of course entitled to attend school free of tuition.
Q. Can a school board authorize a teacher to suspend a pupil?
A. This would not be improper, but the rule giving this authority should require the teacher to give immediate notice to the board. The teacher has, moreover, inherent authority to suspend a pupil from recitations, in case of flagrant misconduct, if the good of the school requires it, even if the board has made no rule on the subject. Of course he should at once notify the board, that they may consider the
Q. Can a school board dismiss the principal of a school, if he is incompetent for the place? : A. It is held that a board have this power. But if they exercise it, they must be prepared to show that the principal failed, from his incompetency, to fulfill his part of the contract.
OUR SUBSCRICERS, who are in arrears, will not deem it amiss if they find a “ bill” in the last, the present or the next number of the JOURNAL_which closes the volume. Out of the little rills must flow the larger streams that go into the pockets of the paper-makers and printers. The streams have of late been quite dry. Really, we need the money due.
THE “QUERY Box" is omitted this month, to make room for matter which follows: Next month it will be opened as usual.
NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION. The Twelfth Annual Meeting, held in Boston, August 6-8, was attended by about 500 persons, nearly all the states being represented. The work of the Asso. ciation was done partly in general meetings, and partly in sections; the former assembling in the mornings and evenings, the latter in the afternoons. The proceedings are of such interest that we propose to give them quite fully, using for that purpose the report in the National Teacher; whose editor, Hon. E. E. WHITE, was President of the Association. We can give this month only the proceedings of the General Meetings.
The Association met in the beautiful hall of the Girls' High School, Tuesday, August 6, at 10-A. M., the President, E. E. WHITE, of Ohio, in the chair. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. MINER, of Boston, after which Mayor Gaston made a brief but happy address of welcome on behalf of the city. Mayor GASTON was followed by Rev. Dr. R. C. WATERSON, who, on behalf of the School Committee of Boston, cordially welcomed the Association to the city and to the Old Bay State, which, from their earliest history, had been the friends of education. He congratulated the teachers of the country on the deep and general interest now taken in public schools and the wonderful progress that has already been made. As an illustration of this progress, he stated that, one hundred and fifty years ago, girls were first admitted to the public schools of Boston to fill the seats of the boys in summer time. Now the National Educational Association, with scores of women in full membership, assembles in this magnificent building erected solely for the higher education of girls. Rev. Dr. WATERSON was fol. lowed by Dr. F. H. UNDERWOOD, who made a humorous allusion to the idea commonly held by the residents of other places, that the Boston man considers himself finished in every particular and is absorbed in the contemplation of his perfections. He assured the audience that, whatever may have been true, this state of things no longer exists. The young President of Harvard University has inaugurated reforms, and the movement has reached the high schools and the other schools of Boston. Those intrusted with the management of the public schools, were conscious that perfection has not yet been reached, and are seeking light from every source. The President of the Association responded. He gave Massachusetts the great honor of establishing the first system of free public schools, and spoke in words of high eulogy of what the State had done for the cause of education. On behalf of the Association he thanked the Mayor of the city and the representatives of the School Committee for their cordial welcome.
3—-VOL. II, No. 11.