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ployed in the business of education, and consequently would most likely possess among them the pure seeds of progress.
3d. They must spend about half of their time in traveling from district to district. They must acquaint themselves with the school interests of their entire district, and therefore would possess great opportunities for acting as agents for such schools.
4th. Having the control of these schools, they would be an interested party, and must of necessity act with more zeal and energy for their well'are. And therefore we believe they would constitute a most efficient agency.
In an act of 1849, establishing a normal School in Connecticut, the agency for the school was composed of one trustee for each county, which we learn constituted a very good agency, but did not combine all the advantages of the agency above proposed, as these trustees were not Superintendents, and therefore did not possess so good opportunities for becoming acquainted with the school interests of their counties.
In an act of 1844, establishing a normal school at Albany, New York, it was provided that the Town and County Superintendents were to act as agents to secure a proper attendance, which system operated well, though these Superintendents had no control of the school, and consequently could not be expected to have so deep an interest in its welfare.
HOW TO GOVERN A SCHOOL. How to govern a school is a vital question to the teacher, yet not to all teachers alike. An assistant teacher, or one who has a small, select, private school, may never be called upon to consider the question of government in the same light as does the teacher of a promiscuous school of a hundred, or several hundred pupils. We have all heard teachers remark, “I like to teach, but not to govern.” Now, I think, Mr. President, that every teacher should have something to do in the government of the school, or of the classes, at least. I can not do justice to myself as a growing teacher, or to my pupils, in developing their characters, if I do nothing but bear their recitations.
It is very difficult for one teacher to tell another how he governs his school. A friend once applied for a situation in a Boston school. you govern that school?” asked the Chairman of the Committee. "Yes." “ How?” “I can't tell you.” “Who says you can govern?” “I say so," replied the candidate. The examination ended. The Committee, satisfied with his confidence in his own ability, wisely omitted details. That teacher was successful. The grand secret governing is do it without seeming to govern. The machinery of government should be kept out of
sight. Let the teacher commence his work in such a manner that his pupils shall see that what is right and proper is expected as a part of their duty, and what is wrong and improper will not be allowed at all. It is dangerous business for a teacher to write out, and read to the school, s code of rules all in the imperative mood. It used to be done, and is now by some, but such rules can not always be carried out, and when they can not, the government is good for nothing, and amounts to nothing. Cautiousness in this respect is, therefore, a very important agency in judicious school government.
The first impressions made by the teacher upon his pupils materially affect his success. He should, therefore, be gentle, polite, and obliging. A teacher who is boorish, uncouth, and valgar, will not secure the sympathy of his pupils, and will not govern them easily. I once knew : troublesome boy who was the pest of the school and of the neighborhood. He had a savage delight in “vexing the teacher," and seldorn did a day pass without trouble with him. At length a new teacher entered the school. Days and weeks passed without any of the conflicts formerly so common with this old offender. A schoolmate asked the reason of this wonderful change. His reply was, “ That teacher is a gentleman. When I am wrong he tells me of it, and corrects me; but does not attempt to annihilate me. Bad as I am, you do not suppose me mean enough to give him trouble ?"
The teacher must be consistent. He must regard the feelings, the faults, and the failings of his pupils. I have great confidence in young people as reasonable beings. The person who stands behind the pupil—the parent -is often more unreasonable than the child. The teacher should be reasonable with his pupils, especially in his reproofs and punishments. The habit of whispering, for instance, is a source of much evil in school, and unless checked or eradicated, especially if the school is large, will thwart the best efforts of the instructor. But the teacher who represents whispering as a heinoas crime, as much so as rebellion against the authority of the school, and worthy of punishinent in the house of correction, commits & fatal mistake. Whispering in a school is a pernicieus habit, an offence, and should not be allowed; but it is not the greatest crime that can be committed there. It is not reasonable to represent it as such. Unreason. able reproofs and punishments are the source of much trouble, and of many failures in school government. Many å teacher in such cases, for the want of a discriminating judgment, often finds himself in the predicament of the redoubtable knight in his well-known contest with the windmills. Another important agency for the teacher is the ability to know the material upon which he works; the dispositions and peculiarities of his pupils. He can not adapt all his pupils to the Procrustean bed, stretching those that are too short, and chopping off the extremities of those that are too long, until they are all of the same length.
In governing a school, as elsewhere, there must be a fitness, an adaptation of mean
to the end. Several pupils may have the same faults, or may have committed similar offenses; but it by no means follows that the correction, reproof, or punishment needed will be the same. Their temperaments, their sense of right and wrong, the temptations under which they acted, and other circumstances, must all be considered. The teacher must know his pupils—their peculiarities, the influence they are under at home and in the street and adapt his methods of government and discipline to the peculiarities of each case. The artist who makes his mould in clay, uses not the same implements as does he who works in marble.
An ability to disarm pupils of prejudice and hostility, is a very happy faculty in a teacher. It is also a rare faculty. Pbysical ability and sternness of countenance alone, can not govern a school. The co-operation of the pupils is necessary and must be secured. The ship-master who governs his crew by main strength, will tell you that it wears upon his health and spirits; that liis sailors care more for thǝir wages than for his goodwill, and will desert him in foreigo ports. The teacher must be enthusiastic, fond of teaching; and his interest must be seen in his work. They who teach for pay merely, or because they can do nothing else, will not be earnest teachers, and they have not within themselves the elements of
Freedom from ambition to assume and exercise too much authority, is another efficient agency. Teachers are frequently too jealous of their authority, and become imperious and repulsive. In their over-anxiety to govern, by forbidding offenses before they are committed, they suggest transgressions to the pupil, who otherwise would never have thought of them. All teachers must expect many provocations, but must, nevertheless, be forbearing.
The teacher's character should have a decided moral tone. He will then stand high in the estimation of his pupils, and will govern by a kind of magnetic-an unseen influence. From his own personal influence his pupils will soon become imbued and impressed with a sense of right, and with such a degree of conscientiousness that will lead them to govern themselves—one of the most desirable objects he can hope to attain. The teacher, in order to succeed, must have and exhibit unwavering faith in his ability to govern his school. The co-operation of parents must be secured, by convincing them that you are the earnest friend of their children, and earnest in your efforts for their improvement and welfare. Where parents are convinced of this, they will sustain the teacher in all reasonable and wholesome discipline. A favorable state of public opinion is also very desirable. To a certain extent it is in the teacher's power to shape public opinion in this respect, and, most certainly, it is always for his interest. When the public generally feel their responsibility in regard to their schools, and manifest a lively interest in their improvement; when they point to them as the pride of their village or city, and the fountain of good influences to their children and to the world; then the teacher has, in his behalf, an agency that is enviable indeed.--A. P. StoneMass. Teach.
EDUCATE THE PEOPLE.
An Oration delivered at tho close of the Fall Term of the Racine High School, by W. H.
Myrick, of Waterford, a member of the graduating class.
Much may well be said respecting education. Considered in its rela. tions, it affects all the interests of this life, as well as the life to come. That is a limited idea of it, which embraces only knowledge, which would call ability to repeat the contents of the text book, education. Edocation includes wisdom; this is its foundation, substance and essence.
Knowledge may make a man a fool, and there are throughout the land, those who can be included in no other class, except by doing violence to the language. Shall we call that man educated who is dishonest, intemperate, or time serving? If he is not a fool, what does the term mean? We find knowledge enough in our schools; the world is full of it, but wisdom, who sball find ?
Knowledge is power, said Bacon! So is steam or gun-powder; bat if wisdom does not control them, they will scatter ruin around them far and wide. Knowledge is often superficial. It is the scaffolding with which wisdom builds. Knowledge is blind, but wisdom gives it the clue that gnides it through the many labyrinths of life. A youth possessing no knowledge is a pitiable object; possessing knowledge alone, a dangerous member of society. Too much attention may be given to science, or rather too little attention to its ases, and while we admit the truths of nature, wo may forget her God.
Many a young man glibly demonstrates the propositions of geometry, who never thought that “God geometrizes.” Moral philosophy is studied by those who never have learned to regard moral obligations. The old Roman virtues of patriotism and regard for truth are scouted, and vices that a Spartan would have despised, are tolerated in our schools, and they can't be abolished, for woe to the instrnctor that opposes them. A vicious life is an effect of which the causes are under the control of parents. Some person is responsible for every felon in his cell, every murderer in his dungeon, and every thief in his prison. Disguise it as we may, reason
as we may, the truth still returns to remind us that a proper education would prevent crime, and leave empty our prisons, and the conviction must force itself upon every mind, that the mere imparting of knowledge is like putting firebrands into the hands of a madman, or a sword into the hand of a maniac.
But education can not be given, neither can it in any true sense be acquired. It is a growth, a development. The force that energizes a mind is the force within it. Schools and teachers are occasions and causes, and those that trust to them for prosperity, will fall short of success. What this nation needs now is homes. If it is saved from the curses that are ready to fall upon it, it will be by the influence of home education.
The man who trains his child for usefulness and happiness, needs other Agencies and stronger forces than schools can furnish. Home-the home of old time has become a matter of history. It is not a thing of the present day. The different members of the same family are hardly acquainted. Miss Flora calls at her mother's room occasionally, and “plays” for an old gentleman whom she calls “pa” whenever company calls. Her brothers are “splendid fellows,” who, ever since they were eight years of age, that is for the last three years, have been members of the "American Classical aud Scientific Collegiate Institute,” and whom she seldom sees except during holidays. Cold, heartless, superficial and thoughtless things, how may we expect them to become men! With such homes the controlling influences of society are all discord and confusion; the fountains are poisoned, and the waters are bitter.
It is only as we realize a bigher ideal that we may hope for national prosperity. There is no safety for us except as we nationalize our ideas in connection with this subject. It is not politicians that will save this Union, it is not legislation that will turn back the stream of intemperance and vice that is rolling upon us, but it may be done by education. It can not be done by schools alone. These may and these should do much; but they carry on what home begins. Educate the people—educate the children. Train them to industry, to honesty, to economy, to a love of home. Teach them to hate a lie, whether it comes as a plain business transaction, or as a trick of demagogues to reap a temporory advantage. Educate the youth of the land; bat place a higher estimate upon goodness than scholarship; admire the steady shining of a virtuous life more than the meteor flash of a perverted genius.
Next to sin, bad spelling is the worst thing in the world. The fairer chirography, the plainer the defect. If a man must spell horribly, let him write an illegible hand upon blotting paper, for so his chirography will be gluriously uncertain, like the law.