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1. Want of care in the selection of the Teachers; such as a desire to reward an old servant, or assist a friend in reduced circumstances, without considering for one moment whether such persons possess even one of the many necessary qualifications so essential in Teachers of Infant Schools.
2. Selecting a person, because he is what the world calls an accomplished man and a good scholar; not considering that the chief requisites are, decided piety, and an aptness to teach.
3. Employing a person to organize the school and instruct Teachers in the system at the same time. This plan is decidedly bad; and although there are individuals who through self-interest applaud and practice it, we unhesitatingly affirm, that, committees who adopt this plan will find that they pay dear at a time when, probably, they can least afford it; and the Teacher himself acquires but a very imperfect knowledge of the system, and that only of its mechanical part. We would recommend, that when suitable persons are found, they be sent to some well-conducted school for a month or six weeks ; let them see the system in all its bearings on the infant mind; take a practical part in the school ; make their own observations; and then open and organize their own school.
4. Aiming at things too high, and neglecting first principles in the education of the little ones — burdening the memory with unmeaning sounds—and neglecting the Scriptures and the moral culture of the heart. These create dissatisfaction in the minds of the subscribers, and consequently the school suffers more or less thereby.
5. Looking for and expecting impossibilities-or, in other words, employing a Mistress where a Master and Mistress are needed. We are sorry to see to what an extent this error has spread; and to convince the advocates of such a system of their mistake, we would only respectfully urge such to take the charge of 120 children, and do their duty diligently in the school for one month, and we have little doubt but that in less than half that time, they will acknowledge that they erred through ignorance of the trying and laborious duties of the conscientious Infant Teacher. We are bold to affirm that few females, if any, are competent to the charge and instruction of more than sixty or eighty children. Above that number will require a Master and Mistress.
6. Combining the Infant and National Systems; and thus spoiling both. Infants and elder children cannot with
advantage work together; as each will require a different mode of treatment.
7. Making the school free. This may appear to some, at first sight, a weak and simple argument; and cause them to exclaim-how could this lead to the falling off of a school ? Simple as it may appear, experience has confirmed it as a fact. Parents have felt some degree of degradation in sending their children to a free-school - their pride has been touched, and the school neglected if not despised. But on a change of this system, and a small weekly charge of twopence being introduced, these same parents have
willingly sent their children, and the school has prospered. • 8. An expensive outfit of lessons and apparatus; perhaps
to the amount of £20 or £30, when one-third of that amount would have sufficed. At the cemmencement of a school, the Teacher does not require so large an assortment; the children are not ready for them, unless to destroy them—and the committee are burdened with an expence which probably may occasion some after-discouragement.
9. The interference of committees and appointed visitors in the internal management of the school. This is too frequently the case where the list of visitors is large. One wishes the reading to be particularly attended to; a second thinks it of little consequence at present; a third is desirous of introducing a particular catechism; a fourth desires strict order; a fifth, a little more recreation. Thus, the Teacher is perplexed, discouraged, and finally dissatisfied. How widely different would be the result, if such persons knew the importance of aiding, instead of discouraging their Teacher-who has quite enough with the children to try his patience, and abundant exercise for every Christian grace. Visitors would be found of unspeakable advantage by strengthening his hands in his arduous work ; by supporting his authority; by lending him works on education ; relating any striking anecdote occurrent in the neighbourhood; and by visiting and comforting him or his family in the hour of affliction.
10. Neglecting to teach the children to read. This may also appear strange to many : but it is a fact, that some Teachers have acted on the idea, that the Infant School is not the proper place in which to give instruction in reading_but that it is quite time enough when they enter the National or other schools. In this opinion we cannot coincide ; nor is the world, we believe, prepared to receive it: the parent's constant cry is, (and we think justly so too) the book—the book.
In conclusion, the compilers beg to state that it was their intention to have added a few pages, explanatory of their mode of preparing for and using “ the book ;” but having exceeded already the number of pages they contemplated for their little volume, they are compelled, however reluctantly, to relinquish the idea : at the same time they consider, that so great is the necessity for something of this kind at the present period, that they may be prevailed upon, ere this work reaches its fourth edition, to publish a small treatise on this important part of their labours.
ADVICE TO INFANT TEACHERS. 1. Read much-especially the Holy Scripures, with prayer.
2. Understand well your subject; and then simplify it to the capacity of the children.
3. Imagine not your work done when school is over; but read, think, and prepare for the next day.
4. Bring every lesson before the children in as many new forms as possible ; for children are fond of novelty.
5. Make the children understand what you teach them; and they will lodge it in their storehouses or memories themselves.
6. Study well the character and disposition of each child; and then act accordingly.
7. “A man is known by the company he keeps." Watch, therefore, and be careful to set your children a good example.
8. Be not high-minded—nor live above your income ; for poverty is no disgrace.
9. Study to live in peace with all men; especially with the patrons and supporters of your school.
10. Be a man of few words ; but let your school speak much in your praise.
11. Daily “i seek that wisdom which cometh from above;". and labour to bring souls to God.
12. Let your motto be better to wear out than to rust out, for there remaineth a rest.
WIDOW TILLING, PRINTER, CHELSEA.