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ments made of them. Whether this be really so or not, none can deny that such is the inevitable tendency of the condition now under consideration; a tendency that can be averted only by specific and wise precaution, and the exercise of great vigilance and care.
Fortunately there is a means to avert this tendency. It is to fill the diminishing ranks of competent male teachers with equally competent females. Gradually is public sentiment getting awake to the practicability and necessity of this policy. This is evinced by the increasing ratio in the number of female teachers for the past few years. The Normal School in 1845, the first year of its existence, graduated five females and twentynine males; the second year forty-three females and sixty-seven males ; from this time there was a constantly increasing ration of female gradaates, till, in 1853, there were fifty-one female and thirty male graduates i and in 1854, fifty-eight females and thirty males graduated. The statistics of the Department of Public Instruction exhibit the same relative increase in the ratio of female teachers employed throughout the State. Such facts carry their own commentary. Female teachers are gradually being substituted for males in our public schools. Public opinion is gradually give ng way to the dictates of reason, expediency, and necessity. It is to be feared, however, that expediency and necessity oftener control this result than reason, and as I would rather appeal to the higher motive, than to the lower and selfish considerations, I would that the popular sentiment might be disabused of the too prevalent notion that females are only to be employed for summer schools, except where the expense of hiring a male is greater than the district can possibly bear. That this is the popular sentiment requires no proof. But I believe it founded in error. What are the objections to hiring a female for a large school, and in the winter season? It is generally urged that she can not go about through the snow in the winter. How do your large girls get to school, age, and your little ones too, often times. Are female teachers less rugged than others of their sex? If so, stir about till you find one that is robust-you can find scores of them that have more heroism than half the males that will offer to take your school. Let her dress warmly, wear good stout boots, take proper precautions about unnecessary or injudicious exposure, and she will not incur half the liabilty to colds and sickness during a winter, that a dainty miss will in attending half a dozen balls. When the road is drifted with snow, have gallantry enough to get out your sleigh and take her to school-do as much for her in this respect as you would for your own girls -in other words, make it as possible for her to get to school as it is for your own children, and you need not fear any thing from her imbecility. Of course the fires at school must be made for her in good season, and this is really the only service she would require done for her that a male teacher would not--and for that matter it is really requiring too much of any teacher to come from remote parts of the district in the short, winter
mornings, oiten detained for his breakfast till an anseasonable hour, and be in season to build a fire and get the room warm and comfortable before nine o'clock. You ought to provide some way to have this done, so that in doing it for the female teacher you are doing no more than belongs to
you to do.
But an objection, arged with a great deal more earnestness and forcewhether more forcible in itself or not—is the incapacity of a female teacher to govern a largo school, or a school where there are large pupils. If this objection is founded in truth, we ought to have no more female mothers; I doubt not there are a great many females that are incapable of governing a school--and the same is unfortuuately true of a great many males —and of those proposing to teach, I am persuaded the proportion is about as great of the one as of the other. The proportion of females thus deficient would, I am confident, be very much less than it is, if it were not that the popular conviction of their imbecility is so strong, as almost to impress them with the same belief, and thus destroy their confidence in themselves; besides, if this sentiment were to be exchanged for one more liberal and tolerant, they would have an inducement to prepare themselves in this very respect, and acquire a power of which, without some special culture, they may not be fully possessed. It certainly is not the mere lack of physical strength that renders woman less competent to govern than man, for those, both men and women, who govern best, do it without regard to physical power. Where complaints are arged against teachers for their lack of discipline, the incapacity to govern is very generally exhibited in the very exercise of that strength of which females are deficient. They show their incapacity to govern by relying too much upon their muscle as the essential governing principle. True, if children are impressed at home with the idea that the schocl-room is a sort of gladiatorial arena, where they are to match their strength against that of the master and this idea is too often inculcated and fostered, and encouraged by the injudicious expression of preference by parents and trustees for a inan because he can make the boys “stand around"—then go and get a Tom Hyer or a Yankee Sullivan or a Jim Hughes to teach your children that which you wish them to practice.
I know there are households in which obedience, discipline, is unknown; and the children of these families go to school no better prepared to yield obedience there than at home. If they chance to be, as they often are, stout, rade, ungovernable boys, it may require physical strength to subdue them. But even then I would rather trust a female selected with care for her high qualifications—her special preparations for her duties-than a male taken at hazard because he holds a certificate and wears pantaloons. Bat granted there are cases of discipline which a woman can not reach, that a man might; such cases I hold to 'be rare—they ought to be rarer than they are; they would be if parents would do at home what they ro
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quire the teacher to do at school; but such cases may occur; what then? In fact, children whom a woman can not control have no business at school. The right to attend school is not an exclusive individual right, but a common privilege to be enjoyed only on such terms and under such conditions as will promote the highest good of all. Insubordination that a female can not quell should not be tolerated; it is a breach of the compact, and forfeits all claims to the privileges of school. But suppose we grant a little further indulgence, and are disposed mercifully to administer such chastisement as the rebellion demands. The trustees should be summoned; they are the officers of the State appointed to enforce all wholesome regulations concerning the discipline of the school. They should aid the teacher in the maintenance of her authority. If their interference is often needed, it is proof that there is a Jonah in that school, and he should be cast forth. I have thus endeavored to dispel the bugbear relative to the incompetence of females to teach most of our district schools. For all primary instruction woman is peculiarly fitted. And our district schools should aim no higher than to impart a thorough primary instruction. If a higher culture is wanted, let that be assigned to the Union School, extended territorially so as to embrace the town, and let there be one in every town, or nearly so. For that, let a competent male principal be employed, with such female assistants as may be required, and let all the district (primary) schools be taught by qualified females.
But if the reasons I have presented. are insufficient to affect the popular mind favorably toward the employment of female teachers, there are other considerations that may be arged. It is more economical. I do not propose to discuss the right involved in this suggestion, whether for the same work females should receive the same wages as males. As an abstract question I should answer, under the same conditions, yes. But in no case are the conditions the same. The man who has to pay three dollars per week for board, can not afford to work for the same wages as one who pays but half that som. The necessities of the laborer are an element proper to be considered in determining wages. Now as between the male and the female teacher, the latter can afford to work for less wages than the former. For society imposes upon man certain pecuniary obligations from which woman is free. If a gentleman desires the company of a lady at a ride, a lecture, a concert, or other entertainment, he must pay the expenses of both. In paying his addresses to a lady, it is customary, I believe, for the gentleman to do the journeying to and fro, he must bestow the gifts, and pay the parson; and there his outlay has but just began, and that of the lady is ended. If this condition does not establish the rightful moral claim of man to higher wages than woman for the same work, it does what is practically the same thing; it makes it possible for woman to work for less wages than man can, whereby she becomes his competitor under that condition, and she should not complain of a result determined by conditions of peculiar advantage to her sex.
Another circumstance which affects the relative wages of males and fe
males, is the fact that other pursuits for which females are not adapted, open before males and proffer wages above the standard paid for teaching. Of course he can be induced to teach only upon the condition of receiving as good wages as he can get in the other pursuit. Bat the female has no such choice, and is, therefore, only too glad to accept in teaching the wages which her male competitor refused. Hence it must follow that wherever it is deemed indispensable to employ a male teacher, the wages of such teacher will inevitably exceed those of the female-not necessarily because he is her superior—but because he has a choice of occupations which enables him to dictate terms. But here even the original question of equal labor does not present itself; for the district in choosing the male teacher at the higher wages, evidently conceive that they have bargained for a higher grade of service than the female could perform. It is this prevalent fallacy which I would expose. I have sought to establish that for the mass of our district (primary) schools, females are as competent as males, and that we may, if we will, receive from them equal or indeed superior service.
Let me not be understood as advocating a lower compensation for females than is now doled out to them. On the contrary, I believe their wages are quite too low. But I do not demand equal wages for males and females in the same position-as, for instance, in charge of the same school. The universal law of supply and demand will not admit of it; the respective necessities which help to determine the rate of service will not admit of it. It is, therefore, no hardship nor injustice in a district that can just afford to pay thirty dollars per month to a competent male teacher, to refuse to pay a lady equally competent more than twenty dollars per month. I do not na ne that as the ratio proper to prescribe, for that will depend upon the circumstances of each individual case. Bat this I maintain, that while there are so many competent females who can be hired for fifteen, eighteen, or twenty dollars per month, it is folly and waste to insist upon hiring male teachers not a whit better qualified, and pay them twenty, twenty-four, and thirty dollars per month. It is not the question of right as to the amount of wages, but the question of policy and economy on the part of the district, that I am now diseassing. Not that I would advocate de penurious policy-nor is that which, in choosing between two equal goods takes the cheaper, such an one. I favor a large liberality; I believe there is nothing we purchase so cheaply as the education of our children. At many times the present cost it would still be cheap if it could not be otherwise procured. We can well afford to increase the price as fast as we have evidence of an improvement in the quality of instruction. But so long as males and females compete with each other in the same sphere, so long will the wages of both be depressed, for females (because they can afford to do it) will ever offer to teach for less than males, and males in competing with them will, of course, be compelled to make the difference in their wages the least possible.
Let our young men who would teach, seek those qualifications that will
fit them for positions where they will not meet female competition; and let our young ladies who would teach, so fit themselves that do mediocre gentleman may be found saccessfully competing with them at the same or even less Wages.
The final consideration that I would urge in opposition to the popular distrust of female teachers is necessity. The causes operating to withdraw from the teachers' profession that high order of mind that has heretofore adorned it, are increasing in their extent and effect. The number of young men diverted from the business of teaching will yearly increase. There is bat one way to prevent their places being filled with minds of second and third rate capacity (and the grade is a perpetually diminishing one), and that is to rely upon the best female mind. We have got to do it-the condition is inevitable as progress; the practical question is, shall we resist it-strive against it as long as we can, and yield at last, or gracefully and naturally adapt ourselves to it now? The latter is the dictate of prudence and sound judgment.
A pleasing and valuable feature of the condition we have been contemplating is the division of labor which it promotes, whereby the educational work can be so much more effectively accomplished.
The few (comparatively, of course,) gentlemen of first class talent and attainment who will still be disposed to enter the profession of teaching will command high positions at wages sufficient to induce them to make it a permanent pursuit. We shall thus secure for our advanced culture, a class of instructors of the highest grade. To females will naturally fall the responsibility of primary instruction, and with more certain and definite employment, they will be induced to make special preparation for the discharge of their duties, and steady employment term after term in the same place will add greatly to their efficiency and usefulness.-E. W. K.-Nero York Teacher.
AN INOIDENT IN SCHOOL GOVERNMENT.
My friend Stanton undertook teaching a private school in the place where he was living. He had been brought up in the West, and had lived for some years in Grovesend, so that he knew the character of the people, and the spirit of license and freedom which had generally been indulged in the children. Not a few of the boys had the reputation of being turbulent and rebellious, and it was likely to require both a steady hand and good judgment to control with success the wild elements. I have thought, from what I knew of Stanton's school, that he was often too lax in his management; but he excused himself by quoting the agricultural proverb about not setting the coulter too deep for new ground. He said he should bring