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On account of the importance of Institutes as one of the agencies calculated to elevate the standard of qualifications, and give direction and efficiency to the efforts of teachers, and because of the interest felt by our people in the first regular series ever held in our State, we give this month the full proceedings of a portion of them, and shall conclude the account in our next issue.-ED. JOURNAL.
The Institute at this place was to organize on Monday evening, Oct. 3, but so many teachers were in attendance that a session was held during the afternoon, and general remarks were made by Prof. J. G. McMynn, of Racine, Prof. John Ogden, of Ohio, and Prof. F. A. Allen, of Pennsylvania.
On Monday evening, Chancellor Barnard addressed the Institute and citizens, at the Union Church, upon “Public Education.” On Tuesday morning the Institute was formally opened, and the exercises proper began. The daily exercises, held at the Court-House, were conducted by Profs. Allen and Ogden, and were of a nature to be peculiarly interesting to teachers. The evenings were devoted to educational addresses by Messrs. Craig, Editor of the Wisconsin Journal of Education, Allen, and Ogden. On Wednesday evening the ladies of the Institute presented Messrs. Allen and Ogden each a set of silver forks, accompanied by the following address by Miss Bradford, of Delavan:
“Profs. Allen and Ogden:-In the name and behalf of the ladies who have been under your instruction the present week, I tender you our heartfelt thanks for your sympathy with us in the noble calling of teaching ; we thank you for the many suggestions given, not only in regard to our intellectual progress, but also the higher development of our spiritual nature. As you go from us to another field of labor, we would assure you of our sincere desire for your success, and in their name I present. you with these memorials as a slight token of our appreciation of your kindness, and also to show our remembrance of those whom you have left behind. Accept them with the kind regards of the givers, and let us ever be remembered by you.”
The following responses, substantially, were made by the Gentlemen :
Mr. Allen said that he had been through many such scenes, and still a scene like that, in all its aspects, was very unusual. It was not common to see so much friendliness and good feeling as had been manifested by the teachers here throughout the session. They had shown this genuine kindliness in many ways, not only to him and his friend Mr. Ogden, but to each other. “And now,” said he, “this last evening of our meeting is one long to be remembered.
“For myself, ladies, your present acquires a double value, in that you show your regard, not only for me, but for the dear ones at home,' to wbom my heart constantly turns back with a tender longing. It is very grateful to me to be so remembered, with them. What can I say, beloved friends, except that, heartily and sincerely, I thank you.” Mr. Allen went on to speak of the many discouragements which must be met by teachers—that their reward was not always in this world, but in that higher and better existence to which we aspire, and that, although he should probably never meet them all again upon earth, he hoped in a better world to enjoy with them that endless communion of love, of which all these acts of kindness gave us a foretaste. “Go on, teachers," said he, “in your noble work ; do not let the trials and vexations you will most certainly meet, lead you to be weary in well doing. Praying that the blessing of God may go with you, I would say again, for all your kindness to me, and particularly for this last token of your friendship, I thank you.”
Mr. Ogden said that this was all too sudden and unexpected—that the thoughts and feelings rushing upon him wonld not allow him to say much. “ Let me confess,” said he, “ that I am oppressed with a feeling of deep humility. What have I done that you should so load me with kindness? I feel that my poor labors do not deserve it. But, in making me humble, you fill me with courage and strength to pursue the noble calling in which we are all engaged. Your kindness will never be forgotten; I will inscribe upon your shining gift 'Teachers of Wisconsin in Walworth County,' as a memento of the hours you have made so pleasant to me.
"My brother, Mr. Allen, spoke of the better world beyond this. Yes, I expect to meet you there, and not only to meet you, but that we shall know each other as friends. We shall be very happy there, but I believe that even then I shall look back to this evening and call it, as I now do, one of the brightest spots in my existence. Again, and again, I thank
The Institute closed on Friday evening with a “Sociable” at Remer's Hall, when all enjoyed a general good time.
A County Teachers' Association was organized, which will be of great value to teachers, and the cause of education generally.
During the session the following resolutions were adopted.
Resolved, That we congratulate the teachers of this State in having so great and good a man as Chancellor Barnard to execute the will of our Normal School Boardand we earnestly desire to see him continuod in his present position, and furnished with ample means to carry out his noble designs.
Resolved, That this body of teachers are determined to carry into practice the excellent suggestions received during the session of this institute; that our public schools, and, through them, our community, may fully realize the benefits designed in these instructions, and that we return our heartfelt thanks to Profs. Allen and Ogden for the uniform kindness and gentlemanly manner in which they have borne with our errors, answered our questions, enlightened our understandings, and improved our hearts.
Resolved, That we, as teachers, regard propriety of dress in the school-room of much importance, and that we shonld see to it that, in point of neatness and adaptation to business, our dress be such as we would willingly see reproduced by those close imitators, our pupils.
Resolved, That the teachers of cach township should assemble every other Saturday for the purpose of reviewing their labors of the past week, comparing methods, and thus more fully preparing themselves for the duties that succeed.
Resolved, The compensation of male and female teachers should be equal, where equal services have been rendered.
Resolved, That we recognize the excellence of Town instead of School District Libraries, as recommended by our present State Superintendent, and would rejoice to see it adopted.
Resolved, That we consider the frequent change of teachers a great detriment to the success of our country schools, and that we urge upon all interested the propriety of employing teachers by the year.
Resolved, That the Committee of Arrangements, for their energy in preparing accommodations for us, and their courteous attentions to us during our stay here, receive our warmest thanks.
Resolved, That to the citizens of Elkhorn, for the kindly manner in which they have throwo wide the doors of their homes and hearts, and particularly to the ladies, who, sacrificing their earnest desire to participate in the pleasure and profit of these exercises, have self-decyingly remained at home to provide for the demands of our bodily wanis; to the Trustees of Union Church for their practice of the precept, « Conde scend to men cf low estate," and to Sheriff Stone for the use of the Court Room, w: tender our warmest thanks and deepest gratitude.
Agreeable to the circular of the Hon. Henry Barnard, Chancellor of the Wisconsin State University, a large audience was in attendance at the Congregational Church in this city, on Monday evening, including a number of teachers, expecting to hear from him an address on the subject of “Public Instruction.”
Rev. J. B. Pradt was called to the chair, and J. C. Mead, Esq., appointed Secretary.
Mr. Pradt, on taking the chair, stated that Mr. Barnard would not be present to deliver his address, and introduced to the audience Prof. C. H. Allen, of the Westchester, (Penn.) Normal School, who delivered an able and instructive address upon the benefits to be derived by the organization of Teachers' Institutes, the responsibilities and duties devolving upon teachers, both in the moral and physical training of the young, closing with an earnest appeal to teachers to be more interested in the faithful
discharge of the duties of their vocation, remembering that upon them Tednes depends the character and usefulness of the future men and women of our country.
Remarks were then made by Messrs. Pradt, Brown, Graves, Ellis, Potter, and Williams, upon the subject of Institutes, neglect of parents to take an interest in our schools—of the apathy existing in the public mind as regards the education of the “abundant crop of children now growing up in our midst,” making the vocation of the Common School teacher one of greater honor, influence, and permanence, by increasing its pecuniary reward, and requiring better qualifications.
On motion, Messrs. Pradt, Graves, Williams, Allen, and Drury were appointed a committee to prepare a series of resolutions and questions for discussion on Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday, A. M., the Institute convened in the Union School House. During the day, exercises were conducted in the several branches of study pursued in Common Schools, by Prof. C. H. Allen, assisted by other persons, and frequent discussions were held on the subjects involved, and on the matters of school organization and government.
On Tuesday evening the Institute, together with a large number of our citizens, convened, when H. N. Ross, Esq., was called to the chair, and the committee reported the following preamble and resolutions for discussion:
WHEREAS, An effectual supervision of our public schools is desirable and necessary, therefore,
Resolved, That we recommend the establishment of the of County Superintendent. Resolved, That the State Superintendent should be elected by a convention of County Superintendents.
Resolved, That the interests of our scbools would be better promoted by the establishment of the Township or Union District system, and Central High Schools.
Resolved, That the profession of teaching should be elevated and made more permanent.
Resolved, That the work of teaching should be committed principally to the hands of females,
The first of these resolutions being taken up, elicited a warm discussion, but was carried almost unanimously.
On Wednesday morning of the exercises were opened by prayer by Rev. C. W. Camp. A large delegation was present from Manitowoc County, and the whole number of teachers and persons designing to teach in attendance this day was upwards of fifty.
The exercises were continued as on the preceding day, the teachers partaking freely in the discussions, and contributing the results of their experience.
A Board of Critics was appointed, on motion, to report such grammatical errors as might be observed in the language of the members of the Institute.
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On Wednesday eve, the Institute, with a large and intelligent audience of citizens, convened at the Congregational Church, Dr. J. J. Brown in the chair, and listened to an eloquent address from Jared Thompson, A B., of Manitowoc, on “Human Progress.”
The following resolution was then called up for discussion:-
Mr. Pradt supported the affirmative, after which the discussion was postponed.
The President then introduced to the audience Prof. Daniels, (of Wau kesha College,) the State Geologist, who delivered a highly interesting and instructive address upon the “Physical Structure of the Earth ;' pointing out very clearly how the school teacher may impart to children many important facts in regard to the subject, and arguing the utility of the exercise as a means of improving the mind, and elevating the religious nature of the pupil.
On motion, the thanks of the audience were presented to the the speak ers, and the meeting adjourned.
More than sixty teachers and persons designing to teach are in attend ance upon the Institute, and we observed also several school officers.
The exercises on Thursday were conducted upon the same general plar as those of the preceding days, the interest manifestly increasing as the exercises proceed.
Thursday evening the Institute and public listened to an entertaining but saddening account of the people and schools in that region known as
Egypt” (in Illinois) from C. B. Rogers, of Beloit; who also congratu lated the audience upon the great contrast in their poor, exhibited in the condition of things found in our State.
The exercises of Friday A. M. were similar in their character to those of previous days. The subjects treated upon were, Penmanship, and the best method of teaching it in our public schools, in the discussion o which much of interest and profit was elicited; Written Arithmetic, and the manner in which it should be presented to classes, and a discussion upon the principles of school organization and government.
In the afternoon the subject of the benefits of Music in schools was discussed; it was suggested that a teacher of vocal music might be employed to assist different schools in succession, and that the time may come when the ability to teach this art will be considered of great importance, if not indispensible. “Topical recitation”
was next dwelt upon; when it was argued that pupils, according to their capacity, should be taught to express themselves in their own language, and not allowed to confine their recitations to a parrot-like repetition of answers found in the text-book. This was illustrated in various ways.
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