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She was no heroine proud and cold,
Saw joy unmoved, and smiled at pain.
A loving, longing, human heart
And all alone each summer day
She dreamed the sunset hour away. But, as that night beside the door,
She watched the childish forms at play,
Or dancing to their homes away; A vision passed before her eye, And all around a glamour threw,
That dimmed the distant hills of blue. Tho scholars that had played around,
All passed her wond'ring glance again,
Not boys, but stately bearded men. And some amid that passing throng,
Who'd vexed her oft by ill-timed mirth,
Were known and honored o'er the earth. And noble women pressed around,
And each one murmured as she came,
“You helped to make me what I am.' The vision fassed. The teacher's eye
Saw but the narrow, dusty way,
And the far hill-tops, cold and gray. She dreaded not the sound next day
Of noisy feet upon the floor,
But smiled a welcome at the door. The little ones, whose bere, brown feet
Had toiled along the weary mile,
Forgot it in the teacher's smile.
No little hands that feared the rod
For lawless paths their feet had trod. And boys, that oft were wont to toss
Their books aside without a sigh,
And quick the desk to hurry by, Now paused in half repentant mood,
Beside the little broken stand,
To.clasp the girlish teacher's hand. And girls, whose sunny hair and eyes,
So oft had danced in mocking light,
Now lingered long to say, “ Good night.” No more the teacher mourned her lot;
But seeds that long had idle lain,
She gladly sowed, and not in vain. Oh ! would that all whose daily toil,
Is often fraught with doubts and fears,
Might see their work in after years,
How many hearts will sing their praise,
THE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENCY.
From Letters of W. H. HOLFORD, Superintendent of Grant county, in the Grant County Herald.
So let us consider the merits of the County Superintendency. Does it pay to have a County Superintendent? Let us go farther back. Does it pay to have a United States Government and a President of the United States? Does it pay to have a State Government and a Governor of the State? Does it pay to have a County Government and a Sheriff ? Does it pay to have a Town Government and a Constable? Does it pay to go any lower, politically? To all of which, except the last, I say yes. To the last, no.
Ι Now, does it pay to have a National Commissarial Department of Education and a United States Commissioner of Education? Does it pay to have a State Supervisory Department of Public Instruction and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction? Does it pay to have a County Supervisory Department of Public Schools and a County Superintendent of Schools? Does it pay to have a Town Supervisory Department of Public Schools and a Town Superintendent of Schools? Does it pay to go any lower, educationally,—that is, in the supervision of public instruction? To all of which, except the last, I reply, yes. To the last, no. So you see that my answer to the question, “ Does it pay to have a County Superintendent” is yes, but the proof of it is to come; yet come it will, I believe.
Then please read attentively and thoughtfully what I may hereafter write upon these subjects, * for I am a public servant laboring for the public good, and I desire that my labors should tend to improve the condition of the mass of mankind; but if my ideas are erroneous (a3 many of them doubtless are), I desire that they should be most thoroughly defeated by the truth and completely overwhelmed. Politically, we håve the general government, the state government,
, the county government and the town government, each having its offices and officers; and it has been found to be really necessary to have such government, and the offices and officers pertaining to each. Yes, even a town government, with town offices and officers, have been found essential in forming the complete political government, and, securing the efficient and harmonious action of the same. The national, state and county government, with the best of officers in each office, would necessarily do their work very imperfectly—or so it would seem—and give very poor satisfaction to the people, if there were no town government with its offices and officers to complete the system. Nor would we be any better off with good national, state and town governments well officered, but with no county government, offices and officers; for the system would still be incomplete.
Educationaliy, until lately, we seemed to have no national commissarial department of education, and strange to say, the people of this great and progressive nation seemed to feel no need of any such office; but I am very glad that now, the whole nation seems to give signs of a general waking up to the vast importance of such a department. And, to-day, I would gladly pay treble the tax I paid for 1871, if by so doing, I could place the report of the United States Commissioner of Education for 1870 in every house in the county; for it would surely do much good.
But not long ago we had a Town Supervisory Department of Public Schools, though no County Supervisory Department. Then we had Town Superintendents of Schools, and we needed them; but they should be very different men from those who were, in many cases, then chosen; and they should do their work in a very Jifferent manner than was then practiced. And then we needed a County Superintendent to unite, systematize, harmonize, develop and thus render more efficient, the plans and labors of the Town Superintendents.
Yet, for the purpose of completing and improving the system, the Town Superintendency was abolished and the County Superintendency instituted. If it were possible, as well might the Surgeon take an imperfect arm which has the bone between the shoulder and elbow, and those between the elbow and wrist, and no wrist bones, but finger bones,--and supply the wrist bones, but at the same time remove the finger bones, and yet expect the poor man soon to be able to do good, accurate work. For my part, however long the surgeon might wait, and however faithfully the patient might strive to do his work well, I should be greatly surprised if much of whatever the poor man might attempt to handle, should not "slip through his fingers."
And yet a similar treatment has been practiced upon our School System, and many observers as well as some of the surgeons in attendance, have really expected perfect work from the incomplete system; and in many cases, too, this was expected before the system had had time to recover from the double surgical operation, creating the County Superintendency (supplying the wrist bones) and abolishing the Town Superintendency (cutting out the finger bones).
But for convenience I have supposed that during this time, we had a national education office (the bone between the shoulder and elbow) in perfect working order; yet such was not the case, so we have been laboring under even greater disadvantages than those just mentioned.
During my administration of the affairs of this office I am continually reminded of the missing link, the town superintendency. In our county, so large and thickly settled, we can never receive anything like the benefit which was contemplated and which we might and should
receive from the county superintendency, unless we divide the county into two or three superintendent districts and have two or three superintendents, or take a better course and have a superintendent and an assistant superintendent. The statute that authorised the county supervision provides that any county containing more than 15,000 people may divide into two districts and have two superintendents. According to this we have population and territory enough for four superintendent districts; and had we had them, and good live men for superintendents in each district during the past five years, I have no doubt that the county superintendency would now meet with the most general favor. And I believe that I know that after a two years' trial of either the first, second, or even the third plan, the people would be far more willing to pay the salaries of the two, three, or even four superintendents than they now are, ever have been, or ever will be, to pay that of but one; because I believe that the people are willing to pay a hundred cents for a dollar's worth of anything that they really need; they need good schools and they realize the fact; further,
I believe that the benefit to the schools resulting from the better supervision, would be many times greater, and very many times plainer to seen. I am also very confident that if all the good already done the schools as a whole by county superintendency could readily be seen by the casual observer, far less fault would be found than now is.
But I think it would be far better to have but one Superintendent District in the county with a Superintendent and an Assistant Superintendent than to divide it into two or more districts, and I will tell you why: It is because the supervision, examinations, lectures and institutes for the advice and instruction of teachers and for the development of better and more practical plans for training and teaching pupils, would then be upon the same general plan; and the two men could do far more than twice as much good as one man can now do, for, being obliged to stop one kind of work before it is finished and to go home or to some other part of the county to attend to some other item, causes loss of time and loss of labor; but now, I nearly always have to leave a locality feeling that much is left undone that I could do if I could spend more time there. Yet, when traveling and attending to any of the above mentioned items of business, there is at home a continual accumulation of miscellaneous business, private examinations, correspondence and appeals; besides, the preparing and grading of questions for examinations, writing articles for publication, etc. So it is plain that in this matter in so large a county, two men can work to far better advantage than one; do more than twice as much work.
Bu: there is, I believe, a far better plan than any of these. More
In the July-JOURNAL, I read “ Some Thoughts on the County Superintendency,” and thought the "county superintendent” had said a good thing, and agree with him that the system needs a great change. As the law now is, no district will hire a man to teach a school who is held up for the office of superintendent, if there is any possibility of his being elected; for when his term of school is half through, perhaps he will have to leave his school and enter upon the duties of his office. There are also but few, who will lie idle and wait the result of an election, when they can get as good wages teaching.
For superintendent we need a teacher, and one of the foremost in the county, and such a one is sure to get employment as a teacher somewhere, and when once employed, will not want to leave in the middle of the term. Such teachers are generally employed in August or September for the
year. Then the first of January is a bad time for a superintendent to enter upon the duties of his office. July or August shonld be the time, and April the time for his election.
TREES AND STEEP HILL-SIDES.
BY REV. L. POWELL, ARENA. Very few people know how dangerous it is to cut all the wood from steep hill-sidés. If every teacher would buy Marsh's Man and Nature, study it carefully, and from time to time present to their scholars in familiar talks the alarming facts so well set forth in that book, a great good might be accomplished.
Marsh proves that in the countries bordering the Mediterranean the producing capacity of the soil has been diminished by careless cutting of timber so much that the value of the crops is reduced on the average at least one-half. That is, in a vast and once fertile region, a day's lebor will go only half as far as it ought; Spain, Southern France, Italy, the entire Turkish Empire, and much of North Africa, are not capable of yielding over half as much in return for labor as they would if there had not been so much general carelessness in stripping hill-sides.
No amount of care and pains can now repair the mischief. An immense number of rich valleys are forever ruined. The damage in France alone is undoubtedly greater than the huge indemnity which must be paid to Germany. And the most perplexing thing of all is that so little can be done directly by the general or local governments to either prevent or remedy the evil.' People who know no better--the great