Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

of intemperance and its allied vices and It is inconceivable that man should free our young men and women from its have been created in order to make him terrible thralldom. Yes, we are educating spend his life in misery. So, too, it is our boys and girls because we want them abhorrent to every sense of justice that to love truth for truth's sake.

he should be endowed with the possibility

of progress and development and that its , ESSENTIAL FOR HAPPINSSS

unfolding would leave him in an unhapIn the third place we educate because

pier state than before. The universe we believe that it is essential to the great

without man would be foolish. Man est happiness. While it is true that the

without a mind capable of such developsavage does not want to be civilized, that

ment that it will add to the joys of existthe drunkard does not want to leave his cup, and that the ignorant man often re

ence would be senseless. sists the effort to educate his children,

The world is seeking happiness. It is this does not prove an argument against

seeking it along many lines, some of

seeking the proposition, for none of these can which spell ruin and despair. Education know what change in experience a change seeks to set the world right by pointing of state would bring about. Some few out the fact that real, lasting happiness writers have objected to civilizing the can only be attained by right living. I savage on the ground that he is happier need hardly point out that I am using the in his savage condition. So the child is term education in the sense in which we happy in its childish state, but who would usually think of it and not in that broader exchange his maturer mental condition of sense in which it is sometimes employed, later years for his mental condition in

on in

and w

and which may mean neglect as well. childhood? Persons in whom bodily de

Joyful, honest service to God and man, velopment has taken place without cor

right living, conformity to the laws of responding mental development are ob

the Divine Creator in being and becomjects of pity to everybody. Education is not the only requisite to happiness, but it

ing in our physical, mental, moral and is one of them. It makes man the heir

spiritual natures, and the attainment of

spir of all the ages. It makes him the con

the greatest happiness possible for each necting link between the cold senseless individual—these are the great purposes clod on the one hand and the divine cre- that we have in view in the work of ative mind on the other.

education.

The Wind

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

I saw you toss the kites on high

I saw the different things you did, And blow the birds about the sky;

But always you yourself you hid. And all around I heard you pass,

I felt you push, I heard yor call,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass-

I could not see yourself at all-
O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O wind, that sings so loud a song!
O you that are so strong and cold
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field or tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?

O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

The Opportunity of the Teacher

ELIZABETH WESLYN TIMLOW, PRINCIPAL GLOVERSIDE SCHOOL, MONTCLAIR, N. J.

THREE hundred years ago, a chatter- what a teacher who is born to her profes

ing, laughing group of young artists sion can do with the most unpromising passing one day along an obscure street material. In the well-conducted school, in lovely Florence. One of them, tall, practically everything, mental, and moral lean, and sinewy, his keen eager eyes and physical, must be dealt with; its seeing all things, suddenly darted into a province is not only the development of small stone-cutter's yard, where lay, half the mind but of the body; not only of buried in the rubbish, a long neglected strength but of grace; not only the inner block of marble. Regardless of his holi- but the outer. Our girls must be trained day attire, he at once fell to work on it, in manner and carriage; they must be clearing away its filth and striving to lift taught the inestimable value of a low it from the slime and mire where it lay. voice and refined intonation. Can these His companions, astonished, asked him details of accent, courtesy, posture, conwhat he was doing and what he wanted sideration for others, thoughtfulness, all of that worthless piece of rock that had that go to make up gentle breeding, be been lying there for years.

left entirely to the home? There must be “There is an angel in the stone and the strongest co-operation on the part of I must get it out," was the reply of home and school; nothing can be risked Michael Angelo.

in these critical times, and our girls need He had it removed to his studio, and, every safeguard; it will be hard for them with two years of patient toil, he let the at the best to keep their feet firm in the angel out. What to others was but an rush and swirl of the ideas of the day. unsightly mass of stone, to his educated Towards all this must their school discieye was the buried glory of art; he dis- pline tend. covered at once what might be made of Carved on an old bit of stonework at it. A mason would have put it in a wall; Abbotsford at Melrose Abbey, with the a cartman would have used it for filling date of 1616, is a little legend that runs and grading the street; but the artist as follows: transformed it into a creation of exquisite

Virtus Rectorem ducemque desiderat : beauty for ages to come.

Vitia sine magistro discuntur. Such an artist is, or should be, the true “Virtue requires a ruler and a guide: teacher. The object of education is Follies are learned without a teacher." sometimes said to be the ability to adjust Not only, then, are the outer graces of one's self to one's environment; it is, girlhood well within the teacher's provrather, to develop the ability to change ince, but important moral questions conthe environment at one's will—to forward front us. The school life and the school the progress of the world.

lessons come but once; life has other lesIt was said of a certain famous fisher- sons to teach us, but this time for prepaman that all he needed to catch a fish was ration never comes again. Here in the a little damp spot and straightway he schoolroom do we learn our hardest leslanded a trout. It is certainly a miracle, sons of faithfulness, patience, persever

ance, promptness, cheerful acquiescence wrestled with and thrown, every tough

-the germs of which must be planted bit of Latin and Greek struggled with and now-or never..

conquered, gives the character an added It is well known that the brain reaches strength and fibre to battle with life's its maximum weight by the fifteenth year, sterner issues and come off victor in the though it probably continues to develop, strife. If our girls are in the habit of givinternally, until at least the age of thirty. ing up over every little schoolroom diffiThere comes a time, however, when the culty, how will they have persistence and brain, like the body, ceases to grow and endurance when some black trouble sudremains at a standstill. Between forty denly clouds their summer sky, with no and fifty, a slow decrease in the weight refuge near? Ah! They then have only of the brain takes place. The young the protection that we have helped them brain is vigorous, but much less plastic, to forge. after twenty, and it gradually, so to “Habit, a second nature?” cried the speak, ossifies. Few people, James says, Duke of Wellington. “Habit is ten get an entirely new idea into their heads times nature!” · after passing into the thirties, although · The profound truth of this old saying

a strụcture of almost any height may be comes home to no one more than the built up with materials already gathered veteran soldier, who has seen years of on a foundation already laid.

drill and discipline end by fashioning Since nature, then, has decreed that we many a man over completely. The girl must fight out the battle of life on the in the schoolroom who has daily inured lines of our early choice, here is a world herself to habits of concentrated attenof opportunity for the eager general of tion, energetic volition, even to self-denial the schoolroom. Here in history, in in unnecessary things, will stand like a literature, in psychology, in the marvel- tower when all things rock around her ous laws of the mind, are not merely the and when her softer fellow pupils are day's recitations, the day's marks, but the winnowed like chaff. The psychological greater lessons that will be for life. study of mental conditions is here the Every shrewd student really knows in most powerful ally of the teacher, who her heart that it will not affect the uni- then drives home the lessons we have alverse ten years hence, if she skims over ready mentioned—that we are spinning to-day's Greek, or if she does not solve our own fate for good or evil, which is quite all of the originals in geometry, or never to be undone. Every smallest is not absolutely sure of all her construc- stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never tions in Sallust or Cicero. But here so little scar. comes in the realm of the teacher. The T he drunken Rip van Winkle, in dear student must be made to feel that not one Joe Jefferson's play, you remember, exatom of unfaithfulness can occur without cuses himself for every fresh dereliction, branding the heart; the spirit of unthor- by saying, “We won't count this time!” oughness that makes it possible for her Well, he may not count it and forgiving to skim over the irregular verbs will Heaven may not count it, but it is being make it not only possible but probable counted, nevertheless, in the relentless that some crisis of life will find her shirk- bookkeeping of nature. Down among his ing the issue on which much depends. nerve centers, the molecules are registerContrariwise, she must be made to know ing and storing it up against him, ready that every knotty problem faithfully to weaken his resistance still further next time the temptation comes. Literally not so much to know where we stand but nothing that we do can ever be wiped where we are going. To reach the highout. If this had not its good side as well est port we must sail sometimes with the as its bad, if resistance could not be built wind and sometimes against it—but we up as well as weakened, how indeed could must sail and not drift, nor yet lie at we endure life?

anchor. We must leave nothing to Here in the classroom, through history chance. Why-pardon the hackneyed and literature, we must begin to teach example—was Caesar so uniformly vicour girls the mysterious secret of success torious? Did he ever go forward unpre-of true success. For how has all real pared ? Did he leave any weak point success been gained? By good luck? By undefended ? Every school girl and boy accident? These are words that one rarely fervently answers, “Never.” The maghears from the lips of the successful man nificent commander was provided for or woman. They know only too well every emergency, armed at every point, that in this world we get just about what and—won. we are willing to pay for. If we would Ah! It is succeed we must have the will to succeed.

"Enough to know of Chance or Luck But does not everybody have this, they

The blow we choose to strike is struck.” may ask? By no means. The majority of people are willing to succeed, which, I It is here in the schoolroom again that assure you, is quite a different matter. the teacher finds her opportunity, at the

It is our province to teach our girls psychological moment, to set before these the dignity of work, that the men who young minds the necessity of an Ideal. have achieved success are the ones who There is no more important step than have read, and thought and studied al- this; the lives of illustrious men must be ways a little more than was necessary,

studied to see how obstacles are to be who have never been content with knowl- overcome, how the heights are gained. edge merely sufficient for the present

The Ideal may embody the energy of a need, but who have sought additional

Napoleon, the self-devotion of a Dorothea knowledge and stored it away for the

Dix, the patriotism of a Washington, the emergency reserve. We must teach them

disinterested heroism of a Florence the profound truth that it is the super

Nightingale, the iron will of a Cromwell fluous labor that equips a man for every

or the simple faithfulness to duty of a thing that counts most in life. The one

Louise Alcott, the humanity of a Howard who, when in doubt does the minimum

or the splendid chivalry of a Susan B. instead of the maximum quantity, is not

Anthony for her sex. The boy or girl the one who will raise the world's stard

who has not had his or her imagination ard. Every business man will say that

fired by great deeds will not amount to it is the quick eve that sees and the ready much. Each must fashion for herself the hand that executes some necessary ser

v ser- ideal she is determined to attain. ' “ Hitch vice that yet was not " in the bond,” that your wagon to a star” means only this. makes a man invaluable to his employer. But conversely, “What thou wouldst be Build up this spirit in the schoolroom thou must be.” with the school lessons.

“That which thou lovest most Make the pupils realize, too, the neces

E'en that become thou must. sity of definite purpose. We older ones

Christ's, if thou lovest Christ; know that the great thing in this world is

Dust, if thou lovest dust."

The Hindoos say, “ As a man thinketh, Luther Burbank, in a recent article on so is he." It is not only for the parent the Training of the Human Plant, has but for the teacher to impress upon our the following noteworthy thought: girls that an idle, frivolous, chattering, “There is not a single desirable attribute. gossiping girlhood will no more develop which lacking in a plant, may not be bred into into ripe, full, rich womanhood thạn men it. Choose what improvement you wish in a can gather grapes of thorn or figs of thistle. plant, and with crossing, selection and persisHere, again, in the schoolroom, she

tence, you can fix this desirable trait irrevocably.

Pick out any trait you want in your child, be it must learn the high meaning of the every

honesty, fairness, purity, lovableness, or what

hone day act and the every day word; the not, and with the proper environment, persistence beauty of work, of unselfish, devoted and love, you can fix in your child for all his life, work, with ambition to do the appointed all of these traits.” task. There is no royal road to success; Is not this startling? our girl must learn that in one way or However, we must inculcate the lesanother we pay the price for all we have sons of the girls' responsibility, not only and are, yet this insane craving to get to themselves but to others as well. Not something for nothing is gnawing at the too young is any girl in her teens to learn very root of modern life. We see it on the tremendous import of Kant's famous every side with men demanding a full Categorical Imperative: “So act that share of the luxuries of life with a de- the reason for your action may be a unicrease of labor; the steady raising of versal law.” . wages and the shortening of the working It is considered a legitimate subject for hour, until, as Charles Dudley Warner ridicule that when a mother brings her prophesied, when labor gets to be little maid or lad to school for the first ten dollars a day, the working people will time, she is very apt to say, anxiously, not come at all—“They will send their “ You will have no trouble with Genecards.” The president of America's vieve if you will try to understand her, greatest University has said that it is but she is so peculiar. She is not a bit only the workingman that can afford the like other children.” luxury of an eight-hour day. As a gen- But while bystanders laugh, the expeeral rule we all know that the higher we rienced teacher knows that this is exactly go in the scale of value to the community, true, although possibly not as the mother the longer the working hours.

meant it. No two children are alike, nor Again, our girls learn in the study of do any two need exactly the same treatpsychology that every effect has had a ment. This shy child needs praise and due and adequate cause; in real life, how-. improves under it, but droops under critiever, because the cause and its effect are cism, however kindly. That one needs often separated as far as the Latin subject to have her self-conceit gently pruned. and its predicate, youth is sometimes This one is thorough and painstaking and slow to recognize the inevitable connec- conscientious; she needs restraint, if anytion. Every thing worth having is worth thing; another is inclined to slight her its price in work-and if we apparently work and must be taught to go to the root get it for nothing, we may be paying the of her subject. This girl has a tendency heaviest price of all-the price of our to be exclusive and to put too much stress self-respect. It is our place as teachers, on the possession of money or position; no less than it is the duty of parents, to she must be shown that brains make the emphasize this with unceasing iteration. world's masters. Another is careless and

« IndietroContinua »