« IndietroContinua »
us beware lest we misinterpret T. S. as “Teach School” when it probably means “Turn Sod," or "Take Stitches."
He should seek social intercourse with the parent and it should be of such a kind as to win respect for his views and suggestions. The wise teacher will not demand recognition from his patrons, but will see to it personally and professionally that he has something worthy of the attention of the most discriminating and then will set about getting it with all the power at his command. Recognition may not come at once, but let him persevere, and as sure as day follows night it will come.-Arkansas School Journal.
IN THE first place, teachers, as citizens, should have opinions on all important public questions, for democratic government cannot prosper, or even exist, without the support of a vigorous and enlightened public opinion. Fortunately, it is not necessary that our opinions originate with ourselves. It is perfectly legitimate and honorable to hold opinions derived from others. A second-hand opinion is better than none at all, and most of our opinions are second-hand, or still more remote from the original source. Nor is it necessary that all our opinions be absolutely correct. If we must wait for absolute truth we shall never have any opinions at all. For practical purposes it is necessary to make up our minds before we know everything, though it is not necessary to make them up for all eternity. A reasonable amount of doubt is essential to intellectual progress and a good antidote to obstinacy and dogmatism. We may have opinions without being opinionated, and in a society where people have opinions and yet are mentally alert, open-minded searchers for truth, in course of time errors will go into outer darkness, and truth, by its own light, will ultimately prevail. If this is true there is great hope that society will continue to make progress toward higher and better things, and teachers, by the vigor and sincerity of their thought, can do much to bring about so desirable an end.-Colorado School Journal.
Do You WANT THIS KIND OF A TEACHER? I said to one of her pupils : “Do you like Miss B.?” The child's face glowed. “I love Miss B.! Every one does. Why, she's the best teacher in town." I began to ask questions about Miss B. I learned that she spent her vacations in pleasant places with jolly people. I learned that she read books, and papers, and magazines, and took great interest in the year of our Lord 1905. I learned that she was a citizen of the world, and therefore a doubly true American, or, should I say, I learned she was so thoroughly American that she has become a citizen of the world.
This is the kind of teacher you want, isn't it, Mr. School Board? Well, you can't get her for $40 a month. It takes money to spend vacations in interesting places, just as it takes money to buy and read good books, papers and magazines. If you want your teachers to bring the good things from the world of travel and books to your children, pay them enough to enable them to do it.
No business, not even teaching, succeeds if one adds no new equipment to it, and all improvements cost money.-Exchange:
How MR. CHILDS FURNISHED CASH: When you want assistance advice will seldom answer the purpose, but good advice, well taken, as in the following story clipped for us by Mrs. L. Mellen, Toronto, Iowa, sometimes outweighs in ultimate benefit the loan for which it was substituted.
A young man came to the home of the late George W. Childs, the wealthy philanthropist, one day and asked for a loan of money to aid him in starting in business.
“Do you drink?” asked the millionaire.
Once in awhile."
The young man broke off the habit at once, and at the end of the year came to see the millionaire again.
“Do you smoke?” asked the successful man.
The young man went home and broke away from the habit. It took him some time, but he finally worried through the year, and presented himself again.
“Do you chew?” asked the philanthropist.
Stop it! Stop it for a year, and then come and see me again.”
The young man stopped chewing, but he never came back again. When asked by his anxious friends why he never called on the millionaire again he replied that he knew exactly what the man was driving at. “He'd have told me that now that I had stopped drinking and smoking and chewing I must have enough to start myself in business. And I have.”
WINSTON CHURCHILL, the brilliant and powerful novelist, was talking in Concord about his failure to secure the nomination for the New Hampshire governorship.
“There are tricks in every trade," said Mr. Churchill gravely. Perhaps in politics there are tricks I haven't learned yet. Perhaps my political opponents were as crafty as the young Sunapee school-ma'am.
“This school-ma'am never seemed to work particularly hard, and yet she had always the best class in the Sunapee district school. Not one of her pupils ever failed to be prepared for his tasks. No matter how difficult, how complex a question this school-ma'am might ask, every hand would at once go up.
“Hence, whenever visitors came to the school, they were always taken to the school-ma'am's room, and she would hold a sample recitation for their benefit.
"And such a recitation as it would be! Perfect, absolutely perfect! Every question answered with the most unparalleled accuracy, and every hand up to help out the answerer in case he should for an instant stumble,
“One day a jealous-minded teacher, suspecting that it was impossible for any class of children to be always so perfectly grounded in their lessons, gave one of the school-ma’am's boys a ten-pound can of maple sugar for a bribe, and the boy made a confession.
“He confessed that in exhibition recitations, by arrangement with the teacher, every pupil held up his hand at every question; but he held up his left hand if he did not really know the answer, his right one if he did. Thus, by only questioning the right-hand boys, the school-ma'am made her wonderful showing."
AN INCORRIGIBLE: The story is told at the expense of a recently appointed supervisor of a public school in Philadelphia. One day she happened to be visiting a school where a young incorrigible was undergoing punishment for a series of misdemeanors.
The teacher cited him as “the worst boy in the school — one I can't do anything with. I've tried everything in the way of punishment.”
“ Have you tried kindness ? ” was the gentle inquiry of the other lady. "I did at first, but I've got beyond that now."
At the close of the session, according to the Philadelphia Ledger, the lady asked the boy if he would call and see her on the following Saturday. A boy arrived promptly at the hour appointed. The lady showed him her best pictures, played her liveliest music, and set before him a luncheon on her daintiest china, when she thought it about time to begin her little sermon:
“My dear," she began, "were you not very unhappy to have to stand in the corner before all the class for punishment?”
“Please, me'am," broke in the boy, with his mouth full of cake, “That wan't me you saw. It was Pete, and he gave me ten cents to come here and take your jawing.
IF THE superintendent of a system of schools or the principal of a school is studiously inclined, the teachers, as a body, can be put in the real attitude toward professional advancement. The superintendent or principal must be the leader, one who can persuade others to enlist under his banner. The organization of the workers first into a compact body, those who really mean to improve, will produce a marked effect on the laggards.
I have made it a point whenever I read a new book, or an old one that I found to be helpful, to call the attention of principals and teachers to it publicly and to speak briefly of the leading thoughts it presented. I have tried to create a desire for knowledge first that some of the teachers would endeavor to gratify. In all that is done, the taste of each individual must, to some extent, be consulted. He should be urged to go out and browse in such pastures as seem most inviting to him. Next to one's professional reading, after thoroughly informing himself in regard to the subject matter which must be taught and its connections with other related subjects, he should study most thoroughly the principles of education and the history of the processes by which each mind made its discoveries. To secure the best results each one should pursue some subjects that are quite remote from his daily routine of work. The mind that is not continually making some new acquisitions is decreasing in power as well as mental alertness.
To keep all the teachers of a corps growing in knowledge as well as in efficiency is one of the most urgent unsolved educational problems in our country at this time.-Superintendent Greenwood in Education.
We wish to call special attention to the article by Supt. Hicks on “The Parents' Part in School Work,” which appears in this number. It should be read not only by every teacher but by parents as well, and we suggest that superintendents and principals request the editors of their local papers to reprint the article so that it may have as wide a circulation as possible among those for whom it is partly intended. Extra copies for this purpose will be furnished on request.
University Convocation It has been conceded that the Board of Regents made no mistake in changing the date of meeting of the University Convocation from June to October. The experiment was successful. The program was exceptionally good, every paper and address striking a hopeful note for the cause of education in this State. Congratulation and confidence in the Education Department and the plans of Commissioner Draper were expressed freely, most of the delegates rather admiring the frankness and firmness of his remarks concerning examinations and the distribution of academic money. However, Vice-Chancellor • McKelway's statement that “where there was conflict there is now concord,” must be taken with a grain of salt, for while there may be no friction within, there certainly has been strong opposition in some parts of the State to rulings that have appeared to be dangerously Czaratic, but largely because the motives of the Education Department have not been well understood. When the people realize more fully that it is the purpose of the Department "to articulate with all the life of all the people and with all the aspirations of all the people," then and only then will its work be vindicated. It is for the schoolmaster who attended the Convocation to carry back to his community that spirit of confidence which it has been the endeavor of the Commissioner to inspire, and help the people understand that the Department has "no purpose and no ambitions but to make an educational administration that shall be worthy of and acceptable to the Empire State.”
A Plan for Rural Supervision For several years the State Department of Education and various educational bodies have been trying to devise a system of school supervision which will meet more adequately the needs of the rural districts and villages of less than 5,000 population. The question was taken up by the Associated Academic Principals in 1903, and a committee of five was selected to try to secure legislation which would give to schools employing twelve or more teachers and not employing a superintendent the same help from the State that villages and districts of over 5,000 population receive, namely, the $800 supervision quota. The time was not propitious for promoting the matter, as the legislature was then considering
the merits of “consolidation," and so the cause hung fire. Finally, in February, 1905, the Commissioner of Education approved the following paragraph for insertion in the appropriation bill: “To each union free school district that has a population of less than 5,000 but employs at least twelve teachers exclusive of the principal, provided the principal thereof devotes not less than one-half of his time to supervision and not less than one-third of his time to teaching, there shall be granted a partial supervision quota equal to one-third of the salary paid said principal, but in no case shall such quota exceed $400.” The item was held up by the senate finance committee. At the last legislative session another measure was introduced and met a no better fate. In spite of its utmost endeavors the efforts of the Principals' Legislative Council produced no visible results.
While this legislation would have given about one hundred union schools better supervision, it would not have materially improved conditions in the smaller schools and especially the district schools, which are most in need of supervision, because so many of the teachers are without experience or professional training. This fact was recognized by the Principals' Legislative Council in 1905, which made recommendations to increase the efficiency of school commissioners and the dignity of the office, first, by increasing the salary; second, by raising the qualifications of eligibility; third, by decreasing the size of the commissioner districts. At the holiday conference of that year, the chairman of the committee, L. H. Carris, then principal of the Freeport high school, read a carefully prepared paper covering these points, from which we quote the following paragraphs, the conclusions of which were adopted at the final meeting of the conference:
There are three specific changes that must be made in the present law before we can have commissioners throughout the state who will be qualified to supervise the rural schools. First: The salary must be made large enough to call to the work of supervision men and women who are trained educators. The present salary of $1,000 does not generally attract successful men and women. The lowest salary which would give us the entire time of a competent body of school commissioners is $1,500, and the allowance for expenses should be increased by at least 50 per cent. and made $300.
Second: The qualifications for eligibility to the office should be raised. Candidates should be restricted to those who have had several years' experience in teaching, say three, and who hold a certificate of at least the rank of the present first grade credential. Experience in the office should also be allowed as a sufficient qualification. While this might result in the retention of some commissioners who are not qualified, this class would soon become smaller and such a provision would enable the districts to retain such officers as are efficient. The present law places no restrictions upon aspirants for this important office, and the marvel is that we have so many conscientious hard working commissioners who are striving to build up the smaller schools and to instil more professional spirit into the teachers under their charge. Public opinion and the sensitiveness of the people at large in regard to the public schools alone prevent the nomination being given more often than it is, by the political boss of the county as a reward to some follower for support in some deal or as a sop for disappointment in securing the nomination for county clerk or assemblyman.
Third: The number of commissioners should be increased by making the commissioner districts smaller. Then there could be the close supervision which is so necessary and the commissioners would be enabled to keep in closer touch with the local school authorities. Efficient commissioners are now able to do much for the smaller schools in their districts. With smaller districts and all commissioners well qualified, public confidence in the supervising office would be greatly increased.
The present method of election has also been severely criticised by competent critics, but it seems to me that it can be as safely left in the hands of the people, with the change in qualifications that I have suggested, as can the election of the county judges.
Meanwhile a school commissioners' supervisory Committee has been at work on the problem and reported the result of its labor at the recent meeting of the commissioners at Ithaca. This report goes into details and presents a