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our library system would be in several respects one of the best yet devised. It is earnestly commended, therefore, to the attention of the Legislature to inquire whether the public good does not demand that a fixed proportion, not less, at least, than five per cent. of the two mill tax, shall be set apart by law for the support of the school libraries.
W. J. BAXTER,
President. GEORGE WILLARD,
Members State Board of Education. JOHN M. GREGORY, Supt. Pub. Instruction,
And Ex-officio, Member and Secretary of Board.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF THE
Gentlemen of the Board of Education:
All the departments of the Normal School are still in successful operation. Probably one hundred and fifty students who were with us last term, are now absent teaching in the schools of the State, and yet the building is filled beyond its regular means of accommodation. The prosperity of an institution, however, does not consist so much in the number as in the quality and progress of its pupils. In this respect it is a pleasure to report that the young men and women of the Normal School are quiet, orderly, studious, and earnest, and seem actuated by the single desire to prepare themselves for their future duties as teachers.
But still greater evidence of the prosperity of the State Normal School, is found in the success of its pupils throughout the State, as teachers. Several hundred undergraduates are now teaching in Primary schools, and nearly a hundred graduates are employed in Union schools and in Primary schools of the better class. Among this large number, the failures are comparatively few and, though these teachers have to some extent introduced new methods, there has arisen therefrom none of the antagonism between the people and the Normal School which has, in some cases, appeared in other States.
The influence of the Normal School is further seen in the fact that the schools of the State have received, with general favor, such new modes of instruction as have been recommended through its pupils. The system of English Grammar taught in this institution since its establishment nine years ago, has pre
vailed over the old systems in vogue at that time. The objective methods of training the senses of the child and the more natural order of studies adopted here and recommended by those high in authority as educators, are gradually finding their way into the primary schools, and we are glad to know that our theories of education, in general, harmonize with those of prominent teachers in other institutions. Under such circumstances we cannot but believe that the period is not distant when the system of school-room management and instruction in the entire State, shall be uniform, systematic and efficient.
In my last annual report I asked that an appropriation of $1,000 be made for a school gymnasium. The reasons for this request were manifest and urgent. The unavoidable severity of the Normal course of study, left the pupil too little time for exercise, if taken in the ordinary manner. As a consequence, from a fourth to a third of our entire number were compelled, on account of sickness, to leave before the close of the term, while those who remained showed in the pallor of their faces, the exhaustion that follows protacted study without muscular exercise. It was believed that regular gymnastic drills would remedy this evil and restore the harmony of muscle and brain. Accordingly the Board of Education were urged to make the appropriation referred to for the erection of a cheap but durable building. The reply to this request was favorable, but the condition of the Normal fund did not warrant any additional expenditures however small.
Under these circumstances, it remained to see what could be done without help from the State. Early in the last spring term an appeal was made to the young men of the school for aid in putting up suitable apparatus. In response, those who were accustomed to the use of carpenter's tools came cheerfully forward and we soon bad a horizontal bar and ladders erected in the open air. The young men were then divided into three classes, which were placed, respectively, under Messrs. Sill, Miller, and Welch, for daily gymnastic instruction.
In the meantime, Mrs. Aldrich took advantage of the short recesses which occur between recitations, to give the young ladies systematic manual exercises. These exercises were taken simultaneously, by the entire department, the pupils standing by their desks and imitating, in concert, the movements of the teacher.
The muscular drills thus begun, were continued steadily throughout the term, and were completed by a public exhibition at its close. The results of the experiment were satisfactory in every respect. The healthful effect of regular gymnastics in the school became daily more and more apparent. Cases of illness were rare, and came from those causes only which were antecedent to the school life of the pupil. A marked im. provement in recitations, in order and quiet, as well as in alertness of step and erectness of figure, were among the benefits which the students derived from these simple lessons.
I may add that a full course of gymnastics will be given, hereafter, in the summer term, and that such a part of the same course will be given in the winter, as the weather permits.
In my report of last year, I called the attention of the Board to the fact that the want of professiúnal books was a serious obstacle to the success of the institution. After the destruction of our library by fire, in the fall of '59, our entire stock of books was comprised in a few congressional documents which, however valuable in other respects, did not answer the peculiar necessities of a Normal School. It was painfully felt that the school could not long sustain the reputation it had won, if its faculty were to teach and its pupils study a professional course without appropriate works for reference and research.
The Board sympathised with the views presented, but had no means left, after paying current expenses, for replacing the library which we had lost. At the opening of the following summer term, as a last resort, an appeal was made to the Normal students, which met with a very generous response. They agreed, unanimously, that they would pay a dollar each over and above the regular entrance fee for two consecutive terms, and that the sum accruing should be applied to the purchase of needful books. By consent of the Board of Education, the money was paid, with the entrance fee, into the hands of their treasurer and set aside for the purpose for which it was donated.
I may say further, that the subsequent action of the Board in making the sum above mentioned a part, thereafter, of the regular entrance fee, to be employed, annually, in increasing the library, received the cheerful acquiescence of the school.
By the scheme referred to, we have already realized a sum sufficient, if judiciously invested, to supply our most pressing needs, and, as the Board of Education bave taken steps for making the first purchase, we are looking forward gladly to the time when we shall no longer feel the pressure of a necessity which is second only to that of good instruction.
COURSE OF STUDY.
The course of study was modified at the beginning of the last term to conform to a resolution passed by the Board of Education, which requires that every student should master the rudiments of two foreign languages previous to graduation. These languages, as may be seen by consulting the programme, are not assigned to the pupil until he has passed the studies of the C class, when he is supposed to be thoroughly prepared to teach a primary school. If he remains in the Normal School his purpose is to prepare himself for a higher department of instruction, and this he cannot do with any prospect of success without studying the ancient classics, because these are almost invariably taught in our Union Schools. During the last two years I have received numerous applications from the officers of Union Schools for young women who could teach French as well as music and drawing, and for young men who could teach the elements of Latin and Greek as well as the higher mathematics. There is no reason why, with our present facilities, these studies may not be pursued in the Normal School to the