« AnteriorContinuar »
From our hasty survey, we are forced to the conclusion that there is no surer way of keeping men from the almshouse, than by cultivating their higher natures. They need both mental and moral strength to keep them pure and make them dissatisfied with feeble efforts and more fueble results. For securing these, and so teaching inen to shun poverty, there is no better place than the schoolroom. Why will not the world see this ? Let me ask those who are continually complaining because they are forced to aid in educating children of poor parents, if their opposition to true advancement pays? Do you by withholding your capital increase your gains ? No. Prison walls and crowded poorhouses re-echo, no. If, then, men will be so unwise in the disposal of their property, so blinded to their own interests, shall we not say to teachers, go on with your noble work, and though you fail to convince men of their errors by your arguments, convince them by the sound bodies, the strong minds, and the noble, generous hearts that go forth from your schoolroom, that " it will pay" to educate the poor.
E. H. L.
DISTRICT OFFICERS AND SCHOOL BOOKS. 2. Another thing which a district may do to benefit the schools, is to appoint for officers in the district, those who are best qualified to fill the offices. We sometimes overestimate the importance of rotation in the election of of. ficers. Though all men are equal in their power at the ballot box, this does not prove that all men are equally fitted to fiil an office of trust and responsibility. Nor is it a fact, that in most of our districts, all the legal voters are qualified to act as clerks or prudential committees. Let a man first obtain the requisite qualifications, and then, and not till then, receive the suffrages of the district. Not only is it necessary that he be a man of intelligence, but intelligent in this ýery thing. Not only ought he to know what are his official duties, but he should be a man
whose knowledge is practicala man who will take an interest in promoting the welfare of the school. He should possess sound judgment for the selection of a teacher, and promptness for the early securing of one, and disinterestedness, so that be shall not be influenced by the partiality of kindred or friendship, to the detriment of the school. The prudential committee ought also to be a man of cha:acter, so that he can command the respect of the young, and thus aid in the management and government of the school.
One of the most common and unnecessary causes of trouble in districts and in school rooms, is the imperfect character, with the ill judged conduct, of prudential committees. We may, therefore, earnestly recommend a deviation from the rule of “rotation in office," except among those who are qualified to fill it with ability.
3. Again, a district may do something to benefit the school by making ample provision of suitable text books for their children. “There is that giveth and yet increaseth ; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.” So he who is so choice of his money that he will send his children to school bookless, or who persists in the determination “ to make the old books do,” when he ought to lay them aside, is withholding more than he can afford to withhold. On the contrary, he who makes a liberal provision of school books for his children, may hope to receive a full reward. The child who has all the hooks he needs, has the tools at hand which he is learning to use. He will be encouraged to work, and will enjoy facilities of improvement which otherwise would not lie within his reach.
Occasionally it becomes advisable to change the text books. At this day, we are becoming accustomed to the laying aside of all old improvements of labor, and of buying the new, which are improvements on the old. So in school books, it is as true economy to have the best that can be found in the market, even if the old, though not half worn out, must be entirely laid aside. “Get the best,
" should be the motto of every family. And when a chango of books has been determined on by the state, or the town, or district, the welfare of the school requires an early at. tempt at uniformity. The more compact that uniformity, the fewer will be the classes, and the more will be the time which a teacher can devote to the individual members of his school.
SCHOOL DISCIPLINE. " THE ROD THE LAST
RESORT." Messrs. Editors :--I am obliged to your correspondent * H.," for his criticism upon the expression in my last, * The rod should be the last resort." I should be very sorry, in attempting to aid young teachers with a few hints in the management of schools, to find I had thus misled them.
But I think the main difference between H. and my. self, consists in our different understanding of the phrase “ last resort.” “The last resort" as I understand it, is the resort which one takes when nothing else will answer the purpose. The court of last resort, is the court from which no appeal is to be taken-the court whose decision sottles the question fnally. With “H.," I would put the rod in school discipline and the knife in the healing art in the same category, and certainly should argue, if an argument was necessary, that the use of the knife is "the last resort.” If the cutting off of an arm or a leg, in the treatment of a case, is not "the last resort," I think it would puzzle any one to tell what“ the last resort” would be. The loss of a limb is an evil, and to be submitted to only as a last resort, to prevent a greater evil-the loss of life. It does not follow because a thing is the last resort," that it is not the appropriate thing and the only thing to meet the case. It always implies something unpleasant, something we would avoid if we could—but tho moment it is seen nothing else will answer, then that be
comes the appropriate, specific remedy for the difficulty, if there is any remedy for it.
The use of the rod in school is on the same footing with the use of arms in quelling a mob. If the presence of the mayor and police and the reading of the riot act suffice, very well. It is better nothing else should be done. But if these do not suffice, lead and steel must teach them subroission. The riot must be quelled and the mob dispersed, at all hazards, or all government is at an end. In extreme cases where a mob is bold and defi. ant, and is committing actual violence, it may be best to meet them with a blaze of musketry at the first, and by the dead and wounded among them teach them the arm of government must not be touched. In such cases, Napoleon's method is not only energetic, but humane. But the shedding of blood is always " the last resort.” It may be the first and the last. The emergency may be such that it is apparent nothing else will meet it. But if any thing else will, the cause of good government and of humanity demand that blood be not shed. Always it must be " the last resort." Just so of the rod in school. If a look or a word, mild or stern, will subdue a disobedient scholar, it is better he should be thus subdued. Ordina. rily the authority of the teacher thus secured and exercised will be more complete and easy. But if the scholar is obstinate and defiant, the rod must teach him submission and teach it thoroughly. Nothing else will sufficeit is “the last resort." An offence may be so flagrant that it should be instantly met with a blow. The rod, well laid on, alone meets the case. Without it, order and authority are at an end. It is the first and only fitting last resort. But such cases are exceptional, and I am happy “ H.” agrees with me that " ordinarily the less the rod is used the better.” I cannot quite agree with him that in the discipline of an offender, “ as often as other- : wise the blow must come first.” I do not think such is the habit of the best disciplinarians. The best order in
schools as well as in families is found where the rod is seldom used, blows seldom given. Their rarity, as well as severity, makes them a terror when they come. A rod, constantly in hand, awakens little dread. To all, we would say, use it rarely, but when you do use it, use it thoroughly. Let it be like the sword of the magistrate, and the knife of the surgeon, reserved for extreme cases, and and never wielded in vain.
There is one other point in School Discipline to which I designed to have alluded in my last, but found no room, viz: the importance of method in all the school exercises. Of having a time and place for each, and each invariably in its time and place. Few things make a more unfavorable impression than to find a teacher circulating about the room to see if any one has a lesson to recite, or standing listlessly in a corner waiting for something “to turn up.” The first business of the good teacher is to methodize his whole work-to let each scholar know what he is expected to do and when he is expected to do it. If the scholars are uniform and prompt in their attendance, there is no reason why recitations in common schools and all the exercises should not be as regular as in a College or Academy, and all the interests of the school demand that they should be. In this way the time of both the teacher and scholars may all be occupied, and the whole matter of order made simple and easy. I cannot enlarge. A word must suffice.
C. C. P.
As the rose tree is composed of the sweetest flowers and the sharpest thorns; as the heavens are sometimes overcast-alternately tempestuous and serene—so is the life of man intermingled with hopes and fears, with joys and sorrows, with pleasures and pains.-BURTON.
Books and learning may give a man power and confi. dence; but, unfortunately, they are often very far from giving him either feeling or politeness.