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BOARDING ROUND. In reading the Journal for March, I find a communication from this place, signed H. C. O., which in my opinion calls for a reply. I do not claim the ability to contend single-handed against such fearful odds, as one must needs meet in opposing many of the ancient and time honored • institutions of our land ; but make bold to present myself as a feeble supporter of the resolution, which the gentleman so strenuously opposes. The phrase, “relics of barbarism," seems most seriously to affect his sensitive nature. In one respect it might appear objectionable, since schools do not exist in barbarous lands. But admitting for sake of argument that they do, we can safely conclude that it would be in perfect unison with other barbarous practices to send the teacher round to board. If not a “relic,” the custom certainly approaches near the confines of barbarism. I know it is an institution of "ye olden time," and many, for this reason alone, seek to uphold and defend it, and on this account, I am glad this resolution
forth to the people, and hope a thorough discussion will be had, the community become generally awak. ened, and the change greatly to be desired, in the end be effected. I consider the teacher's work the noblest and most important of all, and yet I assert the fact, that no person is so humbly reduced in the matter of living as the teacher, when posted about the district to obtain his necessary allowance of daily bread. Search through business life in all its forms, and where will you find an instance, from the clerk to the common laborer, of one who fares like him. The hod carrier and the veriest slave have a permanent abode, a place they can call their home. With equal propriety might an enlightened community send their faithful and respected Pastor, with his family, about the parish, to hunt for bread from house to house. But no; he needs his hours undisturbed for study. So, too, the teacher equally requires rest, and time to prepare
himself for to-morrow's duties. He more than any other, needs his evenings for study and thought, for no teacher with a love for his profession, and fully impressed with the vast responsibleness of his position, will omit, as a general ruie, to prepare himself for every recitation before the time appointed. He must understand fully the lesson he teaches, otherwise he may fail to impart truth in its simplest form, or what is far worse, inculcate error, which time and experience even, may fail to eradicate.
The true, living teacher is not" addicted to idleness and apathy," nor does he wish" to secure to himself some time which would otherwise be spent more to the advant. age of the school,” neither is he “either penny selfish or pound foolish,” because he desires a steady home, a convenient, comfortable room, and hours for study undisturbed by the noise and confusion of petted, and in many cases, half spoiled children, and the anxious and eager inquiries of inquisitive parents.
But to notice the main and only argument advanced hy the gentleman, and which is decidedly a weak one. He says the teacher should board round in order to becomo more intimately acquainted both with parents and scholars, to become more thoroughly versed in the study of human nature, to gain the active co-operation of parents, and thus to promote and increase his usefulness in the school. Now where, I ask, is the teacher possessed of average common sense, who cannot by daily intercourse with the scholar, ascertain far more of his character, and the home influences brought to bear upon him, than he could by two days’acquaintance with him at home? The child feels a restraint at home, in the presence of the teacher, and does not act out his true character. In no place can this be so fully known, as in the multiform and ever varying scenes of the school room. I admit the teacher needs the hearty sympathy, and constant co-operation of the parents; but does he who boards about the district, receive the greater support? The general apathy
of community in this regard, and the almost universal practice of boarding round, sufficiently prove the con. trary. That district which regards the teacher worthy of a constant and comfortable home, and willingly furnishes him such an one, manifests most substantially their sympa. thy for him, and their lively interest in his special and personal well being. Such persons you will see, too, in the school room, far oftener than those penurious men, who in school meeting vote a course of living for the teacher, which they theniselves would in no wise accept.
Again, where does the teacher most need co-operation ? Most certainly in the school-room, and there, too, he should become acquainted with the people of the district. Not only the law of etiquette, (which with other individ. nals is scrupulously followed,) but every sense of justice, propriety, and decency, demands that every parent, as far as possible, should at an early day, call upon the teacher at his room in the school house, and there sustain, encourage and defend him.
Considered in a pecuniary point of view, the practice is certainly unjust. I maintain that the property of the State should educate its children; yet in very many instances a few families, often of liinited means, board the teacher, and at the same time their children bring the greater amount of public money into the district, and help school the children of the rich. This, I claim, is wrong; and I maintain, moreover, that that man who is so penuri. ols, and has so little regard for the interests of education and the comfort of those who, if they are faithful in the discharge of their duties, are most surely deserving his hearty support and consideration, who is so selfisa as to refuse to pay his just tax for procuring the teacher a steady home, is of all others most certainly "penny wise and pound foolish,” if indeed his foolishness can be estiinated by so small a criterion.
D. M. C.
The property of the State should educate its children.
WHAT THE POETS DO.
Have had, since earliest time;
They gild it with their rhyme.
At last, unnoticed fall,-
For gilt, for gold, for all.
But claim a solid part
That shows their flimsy art.
The poets do gild o'er?
'Tis greater than before !
Than diamonds in the rough,
Is surely boon enough.
With those who delve to find
The wealth of heart and mind.
Except to aid the good
To carve things as they would ;
Dug with their own brave hands, With gems that only patient toil
Washed from their native sands..
Of what man was at first,
“ We now are at the worst ;That somehow, e'en this fallen tree
Shall buds and branches show;
Shall into beauty grow.
ESSEX COUNTY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION. This Association held its first semi-annual session at West Concord, the 12th and 13th of March. Despite the wind and snow, a goodly number were in attendance the first morning, to listen to an interesting Essay by Elmore Chase, 2d. Subject,“ Why are not our common schools better ?" The evils that hinder their progress were forci. bly presented.
AFTERNOON. There was a lively discussion upon a resolution which affirmed that to dispense entirely with corporal punishment is detrimental to a proper discipline of our common schools. Rev. S. H. Tabor then gave an address. Subject, “ End and Objects of Education."
The speaker proceeded to show what education was formerly, and what it is now considered to be, and what it really should be, under the following heads :
1st, The full development of the human mind. 2d, To inspire the mind with elevated conceptions, to think of worthy and noble objects. 3d, Usefulness. Every moment should be improved in preparing to be useful. We should take advantage of circumstances, to promote mental and moral growth. 4th, Should be directed to the acquirement and practice of right principles of virtue and religion. Religion makes intelligence Godlike, and virtue makes it amiable and lovely.
In the evening the Association met in the church, which was cheerfully thrown open for the remaining sessions, the room previously occupied having become too straitened for the numbers in attendance.
The Secretary read an Essay. Subject, “ The Real and Apparent Disadvantages of Sending Children to School, at too Young an Age.” An earnest discussion of the resolution that sufficient attention is not given to the morals and manners of pupils, followed, in which the speakers freely confessed their own delinquencies in this