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A LEAF FROM THE TOMB OF WASHINGTON.
Leaf from the sacred tomb,
The Mecca of our land !
Is touched by Time's pale hand.
Fain Freedom lays her sons —
Not in the dark, chill tomb
That fills the mind with gloom
Embalmed in sighs and tears,
In rev'rent love enclosed,
As none else e'er reposed.
Time hath no power to touch
And crumble into dust,
Life's purest, holiest, trust.
“DO THEY TEACH FOR MONEY?" MESSR3. EDITORS:--An article appears in the May number of the Journal, with the above interrogation for its caption, and signed “L,” who, with much spirit, and some injustice, has seemed to change his interrogation into an affirmation.
Your correspondent manifests much earnestness as to the standard of the teacher's profession, and seems to be almost indignant at the impositions upon the profession, by indications of commendable perseverance under difficulties," which are of no“ credit to the school-master."
With much deference to your correspondent, I beg leave to take a different view of the character of those teachers, who educate themselves by their own money, earned by their own brain, from that set forth by him. I had always supposed that those teachers who collected a little money by teaching and spent it by learning, who alternated from pupils life to teacher's, and from teacher's life to pupils, had an opportunity of experimental knowledge in both positions, and possessed a “professional knowledge" of teaching, unknown to any other teacher, with the same experience. The fact, that young men and women, are thus earnest in seeking wisdom for themselves, seems, of all other indications of improvement in onr schools, the brightest. This fact is not only indicative of "commendable perseverance under difficulties,” but of genuine carnestness, which your correspondent says, is
one of the most important elements in the true teachers character,” fur none, but an earnest, persevering teacher, will attempt to educate himself by teaching, under the many disparagements which now meet him in the teacher's calling
In the last paragraph of your correspondent's article, I must say, though with great deference, that he does great injustice to the teacher. These young practitioners of law and medicine, would not be "denounced as intruders and quacks and reckless triflers with human life and justice," if they had received their diplomas, although they were still laboring to raise their qualifications above their diplomas. When we demand a disgracefully low standard of qualifications, because it is “ cheap," and invite those not above that standard to teach our schools because it is “cheaper," and then turn round and call them“ drones and leeches hanging about the profession, who feel no interest in the school, and make no effort to discharge their duty, except so far as their own selfishness inay dictate," we pay them in our“cheapest” currency, and, worst of all, we usually pay them in advance? “Do they teach for money ?" Ask the female teacher, who is toiling at twenty-five cents per day, and “boarding round," and hearing daily, that she has neglected the mothers pets, (for even the youngest are given into the charge of the school-ma'm,) that “we are throwing away our mon. ey-pity the school-marm can't walk as far as my little Jimmy, who is scarcely three years old,” &c., &c.
“Do they teach for money ?” Ask the school master, who is receiving“ great wages,” fifty cents per day, and is expected to manage thirty or forty girls and boys, some of whom, by virtue of their ability to govern, have taught their parents obedience.
Go through Vermont, and see the teachers' work-sho and compare them with the barns for the cattle ; visit the inmost thoughts of the teacher; witness his untiring efforts; see hin serve faithfully for three months, and turned off, and a “cheaper" one reaping the rewards of his industry—the faithful one without credit for his well-doing, and your correspondent will find, that those teachers who are the most faithful,' are those who carn "the money that supports them while studying," and these do not “bring disgrace upon our calling, and dishearten those who have devoted to it, their talents, attainments and lives.” It is true that we have mercenary teachers in too many places, but it seems to be unjust to accuse the selfeducating teacher of being a hireling. E. C. 2nd.
MR. SMITH'S SCHOOL REPORT. I have just been perusing a printed School Report, prepared by Mr. G. F. Smith, the superintendent, of Washiington. I was so highly pleased with it, that I can not refrain from calling attention to it publicly. My chief reason for doing this is, that every town and school superintendent, in the intelligent state of Vermont, who does not prepare and print a good, thorough, critical school report, may take a timely and well-intentioned bint, and confer a lasting benefit on community by doing so.
Mr. Smith presents an account of the condition of all the schools and districts in town, in detail, and, with seeming boldness and impartiality, exposes their prominent defects; and, with equal readiness, points out their many excellencies. He thinks the subject of school attendance is of very great importance, and the masterly manner in which he treats it, and many others of interest, shows that the citizens of Washington have not only selected a fine scholar to superintend their schools, but one whose heart is in his labors. His report can not be otherwise than very valuable to that town.
J. P. Extract from Report. “ The great secret in educating children successfully, is not well understood. The scholar must be interested,
you must make him so. Parents and teachers may try every other method or theory, and they will surely fail. Observation and a good share of experience in instructing youthful minds, have confirmed this in my mind. Wnatever is made pleasing and interesting to the scholar, is grasped by him with avidity and is happily adapted to the expansion of his intellect.
This is a progressive age with attractions on every hand. Progress is outside, if not in the inside, of the school room. If you cannot build good school bouses in pleasant localities-furnish them with everything well adapted to the wants of the scholar, such as maps, globes, etc., etc.,--procure the services of good thorough teachiers, and show by your habitual presence in the school room that you have interests there ; your children can never value their advantages, simply for the want of them. And if any of you have a dunce in the family you will readily ascertain the fact, for he will go to school if sent ; but those who are capable of contrasting the attractions of the school room with those outside of it, will leave the old, dirty shell of a school house, its monotonous and lifeless exercises, the insipid and illiterate teacher, and in connection with their parents' utter veglect of the school, will conclude that their work is not truly meritorious, and the education they may acquire with such means can be of no great value to them. In view of these things, how important it is that parents should awake to them. The erlucation of most children is limited to common schools. This fact alone impresses us with the necessity of surrounding them with every possible means of interest and attraction. Here is where the masses receive all of their school education. Our Common Schools are the great nurseries of human intelligence. Little prattling children and the ambitious youth go up to them to learn to walk the winding ways of science. Here is where the youthful mind receives its first impressions, and a healthful stimulous may excite it to high efforts and noble actions, or a poisonous one embitter it for life. Here it is that the characters of our future men and women are being fashioned, and their degree of excellence depends on the fulfillment of our known duties.
Then we should labor to make the school room the pleasantest of all places, so environed with attractions and so productive of advantages, that our children may grow up men and women, pure, learned and wise.”