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THOROUGHNESS IN TEACHING.
Does not depend so much upon the scholarship and attainments of the teacher, as upon his professional knowl. edge. Indeed, a teacher may be a brilliant scholar and a learned man, and yet, utterly fail in the school-room. And we may suppose the teacher to be fully qualified as to scholarship, attainments, and modes of instruction, and if this is all, he will fail. Thoroughness of instruction in any school, implies efficiency in management and discipline. The well instructed school is always well regulated and well governed. But to be more definite, thoroughness pre-supposes much care and wisdom in the selection and arrangement of the studies to be pursued. These studies must neither be too difficult nor too easy. If too difficult, the pupil will become discouraged and fail to prepare well his lessons; if too easy, he will soon lose his interest and acquire habits of indolence or mischief. In either case, thorough instruction is not possible. Again, to enable the instructor to be thorough, the minds of his class must be deeply interested in the subject of the lesson and that lesson well prepared.
The instructor's ability to benefit his pupils by teaching, is usually over-estimated. He does more for them in other ways, and frequently accomplishes the most when he teaches the least. And first, by a thorough organization of his school, he secures that order and system, which afford the opportunity and create the disposition to study. By skillful management, he gains the confidence and *“ wakes up the mind" of his pupils. He inspires them with his own zeal and earnestness, breathes into them love for the school room and its duties, and leads them to self application, the only condition of thorough scholarship.
Again, the thorough teacher allows and encourages his pupils to do their own work. What they are able to themselves, he never does for them. He does not allow
them to assist each other, but shows them the importance of self-reliance and persevering effort to overcome difficulties, as a habit for life. He tasks them to the extent of their working ability, and then strives to make them cheerful and happy in their work. He lets in just so much light upon their difficulties, as will encourage them to search for more. He adapts his instruction to the capacity and peculiarity of his pupils while he always keeps in view the object to be gained. The self sufficient he proves with hard questions; the timid and self distrusting, lie encourages by bending down the branches of knowledge so low that they are enabled to pluck the fruit with their own hands.
The thorough instructor teaches principles more than facts; he explains sparingly but clearly what his pupils need to know. In a word, he knows when to teach, how to teach and how much to teach.
These suggestions accord with our experience and we hope they muy not be devoid of interest and profit to others.
THE FRONT TEETH AND THE GRINDERS.
Once on a time a mutiny arose among the teeth of a worthy man, in good health and blessed with a sound constitution, commonly known as Uncle Samuel.
The cutting-teeth, or incisors, and the eye.teeth, or canines, though not nearly so many, all counted, nor so large, nor so strong as the grinders, and by no means so white, but, on the contrary, very much discolored, began to find fault with the grinders as not good enough company for them. The eye-teeth, being very sharp and fitted for seizing and tearing, and standing out taller than the rest, claimed to lead them. Presently, one of them complained that it ached very badly, and then another and another. Very soon the cutting-teeth which pretended they were supplied by the same nerve, and were proud of it, began to ache also. They all agreed that it was the fault of the grinders.
About this time, Uncle Samuel, having used his old tooth-brush (which was never a good one, having no stiffness in the bristles,) for four years, took a new one, recommended to him by a great number of people as a home. ly, but useful article. Thereupon all the front-teeth, one after another declared that Uncle Samuel meant to scour them white, which was a thing they would never submit to, though the civilized world was calling on them to do so. So they all insisted on getting out of the sockets in which they had grown and stood so many years. But the wisdom-teeth spoke up for the others and said,
“Nay, there be but twelve of you front-teeth, and there be twenty of us grinders. We are the strongest, and a good deal nearest the muscles and the joint, but we cannot spare you. We have put up
We have put up with your black stains, your jumping aches, and your snappish looks, and now we are not going to let you go, under the pretence that you are to be scrubbed white, if you stay. You don't work half so hard as we do, but you can bite the food well enough, which we can grind so much better than you. We belong to each other. You must stay."
Thereupon the front-teeth, first the canines or dog-teeth, next the incisors or cutting-teeth, proceeded to declare themselves out of their sockets, and no longer belonging to the jaws of Uncle Samuel. Then Unele Samuel arose in his wrath and shut his jaws tightly together, and swore that he would keep them shut till those aching and discolored teeth of his went to pieces in their sockets, if need were, rather than have them drawn, standing, as some of them did, at the very opening of his throat and stomach.
And now, if you will please to observe, all those teeth are beginning to ache worse than ever, and to decay very fast, so that it will take a great deal of gold to stop the holes that are forming in them. But the great white grinders are as sound as ever, and will remain so until Uncle Samuel thinks the time has come for opening his mouth. In the mean time they keep on grinding in a quiet way though the others have had to stop biting for a long time. When Uncle Samuel opens his mouth, they will be as ready for work as ever ; but those puor discolored teeth will be tender for a great while, and never be so strong as they were before they foolishly declared themselves out of their sockets.-Atlantic Monthly.
THE COMET OF 1861.
Wanderer among the spheres
Time has relentless driven
Tell of our sires' amaze
And plague with red right hand,
Then, wanderer, tell anew
Pilgrim of Heaven! to me
Thy glories do not prove,
READING AS A MEANS OF MENTAL CULTURE.
“ Make haste slowly” should be the motto of every school-room. And yet, how contrary the course generally pursued in our schools ! Both teachers and scholars feel that the necessity is upon them to attain a rail-road speed, lest they be outstripped in the race for knowl. edge. Of these two classes, the latter are the least to blame and the more to be pitied. From the commencement of his education, the child is pushed along beyond his capacity, being advanced rapidly from one study to another, and the consequence is that he is utterly unable to do any thing thoroughly. He is, of necessity, compelled to skim over the surface, without time, if he has the inclination, to penetrate below it into the reasons of those things of which his text book treats, and to acquaint himseif with the principles which underlie them. If he has a retentive memory and an ordinary interest in his study, he may remember much about it. But of what use is it to a scholar that he has stored in his mind a multitude of facts, unless he has been taught to use them ? His teacher may accept from him the—“I know, but can't think,” but the world will not accept such an answer to its demands for his services when a man.
Giving a man tools does not make a mechanic of him. He must be taught their use one at a time. Give a farmer good seed and you do not insure a good crop. The soil must be selected and prepared with especial reference to the nature of the seed. Then it must be properly sown and carefully cultivated. Our nation is at this time learning the severe lesson that it requires something more than to place a gun in a man's hand, to make a soldier of him, and much more to its sorrow that a sword and epaulets will not make an officer. Fitness for and success in any department of life are the results of long and patient training in that particular direction.