Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

teacher, becomes the right arm of the legislature. Once more: The physician is required to become thoroughly acquainted with the anatomy and physiology of the human body; in a word, to become acquainted with “the house I live in ;' to understand the diseases to which we are subject, and their proper treatment, before he is allow. ed to extract a tooth, to open a vein, or administer the simplest medicine. Nor with this do we find fault, for we justly prize the body. It is ihe habitation of the immortal mind. When in health, it is the mind's servant, and ready to do its biddings; but darken its windows by disease and it becomes the mind's prison-house. But while the physician, whom we honor and love, is required to make these attain. ments before he is permitted even to repair the house I live in,fshould not he who teaches the master of the house be entitled to a respectable rank in society? He should, is the unanimous opinion of every enlightened citizen who duly appreciates the importance of the teacher's profession.

Educational Journal. Formerly a periodical devoted to the interests of popular education, was published in this state under the patronage of the legislature. This has been discontinued, for some reason to me unknown. Such a periodical is deemed an indispensable auxillior to the work of common school education in New York, Massachusetts, and other states; and it seems to me to be equally important in Michigan. At present we have no efficient means of disseminating information on the subject of common schools.

The propriety of placing a copy of the successive annual reports from this office into the hands of school inspectors and school directors, has, in numerous instances, been suggested by both classes of these officers.

The following is an extract from the report of the inspectors of Litchfield, Hillsdale county : “Permit us in conclusion to say, that if the legislature would cause at least one copy of the report of the superintendent to be sent to the several boards of inspectors throughout the state, we believe that much good would result therefrom, as we should then know what your views were, and what suggestions you had made in order to promote the cause of education throughout the state, and thereby be enabled to second your efforts in advancing this great object."

There are many other prudential means of improving our schools, that might be profitably ingrafted upon our system, especially with the proposed amendments to the school law. With the consideration of one of ihem, I will conclude this report.

Female Influence. Females are the natural guardians of children. Hence the fitness of the general custom of employing female teachers to take the charge of summer schools, where small children chiesly attend. In visiting schools of small children taught by gentlemen, I have frequently been reminded of the condition of young children in the families of widowers. Indeed, in visiting the schools of many young ladies, I have been reminded of widowers' families, in which the children were entrusted exclusively to the care of inexperienced domestics. When children are transferred from the family, to the neighborhood or village nursery, would it not be wisdom to continue the exercise of ma. ternal supervision over them? The eye of the vigilent mother is ever quick to discover the wants of childhood, and her kind heart prompts her to supply those wants. In many districts the children of poor parents remain at home because their clothes need some atten. tion which it is not convenient for the family to bestow. In such cases, should a committee of mothers call upon them to supply their little wants, and invite them to attend the school, what joy would spring up in their hearts. He that gives bread to a starving child, does the work of a christian, but whoever imparts the bread of intellectual life to a famishing mind, does an angel's work, and will receive his reward. Who in this world can so appropriately render this interesting service as "man's guardian angel ?" Benevolent females are usually modest and unassuming. If the proper authorities in towns and districts will invite their co-operation they will cheerfully engage in this good work.

Since these remarks were prepared for the press, I have received a catalogue of the Teachers' Institute, of Oneida county, N. Y.Among the distinguished lecturers before that body, was Mrs. Emma Willard, of Troy, N. Y., who is not only an eminently successful teacher, but is also an author of several valuable books.

Mrs. Willard presented, among others, the following resolutions to the consideration of a crowded audience in the court house :

Proposed to the Gentlemen only. Resolved, That we will forward the cause of common schools, by inviting the ladies of districts to which we severally belong, as we may have opportunity, to take such action in the common schools of such districts as may seem to us that they are peculiarly fitted to perform; and such as we regard as properly belong to their own sphere in the social system.”

Proposed to the Ladies only. “ Resolved, That if the men, whom we recognize as by the laws of God and man, our directors, and to whose superior wisdom we naturally look for guidance, shall call us into the field of active labor in common schools, that we will obey the call with alacrity, and to the best of our abilities, fulfil such tasks as they may judge to be suitable for us to undertake.”

Both of these resolutions were ably supported by Mrs. Willard and others, and unanimously adopted.

In obedience to the requirements of law, I have appended to this report a list of books which I regard suitable for use as text books in common schools, and a list of books for township libraries. All of which is respectfully submitted.

IRA MAYHEW, Supt. of Public Instruction.

[A] ABSTRACT

OF THB

REPORTS OF SCHOOL INSPECTORS,

BY TOWNSHIPS.

« AnteriorContinuar »