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ANCIENT SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS. We can know but little of the rise and progress of education among the ancients. The establishment of schools must have been co-eval with the origin of science. No doubt they were in operation long before the existence of written language; yet, at this epoch, everything pertaining to education was in a very imperfect condition. The first great school was human society ; exercised by common wants and common desires, man formed a language for the communication of bis ideas.
The Hindoos 'and the Egyptians first used hieroglyphics or pictures to convey intelligence. At a later period the Phænicians invented the alphabet and gradually formed a written language. From this time, we may suppose the school proper was established.
But the schools of the ancients were very different from those of modern times. They were not established for the people, but for the instruction of a few individuals more favored tban the rest. The idea of universal education was not conceived in these early times, and even in mod. ern times, has had but little application, except in our own age and country.
The object of the schools among the ancients, was to teach the peculiar tenets of some favorite system of Philosophy. Each teacher labored zealously to instill his own, sentiments into the minds of those who came under his instruction, and each devoted himself for life to one particular subject. The learners of that day were not pupils, but disciples and followers. They received their instruction, not in school-houses, but in fields, groves and public squares ; not so much from books, as from lectures, discussions and conversations.
The names of these early teachers cannot be mentioned without reflecting honor and dignity upon our profession. Copernicus, Socrutes, Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle and Sen. eca, were men wbose memory still lives, and whose laurels
will never wither. They felt that to educate mind, to unfold its powers and capacities, to qualify the man for his duty and his destiny, was the noblest employment of Humanity. And under the influence of this conviction they labored earnestly and effectually, and their works do follow them. Generation after generation has done them reverence, and their instructions have quickened the intellects and enlarged the hearts of thousands who have imbibed the rich lessons of their philosophy. 0.
DO THEY TEACH FOR MONEY? “ In the vocation of teaching he earned the money that supported him while he studied law.” This was said of a man who afterwards gained distinction in the political world, and it might have been designed to indicate commendable perseverence under difficulties, but it is no credit to the School-master. It ignores teaching as a profession and recognizes it as only a secondary and mer. cenary business, a mere stepping stone to another and more important calling! Such Teachers look upon the necessity of teaching as a misfortune and upon the service as drudgery. They often have little or no interest in the School and feel no responsibility in view of the importance of their work. They serve merely for the puy. Their Academic, Collegiate or Professional studies occupy all their time and attention out of school hours and many of their thoughts while employed in the school-room.
Such teachers may discharge their legal, but they cannot their moral obligations. One of the most important elements in the true teacher's character is . earnestness, or devotion to his work. His thoughts are wholly occupied and his time fully employed, in the service and for the interest of his School. But that teacher who has a term's work of study to accomplish to keep with his class, or make good his time in the study of Law or Medicine, has no ability to do justice to his school, however well qualified he may be in a literary point of view. He lacks sin
gleness of purpose, and that zeal which alone gives suc.cess in life. It is high time that we give attention to this subject. We have too many drones and leeches hanging about our profession who feel no interest in the school, and make no efforts to discharge their duty, except so far as their own selfishness may dictate. They have done much to bring disgrace upon our calling, and to dishearten those who have devoted to it their talents, attainments, and lives.
No other profession is so imposed upon. What if the young men from our Academies and Colleges, who need money to prosecute their studies, should presume to en. ter upon the practice of Medicine, or Law, during their vacations? Would they not be denounced as intruders, and quacks, and as reckless triflers with human life and justice? But is there any more propriety in entering upon the duties of Teacher with no professional knowledge, and if qualified, with only selfish motives?
SUCCESS TO THE RIGHT.
Success to the right that's a path and a light
Success to the right that's enshrouded in night,
Success to the right that's concealed from the sight
Success to the right, when the hero must fight
Success to the right, when the scoffing or slight
Success to the right, in its weakness, or might,
We may love it and praise, and die in its ways,
THE FIRST VOICES OF SPRIŅG. Winter with its frosts and snows has come and gone, and again we hail with joy the first appearance of spring. The hills, but a short time since clothed in white drapery, are fast losing their pure covering and becoming bleak and brown. We rejoice even at their bleakness and desolation, for we know that the sun and the warm south winds which have robbed them of their snowy robes, will not ccase their ministrations till they have covered them with verdure and beauty. They will seek the little germs folded so closely to the dry brown stalk, and soon the hills will be covered with green grass and swelling buds. The piercing March wind as it sighs among the trees, whispers to us of the pleasant showers and gentle breezes of April.
April showers tell us of May with its balmy breezes laden with the perfume of the first flowers of spring, of its bright blue skies, its clear sunlight, and its thousand merry birds singing among the fresh young leaves. The birds sing to us of June with its mild air and fragrant roses trembling with their weight of dew, aud of Summer with its glowing heat. We watch the little brook as it dances along, and listen to its whispered story of joy, that it has broken its icy fetters, and is free to play with the smooth pebbles, and to kiss the blue violets upon
its banks. It tells us of the warm summer days, when we can follow its windings through green woods, gather flowers upon its banks, and listen to the music of the wind among the trees. . Every blade of grass, and every little bird speaks to us of joy and gladness. The birds seem to bring to us the warmth and brightness of their southern home. No sorrow mingles with the songs they sing, but they seem to be joyful praises to Him, "wlio causeth the bud of the tender herb to spring forth," and "who crowneth the year with his goodness.” B. M.
EXTRAVAGANCE and improvidence end at the prison door.-FRANKLIN.
“ WILL IT PAY?" So penurious have some men become, that they almost involuntarily answer, that “it will not pay” to educate poor children. Though great efforts are daily put forth, by the faithful teachers of our own State, to draw out the better feelings of this class of men, and to procure from them the means and encouragement neccessary for true advancement in education, there is still a manifest lack of interest. Meeting these opponents upon their own ground, let us see if they do not come to a wrong and unwise conclusion.
Almost every town in the State expends, annually, in the support of its poor, from five hundred to two thousand dollars. Now if this, or even a much less amount, had been previously expended in the mental and moral education of these unfortunate persons would they have needed, or even asked for public support? As it is the fund cai not be withheld, for the demand seems just and human. But the question to be solved is, would it not have been more economical to have educated these persons in their earlier days, so that they would have been provided for any emergency? Would not wealthy men have made a saving in so doing? Do they now know of a place where they can more profitably invest their capital than in providing for the improvement of poor children? Look at the persons who are receiving public support. They are, almost universally, ignorant of the first principles of education. Their highest ambition is to satisfy their animal wants. They are so little above the brute that they breatbe not the invigorating atmosphere of træe manli ness. Educated men, on the contrary, are seldom known to depend upon the public for daily subsistence. True there are some persons called edacated, who find pleasure in the lowest haunts of vice, and a home in the poorhouse. To such men we need not refer, for they have not learned the rudiments of morals.