Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

from the Seminary and the College and thus interrupt their course of study, just at the time when they need the advanrages of a thorough and systematic training ? No considerate parent will do this until retrenchment in every other department has done its work and he has absolutely failed to procure the means. And will the friends of education in the state refuse to sustain their Educational Journal. Is any one liable to become so reduced by the war that he cannot appropriate of his income, two cents per week to this object? This is all that is asked. And are not our female teachers able to spend one penny per week for the reading of the Vermont School Journal? For this they can have it, and that teacher who cannot save this amount for such a purpose, must be very poor indeed. To all interested, therefore, we would say, let not retrenchment begin at our schools.

0.

It was

THE SPRING INSTITUTES.

our privilege to be present at most of these meetings during the springs of 1859–60, but the cares of a school that we could neither take nor leave, prevented the realization of our wish to attend them this spring. It would have done us good, to press again the warm hands of our teacher friends, and to enlarge that circle by forming new acquaintances. But though absent in body, our spirit went out after them. The Journal, too, was there, and we trust all to whom it was a stranger, had the opportunity to secure its monthly visits.

The Secretary, the embodiment of the large and increasing interest that attaches to these Institutes, gave us a call, on his way to Wilmington, and from him we learn that the sessions held at Randolph and Chester were both largely attended. Not less than five hundred persons, one-fourth of whom were teachers, were present at each. He informed us that on leaving home, he received the encouraging (?) assurance from the conservative and cautious friends of education, that he would find little interest in educational matters, The people were so absorbed in the war it would be useless for him to attempt to get them out to his meetings. But our Secretary has strong faith in the good sense of the Vermont people, especially the “school marms." The result is, that in these counties heard from, his Institutes have never been so largely attended before as this spring. From an article in the Phoenix, we learn that the Institute at Wilmington was a success also, although held in a part of Windham County not reached by previous Institutes. Of the remaining Institutes we have not yet heard, but if those in Addison and Rutland Coun. ties have exceeded those of last year in said Counties, either in interest or numbers, they will have been almost too successful.

The enthusiastic interest which Secretary Adams has succeeded in awakening, by means of his two days Institutes, both among teachers and citizens has been productive of far more good to the cause of sound and thorough education, than any other agency that could have been introduced. They cost the State the mere nominal sum of thirty dollars each, and are chiefly conducted by the Secretary, excepting the voluntary aid of those attending, which he manages to bring in just at the right time to relieve himself and to keep up the interest. If he finds himself in a new locality on the first day of the Institute, he goes to work, nothing daunted, whether there be ten present or more. After the first session the number is sure to increase by a geometrical ratio to the end. When the two days are ended, and the people are thoroughly aroused, the Secretary abruptly leaves them for a new field, while they go home, parents, teachers and scholars, filled with new resolves to perform their duties more faithfully. And they do so, too, with more or less success.

Herein is the ohief good to be derived from Teachers' Institutes. A two, or even four weeks' session, is not long enough to train teachers in the studies to be taught in the school. The Academy and Seminary are the places for this preparatory culture.

Neither will high-priced lectures accomplish the dssired end. We have often heard Vermont called stingy because she would give no more to sustain these Institutes, and we confess that the amount is little enough, but we believe that much more good has been accomplished than would have resulted from the appropriation of ten times the amount, to be expended as in some of our neighboring states, by paying fifty to one hundred dollars each to distinguished men, to come and read over their learned essays, mystifying often, rather than instructing.

Our Institutes have been successful, because they have been brief in duration and have abounded in practical hints and lively illustrations, which help the teacher just where help is needed. They have brought teachers and parents to know each other better, and better to understand their duties to each other.

May our Secretary live to accomplish the good work he has begun. And may our State have the good sense to retain his services to that time.

L.

LYCEUM ELOQUENCE.-Bill Smith, a character in more ways than one, and especially noted for his flights of eloquence, spoke as follows upon the question: Which is Man's greatest Safeguard ?—the Dog or the Gun?' 'Bill espoused the cause of the Dog: and after pronouncing an affecting eulogy upon that noble animal, he demolished his adversaries and 'brought down the house,' by the following brilliant passage: "Supposin' for a momentuary moment, Mr. President, that you, sir, was a traveling; and suppose, sir, that night was to overtake you, and you should have to encamp out in some dark howling wilderness? And in the black midnight, when you laid fast asleep in the arms of Metamorpheous, some b’ar, painter, or other venomous insect, was to spring upon you, what good would your Gun do you then: But, Mr. President, your Dog would have said to you, by forewarning lamentations : "Take-keer! look out! he's a-comin'! Decision in favor of the 'Dog-watch !'-Knickerbocker.

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT. The experience of another month in school keeping-what has it accomplished ? Are our teachers wiser and better qualified for their important positions ? And have their pupils made steady and sure progress? Something has been accomplished, either for good or evil. If the school has been well conducted, the results of this month's labor will prove a great blessing to the district, and the state ; but if otherwise, no good can be expected, but much evil. Of all worthless things, a poor school is the most worthless. Indeed an indifferent or badly conducted school is a positive eril. While nothing is gained of thorough instruction, much is lost by the contraction of bad habits. The teacher who is positively unqualified for her position, had better be dismissed, with full pay even, and the school disbanded. But we trust these suggestions are not applicable to any of our district schools now in operation. We hope better things of the young ladies whom we hare the honor to address in this familiar way. We have before intimated that your success as teachers, depends much upon your management. And if wise and skillful in your profession, you have by this time formed the acquaintance and gained the confidence of all, both old and young, in your little kingdom ; not however, by any time-serving policy, any direct effort to please everybody, but by artless, earnest and conscientious efforts to discharge your whole duty. You have not yielded your personal independence, nor sacrificed your principles. If you have earned a desirable reputation, and deserve the love and confidence of your pupils and patrons, you will have them.

We presume you have thoroughly organized and classified your school. If so, you depend confidently upon this systematic arrangement, for the government of your pupils. You have yet to guard ag ainst disorder, to see that no wheel in your machine is broken, and that every part is thoroughly lubricated. To this end, check the first indications of insubordination. It is much easier to retain authority than to regain it when lost, to preserve order than to restore it. If your school is well managed, it will be well governed. But successful management implies much more than good government. It reaches every thing that you do in the school room, in the family, or by the way. And could we have the pleasure of visiting your school for a half hour, we could tell of your success or failure, by what that half hour would reveal. We should judge of your skill as a teacher, chiefly by the interest manifested by your pupils in the schools and in their stndies. Have you succeeded in

waking up their minds,” in directing and fixing their attention upon the exercises and duties of the school ? If so, they are punctual, earnest, faithful and obedient. You need no moral nor legal suasion, to keep them in their places; your time may all be spent in giving instruction. This is of vital importance, not only as a means of securing good order, but also for the improvement and success of your scholars. No teacher can benefit an indolent and indifferent pupil. Every advantage he receives must result from self-application. Spare no pains therefore, to make everything connecter with school-life, interesting and attractive. Rouse the slumbering energies of mind and your work is accomplished. Neglect to do this and your failure is sure.

But how shall this be done? It is less difficult to demonstrate the necessity of an awakened interest in school, than to show how it may be secured. We cannot lay down special rules for school-keeping. Each teacher must accomplish the same object in her own way. But in general, allow us to suggest, if you would awaken an interest in your pupils, be interested yourself. If you would inspire others, you must be yourself inspired. Your love for your business must be manifest in all you do; your zeal and earnestness must glow upon your countenance, Aaslı from your eyes and vitalize every movement and effort of every day.

As is the teacher, so is the school.” Again, if you would the minds” of your pupils, you must cherish a living sympathy with them. Interest yourself in their sports as well as their studies. Out of school hours, you should become their companion and equal and enter earnestly into their feelings; become yourself a child again. In this way, you may control and guide them as you would your own life,-mould them as you please. Be careful, in arranging studies and assigning lessons, not to tax them beyond their ability; make their daily task neither too easy nor too bard. And with all, bring constantly to bear upon them, the motives to fidelity. Show them the desirableness of becoming good scholars, of gaining the approbation of their teacher and friends, and of preparing themselves for the duties and responsibilities of future life. You will be surprised, after a trial, in view of your success in efforts

6 wake up

« AnteriorContinuar »