« PreviousContinue »
the children successively produced a calm, a zephyr, a breeze, a gale, and the patter of raindrops.
The excellences of the recitation in etymology, the map-drawing, and the graphic and logical work in geography which were witnessed in the higher grade must share a like fate. I must not, hùwever, forget the mats with basket-work patterns which the children in the Kindergarten were making.
The day was done. But as the shades of evening bore me from the lovely spot, all things seemed to reflect visions of a glorious future forour public schools.
SPRING IN THE SCHOOL-ROOM.
BY MISS F. B. M'INTYRE, GENEVA. Teacher, take it then. Open the windows of your soul, until it is filled with all the singing, springing, blossomning influences of the then
it there. Your pupils will be taught to open their eyes and rejoice in the beauty all around; to sing with the robins in praise of the glorious Giver, and aspirations will spring up in every young heart, longing for a better and purer life, will come up as freely and naturally as springs the gress
in the outer world. Now with plenty of love, pains-taking, and (dare I say it?) tact, the school-room may be made a place—not irksome and prison-like in contrast with the world outside, but it will really seem to them fully in harmony with all.
The wise teacher always aims to produce this effect; some believe that this good result cannot be obtained without a loosening of the reins of discipline. They argue, “this is no time for close study;" " it is contrary to nature to hold pupils strictly to the line of duty now when we all feel impatient of restraint;" “the school is smaller; the rebels and conspirators have devoted themselves to the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, hence, if we do not enforce the law-no communication we shall not have much, and if pupils do not make perfect recitations now we ought to mark them well up,' for it is so much harder to study now,” etc. We protest. This may seem generous, but it is not; neither is it wise, or successful in making the school-room pleasant and attractive.
It is well to make the studies of a lighter nature, and the lessons assigned may be shorter, but none the less thoroughly prepared. Rests, general exercises may be given oftener, but certainly no ignoring any rule needful for good order and the best interests of the school merely because the weather is enervating.
The teacher himself must strive against it, and we believe pupils may
be induced to feel a positive pride in their power over themselves, in this respect. The feeling—“I will accomplish my work in spite of circumstances," brings them the joy of victory; and I would here say to any hard-working and hard-thinking teacher, be very slow to let down your standard-having once held it high-thinking 'twill be an easy matter to bring it back again.
THE SELF-REPORTING SYSTEM.
BY A. E., MADISON, WIS., IN NATIONAL NORMAL.
Has the teacher, who has so far mastered his own passions and those of his pupils that he can successfully use the system, really arrived at the uppermost round of the ladder of school government? Is there not another step, still higher, which he ought to take, if he would accomplish ths greatest possible good in the school-room?
Some years ago, I resembled your Mr. Experience very much, in crying down a system which I then considered a sort of hypocrite factory. Experience, and a desire to do better, has caused me to see the error of my ways, and for several years I have used the system with, I think, good success. However, I did not make use of it until I had educated the pupils up to a standard which I considered necessary to be attained. For yearly three years the system was in vogue in my present school.
But, last fall, upon beginning a new year, the dea struck me that I could do away with all reporting; and, since then, with an enrollment of over fifty, only one instance has occurred where I found it necessary to correct, and this was done, after school. I
my school is certainly quiet, well-behaved, and I save the time I used to spend in hearing reports. I do not watch in the least. The inward monitor of every pupil does the work.
AN AFFECTIONATE MANNER in teachers is a strong controlling power with children. The affectionate teacher has a warm spot in the heart of each of his or her pupils, and they will not often be tardy if they can help it. Parents commit to our care children whom they love with an intensity which none can feel but a parent. And when from their hearts and homes they send out their dear ones and commit to us their jewels for polishing, let us be faithful to the trust confided in us. Many a mother in the morning prepares her dear ones for school, follows them to the door, and with a mother's holy kiss tells them to be good children and obedient to their teachers.
BE CAREFUL to keep what you really do know separate from what you don't know.
THE MOCKING BIRD.
BY C. L. MORGAN, SYLVESTER.
What is the tale the mocking bird is telling
On yonder tree this golden morn in May ?
Come listen to his wild and joyous lay.
" A world for birds all glorious and complete ;
“Praise ! praise the Lord ! the world is sweet ! is sweet!”
Overflowed like thine, to welcome in the May ;
For ah ! the bloom of life hath passed away.
Thou gaily singest within thy green retreat,
Alas ! I too once sang—"The world is sweet!”
OBJECTS OF INSTITUTES.
BY E. L. WELLS, IN ILLINOIS TEACHER.
Farmers, physicians, clergymen, merchants, manufacturers, laborers, bank, railroad, insurance and whisky men have their associations to promote the interests of their professions and business. If conventions are necessary for such people in order that they may be more succeseful in business, surely teachers need to meet in convention that they may discuss the best ways to reach success in their profession.
The object of an institute is not so much to educate the members in knowledge of books as it is to train teachers how to teach. This training should be partly by theory, but chiefly by practice. As far as practicable, pupils of all grades should form classes at institutes, an through them the best methods of instruction should be shown. It is impossible for teachers in classes at institute to imitate children to illustrate primary and intermediate teaching.
It has been said by others, “The institute is a direct advantage to teachers in all that pertains to correct teaching. It furnishes the opportunity of readily introducing into the profession such improvements as are made in the practice of teaching. They are necessary schools not only for training teachers, but also for supplying the deficiencies of early and erroneous education. A doubt of years upon some princi
ple in science, some problem in mathematics, some point in grammar, or some question in government, may be removed from the mind of the inquiring teacher. At the institute uniformity of methods in teaching is gradually approximated, and the disadvantages resulting from frequent changes of teachers are in the same proportion lessened."
It saves the time of visiting many schools to learn the methods of instruction used by the members and instructor present. It not only affords the young teacher indispensable means for improvement from the experience of the able teachers in attendance, but the old schoolkeeper, who prides himself on the number of terms he has taught, and and who still says, “Fust class in jografy come up," if he can be induced to attend, will find some hints to make him think the world is still jogging on.
Teachers are inclined to teach as they were taught. If they learned by the A-B-C method, they are inclined to teach by the A-B-C method; if they were given four lessons to read at one recitation, they are inclined to give four lessons for one reading-exercise.
The best teacher of ten years ago is not the best teacher of to-day, unless he has improved with the times.
The teacher is unavoidably on a tread-mill. If he stops in his attempts to improve, he goes to the bottom; if he but improves as fast as the mill turns, he only keeps his relative position in the profession; but let him take long and rapid strides in his improvement and success, and he reaches the height of his ambition and of professional work.
The institute is a great leveler. Some teachers, high in their own estimation, soon find there an easy down grade to insignificance, while some, unpretending, but worthy and well qualified, soon win the esteem of all who know them.
“ From long dealing with children, teachers some times are found to have more than their due share of egotism, conceit, and narrow-mindedness.” It is a good thing for such teachers to meet frequently with others who are their superiors. They cannot help rubbing off something that will do them good.
It is not always the pup that yelps the loudest that finds himself the largest dog upon getting his eyes open, nor is it the hen that cackles the loudest that has always laid the largest egg, nor is it always the man who undertakes to put bimself the most prominently forward as an educator that is the one that has the most sterling merit.
Revivals in education are as necessary as in some other matters. Institutes not only arouse an enthusiasm and professional spirit among teachers, but also an educational interest among the citizens of the communities where they are held.
They awaken the people to the importance of educational matters, and are thus of service to the teacher in arousing and keeping up an active public opinion in favor of his calling. All citizens who attend good institutes will be firmer friends of education, and a mutual confidence and good understanding are established between the people and school officers and teachers. The new life of the teachers is also communicateủ to their respective schools and neighborhoods."
THE BEAUTIES CF BLUNDERING.
BY J. MAHONY, IN THE CHICAGO SCIIOOLMASTER.
Anybody who thinks from the title of this article that we are about engaging in a patriotio work by defending Irish bulls, is mistaken. For that matter, Irish bulls do not need any defense. The construction of a bull that will create a good roar is an intellectual feat of no inconsiderable magnitude, and, for our own part, we are as proud of our bulls as we are of our linen and our fish-hooks. If the American people only knew the number of hours their hired girls and coachmen of Irish importation lay awake at night to prepare the stultifications that create so much merriment, they would give Pat and Bridget credit for an industry not usually considered as belonging to the race.
No, we are thinking of considering the blundering answers of schoolchildren in recitations and examinations, in a light more favorable than that in which they are generally reviewed. We are inclined to be envious upon reading the replies of those Utopian children in their exercises in language, as reported in the Schoolmaster from time to time, and were disposed to wonder why, in the name of St. Dennis of France, children do not answer us in the same correct, elegant and satisfactory manner!
In connection with tenth grade oral instruction, we ask a child where his bread and butter goes when it is swallowed, and he answers with the gravity of a professor:
“Into my lungs ! ”
He does so. "Into what does
breath "Into my stomach !” “What is moving all around through your body?” ** Bones!” “ What is on your bones?” “My clothes!” " What holds your body up?" “My legs!”