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Sale of school house and site, 137.
tion, 8; shameful condition of the Matipawan district
101; condition of, through the State, 163.
man, 91; common, moral influence of, 98; at Mari.
taught, 11; had methods of teaching, 31.
60; letter of, on a model school, 103.
marks on corporal punishment, 52; on morals, 63
views on, 50; remarks on employing female teachers,
69; on vocal music, 60, 61.
appoint iwo, when, 18; may allow postage to County
the system of county supervision, 27; duties of, 126.
Text books-non-uniformity of, illustrated by superia-
tendent of Michigan, Il resolutions on importance
of uniformity discussed, 58.
resolutions on private schools, 59; advocates right
physical education, 50.
17, 18; consent of when necessary to annn) certifi-
importance of, 166.
cial term made three years, 17; one to go out each
port, 169; to account to their successors, &c., 140,
their difficulties with inhabitants, 5; the bargains
to whom State cerificates are graniet, 172.
from the lazic system, 21; resolutions on method or,
Valuations of property-how ascertained, and mode of
proceeding when reduction is claimed, 135.
specifically voted, 136.
whit to contain, 140.
repurt's rules of convention, 49; remarks of on corpo
female teachers, 58.
marks on corporal punishment, 50; resolutions on
on corporal punishment, l; decision of, on admitting
DISTRICT SCHOOL JOURNAL,
OF THE STATE OF NEW-YORK.
ALBANY, APRIL, 1843.
strongly on your side, you can reason them into subordination. You can readily make them un
derstand that no school can be rendered bencfi. State of N. Pork-Secretary's Office. cial to the pupils where good government does DEPARTMENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS. rot prevail. You can easily convince them that
breaches of order and decorum not only destroy CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.
the utility of a school, but recessarily inflict a serious injury upon every pupil and parent.-
Address yourself to them as a friend and a bro. Albany, Jan. 24, 1843. DEAR SIR-I have received yours of the 14th of justice, to philanthropy, to honorable feelings,
ther. Appeal to the highest motives—to a sense änst., in which you ask my opinion concerning and to self-respect ; and if these produce no ef. corporal punishment's being inflicted on young fect, then to a sense of debasement, degradation men over 16 or 17 years of age ;” and also
and share. whether a teacher has power to expel a scholar
But if reasoning and expostulation fail, I do * before receiving orders from the trustees.” You say you are engaged in a school in the not advise a resort to brute force. In order to
subdue stubborn young men by flagellation, it town of Carrol, which has “ the reputation of would probably be necessary to inflict an amount being a hard place," that you “ find it to be and an intensity of pain, which, for the time about so ;" and that some young men attend school for purposes not of gairing keowledge, appearance, into a demon. And the trembling
being, would convert you, both in feeling and but something else.”
little children who witnessed this frightful ex. The natural propensities of mankind are the bition would ever after regard you with fear and same in every age and clime; and I therefore repulsion. You could probably never gain their infer that there is nothing in the soil or atmos, love and respect, and without inspiring these phere of the town of Carrol which has inspired sentiments in your pupils you can never become the young men to whom you allude with turbulent
a successful teacher. dispositions. Nor can I conceive that parents ever willingly incur the expense of sending their ral inflictions upon children, administered in
There may be extreme cases in which corpo. children to school for any other purpose than the moderation, without passion, with evident reacquisition of knowledge. To suppose that a luctance, and where every other means has failfather or mother would encounter the pecuniary ed, may be necessary and useful; but such cases and other loss or sending a son of 16 or 17 years in my judgment are rare. Every voluntary in. old to school for "something else” than the at. Aiction of pain upon an intelligent being, where tainment of knowledge, would be to stultify the its justice and necessity are not strongly maniparent. If these young men, therefore, attend fest, create hatred and resentment, if not reschool to make disturbance and derange the or- venge. And such inflictions upon male or federly administration of instruction, it is not by male pupils, approaching to puberty, can never the procurement or concurrence of their parents. do good. If, at such an advanced period in life, And every one who sends to school would be they cannot be reclaimed by proper appeals to injured and outraged by such disturbance and the head and the heart, I should regard them as derangement. You will perceive, therefore, hopelessly depraved. And the teacher, in such that public sertiment must always be strongly case should apply to a trustee, stating the cir. in favor of order, regularity and improvement in cumstances and requesting his interposition with your school. I venture to suppose that these the parent or guardian; and if the unruly pupil žurbulent young men have been made so by your does not desist, and is not withdrawn, the teach. predecessors—by surly, vindictive and ferocious
er may then exclude such pupil from entering school-masters--that they have been tyrannized
Yours, &c. over and whipt into pugnacity, until they regard
S. YOUNG, Sup't Common Schools. every pedagogue as an enemy to the human
Mr. Wm. PHETTEPLACE, Jamestown, N. Y. race; and that they now seel inclined to wreak that vengeance upon you, which they were for. merly too weak to inflict upon your predeces. TO COMMISSIONERS OF COM. SCHOOLS. sors.
But it would seem to me, that by a mild, man. It has heretofore been the practice of commis. ly and firm course, and with public sentimentsioners in their apportionment of the public mo
ney, among the several school districts of their to all the means within their reach intende I to
the energy of soul they possess into the feelings
every power within their reach for the attain.
ment of their high object. After pursuing ALLEGANY COUNTY.
this course for a time, they grow tired of the
labor it imposes, and begin to relax in their exTo the Hon. SAMUEL YOUNG,
ertions to do all in their power to elevate the
standard of districts schools; they begin to deSuperintendent of Common Schools.
scend from the elevation they have gained, lose Owing to causes beyond my control, I visited their influence over their pupils, their respect the schools of only four towns last winter, and subordination ; their systematic course is in although whilst making a distribution of laws some measure abandoned; they have not that relating to comme schools and school district decision of purpose with which they set out; libraries, and blank reports of commissioners they become peevish and fretful, easily thrown of schools and trustees, I called upon most of out of a train of good humor, and are exposed the teachers, and called their attention to the to the mercy of their scholars, who, when they instructions from the Superintendent relative to perceive they can make them appear ridiculous, the manner in which they are required to keep will seek every pretext to harass and irritate their roll, pointed out a course of instruction I their feelings. This class, I am sorry to say, felt willing to recommend, and urged the impor. are much more numerous than the one before tance of good order and discipline, and a syste. mentioned, and can be denominated no higher matie arrangement of all the affairs of the than second rale teachers. school.
A third class are those who enter upon the I have visited one hundred and twenty schools, business of teaching for the purpose of raising a thirty-eight of which have been visited twice. sum of money in a given time, which they could Seventy-eight of them were visited in company not do in any other business in which they could with one of the inspectors; forty-two when two find employment. They enter not upon the diswere present, and thirty in company with three; charge of these vast responsibilities because the remainder were visited alone.
they love to teach or because they have any desire
to see the rising generation up with that knowQUALIFICATIONS OF TEACHERS.
ledige so necessary to fit them for the transaction I have found them from first rate down to the of business, and for usefulness in the communilowest grade, whose services do more hurt than ty in which they may may be placed, but for the good, who communicate more error than truth, pecuniary benefit derived from the employment. and who would establish more bad habits in the They have no desire so to manage their schools practice of scholars in a single term of four as to gain employment in that district again, for months, than a thorough and competent instruc- they wish io form new acquaintances, and tor would break up in eight. I have found therefore prefer to stay but one term in a place. ladies and gentlemen engaged in the responsible It matters not with them whether they commubusiness of directing the youthful mind in our nicate ideas to those placed under their charge common schools, whose only ambition seemed or not; whether their pupils have an underto be to shine in their profession, and benefit standing of what they are required to commit to their juvenile charge all in their power; who memory, or whether they repeat their lessons would scorn alike the sneers of those engaged in parrot-like, without knowing what they mean. private schools, and the contempt of those who it is true, 'in many instances they succeed in consider the district school fit only for the in. keeping up a show of order and discipline, but struction of the very lowest grade of community, the obedience produced does not flow from a whose breath is contagion, and whose touch is im. hearty good will to please, but to avoid a conmediate moral death. The class of teachers to stant infliction of the rod or ferrule. Are chilwhich I now refer, have established themselves in dren generally pleased with such teachers ? Are the estimation of the friends of popular education, they impatient to be a way to school in the mornby a course of well doing, and a strict alteotion ing; ani when they are at home, do ther in».
prove every opportunity to learn their lessons and never again attempt to impart knowledge to well! Do they seem eager to gain knowledge others until he had some himself. He replied, for the sake of its practical utility? None of " he could not help what I thought, he had a these things. They hate to go to school because certificate from the inspectors, and was hired for they do not love their teacher. They never wish four months, and should stay his time out."to meet him on the way, or converse with him “If that is your determination, I must use my when in his company. It is with the utmost influence to annul your certificate.” He then
difficulty they are induced to take a book and replied he was a good deal embarrassed, and . pursue any regular course at home, because the could not tell what he knew.”. This, in my opi.
teacher has not infused into their souls a love of nion, was not the case, for I do believe he did learning. How much benefit does a school re not know enough to be embarrassed. He left ceive from the services of such a teacher ? Not his school, but his personal friends employed much. The fewer such teachers we have in him to teach a select school in the district for our schools the better ; and I hope the time is six dollars per month. This is an extreme case not far distant when community will see things of the class of teachers I am now describing. in their true light, and employ none to discharge How do many of them manage the affairs of the duties of this high calling but such as are their schools ? After spending, perhaps, fifteen worthy of so high a trust.
or twenty minutes in trying to produce silence Another, and the last class of teachers I will in the school, a class is called upon to read.mention, are those who, to gain a notoriety,which " Toe that crack," says the teacher to the chil. is beyond their reach by any other means, thrust dren who are called upon to read. But instead themselves upon the notice of the public to be em of“ toeing the crack," some face to the north, ployed in giving a proper turn to the youthful some to the south, some to the east, and some mind. They are such as have no definite ideas to the west. “Now stand up straight and speak of the business they are about to engage in, or up loud and distinct.” The teacher, or rather of those things they are required to teach. They the apology for one, takes a book to see if any enter their schools without seeing any thing mistakes are made by any in the class. Whilst clearly. Their minds are confused, and they the one at the head is reading, a boy presents know not what to do, how to act, or what to his writing book for a copy. He at once lays expect. They know not where to begin, oraside the reading book and begins to write the how to proceed after having begun. If called copy. Whilst doing this, another bawls out, upon to explain the principle upon which any “ will you mend my pen ?” Willing to accom. rule in arithmetic is founded, they are utterly at modate all, he leaves the copy and takes the pen a loss to know what is meant by the question. -and before he finishes that, another wants It has never once entered their heads that the a sum done;" another, “can't find a name on rules of arithmetic are founded upon any prin- the map." All these calls are allended to forthciples whatever. In the examination of a teach with by the teacher, and all of them left unfin. er, whose school I visited last winter, I asked ished, to attend to something else. Thus, per. him why he carried one for every ten in addi. haps, from twenty to forty minutes have been tion of whole numbers. “Because figures de spent, the class have become tired of reading, crease from the right hand to the left in a lenfold and some one calls out, “ hain't we read fur proportion." But, sir, you cannot mean “de. enough?” “ I don't know," says the teacher, crease, can you ?" Sartin, I mean decrease, how fur have you read ?" Six chapters." and that is what the rule says-for I have larni “ Wal, you have read fur enough, you needent it by heart." He could recite as he had learned read no furder, go long to your seats and set them the tables of weights and measures in still, and tend to your studies. Now what folarithmetic; but could not answer one question lows? “I wish you would finish writin my in ten when asked promiscuously. I desired copy." “ I have been waiting half an hour for him to tell me what part of speech is “ wise" in my pen." " Where is your pen?" the following example: “Into the will and ar. iable ; you begun to mend it, and left off to du bitration wise of the Supreme." After looking Jim's sum." " Joe is pinching ;" “ John is at it for some time with a vacant stare, he re- scratching ;” “George is spitting on me.” The plied, “I don't git hold of the meanin of the teacher now begins to be impatient; he calls author in that place, and don't know what part upon the school for silence, and again spends oi speech vise is. I never studied grammar ten or fifteen minutes in vain trying to produce only about lu weeks, and I don't pretend to un- it. Now in the name of common sense, I would derstand it perfectly; but I reckoned how I ask, of what use can such a teacher be to a unierstood it well enough to keep the school in school? Better in my opinion our children chis deestrick.". I asked him to spell potato, should never see a school master or mistress, and tell him which syllable had the full or pri: than receive instruction from such an one.mary accent? He spelled the word, and said Every thing in the schools of such teachers is • the full accent is on the last syllable.” I then confusion ; a perfect bedlam from morning till pronounced the word with the accent agreeably , night, from day to day, and from month to io his notion, and asked him if it was right? month. Nothing is thoroughly done because no He thought not. He then said it is the first;" particular time was set apart to attend to it: but after making a practical application of ac. many things that should receive attention are cent to the first syllable, he perceivel he was wholly neglected, and those that receive atten. mistaken, and said " it is the second." I asked tion at all, are so interrupted, that not much be. him which is the most northeastern State? He nefit is derived from that kind of altention they do dil “not know sartin, but he bleaved it was receive. Many of our schools are supplied with Ohio or Indiana.” He was a most wretched teachers, no better than those I have just de. reader and worse speller. After the examina- scribed ; they are wholly and entirely unfit in tion, I told him he had better leave his school, almost every respect to bave the instruction and
management of a school. Should trustees, if bad habits which stick to them through life.they find ibey have such a calamity on band, The practice of speaking in too 'low a tone of pay him at the commencement for the whole voice, is very general in a great many schools. term and discharge him, the district would be How can children be benefitted by corrections the gainer by it, rather than continue him until which a teacher might make, if they are per. his time has fully expired; but how do trustees, mitted to read in the manner I have just describwho never visit the school, know whether the ed? What advantage can a teacher be to a teacher is a good one or not? I have frequently a school under such circumstances ? Another solicited trustees to visit with me; I have urged habit, very prevalent in many of our schools, is them by every motive I could place before them; indistinctness of articulation, if articulation it have shown them it would be encouragement may be called. Instead of speaking with a full, not only to teachers but scholars, but all to no clear, and distinct voice, and using a sufficient purpose. Time passed on and they discharged quantity to fill the whole room, we hear a mulnot those high and responsible duties ; the most tering mumbling noise, more resembling the intrivial and flimsy excuse is enough to quiet their articulate voice of wild animals, than the com. consciences in this matter, and keep them from munications of ideas by the organs of speech. the school house. And in fact, it is not a matter in a great many instances, I have listened of much wonder or surprise that so strong a re to the efforts of children to read, and have tried pugnance should exist in relation to school vi. to understand the subject without seeing it in sitation ; for generally, or in many instances, the the book ; but in vain. These same children school house is the most uncomfortable and un. when engaged in their play and sport, never pleasant place in the whole district.
speak in the above manner, but always in a way
to be easily an I fully understood. What course MODES OF TEACHING ADOPTED IN THE SCHOOLS.) is taken on the part of teachers, I do not say all
I will commence with the alphabet. Except teachers, but very many, to correct this very in one school, I have seen but one method adopt- bad habit? After the child has gone over the ed, which is to point to the letters, tell the child sentence, the teacher says, you did'nt read what they are, and require him to speak them. that right, you ought to speak distinct and This is generally practiced four times a day from plain ," and ihat is all that is said or done until three to twelve months, when he is supposed to the child reads again, when the teacher again be sufficiently a dvanced 10 take an onward step. exhorts him to speak “ distinct.” To these Then the same method of pointing is pursued a exhortations, children generally pay but little month or two longer, in learning him to spell attention. They continue to read on in the same ba, be, bi, bo, bu, by, when it is thought besi to way, and perhaps daily receive the same admoput a book into his hands, and reqnire him to nition from the teacher, without producing any study a certain number of words the meaning change in their practice. of which he has no idea, and with which he Another habit, somewhat prevalent, in the cannot possibly feel interested.
practice of children, is reading in a hitching man. After being drilled two or three years in this ner; and so inveterate is this practice that often way, it is thought best to exercise him in read. have I heard teachers say they had tried all in ing lessons. And for this purpose, instead of their power to break it up, but all to no pursome agreeable, interesting and instructive story, pose. the English Reader or some other work entirely There are many other bad habits children imbeyond the reach of his capacity, is put into his perceptibly imbibe, whilst learning to read, hands to be used as a reading book. He now which might have been prevented by proper
But what is his disap. care and attention, on the part of teachers. Bus pointment, on finding he can know nothing this care and attention so necessary are not beabout what the book contains. Instead of going stowed except in a few instances. on with ardor, he dreads nothing more than the In my visitation of schools this summer, I time when he is to be called on to read. He have seen but sew intelligible readers. Proba. may, in this way, learn to speak the words, but bly not one-twentieth of all the children learning he is almost sure to contract the disagreeable to read in the schools of the fourteen towns I habit of monotony, or learn to read in a sing. have charge of, can read without one or more song manner. There are but few teachers who of the habits I have enumerated. This lamentapay that attention to reading which its great ble detect in this important part of the elucation importance demands. It often happens that of the rising generation, can be traceil direci'y after a class has commenced a reading lesson, it to the carelessness and inattention of unintelli. receives no attention from the teacher during gent and incompetent instructers. Ani so long the exercise. The scholars are left to themselves, as the rage for che teachers prevails in con:and if they happen to become good readers, the munity, so long our schools will present bui a teacher undeservedly has the credit of it. In a sorry appearance, and will continue in the back school of sixteen scholars which I visited this ground. Generally I believe teachers receive a summer, the teacher had two classes reading at full compensation for the value of their services. the same. I asked her if that was her usual In many cases all they receive is beyond the va. practice ? Only when I am in a hurry and lue of iheir services; they being of no benefi am cramped for time.” I asked her if she ap. ! whatever to the schools. In a certaio district proved of the practice? “I don't know but it with which I am well acquainted, the trustees had will answer well enough when a body has got a the offer of an accomplished, well informed and little belated.” This inattention on the part of competent instructress for two dollars per week. teachers to this most important branch, is pro. She had taught the school the year before and ductive of many evil consequences. Without had given universal satisiaction. Another per. the instruction necessary when childre are son offered her services for $1.62ļ per k. learning lo read, they almost invariably contract Two of the trustees thought best to save a few
commences a new era.