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fectual inspection and supervision are more essential to the proper management of schools, and more indispensable to their improvement than any, or all other agencies combined. This high duty will now devolve chiefly on the County Superintendents. If they realize its vast importance, and bring to its discharge a firm resolution to regard only the great interests confided to their hands, they will become the honored means of extending and sustaining a cause, on which depends the happiness and prosperity of the people, and the perpetuity of our insti. tutions.
Their duties are so connected with the interests of others, and are so liable at times to conflict with the opinions and prejudices of those with whom they will associate, that the greatest prudence will be required to prevent un. favorable impressions at the commencement of a system so new and by many but imperfectly understood. The deputies should bear in mind, that their business is chiefly advisory. With this fact impressed on their minds, they will, of course avoid every appearance of dictation or arrogance. As their usefulness will depend mainly on the influence they shall be able to exercise upon the officers and teachers of schools, and upon parents and the inhabitants of districts generally, they will endeavor to deserve that influence by their deportment, and studiously to avoid every thing which may impair it. Hence it will be indispensable that they should abstain wholly and absolutely from all interference in any local divisions, or in any questions by which the community in any town or district may be agitated ; and although they cannot be expected to abandon their political sentiments, yet it is obvious that any participation in measures to promote the success of any political party, will not only diminish their influence and impair their usefulness, by exciting suspicion of the objects of their movements and measures, but will expose the office they hold to a vindictive hostility that will not cease until it is abolished. The intelligence of our people will not tolerate the idea of the agents of public instruction becoming the emissaries of partisan management.
The subordination of pupils, the good order of the schools, and the success of the whole system, depend upon the harmonious co-operation of all the officers charged with the performance of duties under it, and upon the maintenance of their authority in the respective spheres of their duty. The teacher must be respected by his scholars; and to insure this, they must be impressed with a conviction of his authority to govern them. The trustees of districts, and Town Superintendents, are to be sustained and their authority respected in their appropriate departments, so as to insure the greatest degree of efficiency. Organization, and a central communication, will accomplish much in giving uniformity and regularity to the system; but after all, more is to be done by local efforts, and public sentiment, especially in providing competent teachers and in filling the schools. It should, then, be the great object of the County Superintendents to encourage and sustain these local efforts—to guide and enlighten the public opinion—and to interest parents in those institutions which are so seriously to affect the moral and intellectual character of their offspring.
To attain these purposes, it will be advisable for the County Superintendents to avail themselves of every proper opportunity to deliver familiar addresses in public, upon the importance of our primary schools, the necessity of attention to them, and the means of promoting their success. In their present condition, the points that seem to require the most attention are, First, The employment of good teachers ; Second, The attendance of all the children in the schools during the whole time they are open ; and, Third, The elevation of the standard of education.
They should impress upon parents, that cheap teachers cannot be good teachers, until all the principles of human action are reversed, and until men cease to pursue those employments which render the best returns for their talents and industry. From the employment of good teachers, other results will necessarily follow; particularly a more extended range and a higher degree of instruction. These will, inevitably, fill the schools, by drawing pupils from those private and select establishments which are founded chiefly to supply the deficiencies of the common schools, and which ordinarily operate so much to their injury.
The power of removal from office vested in the Superin«sndent, will, it can scarcely be necessary to say, never be exercised unless upon the most pressing exigency, and in cases of flagrant neglect, violation or perversion of duty, where the action of the appointing power cannot be had in season to avert the evil. While the Superintend-, ent will, in no case, undertake to review, or in any manner to control, by the exercise of this power, the designation by the respective boards of the individual deemed most suitable to discharge the duties of the office of County Superintendent, he will take care that the confidence reposed in such individual is neither abused nor betrayed : and especially that the great interests of education, and the salutary provisions of the legislature for their advancement are not rendered obnoxious to the people in consequence of the incompetency or unfaithfulness of the agent selected to vindicate the one and enforce the other.
The duties of the County Superintendents may be Irranged under the following general heads:
I. Visiting the districts, and inspecting the schools :
IT. Advising and counselling with trustees and other oficers, and with teachers :
1.I. Reports to the Superintendent:
I. VISITING THE DISTRICTS AND INSPECTING THE SCHOOLS
1. The statute makes it the duty of every County Su. perintendent "to visit and examine all the schools, and school districts committed to his charge, as often in each year as may be practicable, having reference to the number of such districts." This language is understood to mean that the districts and schools are to be visited as often as their number will permit, and that the time of the County Superintendent is to be devoted to that employment.
The appointment of two County Superintendents wherever the number of districts in any county shall exceed one hundred and fifty, is strongly recommended. No one person can do full justice in the supervision of a
greater number of schools during the limited periods for which they are annually kept open; and unless the supervision is thorough in all respects unless the County Su. perintendent has made himself familiarly and intimately acquainted with the resources, administration and capabi. lities of every one of the schools which he visits-unless he has been enabled to detect and remove by judicious counsel and friendly advice, every material obstacle to the prosperity and success of the school to develop all its advantages and to give to it the means for attaining to an equality with those of the highest grade, the great object for which his office was created, has not been accomplished. It is on every account desirable that the County Superintendent, should, once at least, in every year, and oftener if practicable, visit every district within his jurisdiction, thoroughly inspect its school, satisfactorily ascertain the qualifications of the teacher and the facilities for instruction at his command, the condition of the schoolhouse and its appurtenances, the condition and prospects of the library, the degree of interest manifested towards the school on the part of the inhabitants, and all those other particulars which go to form the character of the school and to determine the amount of mental and moral influence which it is to exercise on its inmates. But if, from the number of districts which it is made his duty to visit, he cannot accomplish this amount of labor, and at the same time faithfully discharge the additional obliga. tions devolved upon him by the existing law, it is far bet. ter that he should restrict his visitations to a number to which he can do full justice, than chat he should nomi. nally conform to the strict requirement of his instructions, by making a flying visit to all the districts, without leaving any abiding, permanent impression of utility upon any. Let what is accomplished, be accomplished thoroughly; what is done, be well done ; and the temporary inconvenience which any one or more districts may sustain from a failure on the part of the County Superitendent to reach them in any given period, will be more than counterbalanced by the amount of good effected when he does appear among them. All embarrassments arising from this source, may however, in most cases, easily be
averted by the appointment of two Superintendents under the section referred to.
2. The act requires the County Superintendents to notify the Town Superintendents of the time appointed to visit the schools, and to invite their attendance. The Superintendents will also give notice to the trustees of the districts, of the time when their schools will be visited. To enable them to comply with these provisions they should make a previous arrangement of their visits, in reference to the means of travelling, so as to reach as many districts as possible in the shortest time; and for this pur. pose they will find it necessary to divide their counties into sections. Having fixed the time for visiting the schools in one or more sections, they should at once give ample notice, by transmitting a copy of their arrangement to the Town Superintendents of the town embraced within it, and request thern to communicate to the trustees of districts information of the time appointed for inspecting their schools, or in some other way give public city to their plans. It is presumed that publishers of newspapers would cheerfully insert such notices gratuitously. They have ever been foun.. ready to render their assistance to disseminate information calculated to promote the interests of the common schools.
By a regulation of the department, the respective town clerks are required to furnish the Superintendents with the names of the Town Superintendents of their towns.
The inhabitants of the district, and particularly parents, who have children attending the school, should be invited to be present at the inspection by the Superintendent : and trustees of districts are hereby required, whenever they receive information of an intended visit, to communicate it as generally as possible, to the inhabitants. Their attendance will afford an opportunity for the public addresses of the Superintendents, before suggested.
3. Examination of the Schools.—Preparatory to this, the Superintendent should ascertain from the teacher the number of classes, the studies pursued by each, tho routine of the school, the successive exercises of each class during each hour of the day, the play spells allowed, &c. and thus obtain a general knowledge of the school, which will be found greatly to facilitate his subsequent