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The whole number of pupils registered in all the Night
1648 The number that actually attended last week was
1221 The average attendance was
1019 You will see that this is only one-ninth of the attendance in our day Schools. Though this is a much greater proportion than has heretofore been attained, we hope to increase it still more.
I am, sir, yours, most respectfully, CINCINNATI, Nov. 18th, 1856.
A. J. R.
It was a damp day in early spring, when Ada B. crossed for the first time the threshold of a boarding school, as a pupil. She was a thoughtful girl, retiring in her manners to an almost painful degree. She was now in her sixteenth year, and, with the exception of an occasional attendance at different select schools, had received the most of her education in her father's study. He had taught her after his own thorough and somewhat peculiar style, and in some respects, her education would have answered as well for a theological student as for a young lady. He sent her now to a female Boarding School, that she might receive some of those feminine accomplishments which he considered himself unqualified to teach. With a beating heart she stood for the first time before her teacher, passed her examination, and was assigned her class. She was prepared to put the same implicit confidence in the sayings and doings of her teachers that she always had in her parents. It never entered her mind that they could be otherwise than sincere, when they endeavored to impress upon their pupils the beauty of truth, and brought long lists of scripture promises, warnings and threatenings, concerning deceit, to be committed to memory, and explained and commented upon in the school room.
Nor did it appear at all strange to her, that after these teachings, and especially, as a large proportion of the elder young ladies, who studied in their own rooms, were professed Christians, the teachers should expect their pupils to be truthful, and should receive the reports which were handed in every night as true.
She was therefore surprised at the charges of deceit, and, in schoolgirl phraseology, meanness frequently brought against them by her schoolmates, who had been longer in the institution than she had. She was also puzzled to account for the fear and batred with which many, especially the younger ones, regarded two or three quiet silent ones among the elder pupils, who stood high in favor with the teachers, although remarkably dull scholars. It seemed to her very strange, too, that they were forbidden to talk to one another about their teachers, the rules and regulations, and that if they did talk thus the principal was sure to find it out. In consequence of this regulation it took her a long time to find out, what she at length ascertained to be true, that in every room appropiated to study, on the play ground, in their walks, in every place where they were not under the immediate eye of their teachers, there were eyes fixed upon them, and tongues ready to report in secret; where, if a false charge should be made, no defence could be brought, and that the punishment frequently as secret as the trial, was sure to follow. She was too strictly upright ever to suffer from such a course herself; but the discrepancy between that and the schoolroom instructions struck her at once, and aroused all the indignation of a naturally high spirit.
If, she reasoned, the principal knew that the girls were not to be trusted to remember and report all their little failings, why did they not appoint monitors over them, and give them a certain degree of authority to enforce the observance of the rules, and not pretend to trust them and give them the largest liberty, when every step they took was taken in the presence of a spy? Was that the way to illustrate their Christian teachings ? She found that this principle extended throughout their whole system, and she lost at once all confidence in, and respect for, the teachers. She looked upon the principal, whom she now, looking back, believes to have been sincere in her efforts for the spiritual and temporal welfare of her pupils, as little better than the Lady Abbess of a Jesuit convent. And the little paradise of Christian love which the school appeared at first sight to be, became to her a hateful prison house, whose portals she was glad to leave, never to return. Their intentions were good, their instructions of a very high order, but their government was wrong. Shortly after leaving school, Ada assumed herself the duties and responsibilities of a teacher. unused to the ways of the world, and made many mistakes, and met with many trials and discouragements before she learned the art of teaching so as to bo satisfiod with her own success. Her own experience, howover, as givon abovo, had taught her one lesson that she
She was young,
always remembered. In the first place, she kept her pupils as much as possible under her own eye; and she took no pains to conceal from them that she was watching over them, ready to encourge if they did right, and to reprove if wrong. She found that children do not object to having their teacher watch them. It removes the temptation to do wrong, and they can behave right a great deal more easily than if left to themselves. If she found it necessary to leave the school-room for a few moments, she would sometimes request an older pupil, one that had the respect of his schoolmates, to take her place and sometimes de as in the following case. A little boy came in to say that there was a man at the door with a load of wood, waiting for directions as to its disposal. She started for the door, but paused at the threshold and looked back at the fifty pairs of bright eyes fixed upon her. Boys, is it necessary to appoint a monitor to keep you still ? No, ma'am, we can keep ourselves still. She returned to the shool-room after an absence of five or ten minutes, and even a teacher's practiced eye could discover no evidence that their word had not been kept. She endeavored always to interest her pupils in the rules and order of the school in such a manner that one who should break any regulation, should be looked upon by the rest as one disposed to interfere with their improvement, and bring disgrace upon them as a school. In this she succeeded beyond her expectation ; and almost always made able and willing coadjutors of a targe proportion of her scholars. To do this, and at the same time discourage tale bearing, she found at first a delicate, and sometimes difficult, task. But she learned in time, and taught her pupils that each individual could mind his own business and let the others alone, except when they interfered with his improvement or infringed upon his rights.
As a general rule this worked very well; for particular cases a particular treatment became necessary. But she never encouraged or allowed a whisperer or a spy, she would pay no attention to such, nor hear any complaints the accuser was not willing to maintain in the presence of the accused. She endeavored to carry out the principles of truth she taught them, and when she told them anything they believed it, believed she would do what she said, and also deal justly by them if she could. In this way, perhaps, she occasionally missed some things which might have come to her knowledge, but she gained the confidence of her pupils, and learned them to trust her and one another. After she had taught several years in different schools, of almost every grade, she was called to the female principalship in an endowed institution, which ought to have taken a rank nearly equal to that of a college. She was puzzled and perplexed by various circumstances when she first entered the School, one of which was, that the two men who had the management of the institution, the principal and the manager of the boarding department, had no confidence in each other; that the students had none in either of them, that there was not the right kind of subordination among the students, or, what she had been accustomed to consider, a right spirit of improvement.
She was not long in discovering that the principal was a man whose education was, comparatively, very poor for the station he occupied. This, however, only partially cleared up the mystery ; the greater portion of the students would not discover this, being, as before intimated, influenced by nothing more than what might be denominated a mercenary spirit of improvement. Upon this man came the whole government of the school, aside from the authority maintained by the lady principal for the teacher of languages, whose name was in catelogue as president, neither desired, or was permitted to know anything about, or take any part in the government of the institution. ually, however, the mystery unfolded itself. One day Ada was reasoning with one of the young ladies upon the wrong spirit she manifested towards one of her schoolmates. These two, with some others, occupied a suite of rooms, at a distance from those occupied by the Principal, and other young ladies; conseqently, out of her supervision, unless she went to them for that purpose. While talking to this young lady, she suddenly broke out with, “ Why, Miss B., the reason we don't like her, is because we think you have hired her as a spy upon us, to tell you every thing we do." Astonished and indignant, Ada repelled the charge with an earnestness which left no room for doubt in the mind of the listener. She told the young lady that she thought it would be a very good plan to have Miss L. appointed monitor of that set of rooms ; but when she did that, she would let them all knew it, she never in her life employed a spy.
She sought the principal and laid the matter before him, when, to her unbounded astonishment, he told her he “had already agreed to give Miss L. her tuition, to keep watch of the young ladies in that room, and let him know their proceedings; of course, not letting them know anything about it.”
A blush of shame mounted to his cheek, as he met her astonished, indignant look, and she turned from him, sick at heart, that she had thus come in contact with the very principles she had always fought against. But the clue was reached. She found that this little piece of deceit against the students, was but a specimen of the way the whole thing was managed. The principal governed by spies. The spies turned traitor to the principal. The students had no confidence in the teachers, nor the teachers in the students, and the lesson learned by the whole was deceit, and nothing but deceit. Dis gusted and weary, Ada sought another field of labor, with a new resolve in her heart, that, come what might, she would never manage her pupils so as to implant in their young hearts a lesson of distrust and fraud, to be learned soon enough, when they go forth to struggle with a busy world.
It is perhaps necessary to delegate the authority of a teacher to some of the pupils, sometimes,- always a necessary evil—but I hold that it is not only unnecessary, but wrong, to make those pupils spies.
SODus, N. Y., Nov., 1856.
LOUISA A BLAKELY.
YOUR DAUGHTERS' HEALTH.
A word on this point with you, fathers or mothers, who read the Ohio Farmer. Have you fully settled the matter in your mind that your daughter can be healthy only on the same conditions as your son ? If you have not thought over this subject, please do so, and if you discover that your daughter can be well and strong while pursuing a course that would enervate and ruin your son, make no delay in publishing it to the whole world. For, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, there are many people that are killing their daughters now, to make them pretty, who would be glad to have them pretty without killing them. But it may be some time before you make this discovery. Meanwhile, it will be safest to proceed on the principle, that if boys must have exercise to be healthy, girls need it too. If boys need pure air to inflate their lungs, girls need the same. If boys need to be trained to vigorous toil in order to be worth anything, girls need something similar to this, to bring out what good there is in them, too. Now if these principles be sound, let us ask whether you have carried them out in your family arrangement. Does Mary work as John does, at some good solid work, or does she bend over her sewing? Does she