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destroyed. Then, too, the success of the school, and the highest interests of the very scholars promoted, require a rigid adherence to the standard of admission, whatever it may be. Better let half of the seats in the High School be empty, than oblige scholars to enter classes and pursue studies for which they are not prepared.
These questions and answers should be carefully studied, and the full force of the language understood, and the instruction put in practice.
Dr. Wimmer has translated, for Barnard's Journal of Education, an interesting Catechism on Methods of Teaching, from Diesterweg’s Year Book for 1855–6.
That portion which treats of Intuitional Instruction we quote : 1. What is the object of Intuitional Instruction ?
To prepare the child, who has just entered the Primary School, for formal school instruction.
2. What is therefore its external position in the course of instruction ?
It forms, as it were, the bridge from the liberty of home life to the regular discipline of the school; it is, in regard to instruction, an intermediate between home and school.
3. What is to be effected by it?
The children are to learn to see and to hear accurately, to be attentive, to govern their imaginations, to observe, to keep quiet, and to speak distinctly and with the right emphasis.
4. With what objects must this preparatory education deal; having in view a "formal aim,” but no acquisition of knowledge ?
Perceptible or perceived object; hence its name. It has a two-fold meaning; real observation by the senses -- especially by eye and earand such management by the Teacher, that the objects, their qualities and conditions, are made vivid interior perceptions.
5. By what do we know that its end is attained ?
By the whole appearance of the children, and particularly by their correct and proper speech and pronunciation, which cannot be valued too highly from the first beginning.
6. What is the beginning of this instruction ?
After a conversation about father and mother, to gain their confidence, and after some directions concerning the mode of answering and behaving in the school room, the first thing is to observe the room and its contents. The pupil is to be made acquainted with all around him; he must learn to see, to name, and describe exactly, all objects in the pired, he was dismissed by the directors. He subsequently engaged in another school, and although he continued till the close of his engagement, he failed to maintain order, and the school was of little or no utility to those who attended it.
7. What must be chiefly attended to from the first day?
A clear, emphatic statement in complete sentences; thus, what sort of thing is this? This thing is a chair, etc.
A comprehensive view of all qualities observed in an object, at the conclusion of each exercise. This is of the greatest importance in all instruction.
8. What is the second step?
Observation of the whole school, school-house, road, village or town, in their external qualities.
9. The third ?
This depends upon circumstances. In general, it may be said, that the result of this instruction may be secured by from four to six hours a week during the first year. The duller children are, the longer it must be continued. It may be further extended to the trees and the plants of the neighborhood, the trades and employments of the people in the place, clouds, weather, wind, fire, water, sun, moon, stars, etc.; in short, to all objects accessible to real observation. Accurate contemplation, or description of models of mathematical bodies, may also be very advantageous. The Teacher should draw the streets and houses of the place before the eyes of the pupils on the blackboard.
Of the greatest importance, we may repeat, is the way in which the children speak and pronounce.
A Teacher who is unmindful of this, prepares trouble for his whole professsional career. The Teacher will show his skill in the suitable choice of objects, and especially in the varied and attractive treatment of them. Less depends upon the selection of what is to be discussed, than on the way in which the attention of the children is secured. If the proverb, “every way is good except the tiresome," be true any where, it is true here. As soon as the children get tired, the subject must be dropped. Success depends entirely on the activity of the children. This is true indeed of all teaching, but preëminently so where knowledge and technical ability are not aimed at, but only an awakening of the slumbering faculties, a “ formal” end. Attention, liveliness, a desire to observe, and to answer, etc., are the measures for judging of success.
SCHOOLS - MANAGEMENT
- RELIGIOUS EXERCISES.
The Prairie Farmer, Chicago, copied our article “ Opening of a School in the Morning," from the May number, saying it was appropos there; and prefaced its republication with the following remarks :
The school room and its duties may be made attractive-more attractive than most school rooms are, if the ingenuity and tact of the Teacher are exercised. Novelties are always pleasant to the young mind. Excitement of a proper character, and with a proper aim, always brightens eyes, transforms sour, inattentive faces, to happy, eager, attentive ones, and the child's mind thus stimulated grasps, almost instinctively, what before it seemed incapable to comprehend. Music, declamation, chants, reading in concert, spelling ditto, spelling by sounds, black-board exercises of all sorts, diagrams, simple drawing lessons, etc., etc., to relieve the monotony of study, are attended with the best results. A Teacher must think of these things and prepare something novel each day. If the chil. dren expect it, their attendance will be regular, and they will be prompt and wide awake.
Are the scholars stupid ? So is the Teacher. The fault is generally with you, Teacher, for if it were not so, you would, long ere this, have invented some plan by which to have stimulated to action the capabilities of that dirty-faced urchin. He has got it in him—no mistake about it, and if you do not“ break the crust,' “peel off the bark," "soften the shell," and let the sunlight in, you are responsible for the hidden treasure, and for its disuse are not qualified to teach-have mistaken your calling-better dismiss your school at once. But do not be discouraged if you fail in the first effort. There will be other opportunities, and other means to employ. Be vigilant.
"I can't do this sum, Miss R, I have tried, and tried again, and it don't come out right.” “Try again.” Speak it kindly and encouragingly. Speak it firmly. Let the child understand you have confidence in his ability to overcome obstacles.
But our object was simply to call attention to the fact that religious exercises are not only important and essential, but an actual benefit to the mind-giving it direction, and rendering the scholar earnest, honest, respectful and teachable. There is no person capable of conducting a school, who will not ask God's direction first! The Teacher's relation to the pupil demands this.
– It is not intellect alone that we require in the schoolmaster. He may know all the ics and ologies, and be after all unfitted for his duties. As a matter of the first importance, a Teacher should manifest in all his teaching, and in his whole personal life and conversation, a deep conviction of the power and efficacy of religious principles; to form the mind and character of an immortal being by the development of every principle of good, and the repressing of every tendency to evil; to foster habits of purity, of industry, of honesty, of contentment, and, as the root of all, to lead him to the love and fear of God, is the first great duty of the school teacher of the present day.
- Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
· ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON THE SCHOOL LAW.
BY THE STATE COMMISSIONER OF COMMON SCHOOLS.
QUESTION 6. (S.) If directors furnish a Teacher with a set of written rules, and he gains the disapprobation of some parents by trying to carry them into; effect, have the directors power to close the school before the term expires ? Or, if a Teacher is discharged while he is complying with the reasonable requirements of the directors, can he not recover pay for the full term, according to the article of agreement?
ANSWER. Inquiries similar to the above, are frequently received at this office. Sec. 6 of the general School Law, makes it the duty of the school directors “to empioy Teachers, * * and to dismiss any Teacher, at any time, for such reasons as they may deem sufficient.”
Section 11, of “An Act to amend, and supplementary to an act, entitled 'an act to provide for the reorganization, supervision and maintenance of Common Schools,' passed March 4, 1853,” dated April 17, 1857, provides that “If the directors of any sub-district dismiss any Teacher for any frivolous or insufficient reason, such Teacher may bring suit against such sub-district, and if, on the trial of the cause, a judgment be obtained against the sub-district, the directors thereof shall certify to the Clerk of the Board the sum so found due, and he shall issue an order to the person entitled thereto, upon the township treasurer, to pay the same out of any money in his hands belonging to said sub-district, and applicable to the payment of Teachers. In such suits, process may be serve ed upon the the clerk of the sub-district, and service upon him shall be sufficient.”
These provisions are so clear and explicit as to render explanations unneces. sary. Directors have power to dismiss a Teacher for such reasons as they may deem sufficient. But should the court before which the Teacher should bring suit, deem these reasons "frivolous or insufficient,” such Teacher can recover such an amount as the court shall judge to be just and proper. Whether this amount, in any case, shall be the same as the “pay for the full term, according to the article of agreement,” will, doubtless, depend upon the facts pertaining to each litigated case.
Competent and worthy Teachers are liable to be dismissed by incompetent and unworthy directors. But such cases will be exceedingly rare. The chief danger in regard to this matter is that worthless Teachers will be suffered to con. tinue in charge of schools, when both justice and mercy demand that they should be dismissed from an employment for which they are utterly unqualified. Because a Teacher has obtained a certificate from a Board of Examiners, it does not of necessity follow that he is competent to take charge of the instruction of children and youth. In practical knowledge, tact and discretion, the directors may find him to be so deficient as to render his dismission their imper. ative duty. In such a case, the Teacher could not, and should not recover dam. ages.
QUESTION 7. (S.) Some two years since, the Board of Examiners for county, granted a certificate of qualifications for teaching school to a certain young man of said county. He sustained the examination with great credit to himself, and gave satisfactory evidence of an excellent moral character. But upon trial, he failed in regard to government. He could not preserve due order in the school room, and before the time for which he had been engaged had ex.
A few weeks since, he applied to be examined for another certificate, which the Board refused to grant, on the ground of his repeated failures in governing his pupils. Are the Examiners justifiable for this refusal ?
ANSWER. Most certainly they are. Scholarship and moral character are not the only requisites required of Teachers. No qualifications are of higher importance than the ability to maintain due order in the school room.
Some young Teachers may fail for one term in governing a school, but after that experience, achieve satisfactory success aš disciplinarians. For a single failure of this kind, they should not be rejected. But when it becomes a settled point that candidates are particularly deficient in the matter of government, they should be rejected by the Board. Examiners need exercise discretion in deciding such cases.
A. SMYTH, Commissioner.
AN ALPHABET FOR BEGINNERS, ON THE BEGINNING OF EACH
Above all rules observe this, Honesty is the best policy.