(12) No. of incorporated Academies, Aggregate of months kept, :-Average number of

Scholars, .-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, I.-Aggregiile of mouths kept, 14.Average No. of Scholars, 21.-Aggre

gale paid for tuition, $ 16 50. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $

.-Income from same, $ BOOKS USED. -Spelling-Webster's. Reading – Improved Reader, Worcester's sour Reading Books, Khelorical Reader. Grammar-Pond's. Geography-Parley's, Vlucy's, Smith's. Arithmelic-Smith's and Adams'. All others—Goodrich's History of the U.S., Walls on the Miud, Political Class Book.

[ocr errors]



Your committee are of opinion, that more care should be taken, in selecting instructers, who have had experience in teaching, and whose qualifications are adequate to the task. It is a mistaken notion, that much is saved in having cheap teachers. You may, by chance, have a young, or inexperienced teacher, who will keep a good school; but it is much the safest, and, frequently, the most profitable, to hire an approved teacher, although you may have 10 give him twenty five dollars per month; for a good school of two inonths is better than an ordinary school of three njonths. *


{r" , $021,499 00.


Number of Public Schools, 13. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 499—lu Winter, 712. (3) Average udance in the Schools-In Summer, 357-Iu Winter, 486. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 619.—No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, 60.–No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 119. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 69 mihs. 7 days.-In Summer, 31 14— In Winter, 34 21. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F. 15.-No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 12–F.3. (7) Average wages paid per month including board To Males, $27 80—To Females, $ 11 78. (8) Average value of board per month-of Males, $760_Of Females, $6 04. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-Of Males, $20 20—Of Females, $5 74. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $1,300. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $200. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, -Aggregate of months kept, .-Average No. of

Scholars, :-Aggregate paid for tuition. $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, 12.-Aggregate of mouths kept, 20.-Average No. of Scholars, 39.-Aggre

gale paid for tuition, $327 05. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ -Income from same, $

BOOKS USED. -Spelling-Emerson's National, Cummings' do. Reading-Pierponi's First Class Book, National Reader and Introduction, Young Reader and Rhetorical Reader, Child's Guide. Grammur-l'ond's Murray's, Smithi's. Arithmetic-Adams', Colburn's Mental, Smith's, North American, 1st l'art. All others-Day's Algebra, Bailey's do., Goodrich's History of the U. S., Blake's Astronomy, Walker's and Webster's Dictionary.



The practice of calling up scholars frequently, 10 say their letters, and to read and spell, and of having several recesses in the course of a day, your committee think a good one for very small scholars, and recommend it in all schools, where there are a considerable number of that class. In them, proficiency is not a matter of study, but of frequent repetition of their exercises; besides, it keeps them in motion, which is what their liealth requires. On the contrary, proficiency in the larger scholars, is a matter of study, and they want the school still for that purpose.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][merged small]



's manner of teaching is peculiar; every thing is formal, and takes place with a kind of military exactness. The scholars advance and retreat, form a line, and file off, with mathematical precision. This is well in its place, but should not be allowed to engross the attention, lest it should come to be cousidered the principal thing, aud endanger the loss of the substance, in grasping at the shadow. Although this is order and system, it is not that order and system, which insure stillness and application, and facilitate progress in business and improveinent.

* Your committee believe, that they have subserved the interest of the great majority of the scholars, in this and all the schools, by limiting the instruction to the studies, prescribed by the statute, although they may have, in some few instances, thwarted the wishes of those, who, if they had been allowed to pursue their favorite studies, would have saved themselves the trouble and expense of seeking the information they wanted, in the appropriate place,-a higher order of schools. The Common School is the only place, where many will ever learn to read, write, and cipher, if they do it at all; and, in a school of thirty scholars, there are but six minutes for each in a half day, allowing all the time to be occupied. Now, a class of one, two, or three, in some advanced study, whose education already qualifies them for common business, will often occupy from one half to three quarters of an hour. If any one requires more time and attention of the teacher than another, it is the most backward.

The examination of this school went off much to the satisfaction of all concerned; nothing extraordinary was attempted. The teacher seemed not to have tried to do great things, but to do what was done, well. Some of the scholars wanted to pass lightly over some parts, and to stretch on to others, which they thought more important, or, perhaps, more easy. This was firmly resisted, and, it is believed, no one will ever regret it.

In this connection, your committee will allude to a fault, which prevails, more or less, in all the schools. It is, that instruction is too mechanical,—not sufficiently familiar and social,—not sufficiently addressed to the understanding,—not enough of conversation, illustration, lecturing, reading by the teacher, to set an example. Hence, the scholars learn to spell, and call by name, in reading, a great many words, that are total strangers to them; they get no ideas from them at all; they might as well be Latin or Greek. The cousequence is, we have much parrot-like reading. Your committee think, there would be no great difficulty in teaching children to spell and pronounce Latin words correctly, and call them over readily at sight, in the manner of reading, without their knowing the meaning of a single word in the language, and that, in about the same time they now learn what they call reading. But “cui bono ?” It would be one coutinued, monotonous, humdrum succession of sounds, without sentirnent, emphasis, accent, cadence, inflection of voice, or scarcely gesture,-much like the reading of many of the scholars in our schools of the present day. The words come dropping out of their mouths, like apples out of the tail end of a cart, without their taking any more sense of what they read, than the cart does, what color the apples have, or whether they are rotten or sound.

I hus you see, $390 out of the $1,300, raised by the town, has been worse than lest. Some allowance is to be made, on account of necessary detention and sickness, and much on account of the baduess of the roads last winter, and the intense severity of the weather. But, after all, there has been a great amount of needless absence. “And all experience goes to show, that, when a scholar is absent one quarter or one third of the time, his presence the other three quarters or two thirds, while it is of almost no benefit to himself, is a positive injury to others.” What is worse, it is feared that, by the indulgence, on the part of parents, in a prevailing vice, their children are kept from school in many instances, eiiher from a want of suitable books, or from a want of sufficient clothing to protect them from mortification and the elements. * * *

When it is cousidered, that society must receive into its bosom, and provide for these children, when grown up to adult age, be they libellers, or be they lynchers, and that poverty and crime are nearly in proportion to ignorance, does not self-protection point out his duty to each sober parent and guardian

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of the town? And will they hesitate to discharge that duty ? It is hoped, that all, who feel an interest in the rising generation, and in the future well-being of our common country, will coöperate with each other, in bringing all the ehildren out, and in endeavoring to promote punctual and constant attendance; and that those, who feel the application of any of the above remarks, will take care, that their children go to school constantly, and not oblige the committee to call names. What avails it, to raise money freely, and to procure the best of teachers, if the pupils are not present to receive the benefit?

The practice of changing teachers every year, is a defect. It generally takes a new teacher from two to four weeks, to find out his scholars' names, characters, dispositions, bias of mind, proficieney, &c., so as to class them properly, and put upon eachi just what he can bear, or what is best adapted to hint ***

The practice, both teachers and scholars are in, of going over too much ground, -of trying to do too much, is a defect ;-of doing so much, in fact, in the course of the school, as to get but a superficial knowledge of any, or all of their studies. In the first place, they have too many studies going on at the same time, and, what is worse, some of them inuch in advance of their years. In the second place, the teacher is too apt to require of them too much of each branch; to liurry them along faster than they understand. Hence, they study hard, during the whole school; and, in trying to retain too much, but little sticks by them.

Another evil grows out of this superficial course; you never know to whom to ascribe the credit or blame for the good or bad appearance of the class before you. Take any recitation at an examination, if you ask “how many have been over half of this before ?" the answer is,

most of the class ;" how many have been over three fourths of it before ?" “nearly half of the class;" “ how many have studied a part of this branch during two schools ?” “ nearly half;" “ how many, during three schools?" " a respectable ininority.” Who can tell, to which of the three teachers, belongs the credit, if they happen to appear well in some parts of the examination ? especially, if the teacher begins asking the questions, as usual, at the commencement of what they have been over, and most of the questions asked, are in the parts they have studied during several previous schools ?

The condition of some of our schoolhouses is a defect. They are not all what they should be, inviting in appearance and comfort, and calling up pleasing associations in the minds of children and youth, as places, where they have spent many happy hours, and laid the foundation, by studious and correct habits, of future usefulness. Some of them are cold and cheerless, some smoky, some badly and inconveniently constructed, and all of them poorly provided with the means of ventilation. Some, although they have good stoves, have no shovel nor tongs; and broken dogs, with one end resting on stones, frequently tumbling over with a crash upon the floor, or stones without dogs of any kind, serve, imperfectly, to keep the fuel up out of the ashes.

The practice of constructing scats and benches upon an inclined plane, is a defect. Not an inch of room is gained by it; a hollow drum is formed underneath ; and every inotion of a foot grates harsh thunder upon the teacher's ear, or those of studious scholars ; the scholars make inuch more noise coming down upon the floor; the high, or back seats, give the scholar often, what he wishes, a better opportunity to look out of the window, tban at his books ; whereas, the light only, is what you want of the windows, which should be far above the heads of the scholars ;-finally, the teacher cannot overlook his scholars to so good advantage, as when all the scholars' feet are upon the common level of the floor, and each succeeding tier of seats a little higher, just so as to accommodate the age of the scholar.

This brings us to notice another prominent defect, mentioned in the report of a former committee,Ớ“the want of black-boards, and those of a sufficiently large size." Placed where we have suggested, they might be three feet wide, and from eight to twelve feet long, making a part of the ceiling. On these, the whole class miglit be engaged, at the same time, in solving the question, or in illustrating the matter in point. The teacher may dictate a sentence, which each scholar' may write down upon the black-board, thus furnishing an exercise in writing, spelling, composition, pointing off, and the use of capital letters. Then may follow, the application of the rules of grammar to the same sen




[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

tence. In short, by this arrangement, the whole class may derive the same beuefit, at the same time that an individual docs, with a black-board of the present size.

Every thing should be ncat and attractive, in and about a schoolhouse, and managed in a way to inculcate, by example, the great virtues of economy, neutness, order, modesty, &c.

The want of Common School Libraries, is another dcfect. Your committee recommend to the several districts, to take advantage of the stalute authorizing thein to assess themselves not over thirty dollars the first year, nor over ten, any succeeding year, for this purpose.

Your committee have been pleased to see an increasing interest, felt by the parents in our schools, shown by their upholding the teachers generally, and by their presence, in very respectable numbers, at the examinations; thereby stimulating and encouraging, both the teacher and the scholars. They liope to see these visits more general, and more frequent. By thus visiting the schools frequently, and coöperating with the comiuittee, through the agents, much good might be effected. *

One word, in regard to Normal Schools. * We think the Normal Schools, if the people will take advantage of them, are calculated to do immense good, in furnishing more thorough and efficient teachers to our Common Schools.






{") Population 724, Valuation, $152,382 75.

. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools—In Summer, 141-In Winter, 220. (3) Average attendance in the Schools—In Summer, 114—In Winter, 171. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 214.–No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, 22.-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 35. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 24 mths. 24 days.- In Summer, 10 21—In Winter, 14 3. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. .-F. 5 No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 5-F. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board_To Males, $26 20To Females, $ 10 40. (8) Average value of board per inonth-Or Males, $6 93—Or Feinales, $5 20. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board-or Males, $19 27–Of Females, $5 20. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $450. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, .-Aggregate of months kept, -Average number of

Scholars, .-Aggregate paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporated Academics, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, 1.-Aggregate of inonths kept, 12.-Average No. of Scholars, 73.-Aggre

gate paid for tuition, $325. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $520 00.-Income from same, $31 20.

Books USED.- - Spelling-Emerson's National. Reading-American First Class Bonk, Introduction to des., National Reader, Young do. Grammur-Ingersoll s. Geography-Olury's and Sinith's. Arithmetic-Adams' and Colburn's. All others-Blake's Natural Philosophy, Goodrich's History of the U. S., Wilkins' Astronomy, Comstock's Chemistry, Walls on tue Mind.


SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. * Books and Studies. A great impediment in the way of the usefulness and progress of Common Schools, is to be found in the multiplicity of books and studies, which in recent times have been introduced into them. Designed as district schools are, for giving instruction in those branches,—and those only,—with which an acquajntance is indispensable alike to every member of society, acting in whatever sphere or station, it is deeply to be regretted, that the purpose of their institution should be perverted, and their utility impaired, by the intrusion of others.


From this evil, the schools in this town have not been exempt. It has not been uncommon, in years past, to find pupils who were almost totally ignorant of more than one of the branches desiguated by law to be taught in district schools, still neglecting these, and giviny their tiine to studies not contemplated by the statute.

Two of the schools,the north and the west,--are suffering an injury, arising from the num'ser attending ;-that of the former being inuch too sinals, that of the latter much too large. It is evident, that to secure the greatest benefit of instruction, a sehool should be neither very large nor very small. If the school is too large, the pupils suffer from want of attention, and froin confusion; it too small, they feel less ambition and less interest.

Notwithstanding the evils specified above, as attaching to our schools, the committee would nevertheless congratulate the town, on the encouraging aspect, which, on the whole, they present.

The scholars are evidently improving, and many of them, we trust, as far as education is concerned, are preparing to fill with honor the various stations which Providence may hereafier assign them. The schools, generally, have appeared well the past year; in some respects, better than the preceding. There has been certainly less unruly conduct, than in some previous years. Pupils in general, with perhaps some slight exceptions, have evinced a willingness to conform their conduct to all needful regulations and restrictions; and teachers, therefore, have had comparatively little difficulty in preserving that degree of order, which is necessary to insure progress. And we may bope a brighter day is dawning on our schools, and that the savage practice of a darker


will soon be kuown no more. To hasten a consummation, so devoutly wished, let parents and children, and especially the older boys, unite all their efforts, and the work will soon be accomplished; we shall hear no more of gross, unruly conduct, in our schools, more befitting the dark ages and a barbarous state, than an enlightened community of New Englanil, in the nineteenth century. The committee are of opinion, that these disturbinces often originate in the injudicious remarks of parents, tending to diminish, in the mind of the pupil, a respect for the teacher. It would, therefore, seem the innperious duty of parents and guardians, to avoid, in presence of their children, every thing like a crimination of the teacher's character, or of the measures pursued by him in school.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


S (1) Population, 1,185. Valuation, $288,110 50. {")

Number of Public Schools, 8. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 208—lu Winter, 338. (3) Average attendance in 'he Schools-In Summer, 167–In Winter, 257. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 295.--No. of persons under 4

years of age who attend School, 14.-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, Gl. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 44 mths.- In Summer, 20—In Winter, 24. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M.-F.8.-No. of Teachers in Winter M. 8–F. (7) Average wages paid per month including hoard—To Males, $30 09–10 Feinales, $1100. (8) Average value of board per monti–Of Males, $9 09–Of Females, $3 Co. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-of Males, $2100—of Females, $600. (10) Amount of money raised hy taxes for the support of Schools, including ouly the wages of

Teachers, board and fuel, $1,003 78. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, :--Aggregate of months kept, .-Average No. of

Scholars, .-Aggregale paid for tuition, $ (13) No. of unincorporalcd Academics, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common

Schools, 1.-Aggregate of months keft, 3.-Average No. of Scholars, 30.-Aggre

gale paid for tuition, $70. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $

Income from same,

« ForrigeFortsett »