« ForrigeFortsett »
(1) Population, 738. Valuation, $120,180 50. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools-In Summer, 119—In Winter, 251. (3) Average attendance in the Schools—In Summer, 87-In Winter, 187. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 229.—No. of persons under 4 years
age who attend School, ,-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 27 mihs.-In Summer, 12-In Winter, 15. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F. 4.-No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 5.F. 1. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board To Males, 821 00—To Females, $10 00. (8) Average value of board per month-of Males, $6 40mOr Females, $5 06. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board-Or Males, $1460_Of Females, 84 94. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $400. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $95. (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, -Aggregate of months kept, .--Average No. of Scholars, Aggre
gate paid for tuition, $ (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ -Income from same, $
BOOKS USED.- -Spelling-Webster's Elementary. Reading—Testament, Columbian Class Book, Second Class Book, Easy Lessons. Grummar-Murray's and Smith's. Geography Olney's and Smith's. Arithmetic-Daboll's and Smith's.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT. * During the last summer, Public Schools were kept, for a longer or shorter time, in four out of the five school districts in town; all by female teachers. From personal knowledge, we are unable to say much in relation to these schools, as but one of them was visited by the committee, and that but once. If it be required, that we apologize for this apparent neglect of duty, we have only to say, that our course in this respect, was in accordance with what had antecedently been the prevailing custom in this town; our suminer schools, heretofore, not having been much visited by the committee, or to much extent made the subject of their concern. How. ever, we do not, in theory at least, approve this custoin. Although these schools are kept by female teachers, and attended chiefly by the younger class of scholars, they are, on that account, none the less deserving the particular attention and the fostering care of the committee, and of others friendly to the cause of universal education. It is a matter of much importance, that the movements, in these little primary institutions of learning, be in the right direction.
For this, and other reasons, which we will not be particular here to notice, these primary schools, where the rudiments of our language are taught, and where correct moral principles should be instilled into the tender mind, ought not to be overlooked or neglected, as though they were of so little consequence.
We were also delighted as we learned that much useful information upon various subjects, was communicated by the teacher to his younger pupils, by means of questions propounded to them
until the answers, (first given by the teacher,) became with them familiar. This mode of conveying instruction is very easy for the teacher, interesting and useful to the pupil, and should be more generally and extensively practised in our schools.
Iu No 5, we were informed, that a school was kept, which was reckoned a Public School. But the teacher made no application to the committee for a certificate of approbation, as required by law; for which reason, we did not visit the school, being unwilling to encourage or countenance, in any way, the prac.. tice of school-keeping by teachers not qualified according to law.
We believe, that, during the entire season past, and taking our schools in the aggregate, they have been productive of not less than their usual sum of advantages. So far as we have been able to learn, they were, upon the whole, very satisfactorily managed. There was very little difficulty that came to our know.
ledge. This was, truly, a gratifying circumstance. For, however it may be with a school that is conducted with no difficulty, it is certain, if there be much difficulty, it cannot be very useful; it is more likely to be useless ; it
be Probably, it is not within the reach of human means, to procure such a management of our Common Schools, generally, as will afford no ground of dissatisfaction, or occasion for difficulty with any. Many people seem too much inclined to be captious, or to fault-finding, in regard to school concerns. And it too often happens, that, for some trivial affair, a whole district is thrown into commotion, the school destroyed, and a serious injury inflicted upon the cause of education. All this is essentially wrong.
No one doubts, but that, in the management of our schools, imperfection abounds, and cases of abuse sometimes occur. Nor is it questioned, but that it is the right, and the duty even, of those immediately and deeply interested, and, indeed, of all, to express, at once, in a proper tine and manner, their dislike of these imperfections and abuses, and to take all lawful and judicious measures for their removal, and to prevent their re-occurrence. But great care should be taken, that we do not augment the evils we attempt to lessen or
These are affairs, which need to be managed with great prudence and judgment. In every case, the motive, single and pure, should lie to remove an existing imperfection, to remedy an existing evil, or to prevent the occurrence of one anticipated; to improve the condition of the school, and render it more useful. And much concern should be had, that the means employed be those best calculated to accomplish the end desired. Nothing, therefore, should be done, tending to create dissensions, quarrels, or even unkind feelings, within the district. For it is highly important, that upion, harmony in action and feeling, prevail among the menubers of a district, in order that they reap their full amount of benefits from their school. Neither should any thing be said or done to destroy or weaken the scholar's confidence in, and respect for, the teacher; or the ieacher's attachment to, or kindly feelings toward, his pupils. The prosperity and usefulness of the school depend, essentially, upon the existence and strength of these sentiments and feelings; and every thing consistent and reasonable should be done to enkindle, cultivate and cherish them.
The teacher should feel the great responsibility of his station, and the obligation he is under faithfully to discharge his trust. He should consider, that his chief concern is with the tender mind,—to rear it, to cultivate it, to awaken its energies, to aid in the development and increase of its powers; and this with a view prospective; having, for its main object, the future good of the child, and the well-being of the community. He should endeavor by an assiduous, consistent, impartial, dignified course of proceeding in his vocation, to win the attachment of his pupils, and to gain the esteem of both them and their parents. By thus doing, and in no other way, will he be likely to render his situation pleasant, and his labors very beneficial.
The scholars should be made to understand, that the teacher is to govern, that they are to obey, and that the object of all is, to prepare them for usefulness and respectability in life, and thereby to promote their happiness and the public weal. They should be taught to respect, to honor their teacher, to confide in his capacity to instruct, to rely upon his wisdom and integrity of purpose.
And parents should consider, that the teacher's labors are arduous, that his task is difficult, and his circumstances oftentimes perplexing. They should bear in mind, that they can do much, and that they should do what they can, for his assistance, and to enbance the henefits of the school, hy affording him encouraging and cheering tokens of approbation and respect, and sometimes by a little friendly advice properly given; but, more than all perhaps, and always, by wholesome counsel to their children, and a judicious exercise of parental authority over them in respect to school affairs; thus coöperating with the teacher in causing and aiding their advancement in learning, and in maintaining that order and discipline in his school, which is so essential to its useful
In conclusion, we would urge it upon every person in town, committee. men, teachers, parents, and all, to awake to new life, to be more energetic, faithful, punctilious, in discharging their respective duties, in advancing the in
terests, and promoting the usefulness, of our Public Schools. This is a matter of vast importance to us all; but particularly to the rising and successive generations. It is important to every one, not only on account of his individual private interests, but because of its beariig upon our social relations, and the destinies of our common country. We boast of our liberties; of the equality and justness of our laws; of the excellency of our civil and religious institutions. And, for these, we are mainly indebted to the good understanding, the general intelligence, of our fathers. So, too, their perpetuity will be made to, and must depend, chiefly, upon the same cause, having reference to our posterity. A free government and liberal institutions, can be maintained with stability and certainty, only where the common mind” is enlightened ; where general intelligence, and those virtuous principles usually attendant, overspread the land. And this can hardly be expected, where free schools are not generally established, and liberally encouraged and supported. Hence it is, that the public good requires, that the benefits of these schools should be carried to the door of every dwelling, and to the mind of every child. As we prize our civil and religious, our social and political privileges and enjoyments, let us each one and all, see to it, that we do not henceforth fail to discharge our obligations and our duties, in relation to this vastly important matter. And let us of this town, take a look into other towns round about, and see what has there been done, and is there doing, for the cause of Common School education. And let us not be behind the times, or behind our neighbors, in regard to this thing; but let us be incited by their examples, to renewed and greater activity and faithfulness. There is much room for improvement in our schools, in respect to the method and means of education; and we close, by expressing a hope, that, when another year shall have passed, the committee will be enabled to say, and truly, that much improvement has been made.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-CORNELIUS MILLER, ABSALOM GARDNER.
(1) Population, 3,039. Valuation, $559,865 80.
Number of Public Schools, 16. (2). No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools—In Summer, 667—In Winter, 749. (3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 494— In Winter, 574. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 959.–No. of persons under 4 years
age who attend School, 37.-No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 20. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 118 mths. 19 days.-In Sumıner, 68 13In Winter, 50 6. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer-M. -F. 16.–No. of Teachers in Winter-M. 5.-F. 13. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board—To Males, $22 50-To Females, $ 13 00. (8) Average value of board per month-Of Males, $700—Of Females, $6 50. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board_Of Males, $15 50mOf Females, $6 50. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $1,200. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $709. (12) No. of incorporated Academies, 1.-Aggregate of months kept, 10.-Average No. of
Scholars, 74.-Aggregate paid for tuition, $1,124 07. (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 5.-Aggregate of months kept, 20.-Average No. of Scholars, 115.-AggreSELECTIONS FROM REPORT. *
gate paid for tuition, $262. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ .-Income from same, $
BOOKS USED.-Spelling-Webster's Elementary, Hazen's Speller and Definer. ReadingBible, Intelligent and English Readers, Child's Guide, Oluey's and Goodrich's Histories, Irving's Columbus, abridged, Easy Lessons, Youth's Guide. Grammar-Smith's, Hall's Grammatical Assistant. Geography-Olney's and Smith's. Arithmetic-Colburn's First Lessons and Smith's.
In respect to literary qualifications, the teachers of these schools, collectively taken, have been equal, if not superior, to those of former years. The determination of committees, in previous years, to admit none unless possessed of the requisite qualifications--of gradually raising the standard of qualificatious-of giving a preference to those of maturer years and of maturer judgments, has produced a very perceptible improvement in the standing of our teachers, in this one particular. But experience still demonstrates, that literary attainments alone, however excellent, are pot sufficient to qualify a person to inanage, successfully, a school. These are, indeed, indispensable; for no one can teach that of which himself is ignorant. But, in addition to these, there must be industry, skill, and judgment; there must be tact and method ;-without which the best endeavors of the teachers, in the midst of disorder, will avail but little. If our schools have suffered,-if they are not what they ought to be, it is not the fault of the teachers alone. Had examining and prudential committees, --- had parents, masters and guardians, of the children and youth,—had the clergy, and civil authorities of the town, whose duty it is to watch over and foster these important seminaries,seconded the desire and efforts of teachers in their endeavors to discharge their all-important trusts, the community, generally, would not have the occasion that now exists, to complain of the low standing of our Common Schools.
Yet it is a melancholy truth, and strange as true, that these institutions, established with so much care and so highly prized by our fathers, and upon which, next to the Bible, they most depended to perpetuate the blessings, that flow from a wise and good government should have fallen into disrespect. Public interest and attention seems to have been absorbed in the various exciting topics of the times. That portion of the community, whose province it is to give direction to public sentiment, seem to have passed by our Common Schools.
The objects of the various charitable and benevolent societies, and associations of the day, seem to have monopolized all oughts, not necessarily devoted to the ordinary cares and business of life, and left nothing for Common Schools.
While the good and the benevolent are devising ways and means to extend the lights of science and religion to the destitute, and to ameliorate the condition of mankind, in a variety of ways; while the friends of temperance and moral reform are exerting themselves to diffuse a more healthy tone into the morals of the community; our district schools,—those fountains from which are to issue streams, that shall fill with joy or sorrow, with gloom or gladness, this goodly heritage of ours, this pleasant land of the fathers,—upon wbom, with the blessing of Heaven, in a great measure depends the perpetuity of our institutions, and form of government,—these are suffered to grope their way alone, without one smile of approbation to cheer them in their progress. Instead of wasting their energies, and giving efforts to their zeal for the community, in ways, at least, which are not a little repulsive; what greater prospect of doing good; what mightier lever could the friends and advocates of moral reform wield, than to go into our district schools, and by their presence, counsel and advice, aid the teacher in his efforts to instil into the minds of his pupils, lessons of true wisdom. Such is the apparent indifference of the great mass of the community, in relation to Common Schools, that were it not for the law, which makes it imperative on them to raise money for their support; were it left entirely optional with the towns, to raise or not to raise moneys, for their support; it is greatly to be feared, that they would be suffered to languish and die. But something more than the mere raising of money, and the employment of competent teachers, is necessary, in order to ensure good schools. Too many among us feel, that when we have voted to raise a given sum of money for the support of schools, attended a school meeting, perhaps, and assisted in choosing a prudential committee for the year, that our interest in the matter is at an end !--the rest we leave to the teachers. Our children attend school, or perhaps play truant; perhaps they carry something as an apology for a book ; or perhaps one fourth or one half of the time is passed without any. The interest and care manifested by many a farmer, in the growth and improvement of his young stock, should put many a parent to the blush, when contrasted
with the indifference he manifests in the education of his children. When the i spring opens, the farmer, if he is not the owner of a suitable pasture, searches
one out, having regard to the quality of the feed, the supply of shade and pure water; he is careful to see to it, that the pasture is not overstocked ; is not too
crowded; he is careful to note the condition of the fences, and especially, that i his creatures are not to have, for companions, those from whom they will learn E bad habits. After having put them in pasture, he does not content himself
with suffering them to remain unwatched, till the snows of autumn admonish
him that it is time to give them shelter ; he frequently visits them, and by salt[ ing and handling them, makes them gentle and docile. He early sees to it,
that the pasture is answering his expectation, and if not, he loses no time in efforts to find a better.
From this it will be seen, that about four tenths of the children are daily absent from school. This is much to be regretted. Some children are out of school, by permission or without permission, one half or one third of the time. If by the parents, they do them an immense wrong, depriving them of an education that will be better for them than an estate. Especially as our schools are, most of them, kept for so short periods, children should not be allowed to stay out of thein, except in case of urgent necessity. *
Your committee would recommend, that the town determine the number of the a school committee, necessary to take a proper oversight of the schools, and re
elect all but one ; designate the order in which they should go out, and have but one new member come into the board each year; in this way, such methods of procedure, as had been found on trial to work well, could be preserved, and their defects remedied.
The prudential committee do not seem to understand, as yet, the propriety and necessity of bringing forward their teachers, for examination, previous to the time of commencing their schools. Even when there can be no question, as to their qualifications, it is the occasion of embarrassment to the school committee; inasmuch as the law requires of them, that they visit the schools during the first two weeks of the term, and in several instances, schools had been kept some weeks before the committe had any knowledge of their existence. *
If districts that are conveniently located, would unite and establish schools, to which they could send their larger scholars, the practice then, of employing female teachers in our schools, winter as well as summer, would be proper. There is money enough expended in support of schools, public and private, to meet the wants of the community; but the difficulty is, it is expended in ways not calculated to do the greatest good to the greatest number. The establishment of private schools, as is practised to a considerable extent, to which those parents who feel a deep interest in the education of their children, can send them, is calculated to exert an unhappy influence on the Common Schools. This is done in several ways. The schools lose, most frequently, the most forward scholars; not only this, the influence and watchful care of those parents, who most deeply feel an interest in the education of their children, is lost also. Again, the services of some, the best and most approved teachers, is lost to the Common Schools. Now, whenever a teacher is found to possess any peculiar qualifications, in the teaching and management of children, they are induced to engage in select schools. Now it will not do to say, that the parents shall not have the privilege of establishing schools at their own expense, for their children. They look at the Common Schools, and they appear too common. Perhaps the morals and habits of some of the older scholars are such, that they cannot endure the thought of sending their own children there; and they feel that it is a duty they owe their children, to put them where they can have a controlling oversight of the school. Now it is very much to be questioned, whether these parents do right. The time will arrive, when their children will come in contract with those, whose example they would wish them to avoid at school, and probably under less favorable circumstances for the parents interposing, any corrective. If they would send their offspring to the Common Schools, and send along with them their own watchful, guardian care; if they would lend their aid to purify the streams at the fountain head; they would do the community incalculable benefit. The course pursued by the early reformers of the christian church, in abandoning it to its corruption, and in establish