Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

This leads us to speak of the second change. Women are paid much better wages than formerly ; $1,000 per annum is not an uncommon salary for a first-class female teacher. The highest salary which we know of paid to a lady teacher is $1,500. In a list of graduates of the Oswego normal school we find the names of four paid $1,000 each, and eleven others paid $700 or more. Such pay is likely to act as a strong stimulant to young ladies to fit themselves for the highest positions. It furnishes a great contrast to the old-fashioned traditional pay of a country "school ma'am "—$2 a week and “board round.” Perhaps it may be the harbinger of that state of society which has begun in Kansas, where the men are so few because of their sacrifice in war, or so busy in the occupations of a new country, that women are made school visitors and district committees. Who can tell where all this tends ?-The Nation.

THEORY AND PRACTICE.

:

These five questions were recently submitted, in one of the counties of the State, to a class of applicants for a teachers' certificate:

1. On what basis do you form your plan of moral discipline?

2. What authors have you read on the theory and practice of teaching?

3. Do you consider it any part of a teacher's duty to keep himself informed of the advancement in the art of teaching, the improvement of methods, the extension of the programme of instruction in the schools, the efforts made by the great body of teachers in convention and otherwise for the elevation of the profession in dignity and profit, and of whatever may serve to sustain the teacher's energies, to excite his mental activity, and kindle his enthusiasm ?

4. For what educational periodicals do you subscribe in order to attain these ends ?

5. Did you attend the last teacher's institute held in this county ?

A summary of the answers given to these questions would make an interesting item.

School Officers' Department.

The articles included in this Department have special interest to school officers. Those

not otherwise credited, are prepared by the editor. Brief communications from school officers and others interested in this feature of the MONTALY, are solicited.

SUB-DISTRICT CLERKS who take the MONTHLY, can greatly increase its usefulness by placing the successive numbers in the hands of the teachers of their schools. It is believed that no earnest teacher can read the instructive articles which appear in the Monthly, and not teach a better school. It is, at least, our aim to make its pages bear directly and practically upon the duties of both school officers and teachers; and special pains is taken to adapt its suggestions' and instructions to the country school. The numbers when read should be preserved for future reference and use.

VISITING SCHOOLS.

The school law makes it the duty of local directors “to visit the school or schools of the sub-district at least twice during each term, by one or more of their number, with such other person or persons competent to examine pupils in their studies, as they may choose to invite.”—Sec. VI. They are pledged to the discharge of this duty by their official oath. Twice each term one or more of the three directors are summoned to appear at the school-room, to observe the progress of the pupils, to inspect the work of instruction, and to counsel and encourage the teacher. How many of our local directors heed this summons? We fear comparatively few. An annual summary of the official visits made by all the directors in the State, would reveal the fact that official oaths fail to reach the consciences of most men. It is believed that not one school,in five, take the State through, is visited by “one,” to say nothing of “more," of its directors. On the contrary, most of the teachers of our country schools are thoroughly “let alone.” If incompetent or negligent, they are left to run their course of mischief, with no remedy for the money squandered, opportunities wasted, and hopes blasted; if competent and faithful, they have the approval of their own conscience, and the assurance that the good they may do, will not be "interred with their bones.” The result of this neglect of official duty is too often seen in uncomfortable and badly ventilated school-rooms; in doors, walls and furniture shameless with obscenity; in indecent out-houses and fenceless play-grounds; and in broken windows and unsheltered fuel.

What our country schools sadly need is official oversight. Instead of being

left to struggle on alone, the teacher should have the aid and sympathy of the directors. Disorder would thus often be changed to order, complaints to approval, and neglect to faithfulness. School directors, TRY IT.

OUTLINE MAPS.

a

The board of education of a township in Morrow county, Ohio, has passed a resolution instructing the local directors to give preference in employing teachers, other things being equal, to applicants qualified and disposed to make profitable use of outline maps in teaching geography. We make this action the basis of a few comments and suggestions.

Many of the townships of the State have been supplied by their respective boards, with outline maps, the same being distributed in sets to the several subdistricts. All who are familiar with the wants of our schools will agree that this is a wise expenditure, since such maps are necessary to the successful teaching of geography; and yet we are compelled to believe that in many

districts the maps thus provided, are of little practical benefit, owing to the neglect of teachers to make use of them. They are not unfrequently left unopened or unrolled, from term to term, and in too many instances they are actually destroyed by misuse. Not long since, we visited a school where the outline maps were used for window curtains !

This misuse or non-use of outline maps is doubtless due, in many instances, to the ignorance of teachers. They are accustomed to nothing but rote recitations, and if the walls of their school-rooms were covered with maps and charts, they would not know how to use them. We submit whether more attention should not be given to this subject in our teachers' institutes. Teachers should be shown practically how to use wall maps, and the duty of preserving them with care, should be strongly urged. It is too bad to have the only apparatus furnished our sub-district schools, destroyed by neglect and misuse.

But we began this article with the intention of alluding more specially to the duties of school officers in this matter. It is clearly not enough that outline maps be provided for the schools; they must be taken care of, and this duty rests upon the local directors who are entrusted by law with the immediate care and oversight of the school property in their respective sub-districts. We wish also to suggest that boards of education should exercise more care in the selection of maps. The maps purchased should be adapted to the schools, both in size and character. Our attention has been called to the fact that maps comparatively worthless for school purposes, are being worked into the schools by agents who induce a majority of the members of boards to sign, individually, and without consultation with each other, an agreement to vote to perfect the necessary contract at their first meeting. This practice is as unwise as it is illegal. A matter so important as the purchase of outline maps for the schools of an entire township, should receive full and careful consideration at a meeting of the board, and, then, when the maps are purchased, provision should be made for their proper care and use.

Editorial Department.

OUR NEW DRESS.

[ocr errors]

The law of modesty which compels persons to keep silent respecting their own comeliness, does not apply to magazines and papers. Here, the laws and interests of business are supreme. Moreover, the good looks of a periodical may be regarded as a compliment to the good taste of the reader. Its beauty is as unselfish as that of the rose. It lives for others, and delights most when it pleases its friends and is making new ones. Instead, therefore, of hiding its attractions "under a bushel,” it sets them“ on a candlestick,” that they may be seen and appreciated. In other words, the beauty of a book or periodical is a matter of common interest between publisher and reader, and, as such, may be talked over with frankness and freedom.

The Monthly avails itself of this much, and, we may add, over observed law to congratulate its many friends on its improved appearance; and were the fact not already discovered by them, it would summon up the courage to hint gently that its new dress is attractive and beautiful,—this it would do, not for self-laudation, but to please its tasty readers. It submits the observation thạt its clear and handsome typography well becomes the excellent thoughts of its contributors. Though the largest type is one size smaller than that heretofore used, its open face renders it equally plain and legible. It will, we think, satisfy the weakest eyes.

The fact that the cover carries on its face the evidence of the good things within, will doubtless prove an acceptable feature; and all will be pleased to notice that the paper is heavier than that used since the great increase in its cost, and that it is of the first quality.

But the Monthly turns from its mechanical appearance, and points to the practical character of this month's contents as an earnest of the complete success of the new arrangement announced in December. Its list of contribu- ! tors, which is receiving valuable accessions, includes the names of writers who are eminent in scholarship, practical experience in education, and literary culture. Several of these are engaged to contribute regularly during the year; others are to write nearly every month; and able articles on practical themes from occasional writers, will make up the necessary variety.

These improvements in the appearance and character of the Monthly are a sufficient guarantee that no reasonable pains or expense will be spared to make it worthy of the liberal patronage and support of teachers and all other friends of education. And just here the publisher comes in to remind us that these improvements, made and provided for, will largely increase the cost of publication, and that an increase in circulation is relied upon to meet the same. Surely this seems a reasonable reliance. About three-thousand subscribers carried the MONTHLY successfully through each of the past three years. Meanwhile teachers' wages have been increased, and a new impulse imparted to the profession.

Thousands of teachers are earnestly inquiring for better methods and truer guiding principles. Egotists, drones, and fossils, are alone satisfied with their attainments and success. One of the practical results of this professional revival should be a large increase in the circulation of educational works, and the improved character of the Monthly ought to make it a liberal sharer in this widening opportunity for usefulness.

Dear reader, what are you willing to do toward adding a thousand new names to its subscription list ?. Shall we increase its size to forty pages, and the monthly edition to four thousand copies?

THE CLEVELAND SCHOOLS.

The first school buildings erected in Cleveland, after the adoption of the graded system, were designed to accommodate but three schools or departments. In the lower story were two rooms, one occupied by a primary school and the other by an intermediate, each school having but one teacher. The upper story was occupied by the grammar school with two teachers, the assistant hearing her classes in a small recitation-room. This arrangement threw more than twice too many pupils into the primary room; and as these pupils were taken through the primary text-book on geography, and were well started in Colburn, before being transferred to the next department, the teacher was burdened with a multiplicity of classes. In some instances there were in reading alone, from eight to ten different classes.

The school-buildings next erected were three stories high, and were designed to accommodate five schools each. But instead of dividing the pupils below the grammar department into four grades and assigning a grade to each room, the sexes were separated, thus creating two primary and two intermediate departments. This arrangement reduced somewhat the number of pupils in each room, but did not reduce the number of classes. There was little concert reciting in the schools, and the teachers seemed to prefer small classes. Indeed, individual instruction has always characterized the Cleveland schools—a fact which had its gin in part, at least, in the imperfect classification above alluded to. The pupils in each department below the grammar schools were divided into comparatively small classes, and each pupil recited in turn or as he was called upon by the teacher, rarely simultaneously with the other members of his class. Concert reciting was resorted to sparingly, to arouse the attention, to impress an important fact, or to impart needed confidence.

The importance of increasing the number of grades by dividing the primary, soon led to the erection of buildings containing seven school-rooms each, not counting the room used for recitation purposes. In the districts already sypplied with the smaller buildings, two additional rooms were provided. This arrangement admitted of three grades below the grammar department, and two schools (a boys' and a girls') in each grade. These were called primary, secondary, and intermediate.

This plan of grading the schools became nearly general in the city, and was adhered to until the year 1865, when a new building was erected on Brownell

« ForrigeFortsett »