« ForrigeFortsett »
self said to the committee; for, at his first examination, he gave us to understand that he was acquainted with Colburn's Arithmetic. He did deceive us in respect to his knowledge of that book, though two of us have never said or supposed that he intended to deceive us.
“Such are the facts in regard to the action of the committee, in relation to the commencement of the school in District No. If any thing has been stated incorrectly, or omitted that is necessary to give a fair view of the case, we would thank any one to inform us of it, either publicly or privately.
« Thus much in relation to the action of the committee in this case. A few words in regard to the course which the district, or a portion of the district, has taken. While we do not impeach the motives of any one, and are willing to admit that all have had the good of the school in view, we would respectfully ask whether their course has been a wise one, whether it would be expedient and desirable for others 10 imitate their example in similar circumstances ? A Public School is expected to commence at such a time. A teacher is engaged, on condition that he receives a certificate from the examining committee that he is competent to teach certain branches which the law says shall be taught in our Common Schools. This committee, the law expressly declares, shall ascertain, by personal examination, whether the persons engaged as teachers are competent to give instruction in the specified branches. The standing of these persons in the community, their connection with any literary institution, the papers which they may bring with them, and their former success in teaching, can have no influence on the committee in determining whether they are qualified to teach. The law makes it their duty to decide only by the merits of the examination.Thus deciding, they withhold a certificate. But the district, or a portion of it, are dissatisfied. They put the teacher into the school. In two or three weeks, he comes again before the committee for examination. They must now approve or reject him. If they approve, the independence, magnanimity and character of the committee are very much injured; for there are enough to say, that the district ruled and the committee dared not resist them. And there is some ground for saying so. If it were not so, they will ask, why did not the coinmittee give him a certificate at first,“for surely it cannot be expected that a person will qualify himself to teach, after he bas commenced his school.
“But if the teacher is rejected, it is obvious, however unskilled he may be, that he may have gained the affections and excited the sympathy of many in the district, who will be deeply grieved at the course which the committee have taken,--and think that they are arbitrary and despotic, and for no good reason have rejected a first-rate man. In such a case, an unpleasant state of feeling would be excited, and years probably would be necessary to remove it,
“In all cases where a teacher is rejected, the committee would suggest whether it is not better to submit to it rather than to do any thing which may be construed as a resistance of the law. If the committee are incompetent to judge of the qualifications of a teacher, or have abused the power which the law gives them, is it not best to endure the evil patiently until their term of office expires, and then make choice of better men for their successors ?
“ The importance of good teachers in our schools must be obvious to every one. A poor teacher can never succeed well. However anxious parents may be to have their children improve, and however faithfully the examining committee may discharge their duty, if the teacher does not thoroughly understand the branches he professes to teach, or is unskilful in communicating to others what he knows, the time of the scholars and the expense of the school will be lost,-perhaps worse than lost. It appears to us very desirable, that those who employ teachers should inquire whether they are acquainted with the system of Common Schools in this State, whether they have attended them, and whether they are familiar with the law which regulates them and prescribes the duties of the examining committee.We have noticed that, generally, teachers belonging to our own State succeed better than those from other States. The reason obviously is, because, in general, they are better ac. quainted with our schools. There is no doubt that the standard of popular education in our
State is much higher than in any other State in the Union, and the system by which our schools are regulated is more perfect. A person, therefore, who is familiar with Common Schools in another State is not so likely to succeed well in teaching, in this State, as he would have been if he had received his early education here. We do, therefore, decidedly give our preference to teachers that have been educated in our own State.
“When it is proposed to employ a person, as a teacher, from a college, we would recommend that the inquiry be made, whether he has himself received his early education in the district school; also, whether he has ever taught one. If he is not familiar with Common Schools, though his moral character may be unblemished, and his talents and literary acquirements of the highest order, the probability of his succeeding well as a teacher is very small. While some of our best teachers come from college, it is also true that some of our poorest likewise come from college; and a person may be considered a first-rate man in colJege, and yet make an unsuccessful teacher. But some do not understand how this can be so. There is, however, no mystery attending it. To read Latin and Greek fluently, and solve problems in the higher branches of mathematics correctly, is one thing; to go into a school room, and classify, govern, thoroughly instruct, and secure the confidence and affection of fifty or sixty scholars, from three years of age up to twenty, is quite another thing ; and, probably, not one in a hundred who is ignorant of Common Schools would succeed well in his first attempts to do this. He has never learned the art of school-keeping; and there is no more reason to suppose that he will succeed well than there is to suppose that a person would succeed well, in making a fine piece of furniture, who had never learned the trade. This is the reason why so many men of fine talents, from our colleges, fail in their first attempts at school-keeping."
Richmond, Rochester, Rockport, Rowe, Rowley, Roxbury, Royalston, Russell, Rutland,
77 150 274 130 196 217 78 79 131 283 196
29 132 134
Townsend, 273 Truro,
24 Tyngsborough, 192 Tyringham,
25 236 Upton, 116 Uxbridge, 167 117 Wales,
Walpole, 26 Waliham, 26 Ware, 213 Wareham, 282
Warren, 27 Warwick, 214 Washington, 274 Watertown, 256 Wayland, 238 Webster, 214 Wellfleet, 192 Wendell, 69 Wenham, 70 Westborough, 119
West Boylston, 194 West Bridgewater, 257
West Cambridge, 154 Westfield, 120
Westminster, 71 West Newbury, 168 Weston, 121 Westport, 169 West Springfield,
West Siockbridge, 215
Williainstown, 74 Wilmington, 195
Salem, Salisbury, Sandisfield, Sandwich, Saugus, Savoy, Scituate, Seekonk, Sharon, Sheffield,Shelburne, Sherburne, Shirley, Shrewsbury, Shulesbury, Somerset, Southampton, Southborough, Southbridge, South Hadley, South Reading, Southwick, Spencer, Springfield, Sierling, Stockbridge, Stoneham, Stoughton, Stow, Siurbridge, Sudbury, Sunderland, Sutton, Swanzey, Taunton, Templeton, Tewksbury, Tisbury, Tolland, Topsfield,
Palmer, Pawtucket, Paxton, Pelham, Pembroke, Pepperell, Peru, Petersham, Phillipston, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plymouth, Plympton, Prescott, Princeton, Provincetewn,
167 254 112 152 271
68 210 113 115 21 152 271 272 153 116 281
82 156 135 31 82 260 175 218 241 197 176 157 218
83 136 219
84 137 157 241
Randolphi, Raynham, Reading, Rehoboth,
Worcester, 258 Worthington, 124 Wrentham,
75 287 Yarmouth, 173 29