« ForrigeFortsett »
been computed,” says Dr. Franklin, “by | practice, of studying in the evening is some political arithmetician, that, if one of the most pernicious I know of every man and woman would work for among children. No teacher should refour hours each day on something useful, quire it, no parent allow it, as it is ruinthat labor would be sufficient to procure ous to sleep and to health. all the necessaries and the comforts of Before I leave this part of my paper, life; want and misery would be banished let me say, that I know of no valid obout of the world; and the rest of the jection that can be made to lessening the twenty-four hours might be spent in number of studies in our public schools, leisure and pleasure.” As with grown and I would anticipate the objection men and women, so with little men and which may be made to curtailing the women — our children; as with physical, hours of study. The change may be obso with mental labor. I believe that jected to on the ground that recesses are Franklin is right in his estimate, and I be permitted; but there is as I believe no lieve that I am right in mine also. validity in this objection, for the reason To speak more explicitly, I would divide that at best, the recess is often incom. the scholars of our public schools into plete. Either bad weather, or indiffertwo classes for the hours of study: those ence, or a variety of circumstances will under and those above twelve years old. prevent the relaxation meant to be af. The latter not to be more than four hours forded. Again, in inclement weather, or in school any day, and the former not when the ground is wet and cold, it is a more than three hours; the session to be grave question whether the recess itself divided in summer for the four hour class is not a positive injury. I have often into two hours for the morning and the been called to children who were said same in the afternoon, and the whole to have taken cold, or fever, or inflamschool to form but one class in the win. mation of the lungs, from exposure in ter, from 9 A. M., until noon.
going to or returning from school. This Under an arrangement of this kind I is all nonsense. Children do not take verily believe that more would be learned cold while they are walking or running, because better taught and better learned, no matter what the weather is, as an exand that the gain both to scholar and cess of animal heat generated by exercise teacher, as well as to the parents and to makes this impossible. Such sickness the public, would be infinitely greater has quite another source; it can arise than under the present system. I am only when the excess of vital heat has speaking as a physician - as one who passed off, or when there is no excess, must regard health of mind and of body but rather a diminished temperature. before education, and a life as more valu. Wet shoes and cold feet and damp cloth. able than a lesson.
ing, the result of a recess, followed by a In connection with curtailed hours — flood of cold air from an upper sash, are I would also suggest the advisability of not exactly conducive to health, but very lessening the number of exercises or conducive to colds, to fevers and to instudies. The undue excitement so man- flammations. Nor is the sudden change ifest in the manner and regards of the from a heated school room into a cold, scholars can not but be injurious. There moist air less dangerous; as the justly is of course a proper interest to be felt celebrated Dr. Watson remarks, “It is and shown in study, but the tension of “one of the most common and best asmind and mental excitement before al- certained exciting causes of inflanmaluded to are not compatible with health tion in general." and therefore should be avoided.
And this brings me to another subject Nor should children be allowed to upon which I have been requested by evade the rules for time of studying. your president to make some remarks — No child should be permitted to carry a play-grounds. Now, play-grounds in fine book home. This practice, for it is a weather are all sufficient. But we should
have play-houses for our school children | more weight to what I am about to say in bad weather. No child should be al. if I were to admit that as a physician, I lowed to sit in school with wet shoes on know them well and have marked with its feet. What a trilling expense and how peculiar interest the diseases to which as easy a matter it would be for each child a class I find the female part of them are to be required to keep a pair of old shoes more particularly subject. Diseases di. or slippers at school. And how much rectly attributable to exhaustion; diseases serious sickness could be prevented by of the lungs and diseases of the nervous the boards of education issuing direc- system; from which recovery, especially tions to this effect, providing for the in cases of injury done to the nervous children thus being protected against the system, is frequently so slow, that years consequences of mere want of thought will elapse even after teaching is abanon the part of the parents. The object doned, before the patient can be said to of a recess is, the preservation of health be well; to be adequate to the duties or and of the capability to study. But the even to the pleasures of life. Were I to recess becomes inoperative to this end, write you a volume, gentlemen, upon and even dangerous, when proper means this subject, I do not know that I could for its realization are not provided. I express more than these few, but earnest would like, Mr. President, to dwell longer and truthful words have conveyed, and on the necessity for these play-houses, sincerely do I hope and trust that they but time does not allow me to say more may be of service to those in whose in. than that they should be provided, and terest they are said. that I would with pleasure pay my part
When asked how this exhaustion of the tax for building them.
comes about, my answer would be in. Objection may be taken to curtailing stant- from over-work. If this opinion the hours of study in our public schools were doubted, then would I say come for a reason almost too Pickwickian to with me into one of our public schools be received with anything else than a in this city, and mark the air that is good tempered smile. As I understand, breathed — why at times it smells like children are sent to school not unfre- burnt fish; mark the perpetual motion quently with a two-fold object, to learn, which the system of teaching imposes and to be taken care of. To be kept out on the children and teacher; the rapid, of harm's way, off the street, out of dan- nay, constant change, and the number of ger, out of the house, and so on. If this the exercises and studies; mark the ex. be really so, then heaven help you, gen. cited action, and quickening interest and tlemen; I do not think the Board of Ed. over earnest attention of all concerned; ucation will. If you are to be public learn that this goes on every morning, nurses as well as public school teachers; every afternoon; every day in the week, if this is what the public expect from except Sunday, and every week in the Fou, I should recommend you, now that month. Then, learn that the teacher's striking is the order of the day, to strike labors for the school commence at 8 A. for double wages; or better perhaps, to m., and without recess for her; nay, com. appeal to the better sense of this same monly enough without time to go home public for a reconsideration of your for dinner; without relaxation of any duties, and to the Boards of Education kind, her labor continues and does not for a redress of grievances.
end until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. Then, And now, a few words concerning the ask the teacher how she feels, particularly health and life of teachers. I have prac. if this be toward the end of the term, ticed as a physcian for some twenty and the answer is “tired, tired” and putyears in this city, and have been in the ting her hand to her head, the story is habit of attending upon public school told. This is no fancy picture, it is the teachers as commonly as upon any other result of a personal observation, and apclass of society. Perhaps, it would give 'plies to-day, to most of the female teach
BY ROBERT GRAHAM.
ers in our public schools, that I am ac- still better, it serves to confirm the views quainted with. All this is unreasonable, I have already expressed. unnatural, wrong, and should be cor. Mr. President, there were many other rected.
matters of sanitary interest connected
with our public schools which I might If you will permit yourselves to be admonished through the voice of one, mitted, but I have confined myself to
have brought before you, had time per. who was once of your body,' a distin. guished teacher in our city schools, I
discussing those only which have been
more particularly called to my attention. will read you part of a letter which she
In conclusion, for the compliment you addressed to me only two or three days
have paid me, in requsting this paper, ago, and which sets forth your case exactly as I have found it: “I can only re
I thank you, and at the same time offer peat,” she writes, “what I have often you my sincere apologies for all its faults said, that from my experience, I consider
and short-comings, of which no one can
be more conscious than I am. teaching, especially in the public schools, weakening to both mind and body. Al.
INSTITUTE WORK..1874, though blessed with an unusually strong body, not naturally nervous, I found my. self, after teaching a year or two, very
It requires no argument to show that much affected thereby. At the close of intelligence in its highest sense is essenmy afternoon session, besides being nat
tial to a republican government. WASHurally tired with my day's labor, I was
INGTON, in his farewell address, with thoroughly unnerved and irritable. prophetic vision, or rather intuitively, During the evening I was unable to make writes: “Promote then, as an object of an effort either in employment or relaxa- primary importance, institutions for the tion, being both physically and mentally general diffusion of knowledge. In proexhausted. It is often complained that portion as the structure of a government teachers are narrow-minded, get into a
gives force to public opinion, it is essen. groove and can not get out. I do not see
tial that public opinion should be en.
lightened." how it can be otherwise. They spend all their time and strength year after year, in
France and Spain are probably incapateaching one class of scholars after
ble of establishing Republics, because another the same branches, with no time the people as a mass are unintelligent. to increase their own store of knowledge,
Wisconsin has engrafted in its funda
mental law that district schools shall be or properly prepare what they teach. In my mind a teacher requires more time out
free to all persons between the ages of side the school room than is allowed her. that the property of the state shall edu
four and twenty years; thus providing Whatever time she can thus get is no less beneficial to her pupils than to herself. cate the children of the state. She needs time to prepare her lessons,
In consequence of the inability of the that she may present them attractively parent, properly, to do this important and effectively. She also needs it to retain work, the state has delegated it to schools her vigor and freshness, that she may be
where children between the above ages better able to sympathize with and influ- can meet in convenient numbers and ob
tain the elements of knowledge. ence the young minds consigned to her care. I wish I had sufficient ability to
Nearly six thousand instructors are forcibly express all that I feel on the im. required to do this work in Wisconsin; portance of cutting shorter the school and, as it is common to change each sessions."
term, double that number is demanded
yearly. I make no apology for introducing this Per force of circumstances one half of communication for the reason that it is this number vacate their places every not only truthful and to the point, but I three years. How to supply this great
demand with persons suitably qualified, the fragmentary gleanings of a few days is a problem which has occupied the at- institute may be of service. Testimony tention of wisdom and experience for of the value of the Institute Work comes years. That such supply has not been from Maine, New York, Vermont, Massaobtained is notorious.
chusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and The State Superintendent of New York Illinois, and the reports of County Super. says: “Had that excellent litany, which intendents of Wisconsin are full of glow. invokes deliverance from battle, murdering accounts of good done, which may and sudden death, also incorporated a have some weight, after making due petition against incompetent school allowance for mutual admiration. teachers, it would not have trenched
The Report of the State Superintendent upon a subject, in favor of which, wise of Wisconsin for 1872, says: “A convicand holy men might not properly raise tion of the value of these institutes, is their supplications.”
continually growing in the minds of WM. F. PHELPS, President of the State teachers and people. A teacher is fast Normal School at Winona, Minn., writes: losing caste, who habitually absents him. * The schools are in the hands of igno- self from these educational gatherings, rant, unskilled teachers. Poor schools and is looked upon as unworthy of his and poor teachers are in the majority position. I am of the opinion that throughout the country. Multitudes of teachers should be required to attend in. schools are so poor that it would be as stitutes in their respective counties for at well if they were closed. The pitiable least four days in the year, and that spectacle is presented of ignorance per-school-boards should be required to allow petuating itself at the public expense.” them such time, without any deduction
The Chairman of the Assembly Com- of their wages." mittee on Education for 1871, says: “More The President of the Board of Normal than 90 per cent of our teachers have School Regents for 1872, says: “A lib. never received any instruction in the art eral appropriation has been made by the or science of teaching; 40 per cent. are Board for institute work, and much has new and inexperienced, changing their been accomplished in this important places every term, looking upon the field of labor.” school room as a make-shift for the pres.
This institute work is fragmentary, ent. Need we wonder that their hearts and souls are not with their calling, that itinerating, missionary work; it means
labor and sometimes discouragement; it they are slaves to text-books ?”
needs faith to sow seed here and there in The Report of the Committee on
the day and in the night; but the future County Academies of the State Teachers' Association of 1872, reads: “ Certainly,
will bring the fruit, good to look upon this lack of qualified teachers is a de and delicious to the taste. plorable state of affairs, calling with the
In corroboration of the foregoing views voice of thunder for a remedy."
the state has, by legal enactment, provided Our three Normal Schools, from pub- that each County Superintendent shall lished reports, give not far from 600 of (not may,) hold at least one institute each all grades each year. From academies, year. The Board of Normal School Rehigh schools and colleges, it is estimated gents and the state have also provided that 1000 more are furnished. Not one liberally to aid County Superintendents fourtb what is needed, and the above in this part of their work. number not distributed over the whole Institutes should be held mainly in state, but supplied mainly to those parts the fall, in the months of September and contiguous to such schools. How then October, and should continue five days, shall the mass of teachers be reached ? beginning on Monday and closing on
One-half, or one-quarter, or one-six- Friday, with two sessions each day, from teenth of a loaf is better than none and 9 to 12 A. M., and from 2 to 5 P. M.
attend at all, or only nominally. The One-half the time should be devoted statistics of attendance are not reliable, to instruction-class work by whole in- for persons only present a few hours are stitute."
not unfrequently enrolled to swell the One-third of the time to Methods and attendance and make a good showing. School Management, by familiar lectures. In Grant county only one person at.
One-sixth of the time to model class work tended the whole time and that time only and criticism.
four weeks. For trifling causes, teachers The county superintendent should ad. that in charity we are obliged to call vertise, at least two weeks before the time good, absent themselves. of meeting, the specific branches to be The following are proposed as reme. treated at the meeting; e. g. :-
dies : ARITHMETIC-FOUR LESSONS. I. THROUGH THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT. 1. Fundamental Rules.
1. Let the State Superintendent see that 2. Common Fractionş.
each county superintendent holds an in3: Decimal Fractions and Fed. Money. stitute, as required by law; and in case 4. Percentage.
of failure, notify the county clerk of said GEOGRAPHY-FOUR LESSONS. county of such neglect of duty, and that 1. Globe Work-Shape of Earth, Cir. said county superintendent is liable to cles, Zones.
impeachment. 2. Outline Maps-North America. 2. Let the State Superintendent publish 3. Europe.
a list of county superintendents comply. 4.
United States. ing with law, with attendance at each inTo include, in lessons 2d, 3d, 4th, bodies stitute of actual teachers or those intendof water and land, elevations of land, nav. ing to teach during the year, and the igable rivers, political divisions, capitals number of teachers needed to supply the and cities.
schools of the county. READING-PHONICS-FOUR LESSONS. 3. Also a list of the county superin. (Standard Webster's Dictionary, Ed. 1864.) tendents who do not hold such institutes.
1. Vowels in monosyllables and accent- 4. Advise each county superintendent ed syllables, sounds of, and how dis- of above regulation. tinguished.
2. Vowels in unaccented syllables. 3. Consonant sounds.
1. Let each county superintendent, two
weeks previous to the meeting, notify 1. Rules-two lessons.
each teacher in the county of the time 2. Written lessons indicating the book and place of holding the institute, with a from which words will be pronounced, specific detail of the work to be done. two lessons.
Admit none to class work after Monday, Thus by specifically stating what will except for reasons satisfactory to the be done, much of the odium of failure county superintendent. on the part of the teacher, will be averted, 2. Publish at the close of the institute because preparation by the teachers will the names of attendants and an account be made, and being prepared they will of the work done. desire to attend and show what they can 3. On examination give to those who do. A healthy emulation may be secured, attend five per cent. additional on each and interest among the citizens excited. branch of regular work treated at the
We have glanced at the necessity for institute. institute work and the kind that should 4. Hold institutes (if possible) in the be attempted. It now remains to consid- months of September and October with er how attendance may be secured. Not examinations at the close, on Friday and 50 per cent. of the teachers of the state Saturday, so that all in attendance may attend and those who need it most do not be accommodated.
THROUGH THE COUNTY SUPERIN