« ForrigeFortsett »
(1) Population, 7,631. Valuation, $1,732,048 00.
Number of Public Schools, 17. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools In Suminer, 1,104—In Winter, 1,093. (3) Average attendance in the Schools-In Summer, 802—In Winter, 805. (4) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 2,015.-No. of persons under 4
years of age who attend School, 19.-No.over 16 years of age who attend School, 11. (5) Aggregate length of the Schools, 187 months.-In Suinmer, 85—In Winter, 102. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer—M. 4–F. 11.-No.of Teachers in Winter-M. 4-F. 12. (7) Average wages paid per month, including board— To Males, $61 46–To Females, $2003. (8) Average value of board per month-Of Males, $14 00—of Females, $ 12 00. (9) Average wages per month, exclusive of board-Of Males, $47 45—Of Females, $8 03. (10) Amount of money raised by laxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $6,609 91. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, 2.-Aggregate of months kept, 22.-Average number of
Scholars, 48.-Aggregate paid for tuition, $1,924. (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 24.-Aggregate of months kept, 264.-Average No. of Scholars, 456.-Aggre
gate paid for tuition, $4,560. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $ .-Income from same, $
BOOKS USED.- -Spelling-New National, with the Introduction, Gallaudett's “ Mother's Primer." Reading-Colburu's 1st, 2d, 3d and 4th Books, Mount Vernon Reader, Moral Teacher, American Popular Lessons, American Third Class Reader, American First Class do., Pier: poni's National do., Introduction to the National do., Second Class do. Grammar-Alger's and Murray's, Ingersoll's. Geography_Hall's Child's Book of Geography and Worcester's. Arithmetic-Emerson's and Colburn’s. All others-Goodrich's History U. S., Worcester's Elements of General History. Colburn's or Bailey's Algebra, Parker's Natural Philosophy, Geometry, Abridgment of Wayland's Moral Science, Paley's Natural Theology, American Common Place Book of Prose, Cheever's Studies in Poetry, Worcester's Dictionary, Colburn's Sequel, Grund's Geometry, Fowle's Linear Drawing, Comstock's Natural Philosophy, Trigononietry, Astronomy, Foster's Book-keeping, Newman's Rhetoric, Hedge's Logic, Abercrombie's Moral and Intellectual Philosophy.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT.
It affords the committee pleasure to say, that the schools are under the care of competent and faithful teachers, who have generally devoted themselves, with commendable assiduity, to their literary and moral improvement.
In three of the school rooms, the stools which were used for seats, have been removed, and chairs put in their place. This arrangement has been attended with considerable expense, but we are confident, wlien its importance is considered, as a means of preserving the health and comfort of the children, no one will hesitate to pronounce it good economy. The same number of rooms yet remain to be supplied with chairs.
Of the obstacles in the way of greater success in our schools, the most prominent, probably, is inconstancy in attendance.
Though the expenditures for schools has lieen a considerable item in the general expenses of the town, the committee cannot, for a moment, suppose, that any citizen would be willing to see retrenchment commence here, when he considers the importance of well regulated Public Schools to the well being of every community, and of society at large. *
SCHOOL COMMITTEE.-ARTEMAS B. Muzzey, J. W. PARKER, JAMES D. GREEN, O. S. KEITH, Geo. W. Simm.
S!l) Population, 10,101. Valuation, $2,441,167 00.
Number of Public Schools, 26. (2) No. of Scholars of all ages in all the Schools—In Summer, 2,218-In Winter, 2,186. (3) Average attendance in the Schools—In Summer, 1,831-In Winter, 1,795.
(44) No. of persons between 4 and 16 years of age in the town, 2,470.—No. of persons under 4 years of
age who attend School, 20.—No. over 16 years of age who attend School, 40. (5) Aggregale length of the Schools, 304 mihs.-In Summer, 152-In Winter, 152. (6) No. of Teachers in Summer—M.7–F. 27.-No. of Teachers in Winter—M. 9—F. 25. (7) Average wages paid per month including board—To Males, $2 86—To Females, $17 29. (8) Average value of board per month-of Males, $11 44—Of Females, $800. (9) Average wages per month exclusive of board-Of Males, $41 42—Of Females, $9 29. (10) Amount of money raised by taxes for the support of Schools, including only the wages of
Teachers, board and fuel, $11,133 62. (11) Amount of board and fuel, if any, contributed for Public Schools, $ (12) No. of incorporated Academies, 1.- Aggregate of months kept, 12.-Average number of
Scholars, 120.-Aggregate paid for tuition, $2,200. (13) No. of unincorporated Academies, Private Schools, and Schools kept to prolong Common
Schools, 3.-Aggregate of months kept, 12.-Average No. of Scholars, 90.-Aggre.
gate paid for tuition, $1,850 00. (14) Amount of Local Funds, $5,400 00.-Income from same, $314 00.
Books USED. -Spelling-New National, National. Reading—My First School Book, Worcester's 2d and 3d Books, Young Reader, Testament, American First Class Book, Young Lady's do., Natural Reader. Grummar-Murray's, Parker's, Fox's, Frost's. Geography, Boston School Atlas, Mitchell's, Worcester's. Arithmetic-Emerson's 1st, 2d and 3d Parts. All others-Bailey's Algebra, Robinson's Book-keeping, Blake's Philosophy, Comstock's Chemistry, Walker's Astronomy, W. rcester's History, Sullivan's Political Class Book, Smellie's Natural Philosophy, Gould's Latin Grammar and Latin Reader.
REMARKS.—The income of the Surplus Revenue is applied to the support of schools.
SELECTIONS FROM REPORT.
The labors of the board, during the past year, have been of an important and difficult nature. The building of three schoolhouses; the repairs made on several of the old ones; the establishment of five schools; the alteration of the several school districts; the addition of backs to all the seats in the grammar schools within the Peninsula, together with the customary cares of superintendence, have comprised duties, arduous and responsible. *
About thirty children, apparently intelligent, happy, and, in general, enjoying good health, were, from necessity, kept at the Poor House, in a small room, exposed to a noxious atmosphere, and under a severe discipline. The instruction was a mere mockery; none of the scholars could read intelligibly. For their accommodation, with others, a commodious schoolhouse has been constructed, on the town's land on Elin street, and a primary school established. Thus far, the school has succeeded beyond the hopes of the board. The change produced, by a few months' instruction, is as gratifying as it is creditable to the teacher; and no difficulty is experienced with regard to its government. All meet on the terms of equality,-all receive the same attention.
The humane provision thus made for the children of poverty,t the board earnestly hope will be continued. Though it may be lightly viewed by some, yet they look upon this school with great interest. Many of these children early enter private families; and here it is too often the case, that the hard round of domestic duties prevents an attendance at school, and they grow up in utter neglect. Now they may acquire the foundations of an education, and desires for knowledge, and habits of self-respect, and resolutions to conquer difficulties, which neither lapse of time nor daily toil can eradicate. Reasons for its continuance might easily be multiplied; but the board only again recommend it to the fostering care of the town.
The seats in the grammar schools have been the subject of much complaint, on the part of parents and scholars. For six hours, daily, have the pupils been obliged to sit on a round piece of plank, fastened to a standard, and without
| The older boys, attached to the Poor House, attend the grammar school. There were twelve in the Winthrop School at the last examination.
any back. This has been termed a “seat.” It has been uncomfortable, injurious, and such as, in the opinion of the board, should no longer disgrace our school rooms. Accordingly, backs have been put to all the seats in the gram. mar schools. It is believed that no parent, who has ever inflicted on himself the task of sittilig for one balf hour on these "seats,” will regard the trifling sum it cost to make the alteration.
The teachers should strive to be faithful in their calling. Their duties are daily becoming more responsible,—their office more honorable; and the community are daily growing more watchful, lest their high trusts be betrayed. And, just in proportion to the magnitude of the trust, will be the guilt of unfaithfulness to its duties. It is right that it should be thus. The parent places under the charge of a teacher, that which, to him, is dear as life; should it be carelessly treated ? Should it be suffered to imbibe feelings, and prejudices, and opinions, and principles, injurious to its nature? The charge is, indeed, of no liglit inoment, and the teacher who dares to trifle with it, is unworthy the place he fills, and should forever renounce his calling. On the contrary, the high importance of his labors should rise before bim in every act of bis school duties. He is to exercise an influence, for good or for evil, on all those placed under his charge, and this influence may go forth from his words, his opinions, his manners, when he little thinks of their consequences. Hence he should always, during school hours, in speech and action, set before his pupils an example worthy to be imitated.
And the teacher should ever bear in mind, that, to be faithful, something more is necessary than bearing lessons and enforcing forms of school discipline. When he stops here, he stops far short of his duty. Too much attention has heretofore been paid to mechanical recitations,—to the mere cultivation of the memory. Ideas, principles, opinions, thus passing through the mind, can afford it hút little effective nourishment; they must be worked over again by the pupil, put into new shape, and expressed in his own language, ere they can accomplish their valuable purpose. Hence a great object should be, to encourage the pupil in a confidence in his own powers; to make him feel that he has something within him which can think, and determine, and accomplish; to 'kindle a desire for progress in knowledge ; and to juduce him to value highly the results he can attain by careful study and unreinitting perseverance. Rhetoric, or “composition," is one of the means whereby this may be promo:ed; requiring the scholars, in the higher classes, to give the answers, in their own language, in their recitations of geography, of history and philosophy, is another; conversation is another; encouraging a taste for reading, another. Every laudable attempt of the scholar to think, to reason, to investigate for himself, should be favorably regarded. Here, at times, a voice of encourage, ment, or a smile of kindness, will do more to help the youthful mind onward than a thousand harsh words or harsher blows. And never, on any occasion, should the withering blast of satire or ridicule be applied to its first efforts. Could facts be known, many would own that they imbibed an aversion to public speaking, a distaste of coinposition, from a careless or hasty word bestowed on an early performance.
More especially will these remarks apply to the treatment of those termed " the dull scholars.” It may, perhaps, be too often the case, that pupils of bright natural parts are caressed and encouraged, at an expense of time which should be directed to the whole school. This is decidedly wrong. Not that the board would say aught in disparagement of these ornaments of a school; they are justly its pride, and the pride of the teacher. But natural talent will always succeed, while those not so much gifted, require the careful attention of the teacher. In the dullest intellect, and the coldest heart, there are powers and feelings, wbich need only to be reached by the skilful hand, to be awakened to beneficent action. To them, then, let every consistent encouragement be given, by kindness of manner, and timely aid; and on no account let them be neglected. Duty and humanity alike demand this.
Much has been written and said by the board, on the subject of discipline. To maintain government in school is indispensable. There must be law, and it must be strictly obeyed; and when this obedience cannot be had without harsh means, then they must be used. Daily experience, however, confirms the opinion, that the less there is of corporal punishment in our schools, the better is it for teacher and scholar; and that in no way, can a teacher more display thorough skill in the duties of his profession, and intimate knowledge of the capacity and wants of the youthful mind, than in maintaining good discipline among his pupils, and promoting their steady progress, without its infliction.
In relation to this, the board have, heretofore, taken the most decisive measures. The following votes are furnished each teacher, on his appointment to an office in the schools; they are copied from resolutions passed by the board, November 27, 1837.
Voted, That the teachers of the several schools under the superintendence of this board, be requested to abolish corporal punishment in their respective schools, in all cases where its omission will not be manifestly prejudicial to good order and discipline.
Voted, That those teachers who have succeeded in maintaining good order and discipline, in their schools, without the infliction of corporal punishment, merit the approbation of this board; and it is earnestly hoped, that all the leachers will make every necessary effort to maintain good order in their schools, and keep up the interest of the scholars in their studies, without resorting to this mode of discipline ; which course will meet with the decided approbation of the trustees.
The board again sanction these views. The opinion is daily gaining ground, that its use, except in extreme cases, is wholly unnecessary. There has not been a blow struck in the Prospect Hill Grammar School since its establishment; nor has there been a single whipping scene in Primary School No. 4, since sometime previous to the last October examination. Kindness, forcible appeal, and mild punishments, have produced submission, when the lash would, probably, only have caused an additional degree of stubbornness. Besides, this treatment is full as likely to develop the ariable dispositions of the pupils, as its opposite is to muster, in serried array, their evil ones; it is full as likely to promote a punctual attendance at school, and to inspire a love of its duties, as severity is to render children averse to all that belongs to it. This, if no other reasons were presented, would be a strong argument against harsh discipline. School rooms can be made pleasant to children, not hateful; -the teacher should ever endeavor to strew flowers, and not to plant thorns, along the pathway of knowledge. It is believed, there exists a natural desire to learn, which, iť not checked by untimely influences, can be made productive of the happiest results. Let then the aim of the teacher be, to welcome this desire, and not to crush it, by the hard lines of discipline. Let but the scholar acquire a love of school, and nothing lies in the way of constant progress.
But there is a class of punishments far worse than the penalty of the rod. Pulling children by the ears, obliging them to remain in unnatural positions, with others of a similar character, cannot be too severely reprehended. By such, the constitution, the health of children, is liable to suffer. Indeed, the evils of such treatment are so obvious, as to need no further notice. Their use is strongly reprobated by the board, in all cases.
Good as our schools are, still there is nothing in the way of their further improvement. The board are convinced that more-much more can be done in our Common Schools, in the work of preparing the mind to attain the high mark of “a complete and generous” education; an education that shall fit it “ TO PERFORM JUSTLY, SKILFULLY, AND MAGNANI MOUSLY, ALL THE OFFICES, BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC, OF PEACE AND WAR.” The notion, however, must first be discarded, that the portion of education acquired in our schools, consists solely in the mere reception and delivery, on the part of the pupil, of set lessons,—that his degree of proficiency, when he enters upon active life, is to be measured by the amount of other men's sayings, he is enabled to repeat. Say, rather, that this should be decided by his measure of ability to think closely, and to act rightly; to form independent opinions, and to express them clearly, in speaking and writing. The personal qualities of the teacher, and his untiring faithfulness can chiefly foster this ability. Books. and systems, and schemes, may succeed each other in the school room, like the scenes of a drama, and leave only enfeebled efforts as their result. It must be the mind of
the teacher, acting on the mind of the pupil, to produce the wished for end; and the teacher, who possesses not the energy or the talent to set his seal upon the pupil, ought never to bave the honor of the place he fills. While, then, the board would not speak disparagingly of books, or systeins, or recitations, used as means of education, still they wou.d have it kept constantly in mind, that they are to be used but as means, and that the great end is, not accumulation of masses of facts, but discipline of mind and development of its pow
It surely will not be considered inappropriate here, to advert to one or two topics in relation to the duties of parents towards the schools; for their sympathy and coöperation can do much to promote their prosperity, and are, in the highest degree, cheering and valuable to the teacher.
The large proportion of absences, as seen by a reference to the exhibit made of the condition of the schools, must strike every one with surprise and regret. Sometimes these occur unavoidably; often, however, it is believed, they may be prevented; one quarter of a school, is certainly far too large a number to be constantly absent. Too often, it is feared, absences occur in consequence of parental indifference and indulgence. Too often, petty errands take up valuable hours, which should be spent in school. If so disposed, parents can do much to remedy this great—this crying evil. Absences are bad for the school, -- bad for the pupil. They derange classes, interrupt discipline, perplex the teacher, and operate, in many other ways, to prevent his success, even with those scholars, who are constant in their attendance. But it is tar worse for the pupil. If a child has a natural right to an education, then withholding him from the place where its foundations are laid, is a high violation of this right, for which the parent must answer to his own conscience. Certain it is, that no freeman, for a moment, would submit to a law, that should take from his children any portion of so noble a boon ; the mere promulgation of such an edict would produce a stamp-act ferment. But are the consequences to his child any the less fatal, because the parent voluntarily subjects himself to the practical evils which such a law would create ? Will the cup he thus commends to his lips, in the future ignorance, and degradation, and inisery of his own offspring, be any the less bitter? If any proposition is true, it is, that the surest way to secure, to parental fondness, future peace and happiness, and to society, valuable citizens, is, to implant, in youth, that moral and intellectual influence, that will sway it for good; to see to it, that, in early life, the foundation for a complete education is laid strong and deep.—How can this better be done, than by promoting an attendance at school?
But it is not merely in causing punctuality in attendance at school, that parents can coöperate with teachers, in the work of promoting the education of their children. No influence operates so powerfully on their minds and bearts, as home influence. Let this be enlisted on the side of school duties, and they will be performed, with cheerful alacrity, by the pupil; when, otherwise, he might treat them with indifference or scorn.—But, is not this powerful engine, often it inay be unconsciously, on the part of the parent, brought to bear directly against the interests of the school ? Who can ineasure the influence of words of disrespect to teachers, or of book learning, or of school government, or of general education, hastily dropped in the social circle, in the presence of children? If parents would have their children engaged in the duties of school, they must seel interested in all that pertains to it, and must ever magnify its importance. They can do much, in this manner, to promote the usefulness of the teacher; much, ky sustaining him in the difficult task of government, and in refraining from interfering with the general rules of the school ; much, by social intercourse with him, and by always manifesting their sense of the estimation in which they hold his vocation.
These considerations, the board would respectfully, yet earnestly, press upon the attention of parents. If they would have grow, in their offspring, a bightoned sentiment, a love of knowledge, a determination to quality themselves for the active duties of society, and to cultivate, as the great end of life, their moral and intellectual nature ; let these be fostered by that home influence, which nature has provided for their infant wants; and let the full weight of this influence, in all its various ways, be exerted, in promoting the attendance, and in sustaining the energies, of Public Schools.