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of its latent powers and talents. If men would only ask themselves. once at every step of their educational labors, Does it really lead to the desired end?"
The fact that these ideas are not merely the product of meditation, bnt convictions gained by long years of observation and practical experience, adds much to their weight. They are ideas of a man who himself, amidst the greatest difficulties, was the first to explore a "territory untrodden for centuries," in search of that only true method of instruction. They are the words of a man who was successful as a teacher, and whose life furnishes & most striking proof for the truth of the assertion that love of our fellow-men is the first condition of successful teaching; for it was the compassion that he felt for the poorer classes in their wretched condition, that compelled him to devote his whole life to the solution of the great problem of lifting them from their wretchedness and poverty to a more prosperous condition. For years he lived, as he himself says, in the midst of over fifty beggar children, sharing his bread with them in poverty; himself living like a beggar to learn how beggars might be made to live like human beings. Having sacrificed all he had in his benevolent attempts to ameliorate the condition of the poor, he took charge of the children of a burntdown village, instructed them, provided for their bodily wants, acting alternately as superintendent, teacher, paymaster, man-servant and even maid-servant, and through sickness and adversities of all kinds, in a half-finished house, misunderstood and even derided by many, regarded by his friends as an impractical eccentric, he patiently worked on and realized at last his plan of elevating the poor by the education of their minds, hearts and hands, and succeeded, by innumerable experiments and observations, in working out, introducing and establishing a method which teaches things, not words, ideas, not their forms; which recognizes the different nature and use of the sensual and mental faculties, and a corresponding adaptability of all matter to be taught.
But to return to my subject, I would say that one cannot teach after this manner without the most thorough preparation. Indeed, daily preparation is as indispensable for efficient work in the school-room as the sharpening of a tool previous to its application. The mind's susceptibility of impressions is not the same with regard to the form in which they are presented. To find those forms which are best calculated to the susceptibility of the mind must be the principal object of the teacher in preparing the lessons for the day.
We do not have to overcome the difficulties that a Pestalozzi did; the method that he wrought out, and which others have nearly perfected, has not remained a secret; there are books within our reach
which give us the principles and describe the details of that method as plain as can be done. There are periodicals devoted to the cause of education; there is our own WISCONSIN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, which gives us the views and experience of teachers of all classes, and on every branch of teaching. And there are vast opportunities for improvement offered by the Teachers' Institute, the educational fair, where the manifold products of the mind and the rich treasures of experience are freely exhibited and exchanged. Every one is invited to partake of this feast, that invigorates the mind and elevates the heart; every one is welcome at this altar, where the spark of noble ser.timent, inspired thought, and glowing enthusiasm unite in one great flame as of a grand sacrifice brought in devotion to the cause of humanity.
The importance of educating children to become intelligent cannot be over-estimated. Intelligent children only can study the more difficult branches profitably. But simply teaching to read, write, cipher and spell in that mechanical way, in that sort of hand-organ style, which requires so little effort of teacher and scholar, does neither sharpen the perceptive faculties of the child, nor will it enrich his mind with that variety of well-defined ideas of the common objects, actions and emotions of every-day life which mark the intelligent child. What is wanted, are lessons, based upon the uses of the senses, which will give the child useful instruction, exercise his faculties, and develop language and ease of expression. And these lessons are to be given in the primary school at an early stage of instruction. It is there and then that the foundations are laid for an intelligent study of the higher branches. But all this, as I have said, requires effort and preparation on the part of the teacher. There is no doubt many a one will say: My salary is so small that I cannot afford to add time and labor for which I get nothing at all, to that for which I get but a mere pittance. It is certainly true that many teachers receive a very inadequate remuneration for their services; it is also true that one who devotes his time and energy solely to the education of others, ought to make a living, but it is no less true that our vocation will never make a whit more of us than we make of it. The wide world over, in no honest business, in no honest calling do we see any one receive before he gives. Ability, excellence, must really exist before they can be recognized. But ability and excellence are only obtained through continuous individual effort in the right direction. However, I am convinced that no one need be told this, who really desires to make teaching his business.
To succeed in teaching it is of no little importance that friendly relations with the scholars' parents be formed and kept up. The teacher should rather submit for a while to the whimsical or even tyrannical
notions that some committees have, than raise an opposition which may cost him his situation, in trying to reform them. By a little thought and discretion, he can gradually and almost imperceptibly effect a change of views. But while I congratulate any teacher who succeeds in making a community believe him to be infallible, I would say to every one, no one is infallible, teachers not excepted. It is an excellent means of improvement to get the views of well educated persons on the subject of education; and frequent visits to other schools, and a friendly intercourse with other teachers, cannot be too highly recommended.
Misunderstandings between teacher and parents will sometimes spring up, which may gradually set a whole community against him, if left to rankle unnoticed. The best way to prevent this, is to have an interview with the parents as promptly as possible. The teacher should bear in mind that he has three distinct powers to deal with— the scholars, their parents, and the school-board. To navigate safely over the shoals of scholars' wilfulness and insubordination, around the whirlpool of public disapproval, and between the counter-currents of conflicting notions of school-board members, and still pursue one's own course, realize one's own ideas of teaching, and above all, teach with success in every respect, requires the tact of a diplomat, the wisdom of a sage, the patience of a saint, and the determination of a conqueror. But it is not a superhuman task. It is within the power of all who are determined to succeed. Therefore, let "forward" be the word. Let us strive for success. Our work, our aim, is a nole one It is worthy of an effort. And if that effort should have to be continued through a life-time, let us not grow discouraged at the thought; it will be a life well spent. Let the worshippers of mammon bend their knees at the shrine of the golden calf; let the ambitious ascend the heights of social position; when our eyes shall grow dim, our strength fail, neither the incense of public admiration, nor the clink of the almighty dollar will be able to give us that happiness and tranquillity of mind, which nothing can give in a higher degree, than the consciousness of having lived for others, of having laid the foundations of their happiness, of having aided in the perpetuation of civilization and humanity, of having fulfilled the highest ends for which man was created.
SLEEP. A man who would be a good worker must be a good sleeper. A man has as much force in him as he has provided for in sleep. The quality of mental activity depends upon the quality of sleep. Men need, on an average, eight hours of sleep a day. A 1mphatic temperament may require nine; a nervous temperament six or seven.
NOTHING BUT LEAVES.
FROM THE JOURNAL OF A TEACHER, EDITED BY PEN.
October 186-Another month has passed away, and as I look back upon the three months that have gone by since I first commenced to teach in the chapel, I cannot help sighing to think of how much there was to do and how little has been done. The main room, which was crowded in early September, soon lost many of occupants, the opening of the public schools was the signal for the leave-taking of a large numof my pupils" the contrabands have returned to Dixie," says Mr. T., and although their abserce is on the whole a relief, I still regret the departure of many a bright young fece beaming with intellect, and of many a childish form whose unconscious grace had gladdened my sight. On the other hand attendance has improved since I commenced to giye drawing lessons, which few who have commenced to take instructions, are willing to lose. While some of the girls knit and sew, others draw as do the thirty and odd boys who gladly stay an hour after school in order to learn the art of drawing. Not all (in fact, not many) show a decided talent for it, but all can and do learn something and they cer. tainly enjoy it. I have found it a means of discipline. To tell a pupil that he will not be allowed to draw seems to many a greater punishment than to whip him. I am often requested to "draw somthing," and all are delighted to see me outshine some familiar or beautiful object. If I give cards of merit, the children generally beg for one drawn by myself, and thus a love for the art is created nnd nourished, and mischief is subdued by the innate desire of every child to employ its eyes and fingers in a pleasant way.
Perhaps it may interest some teachers to know how we obtained our drawing materials, as the children were generally of poor parents, and the school-board refused to furnish the funds. My plan was very simple. Having no charts and no time to prepare any, I generally drew the first lessons on lines, angles and curves on the black-board. But being limited in the latter article, I felt the necessity of buying cards. As I charged nothing for instruction, I proposed to each pupil who wished to draw, to make a contribution of fifty cents towards a fund for materials. In less than ten days I had about fifteen dollars on hand, which produced for each contributor a drawing-book, pencil and rubber. As I bought them at wholesale prices, and from parties who were large-hearted enough to be liberal, seeing that it was a bit of missionary work (your true American is always open hearted where mis
sions are concerned), I had the neat little margin of six dollars left. For this sum I procured (in the above-mentioned way), about one hundred good drawing cards, which, if each pupil drew every card, would last nearly half a year before new ones would be required. Then a new contribution will buy a fresh supply.
Whatever objections may be raised against this plan, it must still be admitted that it is inexpensive. Perhaps this very cheapness will seem suspicious to those who are accustomed to pay dearly for every little item on the list of studies and accomplishments of their sons and daughters. If they should argue that if drawing can be learned at little cost, it cannot be worth much, them let them remember that the golden sunshine and the gentle shower also cost us nothing, and yet they are priceless gifts.
Order is no longer so difficult to maintain, and obedience more prompt since the transient element has quitted the school, but troubles still abound in more than one quarter. A few of the loafers who haunt the depot, have had a row with our boys, and they do all they can to annoy us. During the warm weather, when we had the windows open, they would hurl dead rats, cats and fish, rotten eggs and apples, small stones and bits of tin into the school-room, and often on me or the children. As this always occurred after Mr. T. had left the chapel, we were defenceless; the school board refused to take any steps in the matter, and my colleague said he could not stay to protect us. So I complained of the nuisance at police headquarters and was promised riddance. The throwing of missles was discontinued after that, but the children are often attacked by the roughs, and insulted and cuffed. They try to make fun of me, but as I pay no attention to them, they seem to be growing tired of it.
Again, the days are growing shorter now, and so are our drawing lessons. The time will soon come when the daylight will end with our school hours. Must I then give up drawing, and sadly disappoint the children. And yet it seems impossible to crowd another branch into the narrow space of time allotted to our studies. Already I have dropped nearly one-half of the studies I had first determined on, and even the remaining three or four seem too many for eighty pupils, or rather for their perplexed teacher.
There are several things that strike me forcibly, and cause me to question the eternal fitness of things. One is the naming of children, which, especially in large cities, is often calculated to run into odd channels. I have among my pupils some very illustrious and a few very comical names. One chunky, lazy little fellow, glories in the name of George Washington; another, a tow-headed, nervous, whim