Imagini ale paginilor

pering boy, is misnamed Stephen Douglass, and a bright, merry mulatto girl, is christened Libbie Pole. I was much surprised to learn that “Libbie," meant “Liberty. That her name is a source of much amusement to others and of annoyance to her, is not to be wondered at. We shall next hear of an “ America Flagg," and a “ Michigan Lake.” It really seems cruel to burden for life, one's innocent children with names that forever challenge a dangerous comparison, or that make the bearer ridiculous, and place him under the necessity of avoiding public notice. Give each child a chance to throw a halo of glory over its name, however common, instead of making it (and its probable insignificance) conspicuous, by a high sounding and therefore ridiculous name.

It is inuch easier for John Jones io become a man of note, than for Byron Podge to live up to the grandeur of his name.

Another perplexing incongruity I have discovered in Mr. T. He is selfish and tyrannical, I must say, even cruel, and often indulges in a levity of speech that is more than shocking in a teacher of youth. He frequents beer saloons and smokes in school. And yet he has received a thorough education, and understands the art of teaching as few whom I know understand it. He is master of all he teaches, and his method is the Pestalozzian; he has many excellent books on education, and when I get him to speak on educational matters, his conversation abounds in pithy remarks and vivid illustrations of great principles. How, with his knowledge and experience, he can be so brutal, especially with children, is inexplicable to me.

To his occasional hints aud instructions I owe much, and still more do I owe to the books he occasionally lends to me. They are chiefly the works of great educational reformers and experienced teachersPestalozzi, Zschokke, Froebel, Diesterweg and others. The more I study these masters of the sublime art of soul and mind culture, the more I feel the shallowness and incapacity of the methods under which I myself have been instructed. How it vexes me to think what previous years teachers lost in teaching me to rattle off my lessons with the volubility of a parrot, and with but little more thought and intellectual effort than my feathered rival bestows on this! How well they taught me the contents of my books, and how little of the world? Nature, ethics art--they were sealed books to me at school, and yet to learn but the mere form, the husks of knowledge, it took me long years!

I am still a mere beginner in the art of teaching, for the longer I read the more I feel what I lack. Some of the thoughts expressed by the men whose works I am studying, seem too grand, too laborious, to be carried out in the school-room--and yet how simple they are! There is but one condition to ultimate success, and that rests with the teach


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

“ Fit thyself for the noble work, make it the the central object of all thy thoughts, wishes and endeavors, and show that you not work in vain." This is the secret. How much it involves, what perfection it di mands! “Fit thyself for the wo.k.” That means self-government, virtue, culture, knowledge, talent, a great and pure love of children, of all humanit;! “Mahe thy work the central object of all thy thoughts and endeavors.” This involves self-sacrifice, humility, whole-mindedness, love of labor, unending as long as life lasts, and manly courage. Truly, the ideal is a great one, and only a true disciple of Pestalozzi will be able to grasp it and to carry out the great reformer's plans. Meanwhile I try in a small way to practice what I know and feel to be

I right, and how difficult it seems! Not because the principles involved are so difficult to understand or to apply, but because I am so imperftet a disciple. The pupils under my care are often unruly—how that provokes me!-and every relaxation of self-government is followed by greater turbulence among the children. A smart child does unusually well-what a temptation 10 urge the whole class forward regardless of the vast difference in talent and intellectual vigor among the ciassmates! Ambition bids me resort to the favorite hot-house method of producing effect by sacrificing the slow, healthy, natural growth of each mental and moral faculty, to the unnatural development of the memmory and the tongue alone; conscience forbids the striving for a sham brilliancy at the expense of the child's better qualities. A teacher once brusquely snuffed out an inquisitive vistor, who asked the" smartest pupil” for a reason, with,

we don't

reason, sir, we recite!” That's our temptation-we do nút reason, or teach the young how to think or reason for themelves—we stuff them with formulas, definitions, and numbers, and all we demand is a correct recitation. Volubility always stuus-a lesson rattled off without a mistake and at a rate which we cannot mistake, dazzles the vulgar, the ignorant. And it is thus that from a foolish ambition to produce a mere effect, even some better teachers often sacrifice their duty to thaù voracious old tyrant of every century, especially of the nineteenth--King Sham.

Again, when weary and heated, it seems simply impossible to follow the command given by those educators, “ to let no lesson, however insignificant, pass without drawing thereîrom some useful instruction, to lead the children to see in each exercise soine reference to life or nature, or art, or to ethics.” How dull some lessons are; how like endeavoring to extract łoney from straw it seems, to draw a moral from such empty stuff! But it can be done. I have learned the possibility of drawing wisdom from the silliest story; but in accordance with the great examples before ine, in a negative way. But so rooted is the habit of beinz

[ocr errors]





them as

[ocr errors]

content with a good recitation, that I would often forget the best part of the work if it were not for the children. With eager eyes they remain standiug before me when the recitation is over, thus reminding me that my

work has not ended there. The children-God bless them! are a great and active help to the teacher, if he will but accept such. They are not “ blark leaves,” laid out for us teacher to scril,ble thereon; but their hearts full of love, and their minds full of budding knowledge and eager inquiry, are alike open to him who meets them as a friend.

Here let us close the Journal of a Teacher. Perhaps these few “ leaves” contain a grain or two of thought that will stimulate others to give us a record of their larger, better experience; a record that will teach us how that was accumplisheci that we all aim at-not the mere instruction, but the successful education of children-an analysis of the process by which some teacher wiser than ourselves succeeded in formng the intellectual aad moral basis on which his success rested.

[ocr errors]



MR. EVITOR:—Under the title of “ Inequality of Taxation under the District System,” Mr. A. F. North sets forth the disadvantages of our present system of supporting common schools. This inequality of the burdens in providing for the education of the youth of the State is more forcibly illustrated by comparing the older settled portions of the State with the frontier towns. Nay, even by comparing one town with another within the limits of the same county. In proof of this I will submit the following table showing the rate of taxation in the severa districts in the towns of Sumpter, Washington and Franklin, county of Sauk:


In Dist. No. 1, the rate per cent. is 5.2 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 2, the rate per cent. is 5.9 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 3, the rate per cent. is 3.6 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 4, the rate per cent. is 3.3 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 5, the rate per cent. is 5.9 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 2, the rate per cent. is 3.3 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 3, the rate per cent. is 3.7 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 7, the rate per cent. is 9.9 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 9, the rate per cent. is 6.7 mills on a dollar.

In Dist. No. 1, the rate per cent. is 14.0 mills on a dollar.
In Jt. Dist. No. 2, the rate per cent. is 9.0 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 3, the rate per cent. is 9.8 mills on a dollar.

In Jt. Dist. No. 3, the rate per cent. is 13.8 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 4, the rate per cent. is 17.2 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 6, the rate per cent. 13.0 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 7, the rate per cent. is 13.4 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 8, the rate per cent. is 14.0 mills on a dollar.
In Dist. No. 12, the rate per cent. is 15.0 mills on a collar.



[ocr errors]


Dist. No. 1, the rate per cent. is 15.0 mills on a dollar. In Dist. No. 2, the rate per cent. is 8.0 mills on a dollar. In Dist. No. 3, the rate per cent. is 13.5 mills on a dollar. In Jt. Dist. No. 5, the rate per cent. is 20.0 mills on a dollar. In Jt. Dist. No. 1, the rate per cent. is 30.0 mills on a dollar.

Dist. No. 10, the rate per cent. is 12.5 mills on a dollar. In

Dist. No. 13, the rate per cent. is 17.0 mills on a dollar. In

Dist. No. 14, the rate per cent. is 19.0 mills on a dollar. By comparing Dist. No. 4, town of Sumpter, with Jt. Dist. No. 1, of Franklin, we find that the people in the latter pay over nine times as much on a dollar of valuation as the people in the former, for the education of their children. A comparison of other districts will show the same contrast, though to not so great a degree. This contrast is still more glaring, when we consider the fact that the


number of months of school per year is from one to one and a half greater in Sumpter than in the other two towns mentioned, and also the average wages per month is from four to five dollars higher.

Now the question is, will the Township System equalize these burdens? It is obvious that it will not, although it is a step in that direction. What will, then, accomplish the desired object? Manifestly, nothing more, nothing less than a State tax for the support of our common schools.

Will some of our prominent educators take hold of this subject and give us their opinions?

[ocr errors]



MESSRS. EDITORS :- I have never liked some things taught in the Or. thographies commonly used in our schools. There are such incongrui- . ties (in my estimation) in the elementary charts that I can never satisfactorily explain them to my class. About three years' since a certain Professor wrote a chart, similar to the one accompanying this, for each member of his “ Orthography class," and through that means I saw one of them. I liked it much, and have often thought that I should like to have its merits noticed. Since the Professor left I have never seen anything mentioned about his chart, and I take the liberty of

sending this. The principal features of disagreement with other charts are original (so he said) with him; but my brother and I, not liking his ideas altogether, carefully studied it over, and this is the “revision.” We have made the same number of elementary sounds, but rejected some he used and substituted others.

Now, should you think it worthy, I should like you to give it a place in the JOURNAL. If you think it too voluminous you might omit the “definitions.” In fact, it is at your disposal.


2. î as in it.
4. e as in met.
6. er as in her.'
8. å as in at.

1. ē as in me.
3. ā as in ate.
5. ar as in art.
7. ä as in ah.
9. a as in all.
10. Ō as in no.
12. ö as in do.

14. b as in but.
16. d as in deed.
18. j as in gem.
20. g as in get.
22. v as in vine.
24. th as in the.
26. z as in zone.
28. zh as in pleasure.
30. 1 as in let.
31. m as in man.
32. n as in now.
33. r as in rat.
31. y as in yes.
35. ng as in sing.

11. ŭ as in up.
13. ü as is put.

15. as in pin.
17. t as in tip.
19. ch as in chin.
21. k as in kit.
23. f as in fit.
25. th as in thin.
27. s as in sit.
29. sh as in shine.

36. h as in hat.
37. q as in quake.
38. wh as in when.


1. su as ew in dew. 2. ser as ir in spirit. 3. åer as ar in fare.

4. äi as i in ice.
5. åu as ou in out.
6. a¡ as coi in oil.

7. aer as or in nor.
8. Ōer as ore in ore.
9. öer as oor in poor.


1. suer as ure in pure. 2. äřer as ire in ire.

3. äuer as our in our.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »