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educational effort shall be utilized by being harmonized into a perfect. system. Every district school must point towards the high school, every high school towards the normal school, and every normal school towards the University. Nor would this require any material change in the management of any educational interest. All that is required is that the limits within which each department is to labor be accurately defined. Poor line-fences have occasioned more law suits and more hard feeling than almost any other invention of the adversary.
After students have passed through the common schools, and have gained a tolerable familarity with the studies usually taught in them, they may be divided, in regard to their future education, into three classes:
1st. Those who wish to pursue the common branches under superior instruction, or to pursue higher studies for a limited time, or during certain portions of the year at which they may have leisure.
2d. Those who wish to complete a regular course, but less extensive than a college course.
3d. Those who wish a full college course.
There should be in the school system of the state a course of instruction adapted to each of the classes, for we believe that time and money produce comparatively meagre results when expended upon disconnected optional studies. The High School should adapt itself to the wants of the first class; the Normal Schools should be adjusted so as to meet the demands of the second class; while the University should strictly confine itself to the third class, and to special scientific instruction.
We can enter into no detailed plan, but would suggest the following outline: Let the course in the High and Normal Schools be three years the second year of the High School course being equivalent to the first year of the Normal course, the third year being composed of selected advanced studies. Let the second year of the Normal course be equivalent to the first year of the University course-the third year being composed of advanced studies selected from the remaining years of the University course and of appropriate Normal work. Such an arrangement would allow the University grade to be raised, which elevation would have its influence upon all inferior grades. That the University has not hitherto confined its attention to strictly University work, is owing to the fact that inferior schools have not done what they should. A stream that is made up of affluents must depend upon the for its character and strength. It is not the appropriate business of the University to do the work of either Common, High or Normal Schools. The Common Schools should prepare students for High Schools; High Schools for Normal Schools, and Normal Schools for the University;
but according to the plan suggested, students graduating at High Schools could enter the Freshmen class of the University.
We have mentioned the Normal School as a link in this chain, believing that that education which best fits a man to teach, is also precisely the education best calculated to give him a thorough knowledge of the subject; and thus the very best possible preparation for a more extended course of study, is the discipline afforded by our Normal Schools. They cannot train up excellent teachers, without first training excellent students. The art of teaching is only the obverse of the art of studying.
"NOTHING BUT LEAVES."-PART III.
FROM THE JOURNAL OF A TEACHER, EDITED BY "PEN."
The main room to which I repaired after dinner, was not in a very promising condition. Although large and well ventilated, it appears close and crowded, owing to the desks and seats (which are used as pews on Sundays), taking up nearly all the room. The aisles between those long, stiff seats, each of which is calculated for eight or ten pupils, are narrow, and in several places obstructed by pillars. It is easy to perceive how difficult it is to enforce discipline where every precaution has been taken to make a strict watch nearly impossible.
The platform is altogether too high; I have to ascend it by a small flight of stairs. Mr. T. mounts it with a leap, and descends in the same manner. It is covered with a faded carpet, literally obscured by dust and ink-spots. A pine table serves as desk and pulpit. Behind this and the chair, a huge, old-fashioned blackboard is supported by an easel, which in its turn is supported by the wall, against which it leans in a very knock-kneed manner. On that day, the table and platform, especially the latter, were covered with a variety of things, such as crayons, ink-stands, ink-jars, dusters and books, which lay and stood in a state of disorder worthy of a Wells street second-hand store. Many of the books had evidently been stepped upon by feet that had not formed an intimate acquaintanceship with the scraper near the door.
If order is not Heaven's first law, it certainly ought to be the first law of every school. It is simply inconceivable to me, how a disorderly teacher and ditto surroundings can produce that peculiar and beautiful effect which we term "harmony," in the minds and studies of the pupils. Disorder without must produce disorder within, and none but those rare and gifted creatures called "geniuses" can grow and flourish in spite of this law of nature. And I think it is an open question whether genius would not profit by surroundings that produce instead of destroying
harmony. At any rate, such exceptions must not apply to us teachers who are but common mortals, like the generality of mankind, and therefore in need of strong and lasting influences of the best kind. And of good influences, how many surpass that of the habit of order? It is the only safe engineer that keeps the machinery of social life running. Lake street might as well dispense with her host of book-keepers, as we with that most obliging and trustworthy servant-Order. Yet, strange to say, the oftener and louder we shout his name in the school-room, especially if we accompany the call with a deafening rapping with our ferrule, or stormy ringing of the bell, the less inclined he seems to make his appearance. But let us drop our voice to the melodious pitch of gentleness, or disapprovingly shake the head, and lo! he is among us.
On perceiving the incongruity of the surroundings with the work to be done, I longed to commence the preliminary labor of "setting things to rights," but felt timid about making a sudden and radical change. It might be taken as a reflection on the habits of my colleague. and from what I had heard of him, I desired to be at peace with him. So I made a few slight changes about the books on my desk and then sat down to rest and reflect.
The children came in about this time, and while some stood at a distance, eyeing me, and others went to their seats, quite a number of the larger boys commenced chasing each in the aisles, yelling and cursing and jumping on the seats and desks. I touched the bell and politely but firmly requested the boys to desist, to which they responded by rushing out of the room. For about five minutes, peace seemed restored, but I was soon startled out of my state of tranquillity by a volley of stones which came rattling about the doors and windows. The latter being open, several missiles found their way into the room, causing considerable alarm among the girls. I hastened to the door in order to meet this new disturbance with a serious warning, but the boys had taken to their heels and I saw the last little urchin disappear behind the depot.
Now, here was a provocation to lose that most necessary quality of every disciplinarian, self-control, and to encounter its consquence, the immortal irrepressible conflict." And old experienced teacher once said to me, "Temper, though much abused, is a good thing to have; it is like a spirited horse, and, like it, needs a tight rein. Don't try to get rid of it, if it's natural to you, but keep it in suhjection-bottle it for a sparing and prudent use." Well, I felt as if the cork of my bottle was getting rather loose, and as if the imp, Temper, was struggling for liberty; but I chucked him back with an effort and returned to my seat, watching for some new trick. However, Mr. T. made his appearance just then, and several girls ran up to him and related what had hap
pened. He watched me with a satirical smile, dimissed the girls with a wave of his hand and then turned to me.
"You have had a foretaste of teaching at the Mission," said he. "I am afraid those boys will not make it overpleasant to you."
"I was somewhat acquainted with the nature of the work before I came here," I replied, " and I promised to try".
"I hope you will be able to stand it," Mr. T. continued, "I need help, especially during the summer months, our worst season. We of the mission school have but two short vacations during the year—a week at Christmas and another one at Easter-and we observe the national holidays. But that is all the rest we get."
"But," said I, " how is it that we get no vacation in summer during the dog-days, at least? I should think you needed a rest as well as all others." "So we do, but we cannot get it. This is owing to the policy of our school board, to make money out of our work over and beyond the expenses of the school. The public schools and a few private institutions are now closed, and those that are open, are flooded with children, who attended the others and who are placed here to be out of mischief. Our school has the name of being a moral and religious school, and so we received, and still receive, the pleasant addition of a large number of pupils who are too unruly to be left at large during the long vacation; the troubled parents pay a few dollars and get rid of their torments for a couple of months. At least one-fourth of the present number of pupils are transient and will leave in September."
"But," I replied, "ho can a school board which seems so enthusiastic in the matter of morals, do such a thing? It must necessarily upset the established order of classes and exercises, and even lower the moral standard of the school."
"Ha; as to that," said Mr. T., stroking his beard and laughing in derision, "our morals, my good madam, are past spoiling. But even if they could be spoiled, do you think our school board would hesitate on that account, in a matter of dollars and cents? Not they. I did all I could to prevent this new order of things. I told them how our new acquisition is ruining the building and furniture, stealing our ink-bottles and books, and setting all authority at naught. I even hinted at the doubtful morality of some of those contrabands,' as I call them; but they only shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders, requesting me to tolerate the nuisance for the short period of its duration. But," he added, fiercely, shaking his fist at sundry shaggy heads that were peeping at us through the open door, "but I do all I can to clean them out. I thrash them every chance I get, and if that don't hurt their feelings I can stand the fun as long as they can."
I remained silent; in fact, what could I say? If this man spoke the
truth-and in spite of his manners he made the impression as if he did the board had been very insincere in their dealings with him. Here was Mr. T., whom they represented to their minister as being doubtful in his morals, impeaching their expressed solicitude for the spiritual welfare of their children, and accusing them of a total indifference to the evil effects of their proceeding; and all this for the sake of a few dollars. This discovery was not calculated to inspire me with that joyous zeal which the dutiful servant of a good and conscientious master feels for his work; it poured cold water on my glowing resolutions, and with a feeling of mistrust in my ability to do my duty, I rose to ring the bell.
If the primary had been noisy on entering that morning, they were thrown entirely into the shade by the older scholars. For about ten minutes the air and my ears were rent by an uproar such as only an assaulting army of Indians could make. Yells, screams and blows, were prominent features of the performance, and the feats of leaping across and on desks and seats, might have led a reflective mind to the reconsideration of his disbelief in the primitive state of man according to Darwin and Vogt. The faces of a few were also drawn into the grimaces of angry or mischevious monkeys, and like the latter, those boys seemed very expert in grabbing each other by the hair.
I looked on in silence; I saw and felt that it was the war-whoop of these rough and unrestrained boys, who, if the teacher, their “natural enemy," got alarmed and fell to the rear, were ready to storm the castle, level the walls of order and discipline, and proclaim victory in sight of the vanquished foe. If, however, the gauntlet was taken up boldly,not defiantly, the subsequent battle might be long and hot, but there would be a charm in subjecting the young rebels to wholesome obedience.
During the worst stage of the outburst, Mr. T. made his appearance at the door, showing surprise and anger in every feature of his face; but as he saw me standing calmly beside my desk, he made a gesture of disgust, and disappeared. By and by the uproar changed into a prolonged grunt, all the girls giggling and tittering, and gradually the noise dwindled down to a hoarse whisper and finally ceased. Every face was turned to mine, and I not only saw, but felt the power of each individual eye, that leveled its arrow-glance at my presumedly pale face.
Had this modern declaration of independence been of shorter duration, I fear my bottled fluid would have escaped, and, allying with those yourg republicans, defeated me then and there, and made future peace impossible; but luckily it lasted long enough for me to get fearfully, angry, and then to cool down. So by the time all were in a state of quiet, I stepped forward to address my pupils. I introduced myself as "the new teacher," and then continued: