« PreviousContinue »
This was the theme always on Vehrli’s lips. Expressed with more or less perspicuity, his main thought seemed to be that poverty, rightly understood was no misfortune. He regarded it as a sphere of human exertion and human trial, preparatory to the change of existence, but offering its own sources of enjoyment as abundantly as any other.
1. We are all equal,” he said, “ before God; why should the son of a peasant envy a prince, or the lily an oak, are they not both God's creatures ?”
RULES FOR THE GOOD BEHAVIOR OF PUPILS. The following “ requisitions” and “prohibitions” have become part of the common law”). of the Chauncey Hall School, Boston, under the charge of G. F. Thayer, its distinguished Principal. The remarks which follow are from his lecture on Courtesy, delivered before the American Institute of Instruction in 1840.
Among the regulations of a school of long standing, in one ot our large cities, are the following requisitions.
Boys are required to scrape their feet on the scraper, and to wipe them on every mat they pass over, on iheir way to the school room; to bang their caps, hats, over coais, &c. on the hooks appropriated to them, respectively, by loops prepared for the purpose ; to bow gracefully and respectfully, on entering and leaving the school room, if the teacher be present; to take their places immediately on entering ; to make no unnecessary noise within the walls of the building, at any hour whatever; to keep their persons, clothes, and shoes, clean; to curry and bring their books in a satchel; to quit the neighborhood of the school, in a quiet and orderly manner, immediately on being dismissed ; to present a pen by the feacher end, a knife by its hafi, a book by the right side upward to be read by the person receiving it; to bow, on presenting or receiving any thing; to stand, while speaking to a teacher; to keep all books clean, and the contents of desks neatly arranged; to deposite in their places all slates, pencils, &c. before leaving school; to pick up all hats, caps, coats, books, &c. found on the floor, and put them in their appropriate places ; to be accountable for the condition of the floor nearest their own desks or seats; to be particularly quiet and diligent, whenever the teacher is called out of the room; and to
promote, as far as possible, the happiness, welfare, and improvemeni of others.'
Under the head of 'Prohibitions,' are the following items.
"No boy to throw pens, paper, or any thing whaiever, on the floor, or out of the door or window; to spit on the floor; to mark, cut, scrutch, chalk, or otherwise disfigure, injure, or defile, any portion of the school house, or any thing connected with it; to meddle with the contents of another's desk, or unnecessarily to open and shut his own; to use a knife in school without permission ; to quit the school room at any time without leave; to pass noisily or upon ihe run through the school room or entry; to play at paw-pou any where, or at any game in the school house; to retain marbles won in play; io wbittle about the school house; to use any profane or indelicate language; to nick name any person; to indulge in eating or drinking in school; to waste school hours by unnecessary talking, laughing, playing, idling, standing up, gazing around, teasing, or otherwise calling off the attention of others; to throw stones, snow balls, and other missiles, about the streets; to strike, push, kick, or otherwise annoy his associates or others;-in fine, to do any ihing that the lor of Inve forbids; that law which requires us to do to others as we should think it right that they should do to us.'
DUTIES OF PUPILS TO THE SCHOOL HOUSE AND FURNITURE, Scraping the feet at the door, and wiping them on the mals. This should be insisted on as one of the most obvious items in the code of cleanliness. It is not only indispensable to the decent appearance of a school roon, but, if neg. lected, a large quantity of soil is carried in on the feet, which, in the course of
the day, is ground to powder, and a liberal portion inhaled at the nostrils, and otherwise deposited in the system, to its serious detriment. Besides, if the habit of neglecting this at school is indulged, it is practised elsewhere; and the child, entering whatever place he may, shop, store, kitchen, or drawing-room, carries along with bim his usual complement of mud and dirt; and the unseraped and unwiped feet are welcome nowhere, among persons a single grade above the quadruped race.
In the school above alluded to, the rule has grown into so general observance, that the discovery of mud on the stairs or entry leads immediately to the inquiry, whether any stranger has been in. For, though few carry the habit with them, all are so trainei by daily drilling, that it soon becomes as difficult io neglect it, as it was at first to regard it.
Hanging up on the hooks, caps, outer garments, foc., by loops. It is not every school that is provided with hooks or peys for children's caps, garments, &c. All, however, should be so provided, wiih as much certainty as seats are furnished to sit upon. It not only encourages the parents to send the children in comfortable trim, but induces the children to take betier care of their things, especially if a particular hook or peg be assigned to each individual pupil. li is one step in the system of order, so essential to the well-being of those destined to live anong fellow-nien. If dependent on the attention of mothers at home, I am aware that many children would ofien be destitute of the loops spoken of; but the children themselves could supply thiese, under the teacher's supervision; for I understand the use of the needle is taught, in many schools, to the younge er pupils of both sexes, and has been found a very satisfactory mode of filling up time, which, among the junior classes, would otherwise be devoted to idle
Keeping clean the person, clothes and shoes. This, I am aware, must cost the teacher a great deal of labor to enforce; for if sent from home in a clean condition, the chances are more than two to one, thal, on reaching school, a new ablution will be necessary. And in how many families this business of ablution is rarely attended to at all, with any fidelity; and as to clean clothes and shoes, if insisted on, the answer might be in some such pleasant and laconic language as this: "He ought to be thankful that he can get any clothes, without all this fuss, as if he were dressing for a wedding or a coronation !". Still, the role is a good one, and should be enforced as far as practicable. Water can at least be had; and is a child seems a stranger to its application, one or two of the elder scholars should be sent out, as is the practice in some European schools, to introduce it to him, and aid him in using it. And if you can arouse him to feel some pride in keeping his dress and person clean, and his shoes well polished, or at least, in keeping them free of mud, you teach him a lesson of self-respect, that may prove his temporal salvation, and bring him to be, when out of school, instead of the squalid vagrant, a companion of pilferers and refugees from justice, the incipient worthy member of society, and perhaps a benefacior of his race. It is amazing to reflect how very slight a circumstance in the life of a human being, in the early stages, sometimes casts him on that tide, which leads liim to glory or infamy!
The next forbids spitting on the floor. This topic I would willingly avoid, but fidelity to my charge forbids it. The practice, disgusting as it is, is too prevalent in many of the families that furnish pupils for your schools, to be overlooked, or winked out of sight; and if the children could carry home new notions in regard to it, I am sure you would have furnished a good lesson to their parents.
Marking, cutting, scratching, chalking, on the school house, fence, walls, foc. are forbidden, as connected with much that is low, corrupting, and injurious to the property and rights of others. They are the beginnings of that course of debasing follies and vices, for which the idle, the ignorant, and profane, are most remarkable; the first step in that course of degradation and impurity by which the community is disgraced, and the streams of social intercourse polluted. You mark the irack of its subjects as you would the trail of a savage, marauding party, by its foul deeds and revoliing exploits; as you would the path of the boa constrictor, in its filthy slime, which tells us thai man's deadly enemy is abroad. And we are called on, by every consideration of duty to ourselves, to our offspring, and to our race, to arm against this tremendous evil, this spiritual bohon upas, which threatens so wide spread a moral death.
We cannot escape the evidences of this, which assail us on every hand sometimes on the very walls of our school houses and churches; but especially in places removed from public view, where the most shocking obscenity of language is displayed, to poison the youthful mind, illustrated by emblems, which, in the words of one who deeply mourns with us over the existence of this mon8.rous evil, this desolating curse, “ would make a healhen blush !" These frightful assaults on decency demand reform. The deep, low murmur of insulted humanity will, I doubt not, unless this evil be checked, ascend to the tribunal of Eternal Purity, and invoke the malediction of our Judge, which may yet be displayed in the blasting of our fair land, like another Sodom!
NOTICES. The Foster and Scituate Association will hold an adjourned meeting at the academy in West Scituate, on Friday evening, January 23d, and continue in session through the following day and evening ; and at the school-house in Hemlock village, in Foster, on Saturday, February 14th, commencing at 10 o'clock, A. M. A meeting will be held on the evening previous, (February 13th,) at Clayville, in Scituate, in reference to building a school-house.
The Rhode ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION will meet at Pawtucket, on Friday evening, January 30th, and continue in session through the following day and evening.
The Smithfield and Cumberland Institute will meet at Lonsdale, on Friday evening, February 6th, and continue in session through the following day.
A meeting of the School Committee, Teachers and Parents, of Johnston, will be held at the Town house, on Saturday afternoon, February 7th, commencing at 2 o'clock. The Commissioner of Public Schools will submit a plan for re-organizing the public schools of the town.
RECEIPTS FOR THE JOURNAL. E. R. Potter, Kingston,
$3 001 B. H. Horton, Washton Village, 10 50 I. P. Hazard, Peacedale.
3 00 R. B. Eldridge, Jr. Fiskeville, 3 00 T. R. Hazard, Newport,
3 00 W. H. Wells, Andover, Mass. 1 00 Miss L. B. Arnold, Valley Falls, 4 80Wm P. Bullock, Providence, 50 C.T. Keith, Providence, 3 00 Zuriel Potter, Olneyville,
4 20 J. Kingsbury,
50 E. W. Brownell, Little Compton, 3 90 F. Wayland, 1 00 C. Burnet, Providence,
50 Wm. S. Harris, West Greenwich, 4 80 H. P. Beckwith, Providence, 50 Charles Almy, Tiverton,
9 00 A. F. Angell, North Providence, 300 I. S. Tourtellot, Gloucester, 3 60 Peter Place, Mount Vernon, 4 20 Wm. R. Staples, Providence, 50 John Stokes, Olneyville,
3 00 Miss R. S. Capron, Pawtucket, 4 50 J. T. Sisson, Pawtucket,
9 30 S. Patterson, South Scituate, 1 80 Miss Barrows,
3 00 S. S. Ashley, Providence, 300 C. B. Smith,
3 00 Jenckes Mowry, Warwick, 3 00 Providence, Jan. 4, 1846.
THOMAS C. HARTSHORN,
J 0 0 R N A L
RHODEISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.
The JOURNAL OF THE RHODE ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION will be published on the 1st and 15th of every month, until a volume is completed by the publication of twelve numbers.
Each number will contain at least sixteen pages in octavo form : and in addition, from time to time, an Extra will be published, containing official circulars, notices of school meetings, and communications respecting individual schools, and improvements in education generally; and one of a series of “ Educational Tracts," devoted to the discussion of inportant topics, in some one department of popular education.
The volume, including the Extras and “ Educational Tracts," will constitute at least three hundred pages, and will be furnished for fifty cents for a single copy; or for three dollars for ten copies sent in a single package; and at the same rate for any larger number sent in the same way. The subscription must be paid on the reception of the first number.
HENRY BARNARD, Commissioner of Public Schools, Editor,
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE RHODE ISLAND INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.
The Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction was held in the State House on Thursday evening, January 15th, agreeably to previous notice. The President, Mr. Kingsbury, opened the meeting with the following remarks :
“ A year has passed since the formation of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction. It was organized for the purpose of being a central medium, through which the friends of popular education, could, more conveniently, put forth their efforts in that cause. It was thought that such a society, if judiciously managed, would give strength and efficiency to efforts, which, if performed individually in equal amount, would produce little effect. We have reason to believe, that to a considerable extent, this object has been attained. Through this association, and County Societies of a similar nature, a vast amount of voluntary labor, in this cause, has been performed ; and, apparently, a very deep public interest has been created. By these means, united with legislative action, a train of measures has been put in motion, which already indicate a great improvement in the public mind—a train, which, if not prematurely interrupted, will ultimately, and at no distant period, raise the public schools of this state, to the highest rank among the means of popular education. It is not too much to say, that probably no state in the union has made greater progress in the same space of time.
I would not be understood to say, that nothing, which has been done, could not now be better done. Surely, that would be an enviable position, from which, in looking back on the past, we could see nothing to improve. Nor would I be understood to say, that our school law, adopted after great deliberation, cannot be improved. It may need to be modified. Let not that be done, however, till practical trial shall demonstrate precisely what those modifications need to be, But I do say, that I believe the improvement of our schools is a subject so near the heart of the people, no man, or set of men, will be long sustained in undisguised efforts to throw these schools into that state, in which they have been in past years. I venture to predict, that if the friends of education, as they have hitherto done, shun all partisan and sectarian alliances, those who choose to throw themselves as impediments in the way of this cause, will wage a war which will recoil upon their own heads. Let us, then, go forward with steady courage, and cheerful hearts. Let us manifest activity, decision and energy ; but let them all be guided by that wisdom, which selects the best means, for the attainment of given ends.
In closing these brief remarks, it would be unjust not to add, that whatever may have been done either by individuals or societies, there is one man, who has been the life and soul of every movement; and it must be gratifying to our legislators to reflect, that this man is the one whom they have selected for this express purpose." Professor Gammell submitted the
First Annual Report of the Executive COMMITTEE. The Rhode Island Institute of Instruction had its origin in the public interest, which, one year ago had begun to appear among the people of this State, in the cause of Common School Education. Its single object, in the language of its constitution, is the improvement of public schools, and the other means of popular education in this State.' It was designed to be an organization, which should embrace the friends of common school instruction in every town, and unite them in some systematic measures for diffusing information, and in all other appropriate methods, for advancing a cause most intimately connected with the best interests of the entire people of Rhode Island. It owes its origin in no small degree to the results which had already been accomplished by a similar Association in the County of Washington, and to the untiring efforts and comprehensive views of the Commissioner of Schools, appointed by the authority of the General Assembly.
In discharging the duties assigned them by the constitution, the Executive Committee have aimed to keep steadily in view, the truly liberal and noble objects for which this Association was formed; and in all the measures which they have adopted, they have relied upon the advice of the State Commissioner, and sought to carry out the views by which he was already directing his official labors. Indeed the measures which the Committee have thus far adopted, have been designed simply to cooperate with this officer in his attempts to unite all hearts and all hands in the patriotic work of raising the standard of popular education in Rhode-Island.
1. Of these measures, the first and most important has been the holding of meetings of this Institute, and of the friends of education in