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THE SCHOOL MONTH.
Editors Journal of Education : An act “to regulate the estimation of time in the settlement of school district boards with teachers," ought to be materially altered. The duty of the teacher, as another has truthfully remarked, involves almost the universal attention of educational writers, but the duty to the teacher is a topic rarely discussed, and then lightly touched upon. People forget the fact that teachers have certain rights which should be regarded, but they do not fail to remember that teachers have certain duties to perform as well. The law referred to, as passed by the legislature of '71, was clearly an act of injustice to teachers, and was generally denounced by leading educators as unfair to them. And the legislature of '2 saw the mistake of this legislature and attempted to correct the error, and, we will admit, have made the law no worse. But it now gives school boards a discretionary power in contracting with teachers, which I know, in many cases, to be illy used. It is only the intelligent that are competent to exercise this power, and intelligence does not exist in all school boards to even an ordinary degree.
As the law now stands, twenty-two days must constitute a school month, and Saturdays cannot be counted, “ unless it be otherwise specified in the contract.” In individual cases this “specification” can be inserted in the contract making everything satisfactory to the teacher and the board; but, in my experience, the majority of boards insist upon twenty-two days as a school month, and often will not permit the teacher to “make up" the extra two days on Saturdays. A teacher is, therefore, obliged to employ more than a calendar month to complete a month of school, which is not required of any other person who labors for another. The present law is the cause of much ill-feeling between district boards and teachers, resulting from a misconception of the law, or some other difficulty arising from it.
I think that these objections to the present law, and others that might be mentioned, can only be adjusted, or at least can be best adjusted, by making twenty days a legal school month, teaching on Saturdays being prohibited. It seems to me a law embracing this idea would be equitable to all parties concerned, and would work no evil to any one.
I trust that you will bring this subject before the next legislature, and employ all proper endeavors to secure the passage of a law as desired. Very respectfully yours,
D. MOWRY. WINDSOR, Wis., April, 1873.
A PLEA FOR THE INEXPERIENCED.
BY HELEN J. LEMON, RIPON. Our country is flooded with teachers, our schools and colleges, like sweet-smelling meadows in which the busy bees sip the sweets of learning, send forth their children in no meager numbers. those accompanying them with equal step, yes, and out-distancing them, whose feet have never stepped in college hall, or stood in academy doorway. Few of this great throng are teachers who teach from pure love of it, or with the intention of remaining long in the occupation; few make the art of teaching their study, or are really successful.
There are two classes of teachers: the experienced, and the inexperienced. The inexperienced, perhaps half through his college course, sallies out of college halls with eager, expectant heart, with bright expectations and lofty ideals, with no other aim than to excel. He applies for schools: No. 1 has already engaged a teacher; No. 2 has always employed experienced teachers, and cannot depart from old time customs; No. 3—the clerk likes his looks, and thinks he would make a good teacher; he has no objections to employing inexperienced teachers, but would like to consult the board. After consultation, they conclude to employ one who has had more experience, In despair, he applies for a school, the clerk of which is an old friend, a fourth cousin, perhaps; his friend confers with the two other members of the board; in a few days he receives a note from him saying he does not suit; there are plenty of experienced teachers, and they propose to have the best they can get; but adds, that it his opinion they wish to be on the opposite side, and make this an excuse. Once more the unfortunate applicant is plunged in despair; another year he tries again, and with similar success. Do you wonder if he seeks other employment, utterly unsongenial? O tempora, O mores!
Did our greatest philosophers, machinists, engineers, and scholars suddenly spring into existence, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter, fully instructed in wisdom and understanding? Why discourage the inexperienced by this clamor for the so-called experienced? Is not a first term often a success, and is there not strong inducement to try? Why not try them? Why say to them, “supply greater than the demand;" "plenty of teachers;,' “ we want one who understands teaching," etc. Yes, the supply is greater than the demand, but is there not always a demand for good teachers? Did a perfect teacher ever walk the face of the earth? I trow not. Did you ever see one but had imperfections, and was the subject of criticism?
Why not let the district authorize the clerk to employ the first one who applies, provided that he is at all prepossessing? Why need the office of clerk to be only a name, a cat's paw, as it were, for the rest?
Oh ye interested in education, ye long skilled in the art of teaching, wearing your well-earned laurels, secure in long experiences, be not regardless of this plea. In remembrance of your own early days, speak a kind word for these expectant, perhaps worthy, but-alas! inexperienced aspirants. Jam satis.
Another method of moral instruction is keeping up the regular school discipline to a high standard of behavior. I need scarcely say that this is not done by severe punishment, by excessive emulation, by lengthy and minute regulations, or by crafty spying. Rather must the teacher's chief reliance for maintaining the proper moral standard be in her own conformity thereto. I need not mention anger, cruelty and treachery except to remind you that the latter term includes all threats made merely to frighten, all unfulfilled promises, and all encouragement of tale-bearing.
There is such a text in the Bible about putting stumbling blocks in children's way, as should lead all who practice this system, or the kindred one of governing by threats and spies, to fear that they may have already sent in their requisitions for free railroad and steamboat passes to mid-ocean and millstone necklaces. Readily as children may be taught fraud and envy by a bad system of discipline, they may be trained with equal readiness, by a system based on principles of love, justice and honor, to respect each other's rights, to love knowledge for its own sake, to hate fraud and falsehood, to despise impurity, cruelty and profanity, and to join readily in all efforts for mutual improvement. That is the best system of discipline which does most of this. The evils of standing armies are somewhat alleviated by the thoroughness with which the veteran soldier is trained to self-control, courtesy, prudence, courage, punctuality, and self-respect. If grown men can be so helped by a training based on the idea of destruction, should not that of knowledge exert yet better influence over children?
Our ablest literary journal, The Nation, thinks this indirect influence of conducting the schools on sound moral principles better than any direct instruction. It seems to me, however, that if ministers do well in enforcing the silent moral influence of religious institutions, by pointedly practical sermons, teachers should not rely entirely on the force of discipline but add that of special and definite appeals to the children's conscience in such ways as have been mentioned.
I might further suggest to your consideration the question whether the work is not worth doing still more systematically; and whether moral instruction should not have its regular hour, and its appropriate text-book. It might at least be well for the teacher to furnish herself with such a book as Cowdery's Elementary Moral Lessons, a series of interesting stories, each of which is followed up by its appropriate set of keen searching questions, some of them such as few of us would like to have to answer off-hand, but well worth careful study. Indeed, my own wish would be to have the school carried on from such good beginning to thorough study of more advanced text-books.
Whatever method you may select, whether you use text-books at regular hours, or make occasional appeals to the feelings, or rely wholly on your general discipline, or employ any other method of moral instruction, you must keep mir.dful of what is the most important point of all, namely, that how well you teach morality will depend on how well you know it. Your practical knowledge of morality I do not question. It is one thing to know enough of a science to obey its laws and quite another to know enough to teach them. A practical knowledge of chemistry is possessed by every good cook. Gentlemen and ladies as such speak grammatically, but with much less knowledge of rules than the teacher finds necessary. Shakespeare's Dogberry, however, says: “To be a well-favored man, is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.” Now don't imitate this foolish Dogberry by thinking that moral science comes without faithful study of difficult books. I mean such books as Wayland's Elements of Morality, Hopkins' Law of Love, and the similar works by President Fairchild of Oberlin and President Hickok of Union College. I feel all the more free to recommend these books because these authors are Baptist, Episcopalian and Congregationalist clergymen in good standing. I don't say that you should teach with such books in your hand, but that you should keep them on your desk, and never let them lie many days idle. You may judge of the difficulty of the study from the fact that even these books profess only to give its elements.-Extract from an Address by Rev. F. M. HOLLAND, before the Sauk Co. Teachers' Association.
A bore, meeting Douglas Jerrold, said: “Well, what's going on to-day?” “I am," exclaimed Jerrold, darting past the inquirer.
CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES. The population of the various States and Territories, as officially and finally received at the Census Office, is as follows: Alabama 996 992 | Missouri
1,921,295 Arizona 9, 658 Montana
120,595 Arkansas. 484,471 Nebraska
122,000 California 560,247 | Nevada.
42, 491 Colorado 39,864 New Hampshire.
318,300 Connecticut 537,404 New Jersey
906,096 Dakota. 14,181 New Mexico
91,874 Delaware 125, 015 New York
4,382, 759 District Columbia 131,700 | North Carolina.
1,074,361 187, 748 Ohio....
2,665,200 Georgia 1,184, 109 Oregon
90, 923 Idaho.. 14,000 Pennsylvania.
3,581,791 Illinois 2,539, 891 Rhode Island.
217, 353 Indian 1,600,637 | South Carolina
705,606 Iowa. 1,195,791 | Tennessee
1,258,520 Kansas. 364,399 Texas...
1818, 879 Kentucky 1,321,011 | Utah...
88,786 Louisiana 726,915 Vermont.
330,359 Maine. 616,915 Virginia
780,894 Washington Territory. 23,955 Massachusetts . 1,457,354 West Virginia..
442, 014 Michigan 1,184,050 Wisconsin ...
1,054, 679 Minnesota. 439, 706 | Wyoming Territory.
9, 118 Mississippi.
POPULATION OF OUR CITIES. The following table contains the population of each of the fifty-two largest cities in the United States. It shows all the cities having a population of twenty-five thousand and upward in 1870: 1 New York, New York .... 942,292 27 Indianapolis, Ind... 48, 244 2 Philadelphia, Penn 674, 022 28 Troy, N. Y....
46,465 3 Brooklyn, New York 396,099 29 Syracuse, G. Y
43,051 4 St. Louis, Missouri. 310,964 30 Worcester, Mass
41,105 5 Chicago, Illinois... 293,977 31 Lowell, Mass.
40,928 6 Baltimore, Maryland.. 267, 354 32 Memphis, Tenn.
40,226 7 Boston, Massachusetts 250,526 33 Cambridge, Mass
39,634 8 Cincinnati, Ohio...... 216, 239 34 Hartford, Ct..
37,180 9 New Orleans, La 191,413 35 Scranton, Penn.
35,092 10 San Francisco, Cal.. 149, 478 36 Reading, Penn.
33, 930 11 Buffalo, N. Y..... 147,714 47 Patterson, N. J
33,570 12 Washington, D. C 109,199 38 Kansas City, Mo.
32,260 13 Newark, N.J 105,059 | 39 Mobile, Ala..
32,034 14 Louisville, Ky. 100,753 40 Toledo, O
31,584 15 Cleveland, O. 92, 829 41 Portland, Me
31,413 16 Pittsburg, Penn.. 86, 076 42 Columbus, O
31,274 17 Jersey City, N.J. 82,546 43 Wilmington, Del
30,841 18 Detroit, Mich. 79,577 44 Dayton, O.
30, 473 19 Milwaukee, Wis 71, 440 45 Lawrence, Mass
23,924 20 Albany, N.Y.. 69, 422 46 Utica, N. Y...
28, 804 21 Providence, R. I..
68, 904 47 Charlestown, Mass. 28,323 22 Rochester, N. Y... 62,380 48 Savannah, Ga...... 28,235 23 Allegheny, Penn.... 53,180 49 Lynn, Mass..
28, 233 24 Richmond, Va.... 51,030 50 Fall River, Mass.
26, 768 25 New Haven, Ct.. 50,840 51 Springfield, Mass.
26,703 26 Charleston, S. O 48, 956 52 Nashville, Tenn