Imagens da página

Nursed and tended by those who are at their unlimited service, a disposition not only to command slaves, but whites, is easily induced. Their wishes must be met, every passion accommodated, every ambition secured, or uneasiness, trouble, and revenge will succeed.

Opposed to every principle of humanity and sense is the requirement of a few to bring the scholar to the parent before correction is administered. It removes from the school-room the fountain of order, and leaves the teacher at the mercy of ill-informed parents, who will often favor the child's story. We do not object to parental information, and the advice of committees, but deem these valuable aids to just discipline. We claim original jurisdiction for the teacher as an agent. From this stand-point, the teacher exerts a most wholesome influence in favor of loyalty. In the history of Sparta and Athens, it is doubtful whether anything conduced more to legal obedience than the habit of strict submission to their teacher in early life.

It is apposite to the subject to remark, that exact obedience is the easiest and happiest. No one, who has enjoyed opportunities for observation, could fail to notice the apparent interest in a well-disciplined school, while the lassitude and wearisomeness of an ungoverned school is equally apparent.

Beyond the principle of obedience, it is the duty

of teachers to educate patriotism. This is justly due the State for her interest and expenditure in behalf of education. Equally with schools under monarchical governments should republican schools teach correct views of national policy. The foulness and atrocity of treason should be held up to aversion and contempt, while fidelity to public duties should be impressively taught.

Only one thing more is requisite to render the State impregnable, — military drill. The necessity of incorporating this into scholastic discipline appears amid the dangers of the times. As a medium of recreation and physical exercise, it merits profound consideration ; but when we add to these national preservation, or prosperity, its introduction becomes imperative. In no other way are we so prepared for the exigencies of republican government, and in no way could defence be so easily and cheaply secured. We have no disposition nor time to enter upon the merits or demerits of this question ; but circumstances have shown its necessity, by a sudden and somewhat extended array of unwelcome realities.

With this view, teachers, more than all other men, are the conservators of our inherited privileges. Profound are the obligations which even now are due them from the nation, whose incorruptibility they have so signally assisted in preserving.

Especially in the future will their responsibility as agents be gravely increased. Never will the war be dead in spirit, perhaps not in fact, till mind is enlightened and sentiment rectified. When teachers declare offensive war against slavery, slavery will die. Their services will be of the utmost importance in cementing together the elements of our nation. Never has there been a greater need of teachers as agents, and never will their services, in all human probability, result in greater benefit.

The rewards of the teacher, as a faithful agent, are of the most substantial and pleasing character. He who looks for his pay only in money but ill deserves the position he occupies; and he who stands at the corner of the streets, and practically repeats the base and mercenary inquiry, “ What shall we have therefor?” is unworthy of his company, and ought to be “ drummed out” of school, We are speaking now of the teacher who is possessed of an ambition to bless and elevate mankind. To such a one a reward is offered by Divine Providence, which equals the incurred responsibility. By the nature of his office, his mind is kept in active development. He acquires the habit of thinking, and knowledge becomes vital to his enjoyment. Rare opportunities are furnished for extending and perfecting his scholastic attainments and making himself the ripe scholar. Thus the teacher may be, and should be, the perpetual student.

To a noble mind, it is a satisfaction to know that life is not mere existence. The consciousness of agency, and that, too, in fields of undying renown, imparts a feeling of self-respect and worth which is necessary to true enjoyment. Along with the perplexities incident to the vocation, and the occasional thanklessness of the unappreciating, is the everattendant fact, that he is moulding human destiny. Such considerations should endear the teacher to his vocation, and elevate the tenor of his purposes. America hath no higher position to bestow upon her ambitious children. When the poems, speeches, and acts of our eminent men are obsolete, when the sculptor and the painter are forgotten, the teacher's work will continue to improve with the passage of years.

In one of the most magnificent buildings of England is found inscribed this sentiment, “If you would see my monument, look around you.” This building, for beauty and architectural skill, stands as the monument of the architect, more impressive than the finest marble. Thus the teacher will find himself immortalized in monuments of living worth on earth; and amid the ceaseless cycles of immortality, that which shall be nearest to his heart shall be his handwork on the human soul.





THERE are some roads that we never tire of travelling. Where Nature has thrown up the background of mountains but to suggest vast expanses of verdure beyond; where stretches out the undulating lawn, losing itself in clustered groves; where dashes and foams the cascade of crystal waters, that hurry on to fill the glassy lake dotted with lilies of alabaster and gold; where, in summer months, the song of birds is never wanting, — there every winding of our path reveals some new combination of beauty. Amid such scenes the mind finds both enjoyment and profit.

The teacher is the leader of the child, as his old Greek name implies. And, if faithful, he must lead him along many a road, that, for a time at least, will seem a land of hills for climbing, rather than a place of beauty, — where his strength will fail and his heart faint unless cheered with kind words and fair

« AnteriorContinuar »