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it necessary to repeat it half a dozen times during my short stay. Such things may not be found at the East; but similar indications of unfitness for teaching are not very uncommon in sections of the West that I have traversed. To the extent to which they are found, they act directly in the way of making school-teaching a professional work; for those who conduct their work in this slipshod manner, cannot expect to find permanent employment as teachers worthy of respect.
Then, again, the lack of conviction in ourselves that the work is a work worthy of our highest aim. Too many fail to remember that we are engaged in a work which lies at the foundation of every good thing in society and civil life, and at the basis of our governinent. How many feel, in their hearts, too little of the weight of conviction that should rest upon them as teachers. Some, it is true, carry with them an air of the school-master or school-mistress so far that, as was said by a child or pupil of one of this class, "She talks as if she was putting out words.” Some show themselves to be school-masters or school-mistresses by their peculiar manners, and in nothing else. They are not school men and women of thorough purpose to make the work in which they are engaged include their whole life, and a work that shall show itself worthy to be made a life work.
Again, the fact that teachers have not the control of their own work, is something that stands directly in the way of making it a profession. Lawyers examine candidates for the bar, and they are licensed as such. And so in the other professions; but the poor school-teacher, by whom shall he be examined ? Not by those of his own profession; not by those who know best what should enter into the composition and make-up of a school-master; but by some clergyman, who perhaps taught school for a little while, because he needed change--in his pocket-or by some physician, or other person, who taught school a short time because he could not find anything else to do that would give him money to aid in completing his education. But as a body, the teachers of the
United States are not examined, licensed or appointed by any persons who know the character and qualifications of teachers from actual experience. I look upon this as a matter to which we, as teachers, should give attention, and endeavor to control it; and, if possible, to secure a board of examiners who, from personal experience, shall be thoroughly acquainted with the wants of the schools, and what is required in the character of the school-master.
Then, again, teachers have no control in the matter of the appointment of teachers. Again, who ever heard of a College, in need of a professor in some department, coming down to the school-masters to find one? They go to the men rather who have been carrying saddle-bags, or to men in the clerical ranks, to find some one who has become prominent in his profession. Very rarely indeed do they come to the schoolmasters; and this is a fact that we shall do well to consider.
Then, there is not that degree of culture on the part of teachers, that general, generous culture, which those should secure who would have their work a professional one. There is a tendency to run in little narrow ruts, such as the teaching of spelling indifferently well, and to make a boast of that during life.
The inducements to secure popularity by clap-trap exercises, and other faults of teachers, were stated as barriers in the way of making teaching a profession, instead of laboring to make themselves wiser men and women, and thus make those who come under their influence feel that influence for good. The fact is, the better men and women we can make ourselves, the better hold shall we have on the community; and when we come to the point of making ourselves what we ought to be we shall have a solid foundation to build up a profession upon. (Applause.)
Some of the influences employed to secure the position of a teacher were briefly commented upon and condemned, illustrating one phase of this kind of means employed by the case of a young man who claimed a place on account of the fact that his father was the Honorable so and so. The com
mittee man to whom he applied responded, "My dear sir, daddyism is at a discount here." (Laughter.)
The address was listened to with great interest, the foregoing sketch being only a brief outline of the whole, but presenting the principal points.
WEDNESDAY, August 14, 1872. The meeting was called to order by the President at 9 o'clock, A. M., and was opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Haines of Lewiston.
The first exercise was the reading of a paper by Walter Smith, State Director of Art Education in Massachusetts, on “Drawing in Graded Public Schools, what to teach, and how to teach it.” See page 121.
DISCUSSION. The PRESIDENT announced that the subject was open for discussion or questions, by any member of the Institute.
A member inquired how the drawing of a sphere could be taught, as the speaker recommended, before shading is taught.
MR. SMITH responded that the drawing from solid models should come in after the drawing in outline of the same objects; that is to say, before the scholar begins to draw from visible forms, every geometric, solid form has been previously drawn, as in drawing the cylinder, the model of drawing all the solids is given. The drawing of a sphere before the commencement of shading can, of course, only be done in the form of outline. There is little time, in the schools, for the pupils to spend in shading. My idea is that whenever the name of a form shall be given, the object should be presented at once. The kind of power given to shading, causes the loss of power to draw outlines. I would rather that a circle should be drawn simply as a circle, than that much time be
given to shading. Shading is of much less importance than outline drawing.
PROF. GREENE of Rhode Island. I do not rise, Mr. President, because I feel that I have any special mission on this subject, but to express the impressions I have of the great advantage of teaching drawing in the schools, and my appreciation of the method stated in the paper read. I trust the time is near when the subject of drawing in the public schools shall be regarded with as much interest as any taught in the schools. The times have changed in this respect. When I was a boy in school, it was regarded as an offence to make a picture on the slate or paper, and I have known many a boy receive disapprobation for having made a rude picture on the slate. All attempts at drawing were discouraged ; but the change that has come in this respect is very great.
I rise to express my entire confidence in the statements made in respect to the progress which children may make. I never expect to draw anything that would be recognized, except an inscription were placed underneath. (Laughter.) But I know my children have learned to draw very well, from the circumstance that they commenced when quite young ; and that without any lessons in the public schools or anywhere else. The fact is, there must be a beginning ; a child must put his pencil to paper; and when, in his first attempt, he finds an inaccuracy, he finds success in perseverance. When the whole body of children give their attention to drawing, they will come up with the habit of representing in form their ideas or objects; and we shall have in our schools some who will have moderate attainments; some who will acquire power to draw very satisfactorily; and others will rise up and grow to excellence which will mark them as artists in our country. And I am delighted, I may say almost proud of the statements made in the lecture, that the children of our country are rising to be equal, if not superior, to the children in foreign countries, where drawing has been a matter of instruction so long in schools. I am profoundly impressed with the importance of this matter, and I wish to state this, that the teachers may take an interest in drawing in both public and private schools..
MR. Z. RICHARDS of Washington rose as a witness in this good cause. Though not an artist, he appreciated the truths uttered in the paper. Some of the thoughts expressed lie at the foundation, not only of the art of drawing, but of the art of teaching ; that drawing is not to be taught so much for the sake of drawing itself, as to be able to communicate knowledge. None need to understand drawing more than teachers. Reading and many other branches are taught in schools, not for the sake of reading in public, but for the purpose of giving ability to acquire knowledge, or apply it. Every teacher needs to understand drawing, so as to.communicate ideas to pupils by that means. He was glad to agree that when objects are presented to the child the name is to be presented at the same time. It is not necessary that our children should be drilled from day to day, upon the useless and nonsensical words of our spelling books. Not more than one thousand words are fit to be taught to our children ; fifteen hundred words are all that I want in my vocabulary. Let that number be thoroughly understood and they will be sufficient. I think that drawing lies at the foundation of success in the very first elements of teaching; and the teacher who does not understand it, is not qualified to perform the work of a teacher as he should.
PROF. TWEED of Charlestown never drew anything but a blank in a lottery; but he had been very much interested in the lecture, not merely on account of the value of drawing in itself, but for its educational value. We have been told that if drawing is imperfect it is because the conception is imperfect. I think that will apply to reading, as it may be imperfect, not because the voice is not good, not because the pupil may not know how to give the proper inflection or have all the arts of elocution, but because he has not a picture in his mind. If in reading a fine description he can make a picture, not on the black-board, but in his mind, then I think he will read well. It seems to me that drawing has, in this re