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will contend just as stoutly for all your just rights. Your cathedrals may tower above our humble meeting-houses; your schools and colleges, your asylums and religious institutions, shall have the protection of law; our schools, public libraries, galleries of art, benevolent institutions, are at your service; everything we ask for ourselves as Protestants we will freely accord to you as Catholics. But we do wish to have in our schools a recognition of the existence of God, and the influence of what even you must allow is a true and blessed expression of His will; and this not in the interests of our churches or your church, but as His children, lovers of our country and of the race. And now let us ask you, in all can. dor, is there aught of illiberality in this ? Were the relations of parties reversed, would you, or could you, be more tender of our rights and consciences ?
The Bible, as used now in the public schools, is not in any sense a sectarian book, as far as our own community is concerned. The parts mostly read are those which tend to awaken love towards God and towards men, and which bear upon human duty. All reading is without note or comment. The influence of the simplest and grandest words ever spoken is left to work as it will upon the youthful heart. This influence certainly runs not in the channels of sects, but binds all in a universal brotherhood. Tho child of the Jew may sometimes hear what he has been taught to regard as false; but he hears also the matchless songs of praise of the inspired psalmist, the wise sayings of his wisest king, and the sublime utterances of ancient prophets; and all may help him to grow up an “ Israelite indeed.” The children of “theists” and “positivists" will sometimes hear “gross superstitions,” but they will also hear the fiery eloquence of Paul, the loving words of John, the tender and winning tones of the Great Teacher drawing lessons from bird and flower, teaching by parable and life, bidding them seek those things which are pure and true, and live for God and man.
CORRESPONDENCE. An “old subscriber” sends us a very interesting letter. His suggestions are good, and so also are his deeds. Would that every old subscriber would go and do likewise; that is, transmit to us the names of ten new subscribers and payment therefor. A simple invitation to subscribe was all that was necessary. He says:
“I believe that if a person in each town in the State would take the trouble to ask the teachers to subscribe, nearly all of those who receive salaries above the starvation point would do so."
Will some good friend try the experiment? Let every city and town be canvassed. Ten new subscribers from each town would give us a very respectable subscription list. We heartily adopt our correspondent's sentiment: “May the Teacher flourish, and all interested look to its prosperity."
Another correspondent, who has heeded our call for good things, sends us the following, which he clipped from an old number of the Monthly Religious Magazine: –
A TEACHER'S EVENING PRAYER.
Jesus, Brother, and Consoler,
One before Thee bends,
As the day descends.
Jesus, Brother, and Consoler,
Oft Thy sleepless eyes
Saw the morning rise.
Jesus, Brother, and Consoler,
Wakened by the sun,
Say, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus, Brother, and Consoler,
Crown me with Thy meekness,
Fold around my weakness.
Jesus, Brother, and Consoler,
May Thy presence stay,
By my side each day.
Draw us all still nearer Thee.
Here comes another subscriber, whom we will let speak for him. self. Of course, we will spare for the purpose he suggests a “ little corner," or even a large corner.
BOSTON, January 18, 1870. MR. EDITOR, - Can you spare a little corner of your “Journal ” each month, which shall be devoted exclusively to the discussion of what, perhaps, might be termed the “ Ways and Means” of School-keeping? We would like to ask questions for the sake of having them answered by the expe. rienced ones” who can talk so eloquently sometimes of what ought to be done in our public schools. We, in return, are willing to answer such questions as may not be too hard for us, and thus, perhaps, a few school-room difficulties may be brought to your notice and discussed in your columns, to the edification of many of your readers.
We dream, sometimes, of schools where the boys are all gentlemen, and the girls are all ladies; where all the pupils learn their lessons, and never keep us after school, except to give out “Rewards of Merit"; where “Committees” are always pleased, and superintendent delighted. In our dreams, we hear the latter allude to us as “keeping a model school," and see the astonishment pictured on the faces of our fellow teachers as they are told of our success in “ doing" the programme.
But, dear Mr. Editor, we don't dream all the time; and when we don't dream, we are not so happy. Our boys are not all gentlemen, nor are our girls all ladies.
They all seem to doubt the propriety of making any great effort in that direction. Some boys will not black their boots, and a few consider it a hardship to comb their hair. Untidy hands are polished upon their trousers, and pockets are filled with candy, peanuts, and the inevitable “ gum."
Some of our girls will whisper and make faces when our back is turned, and a few tell lies equal to any boy.
What then! shall we resign our places to others who can better do the work? Then tell us pray in what business we may invest our little stock in trade, and receive as large returns in the shape of dividends? We fear to attempt the feat of the poor Welsh maiden, who lived so many months without taking nourishment of any kind. Yes; we fear that we couldn't do it, and so we don't wish to try. And besides, we really love our present vocation, notwithstanding our many trials and discouragements. We do like to feel that we are laboring in the Master's vineyard, and that our life has not been, and is not, entirely a selfish one. We have seen many a boy and girl go out from our school into the world, and it has made our heart glad, as in after years we shook them by the hand, to hear them say that they ascribed much of their success in life to the timely word we gave them years before. Yes, we do like the business; and although there are many others well fitted both by nature and the schools, who are ready to take our place, we are not yet ready to have them.
And so, Mr. Editor, we would like to talk school for a little while.
2d. Tell us how to teach Geography, Grammar, Arithmetic and History so as to interest our pupils, and at the same time insure rapid progress.
3d. Tell us whether it be possible to interest our pupils in Reading, Writing, Drawing, Declamation and Compositon; and if so, how ?
And now let us say, in conclusion, and in all boldness, that we do not want any fine spun essays on these subjects, from men or women who have never had any experience; but we do want plain, practical answers to plain, practical questions, such as we have asked or may ask, from men or women who have achieved decided success as common school teachers.
If some little space can be given to our “wants," we shall ever remain what we have ever been, your devoted
A “new subscriber " sends us the following sketch of a Wonderful School Teacher, published in the Lewiston Journal. It was furnished by Dr. N. T. True, of Bethel, Me.:
Miss Vesta Howard's school in Bethel was of so interesting a character in its features that I have been induced to write out my notes in full of my visit there.
Miss Howard is now fifty-five years old, and has taught seventy different terms of public and private schools. Her activity, quick perception, economy of time, and power of drawing out and imparting instruction are truly marvellous. Instead of being antiquated, she is far in advance of most teachers.
She commenced her afternoon session by saying that she did not think it best to set the scholars immediately at work upon their studies, because they had been at play, and were not in the best condition for close application. She therefore took a Second Progressive Reader and read a story as badly as she could, and let them correct her faults. She then read it correctly, and as one would talk, and all eyes were fixed on her. She then called a register of scholars by numbers, who answered by their names and ages. Among them was a Winfield Scott, Gen. Fremont and other prominent names; and as they were announced, she had a word to say about history, without scarcely stopping her register. She then made them all take their books out of their seats together without noise. No slates were to hit desks, or books to be shuffled. She selects a captain for each of the smaller classes, who steps out and calls the class out by numbers. Books are all held alike. This makes them executive scholars.
In reading, small children repeat the same word till they can command it in the sentence, and then they read it in concert. In spelling, they all fold their arms very quietly with the book under the left arm. Sometimes she spells the words and they pronounce them. Each class has a definite time for studying a lesson, and the teacher calls their attention to it at the moment.
They came out to read with folded arms; read with strong emphasis and naturally. She makes them look at her lips, and she pronounces words round and full, and makes them do the same after her. While hearing a class reading, if a class is studying geography, she will suddenly call their attention to some point in the lesson, and then go right on with the reading. She will call upon a scholar by surprise to rise and tell something about the lesson she is studying. This was done with great promptness. This kept them on the alert.
She had bouquets all around the room, and maps, and pictures on the walls to make the room look pleasant. Her order is perfect.
She questions them on what they have read. In spelling, they give familiar definitions in their own language, and are required to pronounce each letter fully and forcibly.
Class in the Fourth Reader rise in their seats together; bow gracefully. All give the page, exercise and subject in concert without the book; then open the book together. They read singly and in concert, and do it admirably, because she drills them on single verses. She practises the drill she acquired from Dr. Mandeville many years ago. In five days she has accomplished more than many teachers would in a whole term. Her motto is a time for everything and a place for everything.
She makes them hold the head and shoulders erect a part of the time when reading, - a more sensible practice than constraining them to sit erect all the time. In reading, she questions them, and carefully drills them on the vowels and consonants.
Her teaching is all analytical. She teaches the Roman numerals by means of some books to represent the letters. She is particular in the pronunciation of all words. She makes the large scholars add mentally as rapidly as possible. She economizes time wonderfully. She makes them understand the square of a number by practical illustration with blocks. The smallest scholars in arithmetic comprehend it.
The school is all numbered, with a captain to each sex. At recess, the boys rise and arrange themselves in the aisles. With a sign from the bell, the captain pronounces his title and starts, and the others in order pronounce their numbers, and pass out without confusion. At close of recess, she strikes the bell, and the captain comes in pronouncing the word “captain," followed by each who pronounces his number in order. She makes a regular drill of the weights and measures. She makes them sing the multiplication table to the tune of Yankee Doodle. She teaches the little ones to count in concert.