Imagens da página


should wish each year at a designated time one's profession and on the woeful backwardto have this Holy Grail enacted until it be- ness of us professors, I gathered up the ten came accepted as a traditional ceremonial untouched magazines and showed the parof the institution.

ticipants, who as usual had avoided the front

seats, the treasure untrove between the The Speaker Entreats the Courtesy of Occu- leaves. I had two more talks in Scranton pied FrondSoats. Once. I saw a teachers' and not an empty premier tier. convention in McKeesporizarid once one in There was a delightfully eccentric man in Sioux Gity, asemble. so that those entering Pittsburgh, Barshear. You've heard of him, the hall proceeded.directly: götbe.front seats. able, different, alert, intensely public-spirited. At no time during the arrival of the audience Henry Phipps gave him money to advance were there any empty chairs in front of public schooling in that hustling city. Baranybody. Did you ever see that done?

see that done? shear, by circular, informed the teachers How do you account for it? It is an exhibi- that a patriotic citizen had given a generous tion of coöperative courtesy that affects fund the earnings of which were to be despeakers on the program with a cheering voted to the advancement of the public sense of welcome. I should like to think it schools. Barshear invited teachers to make spontaneous, but these two cities offer so suggestions. A handful replied. With delistriking a contrast to general usage that I cate humor Barshear divided the first year's think they must illustrate foresight on the interest among the few respondents. Then part of some good-hearted manager solicitous letters of apology and explanation began to for the reputation of his listeners. So often pour in upon him. “If,” said Barshear, have I heard educational meetings opened "the teachers of Pittsburgh would apply as with the dismal exhortation: “Will those in much ingenuity to devising effective teaching the rear please come forward,” that I have as they have devoted to making excuses, come to expect this dampener before begin- Pittsburgh would be the educational Mecca ning, as one looks for an apology before the of the universe.” That is the way the story remarks of a speaker who is so poor a talker was told to me. I can't verify it.

I can't verify it. Barshear that his discourse is its own sufficient be- is dead. But it fits so truly into what I do littlement. History is full of anecdotes of know of having to exhort those in the rear calls for volunteers to exploits of great dan- to come forward that there is no invidious ger, followed by such an oversupply of offers condemnation of Pittsburgh teachers in it; that commanding officers have had to fight they're like me, and, maybe, you and the their own men back and to face unpopularity general run of us-never educated up to the by picking the few. I have seen a number of voluntary spirit of the group at Châteaupictures of prizefights and never once with Thierry, or of Mr. Craig's staff when that empty seats in front. In Scranton, Pennsyl- comptroller of New York was billed to devania, I was once invited to address high liver public addresses. school teachers on the teaching of current Did you ever attend a ward meeting in a history. The publishers of World's Work, large city? I never saw the members of the those of the Outlook, and those of the Literary party settling in the back seats.

. Once I Digest, supplied me with copies of their maga- a fight for the front row. Oh, yes, I know zines to illustrate my talk. The conven- the motive is different. What strikes me tion was in a large study hall with desks. I regarding the front seats at educational went to it before the hour of meeting and meetings is that there isn't any motive at all. distributed upon the empty forms my I complimented a lone man at South Bend "literature." In each magazine on each of for his front-seat cordiality. He said "I'm

“ the ten front desks I slipped a clean, crisp almost stone deaf.” In the large hall in dollar bill. In the course of my choice re- Boston, where the surrounding counties hold marks upon the desirability of interest in their conventions, the noise of the chatting in

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


too soon.

the rear is so conspicuous that I have seen your local papers. Then you blunder year the chairman stop the speaker until the man- after year into the same stupid error of wetager could abate the nuisance. In a Wis- blanketing your meeting at the start. The consin State association meeting I once at- whole thing is lack of breeding, lack of plantended, the executive committee had to ar- ning, lack of hospitality, lack of managerange ingenious coupon devices to get a ment, lack of ordinary gumption. You stop considerable number into the hall as against

The choice of a speaker, the the moving picture shows. The school booming of him in print, is a woefully trunboard of New Bedford for some years with- cated effort if you let a considerable part drew its approval from teachers' conventions of your audience sit back under a gallery so on the ground that too many people used that your speaker must tear his vocal chords the time for going to shows. William Max- to tatters yelling across a barren waste to a well, when Superintendent of New York twilight zone where he can't see to whom he schools, sometimes opposed sending princi- is talking. Often have I observed Brainard pals and supervisors to conventions, the Kellogg, after calling out, “Mahomet is reason being that they spent the time loafing coming to the mountain," leave the platform in the corridors of hotels. William Ray, an and talk from the aisles rather than endure enthusiastic advocate of school conferences, the depressing effect of empty seats. secured from treasurer Purdy of the Rock The whole thing is so easily cured that no Island Railroad the gift of tickets to an edu- superintendent has any excuse for permitcational meeting at Elgin. Ray's teachers ting it. visited the condensed-milk plant and the Let your notice read: “The speakers are watch factory and kept away from the ses- our guests. We desire to show them the sions. Those incidents are not typical of courtesy of hearty hospitality. Few things present-day conventions. The attendance signify this better than front seats filled with is better. Quartettes, glee clubs, profes- fine people like you. Empty benches besional entertainers are still used as lures. tween a speaker and his audience discourage Imagine a medical congress opening with a even the most hardened orator. sleight-of-hand show! The V. A.Q. (volun- be polite enough to observe this rule: No tary attendance quotient) is larger than in one will take another seat while there is an 1882. But the majority of meetings start

empty one in front?” with the urge to come forward. How about The Washington Irving teachers, New Chicago? We choose a smaller hall, issue York, used to observe that usage. William more tickets than it holds, and fill all the Felter used to have fancy ropes fencing off seats by what the physicists know as con- all aisles from back to front except the front vection.

row. When that was filled the ushers reWhat difference does it make where you leased the next row and so on from front to sit? It affects the program. If you put a back. Mary Bergen, at meetings in her speaker up with a barrier of empty benches school auditorium, had an abundance of between him and his audience it chills him teacher ushers with smiles so sweet that they to the marrow. It is as if you invited him mesmerized the worst grouch in town clear to be your guest and, when he rang the front down to the bald-headed row. doorbell, all the family remained in the back It doesn't matter much how you do it so of the house. You, as chairman; you, as long as you do it. Get your educational executive committee; ask here and there who meetings cleansed of that dreadful blight: are good lively speakers for your convention. “Will those in the rear please come forYou play them up in your program and in ward?

Will you

A too easy education destroys the strength of mind and body.- QUINTILIAN






FRANK and flustered reader of this 6. That you let trivial things prevent you magazine whom those who know him from accomplishing big projects.

respect for his industry, intelligence, 7. That you may neglect the habit of and intent writes: “Why reprint the com- saving money. ments of newspaper editors on schools? These men, so far as education goes, belong

Frills and Fundamentals to the previous generation. Modern scien- Under this title the editor of the Record tific methods, the results of laboratory re- of Meriden, Connecticut, essays into a field search, are unknown to them. The com- in which the most of you have been driven: ments they write are as useless as the obser

When one dares to suggest the advantages to vations of a horse jockey on the management be derived from a turning back of the pendulum of the automobile.” Answer: We grope to the proverbial "three R’s” in education, he is through the hundreds of newspapers every immediately pigeonholed and classified as a hopemonth and reprint the best editorials on less conservative who has stood still while the education because we are conducting an world waggled by. educational review. The public is the sup

Of course the "three R's," originally only a

. porter of the schools. What the public colloquialism, are now merely a symbol of a thinks it thinks is contained in these editor- simplicity and thoroughness, as contrasted with ials. The greatest task of a school manager

the elaborate, involved and surface modes of is the education of his public, especially leaming of today.


Despite the acknowledged symbolism of the that part of it which, namely, the school board, has its hands on the schools. Intelli

term, it never fails to challenge criticism from the

ultra modernist who has made a creed from wholegent coöperation requires us to understand

sale “isms” to apply to education of children. one another. We want to know what our When such a distinguished authority as Presimasters, the people, are thinking.

dent Lowell of Harvard is minded to laud the humble "three R’s” in the very presence of the

most impressive exposition of modern educaA Hotel Man's Tip to Teachers tional modes, it would seem as if there might be When the Iowa State Teachers' Association justifiable reasons for queries, if not criticisms.

Baltimore has for years been contending that recently convened at Sioux City, the Hotel

the "three R's,” rather than the frills and furbeMartin, official headquarters, issued a signifi- lows of “educational experts” were needed to put cant list of seven common mistakes of life for

children in a position where they could absorb and mulated by E. C. Eppley which schools may digest. well address themselves to correcting:

Now comes San Francisco with the startling 1. That you get ahead by hurting others. announcement that the course of study in the That worry over things which are out

schools should be reduced from twenty-seven to of your control is permissible.

twelve subjects, the emphasis being placed on the

“three R's." 3. That you say “It can't be done” because you think

In other words, California is going back to you can't do it.

fundamentals in primary education, dropping the 4. That you should compel others to

fads which have resulted from legislative action think and live as you do.

attained through enthusiastic but misguided 5. That you may neglect the habit of zealots who wanted to save home and country reading fine literature.

through veneered civilization.



Just now the real and the pseudo cultured of meditation of the editor of the Boston this country are reveling in the charm of line, the Herald: beauty of wood and the interesting cabinet work of early American furniture.

If any sensational newspaper in this city wants Whether the present interest in antiques be real an issue to talk about, it can certainly attract or assumed, the demand has led to a revival of attention by agitating two questions: the ementhusiasm and wholesale reading and investiga- ployment of married women as school teachers, tion, which has revealed the advantages of the and the employment of non-residents, either marold over the new.

ried or single, in that capacity. We have been Now it may be that some of the old fashioned overwhelmed with letters on these two points educational methods are good enough to become because we ventured to admit one. We shall the mode today.

print no more of them after today's instalment, It might be found, upon close scrutiny, that because we have little sympathy with the cause; the real wood was much more profitable even but hundreds of people are deeply concerned over though a bit battered, than the more flashy it, particularly other teachers in the schools. veneer, with its tendency to chip.

Listen to this letter, the author of which offers We confess to a lively curiosity as to the feelings to furnish his name for publication: “A greater of the majority of Meriden's teachers, regarding penalty should be provided by law for school the ever increasing features of the curriculum. teachers who keep trained people from positions

Is it mentally and physically possible for either by not disclosing their marriage.” children or teachers to masticate all the pabulum A good man in Codman square furnishes the that the ultra new curricula carry?

names and addresses of four teachers in the BosIs it worth while to spread culture so thinly ton schools who come from one family in Quincy; that the fundamentals are lost and the frills four from a family in Natick—all living there only partially functioning?

and corresponding lists from families in CamDoes the smattering of knowledge on bridge and Holliston. Such complaints have many subjects; the touching of the surface, in- many variants. Sometimes the teacher has, acstead of digging beneath, accomplish much of cording to these writers, a good income from other lasting worth?

sources and is only teaching in order to get a Is there not possibility of cultivating a "movie little more money to spend; she may go back mind," a see it-now-and-gone-forever effect, and forth in a limousine. Sometimes she keeps which precludes thoroughness and stability? a place by the power and pull of her relatives in

The fact will intrude that there are signs in- other parts of the educational system. At least, dicating that there is a lot of lost motion and so the letters run. There are allegations of actual little character building in a scheme of things marriage where none is disclosed. which spreads knowledge over such wide territory We are convinced that a great deal of feeling that it can be only surface deep.

exists on these issues within the school service, Would not the child mind be stronger if it, and that if one were to open the lid the pot would were not compelled to take so many impressions boil furiously. Fundamentally, two theories of in so short a time?

public service are at stake. One is, that public Can a teacher do her best when every hour is positions are semi-gratuities to be passed around, dovetailed with hosts of different things which and that it is wrong for too many to have them admit of no concentration on any one?

in one family. The other theory is that service Might it not be wise to take stock and see if rendered is the test, and that it is relatively inConnecticut as well as California could not af- consequential how many persons come from one ford to give up some of its courses in the effort to family or where they see fit to live. The latter master fundamentals?

would be the policy of any private business enterprise. The telephone company would not be

shocked to learn that it was employing four memTwo Fool Questions Often Up bers of one family in Quincy, Natick or Holliston, This will please you if you are still con

provided they reached their respective posts with

reasonable regularity. Nor would it care whether fronted with these medieval problems. It

the women were married if they were able to give will delight you if you are in a happy com- to their business duties normal and expected atmunity which has solved them. It is the tention.

In the long run we believe this theory is better not affect so much the unmarried female teacher. for the public service, more wholesome in its ef- The question of equal standards of work and pay fects, than the other. And so for this reason we is involved. It has been suggested, tentatively, wish to apologize to the authors of these numer- that this phase of the salary problem might be ous missives for not taking up with more vigor treated somewhat as the question of dependents the cause which they invite us to present. is met in income tax payment, by a system of

allowances with respect to the number thereof. Adjusting the Payments for Teaching

The high school groups are not the only

teachers dissatisfied with the present rates of So long as the prices of what they eat and compensation. Superintendent Corson informs wear go up, so long must teachers keep an the Board of Education of requests from almost eye on salary schedules. It is a good thing every group of teachers working for the board. for a town to have a paper like the Newark, Obviously, the best action under the circumNew Jersey, Evening News which is not hesi- stances is general revision. tant to present the case in a business-like

Newark pays its teachers better than most

other cities. As to maximum allowances, it is manner:

less liberal than New York, although it has to In submitting their request to the Board of compete with that city. With regard to miniEducation for an increase of $1,000 a year in mum salaries, Newark compares favorably with maximum salaries, the high school teachers hark the best and biggest of cities. But the increases back to 1907 to find a comparison with present now being sought are mostly as to the maximums, day conditions in their economic lives.

and it is proposed to get such increases by stages, This class of teachers helps to form what may covering several years, which would not make be termed the cream of the teaching staff of the too abrupt a change from the point of view of the public schools, next only to superintendents, taxpayers. supervisors and principals—for which posts, incidentally, high school teachers are ineligible

Protecting the Pupils' Play under the present system.

The salary range for high school teachers in When you make your annual appeal for Newark now is from $2,700 to $4,400 for heads of playground funds it is valuable to be able departments and from $2,100 to $3,800 for assist- to quote authority of weight. The Philadelant heads. This represents about fifty-two per phia Public Ledger is such. It is not a school cent. more than was paid the same groups in

master speaking but a good old representa1907, whereas, they assert through their own

tive of vox populorum: spokesman, they ought to be receiving double their 1907 salaries.

Of course, their elders are not going to admit In purchasing power, they feel they are receiv- for a moment that when they were young they ing actually lower pay, by something like forty- didn't know how to play. They, too, kicked up two per cent., than was paid for the same service, their heels in the sand-lot leagues with one-oldand in many instances to the same teachers in cat, and it seems only the other day that they 1907.

chose up sides after first squeezing their hands When more than four fifths of the men high round the neck of the bat to determine who school teachers are engaged in some form of out

should have first choice. But there used to be a side employment, the reasonable inference is lot of children, the ones who needed the exercise that they are compelled to seek this part-time most, who mournfully haunted the side-lines and employment in order to piece out their incomes. seldom got into any sort of game by their own They do not receive sufficient from the pursuit volition, and overburdened teachers or homeof their regular occupations to enable them and makers had little spare energy to stand over their dependents to live as they feel they ought to them and see that they built up sound bodies by live. Most of the male teachers are married. any rational scheme of play specially designed for

Whether their dual occupations affect their their peculiar needs. value as school teachers might be problematical; Science in the recreation field has not deit might be a question affecting the individual. stroyed the fun. Coördinated and supervised It does, however, affect the question of depen- team-play has meant a better discipline of self, dents as the male teacher has to meet it. It does a better citizenship, and a week of ocular evidence

« AnteriorContinuar »