« PreviousContinue »
The University of North Carolina has intro- papers and in the Virginia School Journal, and
VIRGINIA duced a course in dyeing and bleaching into her that an engrossed copy be sent to the family. curriculum. This is for the benefit of the students
WM. F. FOX, going from the University into the cotton wills.
J. P. THOMAS, Who shall say any longer that the South is un
S. T. PENDLETON, progresive, that she fails to make the most of her
The blow falls not alone upon the city school system. The State knew Mr. Merrill's worth,
and commanded his services. In the important MUSIC IN The Richmond School Board work of teacher-training he had been engaged has recently decided to intro
for several years. Perhaps in this special service RICHMOND duce the study of music into the were brought into fullest play his high intellectual
city schools. This is a step in endowments, tinished culture, and thorough masSCHOOLS. the right direction. It has never tery of the principles and methods of teaching.
been questioned that the teach. His zealous efforts to aid and strengthen the ing of music in the schools was a desirable thing, teaching force of the State are fresh in the minds but it seemed doubtful whether the money thus ex- of many teachers who enjoyed his instruction in pended would be best applied in this way. It has the Summer Normals. All with whom he came been argued that the Anglo-Saxon is not a musi
in contact were inspired to higher and nobler cal creature, and that very poor results are ols- ideals by his cxalted standard of integrity and tained after all the efforts made to teach him Christian character.
Christian character. He will be missed in the music. We believe, however, that wherever the
school work of the city and the State, and none experiment has been tried, as it has been in many can fill his place in that closer circle of friends in of our schools, it has met with very encouraging which it was indeed a privilege to move. We success.
tender his loved ones our warm sympathies.
TALKS ON SCHOOL LAW AND DEATH OF Mr. George F. Merrill, principal of the Richmond High
SCHOOL MANAGEMENT. MR. GEO. F. and Normal School, died at bis
Test Questions for the Teacher.—Are my pupils home in Richmond, December
all quietly busy at work? Is the noise in my MERRILL. 211, 1899. He was widely known
room the noise of confusion or the hum of busiand sincerely beloved, and the tidings of his death carried sorrow to many hearts.
ness ? Am I interrupted by questions during re
citation ? Am I sure that the annoyance which Following are the resolutions adopted by the
that boy causes me is solely his fault? Am I not principals of the Richmond schools, December 15, 1899, expressing their estimate of the man
partly to blamie? Am I as polite to my pupils as
I require them to be to me? Do I scold ? Is and his work, and their sense of the loss sustained
the floor clean ? Am I orderly--in personal by the city schools :
habits? In habits of work? Am I doing better
I Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God by an work to-day than I did yesterday? Am I making inscrutable providence to remove from this world myself useful to the pupils by teaching them as our associate principal, companion and friend, Mr. George F. Merrill
, in the midst of his usefulness rapidly as possible habits of self-reliance ? and in the vigor of his mauhood, be it, therefore Pay Day for Teachers.—After a year's trial,
Resolved, First, That his ripe scholarship, skil! Frederick county and Winchester city found that as a teacher, consideration for others, genial disposition, high standard of integrity and Christian
a fixed monthly “Pay Day” for teachers was a character, made it the greatesť privilege and good institution, so the county and city adopted pleasure to be associated with him.
pay days for the current school year. Read SuResolved, Secondly, That in bis death the perintendent Lynch's letter on the subject which
, Richmond public schools have sustained the loss of one of their ablest and most cultured princi- appears in the editorial columns. All the cities, pals, whose scholarly attainments lent an added
we believe, and a goodly number of counties, have lustre to the profession of which he was so long a prescribed monthly pay day; still, in quite a an honored member.
number of counties the day has not yet dawned. Resolved, Thirdly, That we extend to his family our deepest sympathy in their sudden and Superintendents will do their schools a valuable irreparable loss of a devoted husband and father.
service by making arrangements with the district Resolved, Fourthly, That these resolutions be
boards and the treasurer for the payment of teachspread upon our records and published in the city ers' salaries on a specified day every month.
BY PROF. JAS. LEWIS HOWE.
Employment of Teachers-Boards of Reference.I. The employment of teachers is the most important subject with which district school boards have to deal. “As is the teacher, so is the school."
Nature Studies in School. We believe the majority of boards appreciate the great responsibility iniposed upon them in this
No feature of education at the present day is matier, and honestly endeavor to discharge their
more characteristic than the multiplicity of subfull duty in the premises. That boards sonietimes make mistakes in this grave matter, there jects in the curriculum. In the earlier part of the
present century Latin, Greek, mathematics and can be no doubt. Now and then they act hastily, metaphysics constituted the chief studies pursued and without careful consideration of the fitness of in the colleges; and even in the middle of the the applicant for the position to be filled. Again, century these were augmented but little by a few boards are sometimes influenced by petitions weeks in science, and, perhaps, a short course in hastily gotten up by some popular applicant or
history. To-day the number of studies in the some interested patron. Such petitions are prac- larger college or university is legion, and even the tically worthless, and should be discouraged.
smaller colleges allow more or less option in Under the original law, district boards had ab
choice of electives, for no one could begin to comsolute authority to employ and to dismiss teachers. plete all the studies offered by the college in the During the early part of the administration of
space of four years. State Superintendent Buchanan, a controversy
This multiplicity of studies is, however, not pearose concerning the employment of a teacher, culiar to the colleges. More studies are demandand the law creating the “special board of refer- ed for entrance to college. History, literature ence” was quoted to sustain the contention that
and modern languages are being more and more the action of a district board in employing or dis- required for college, and the result has been that missing a teacher was subject to appeal to the
even the high schools and academies are permitspecial board of reference provided for in section ting a choice of studies. 45, pages' 52 and 53 of School Laws, 1892 edition.
Under these circumstances, when all of our This section provides that “This board (special classes, from the lowest up, are crowded with board of reference) shall have jurisdiction over all studies, it will seem inopportune to urge any adquestions which may be presented to its cousider- dition to the studies at present pursued—yet
— ation, by similar appeal, concerning the action of such is the purpose of this paper. the district board in respect to any subject over
If one seeks the greatest lack in the education which the district board has power.”
of the students entering college from the fitting The sweeping terms of this law led Superin- schools, it will, I think, be found to be the lack of tendent Buchanan to the conclusion that the con
to observe and to reason or draw contention was well founded; but more mature re
clusions from observation. The classics do flection satisfied him that such a conclusion was
not develop these powers; history as ordinarily not contemplated by the law, and he so ruled in the case referred to, as well as in all other similar taught in schools is merely a memory study. cases brought before him. The Board of Educa- Mathematics should develop the reasoning powtion, of which Dr. Buchanan was a member, was ers, but in most cases fails to do so, as the scholars not called upon for an official decision in the mat- depend upon memory rather than thought. As ter, but his final conclusion was concurred in by several of the most eminent lawyers of Virginia,
a result young men enter college who are absowho covsidered the question at his request. Hence, lutely incapable of a single independent thought. under Dr. Duchanan's ruling, a board of refer- I once asked a student in chemistry on a review, ence had no authority to review the action of a
how to obtain chlorin. After some considerable district board in the matter of employing or dis
hesitation, he said : “ Why, you get it out of missing teachers. This decision was in torce during his administration.
water.” On being further questioned, he was Soon after Superintendent Massey came into certain there was no chlorin in water. office, the question was again submitted to the “ Then, Mr. R., if there is no chlorin in water, Department of Public Instruction. He conferred with his associates on the Board (both able law
how do you get chlorin out of water”? yers), Governor McKinney and Attorney-General
“ Boil the water, sir !” was the ready reply. Scott, and they agreed with him in the opinion
It is a serious matter that men should come to that under the law quoted above a board of refer- our colleges half taught; but yet, after all, not so ence had jurisdiction in such cases. During Dr. serious, for the chances are that they will acquire Massey's administration, therefore, appeals were made in these cases.
this power of thought in college. The serious [CONTINUED NEXT MONTH.]
matter is that the mass of our young men
women, too, who never have an opportunity of 6 What science ?” What science shall be first incollege study, go out into the world without ever troduced ? What science for the lowest grades ? having learned the lesson of how to think for What science should each teacher prepare himself themselves. This is a real lack of intelligence. or herself to teach? Yet this question is of less It is not a knowledge of Latin or French or importance than might be thought. It makes so mathematics or history which constitutes intelli- little difference what science is taught, that I would gence; it is the ability to think for one's self; and unhesitatingly say to a teacher: “ If you are inthis is needed to-day as well at the ballot-box or terested in any science, that is the one which you in the home as in the college.
should teach and prepare yourself to teach ?” Now, if we acknowledge the need of this kind It may now not be amiss to suggest practical of an education, the question at once arises as to ways in which these nature studies muy be utilhow we can best acquire it? Here, I think, prac- ized. None of the sciences lend themselves bet
. tically all educators will be agreed, that no studies ter to instruction of children than botany. In are so well adapted to develop the powers of ob- spring time a little plot of ground beside the servation as the so-called mature studies—that is, school-house may be made a source of not merely natural science; and hence this paper is a plea for amusement, but of profitable instruction. At any the introduction of nature studies in not only our season of the year a few pots or boxes of earth secondary, but even in our primary instruction. will serve for many lessons as to how plants grow.
Many of the Northern colleges are now requir- For example, in three boxes plant, respectively, ing an elementary knowledge of physics or chem- peas, beans and corn. We laugh at the propenistry or botany for entrance, but it is not so much sity of chillren to dig up what they have planted. this which is urged by me, for such a knowledge Have them plant enough that each pupil can dig
a can be acquired by the mere power of memory; up a grain every day and watch for himself the my plea is for such nature studies as will have for progress of the seed developnent. Compare the their end the development of the mind, and not, three kinds of seeds and their methods of growth. even incidentally, the acquisition of scientific facts Add seeds of pumpkins, buck eyes, and wheat, or theories. The aim is to teach the child to ob- and compare these with the first three. In spring serve, and then to draw deductions from his ob- time the wild flowers will furnish an abundance servations.
of material. The structure of the flower, the reThe study of natural science, that is, nature semblances of different flowers, the characteristics study, should begin in the lowest grade and be of some of the great flower families, will be of continued every year in some form or other; and profit and interest. Even in winter, a comparithis form will differ from grade to grade. Each son of the different kinds of trees, the angles of teacher will and should have his or her favorite their branches, how they can be recognized when nature study which will be duly utilized. If the no leaves are on, are possible subjects of study. school hours are already filled to overflowing, the If the teacher is interested in botany, here will be pupils will never object to sacrificing fifteen min- an abundant field for lea:ling children in nature utes, or perhaps less, two or three times a week study. outside of school hours, but sually a littie thought For boys especially, zoology offers many adwill find a part of a period which can be used for the vantages as a nature study. Birds and animals nature study. From five to fifteen minutes once or naturally attract boys, and the hunting spirit twice a week, or even every day, is ample time, which they all possess can be well utilized, while, at least in all except the higher grades.
perhaps, incidentally, a lesson of humanity and The greatest difficulty in the introduction of na- kindness to animals may be taught. A personal exture studies is in the unfitness of the teacher. perience will best illustrate this idea. When a Few teachers are qualified to teach along these school buy, I had a teacher who was quite an lines. The time will come when this will be one ornithologist, and who interested the boys of my of the requisites for obtaining even the lowest class in the High School in the study of birds. grade certificate, but at present the success of this We formed a Natural History Society, and made work will depend upon the voluntary work of the a collection of birds. Incidentally we became, teacher. I suppose that nine out of ten teachers all of us, quite good taxidermists, and mounted a would feel themselves wholly unqualified for this collection of over a hundred species, but the valwork, and yet eight if not nine out of ten could uable part of our instruction was the study of the make a success at it if they would exert them- birds. I often went out with my gun, but more selves.
often without it. I would lie down in the woods, Perhaps the pertinent question at this point is recognize and answer the call of every bird; I be
TO R. C. S.
came familiar with the note, the flight, the habit
A Warning to Youth. of each, and while now much has been forgoten, I have never lost my love for the bird and my
He saw her through a smoky cloud, desire to gain his confidence.
Which brings to mind a sombre shroud ;
Her form was straight, and rather slight, Physiography, or physical geography, offers
And oft with her she bore a light. many advantages as a nature study. Hills and
Now foes and lovers more had she valleys, rains and snows, ice and water, are all
Than birds in air or fish in sea ; about us. The surface of the country around us
But when from her they comfort drew has changed and is constantly changing. The
Then she became an ashen hue. devious windings of a country brook can teach
Now love like this does often grow; many a scientific lesson. I have myself used the
A youth grew pale and soon lay low. meandering course of a little rivulet across the
When love like this attacks the heart,
'Tis worse by far than Cupid's dart. sand to teach the principles involved in the course of the great Mississippi, its changing course and
Now this youth's love we all regret
That it was spent on-Cigarette. its overflows.
Such love like his pray ne'er invoke, Meteorology is one of the more recently devel
For 'tis not worth a puff of smoke. oped sciences, and it is one which may be made of
-E, H., Ashland, Va. great interest to children. The forecasting of
Meeting of Greene County Teachers. the weather calls into play both observation and
At a teacher's meeting held at Stanardsville, the reasoning power to a very considerable de
Greene county, on the 27th of November, under gree. The practical value will be enhanced if it
the direction of the County Superintendent, Dr. is possible to procure the government forecasts Geo. B. Jennings, there were present twentyand weather maps, and if a wet and dry bulb
nine of the thirty-five teachers of the county. thermometer and even a barometer are in posses. The various subjects assigned and selected were sion of the school. A wind vane and a rain gauge exhaustively treated and discussed, much to the add still further value. It is interesting for each
It is interesting for each edification and improvement of those present. member of a class, using the means at his or her
Some of the topics more particularly elabodisposal, to make the forecast for the next twen- rated were “Public vs. Private Schools;" “Fety-four or thirty-six hours, then to compare it male vs. Male Teachers;” “ Importance of Litwith the government forecast, and then with the
erary Research on the Part of the Teacher;" weather which actually ensues. It will generally “School Government;" “ To What Extent do prove that the local forecast of an intelligent Public Schools Prepare for Citizenship ?” “ Enchild will be equal in accuracy to that of the Sig- forcement of Rules;” “ Are Teachers' Meetings
' nal Service, especially if wet bulb thermometer Productive of Good ?” “ Analysis ;"
“ Compuland barometer are used.
sory Education,” &c. The exercises were interEvery department of physics is available for ele- spersed with words of cheer and notes of warnmentary instruction ; especially is this true of me. ing from the Superintendent and others. Mr. chanics. The baseball bat serves for a lever, the Samuel Settle, a young and talented lawyer of leg which makes the punt at football for another. the town, addressed the meeting towards its There is scarcely a sport or occupation where the close. He eulogized, in eloquent terms, the principles treated of in mechanics are not in- teachers of the county and the proceedings of volved. A lens, a mirror and a prism can furnish the day. As an earnest of their progressiveness, a great amount of material for thoughts on light; a goodly number subscribed for the VIRGINIA a piano or a violin for sound.
School JOURNAL, and unanimously resolved to If a teacher has some familiarity with chemis- hold another meeting in the near future. try this can be well used, especially with the older classes. I have left several of the sciences un- Proceedings of the First Annual Institute of the Acco
mac Teachers' League, at Onancock, Va., November touched, which might equally well be used as na
30 and December 1, 1899. ture studies, but enough has, I think, been said to show that it matters little what science is selected,
The session opened Thursday morning with an for each can, in the hands of the devoted teacher,
informal reception at the town hall. The meetoffer a nature study, which, teaching observation ing was a most enjoyable one, and largely attend
ed by the teachers of the county. The institute and the power of thought, will prove to be of in
was addressed by many of the teachers of the estimable value in after life.
county and by Prof. L. G. Tyler, of William and Washington and Lee University.
Mary, Prof. Frazer, of the Female Normal,
Prof. Page, of the University of Virginia, and “ Interest,” by J. D. Grant, Jr.; “ Change of our esteemed Superintendent of Education, Dr. Teachers," by G. W. Mapp; “ The Teacher and Southall. To these men we are much indebted the Public School,” W. A. P. Strang; “ Business for their able talks upon educational subjects. Arithmetic,” E. B. Phillips ; Remarks on Broad
Following is the programme of the several ses- water Memorial, G. G. Joynes; “ Importance of sions : Thursday morning, informal reception of Elementary Arithmetic,” H. A. Wise. teachers and officers; Thursday afternoon, meet
EVENING SESSION, 7:30. ing opened at 2:30 with prayer by J. Carson Wat
Talk by Mayor Doughty; “Discipline," by Dr. Mapp, County Superintendent, was in
Prof. G. W. Gillispie; “Music in Our Public vited to take the chair, but declined in favor of Schools,” Miss M. Mapp; Solo, “ Daddy,” Miss Prof. G. G. Joynes.
A. Davis, accompanied by Miss M. Mapp; HuAlonzo Doughty, mayor ot' Onancock, delivered
morous Recitation, "A Kiss in School,” Miss E. an address of welcome and assured the teachers
West; Violin Obligato and Vocal Solo, by Claude of the hospitality of the citizens.
Nottingham and Miss E. Wood, accompanied by This welcome and the hospitality were proven
Miss E. Lewis; " Mathematics,” by Prof. Page, by their kindness under most trying circumstances, of the University of Virginia; Solo, by Merritt the business portion of the town being entirely Burke ; Talk by Prof. Robinson; vote of thanks destroyed by fire Thursday night.
to the people of Onancock by teachers assembled. Prof. Frazer, of the State Female Normal, ad
The following officers were elected for the endressed the teachers on the “Dignity of the suing year: President, G. G. Joynes, of OnanTeacher's Profession."
cock; Vice-Presidents, H. A. Wise, E. B. PhilOverture, by Miss Groton and Claude Notting. lips, V. S. Deitrick, G. W. Gillispie ; Secretary, W. ham—violin and piano.
A. P. Strang, Cashville; Treasurer, J. D. Grant, “ The Virginia School System,” a paper by Sr. Prof. F. F. Taylor. This paper was discussed by
W. A. P. STRANG, Professors Strang and Frazer.
Sec’y County League; Vice-Pres. for 1st Cong. Piano Solo, Miss Ethel Lewis ; “Nature in
District State League.
Montgomery County Teachers' League and Institute.
The teachers of Montgomery county convened Prayer by Prof. Robinson.
in Christiansburg December 1st, and organized Solo, George Powell, accompanied by Miss L.
a Co-operative Teachers' League. Forty-four Parker; “ Education,” a paper by Dr. Jos. W.
members were enrolled and constitution adopted. Southall, which sball long be remembered and one calculated to improve both teachers and
The following officers were elected : President,
C. B. Bowry, Christiansburg; vice-presidents, Mr. schools ; Solo, by Miss F. E. Wood; “ Patriotism
Kirkwood, Alleghany district; Mr. Rutrough, in Public Schools,” a paper by Prof. J. G. Nock,
Auburn district; Mr. Duttoi Blacksburg disSolo, Miss M. Battaile, accompanied by Miss M.
trict; Mr. Woolwine, Christiansburg district; Mapp; Talk on “ Temperance in Schools," Rev A. Burke; “Child Training,” by Prof. J. H secretary, Miss Elizabeth Galloway, Christiaus,
. Johnson ; Solo, Miss A. L. Davis, accompanied burg; treasurer, Miss Alice Taylor, Alleghany.
The evening session was taken up by the orby Miss M. Mapp; Reading, by Miss Ethel Lewis; ganization of the District Leagues, of which the Sole, by Prof. Dunbar; Talk to Teachers, Prof. Lyon G. Tyler ; “Practice School,” Prof. Robert county has four. Officers were elected and meet
ings and programs appointed. These reports Frazer.
having been returned to the County League, the FRIDAY MORNING, 10:30.
meeting adjourned. “ Methods in Teaching,” Prof. Dickinson, of C.
We are pleased to say that the body as a whole C.; “The Teacher's Influence,” Miss Emma LeCato; expressed entire satisfaction with the outlook, Solo, by Miss F. E. Wood, accompanied by Miss
and a great deal of individual interest was maniE. Lewis; "Fractions,” by Prof. Deitrick; “
by Prof. Deitrick; fested. “Grading a Public School,” Walter Respass;
In connection with the League, a Teachers' InInstrumental Solo, Miss Lena Johnson; “Should
stitute was held, December 2d. Quite a number Boys and Girls Play Together,” Mrs. J. Edmonds;
of teachers who were not members of the League Talk to Teachers, by Prof. Frazer.
were present, and took an active part in the disAFTERNOON SESSION, 2:30. cussion of the subjects on the program.
The Prayer by E. J. Winder.
meeting was presided over by the County Super