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with very great benefit to themselves, render valuable aid in those branches of study requiring review and thorough drilling.
when he may resort to this ultimate remedy but this decision may always be appealed from and adjudicated by a court and jury. There is no provision by statute empowering teachers to There are often conflicts between parents and inflict blows, neither is there any forbidding it; teachers in regard to the right of parents to debut the abstract right to do this is recognized mand the dismission of their children before in every treatise on the relative rights of parents the close of the school. This, parents cannot, and children, and it has never been questioned as a matter of right, claim. But when these rein any case that has arisen for adjudication. quests are made but seldom, and by those inThe only point at issue has been, whether the terested in the highest welfare of the school, it punishment was excessive or improper, and would be impolitic to refuse to comply with whether the offence was of such a nature as to their wishes. Such a refusal would evince an justify it. And it is unquestionably true, that unwillingness to act cordially with parents in the highest perfection of school government is all matters relating to school discipline. Withto secure obedience to authority, without the out this hearty coöperation, no school can be infliction of bodily pains. None, however, but either effectually taught or governed. teachers of large experience and great moral power can accomplish this.
The question is often asked, and is one of great difficulty, when does the teacher's author ity begin and when does it cease? Does it begin before the time of opening the school, and does it extend beyond the school yard, and the hour of closing it? On this point I am happy to present the legal opinion of the Secretary of the Committee, who, at my request, has examined this subject.
Teachers have also a right to claim that their schools be judged by a uniform standard of excellence, by all whose duty it is to pronounce judgment on their faithfulness, or on the results of their labors. Some form their opinion of a school on the order and quietness of the schoolroom. Others on the promptness and accuracy of the answers at the examination, without taking into account the amount passed over during the term. While others still, judge of a teacher's fitness by his ability to govern a school without resort to corporal punishment, and the relations subsisting between him and his pupils. It is evident that if either of these tests alone te applied, an erroneous judgment will be form
Teachers are often in doubt whether they have a right to keep pupils after the regular time for closing the school, either for the sake of disci pline or to make up imperfect lessons. Such a right has always been assumed by teachers. ed in regard to the true condition of the school. when not forbidden by a rule of the Committee. But it should ever be exercised with great judgment and discretion. No pupil, in any case, should be detained more than half or three quarters of an hour, without the approbation of his parents.
A school may be kept in the most perfect order, and the pupils may exhibit great military precision and exactness in all their motions, and this may be secured by the sacrifice of valuable time, and by severe and unjustifiable means, while there has been but very little progress in Some teachers insist that they have a right to the studies of the school. And scholars may compel pupils to learn lessons assigned them out also be so trained and drilled on a few questions of school, and also to forbid their receiving any and answers as seldom to make a mistake at an assistance whatever. Such an assumption of examination. The principal inquiry, in judging power is wholly untenable. It is not within of the character of a teacher or a school, should the province of a teacher to dictate in any way be, in the first place, to ascertain how much has what their pupils shall or shall not do when not been done in a given time, and then how well it in school; they are entirely under the control has been done, and by what means it has been of their parents, and are accountable to them accomplished. And where there has been a reaand to no one else. sonable degree of progress, thoroughness should Teachers cannot lawfully delegate their au- be regarded as the chief excellence; for without thority to another, or appoint monitors to act this the labors of a teacher are of but little in their stead. The authority to teach and gov-worth. When untoward circumstances or seern must come from those who have the ap-rious obstacles exist to frustrate in any way the pointing power. This, however, does not de- efforts of a teacher, such as sickness in the disprive the teacher of the liberty of availing him- trict, irregular attendance, the crowded state of self of the assistance of older pupils, who may, the school-room, or the want of coöperation of
parents, these should all be well considered, never be used in safety. The sensitive are often in determining what ought and what ought not crushed beneath its withering power. Its shafts to be expected in a particular school; for every penetrate so deeply that its wounds seldom heal. teacher has a right to a fair and impartial judg- It should be discarded as unworthy a place in ment of his labors. any system of moral discipline. Teachers should But pupils also have rights which should ne- never aim to humiliate their pupils to lessen ver be infringed upon or overlooked. These are their self-respect, or to degrade them in the esas sacred and inalienable as those of parents timation of their associates. It is an abuse of or teachers. In the first place, they have a right the noblest principles of our nature. A desire to the services of faithful, competent teachers, for the esteem of the wise and good is a powerin every way qualified to impart instruction and ful auxiliary in the formation of character. It to maintain a judicious and effective discipline. should never be crushed out by a false shame. And they have a right to demand from the in- When a child becomes indifferent to the good structors, at all times, such kind and courteous opinions of others or loses his own self-respect, treatment as parental wisdom and affection there is but little hope that he will struggle sucwould prompt. And while they are bound to cessfully in the great battle of life and rise suyield implicit and cheerful obedience to every perior to the temptations and trials that surrequest or command of the teacher, without round him. For "often times nothing profits question or cavil, they are justly and unques- more than self-esteem grounded on just and tionably entitled to immunity from punishment right."
of every kind, when they have committed no Pupils not only have a right to a judicious offence, and to an exemption from all punish- discipline and thorough instruction from their ments of undue severity, inflicted either in pas- teachers, but they may demand to be advanced sion or with too great frequency. It is as much from a lower to a higher class just as fast as the prerogative of the pupil to claim of their they are fully prepared for promotion. This parents and of those who have the oversight of cannot be denied them on any principle of justhe schools, an immunity from unreasonable and tice or reason. It is their right; and their naunauthorized punishment, as it is of the teach-tural guardians are bound to protect them in the ers to inflict punishment at all. full enjoyment of it. There is not only a seri
There are also certain modes of punishment ous loss of time when pupils are kept back when to which pupils have a right to object, and which they ought to be promoted, but they must neought never to be inflicted. Teachers sometimes, cessarily form indolent habits of study and lose to avoid the odium that is attached to corporal much of that laudable ambition which every punishment, seem to task their ingenuity to in-scholar must possess. Many pupils have sufvent others still more objectionable. Pupils are fered through life on account of ill-judged and frequently dressed up in fantastical caps, blind- unwise management in school. There is, howfolded, or placed in ridiculous positions, with ever, an opposite error, which cannot be too gags in their mouths, or shut up in dark closets carefully guarded against. If pupils are urged inhaling the impure air for hours. on too fast and beyond their ability, they either
. Not unfrequently very young children are become superficial scholars or their physical compelled to stand in certain positions till their health suffers in consequence of over-exertion. strength is nearly exhausted, and at very great Such cases are of too frequent occurrence, esrisk of permanent physical injury. Some resort pecially in our High School. Through the amto ridicule in the government of their schools, bition of parents, children are often pressed fortaunting and torturing the feelings of their pu- ward to advanced classes before they are preparpils in the most unfeeling manner-holding ed; and if their strength and vigor fail in conthem up to the derision of their playmates and sequence of their efforts to keep up with their companions; giving them nick-names, and call-class, the fault ought not to be imputed to the ing them dolts, dunces and block heads, and by school system, nor to the teachers for imposing such other vile epithets as their vocabulary may
furnish. Such discipline cannot be too severe- The number of pupils admitted the past term ly reprehended; and pupils have a right to de- is larger than in any previous term. There have mand an entire exemption from such barbarous been received into the High School, 353; into treatment. Ridicule is too dangerous a weapon Grammar Schools, 2056; into the Intermediate. to be employed in school government. It can 1935; and into the Primary, 3422. The num
ber left the High School for sickness or other ure to exercise authority over the pupil than in canses this term, is 41. The corresponding tern the assumption or wanton exercise of it.
last year it was 81. The number left the Grammar Schools, is 361; while last year the number was 739.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
MR. PARKHURST'S OPINION.
[The legal opinion referred to in the above report was read by Mr. C. H. Parkhurst, the writer. It was as follows:]
In reference to the exercise of power over the pupils by the teacher when the school is not in session, the teacher should always remember that the authority of the parent over the child does not cease until school has commenced, and that any exercise of authority over the pupil while going to or from school must be guarded with extreme care. It should never be any thing more than parental advice and caution, for when the teacher attempts to carry the authority rightfully exercised in the school-room into the domain of the family, he then assumes a power he does not possess, and must of necessity yield whenever this exercise of his authority is questioned by the parent.
The teacher should be careful to remember that he is not a police officer, except as every
The right of the parent to keep the child in order and obedience is secured by the common law. He may lawfully correct his child, being| under age, in a reasonable manner, for this is a part of his education. He may delegate also a part of his parental authority during his life to the tutor or teacher of his child, and the teach- good citizen is a policeman, to induce by good er is then in loco parentis, and has such portion of example on his own part, good conduct on the the power of the parent committed to his charge, part of his pupils, and all with whom he is viz: that of restraint and correction, as may be brought in contact.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON QUALIFICATIONS.
[The following is the report of the Committee on Qualifications:]
necessary to answer the purpose for which he is employed. This power, however, must be temperately exercised, and teachers should not feel themselves at liberty to administer chastisement co-extensively with the parent, however the delinquent pupil might appear to have deserved it. The Committee on Qualifiations beg leave to The rights of parents over their children result submit as the basis of their present action, their from their duties. Parents are bound to main- report upon the resolution referred to them at tain and educate their children, and the law has the quarterly meeting held February 15th, 1861. given them the right to exercise authority over The resolution is in the following words: them, and in support of that authority a right to RESOLVED, That the Committee on Qualifications be, the exercise of such discipline as may be requi- and they are hereby directed to investigate and report at site for the discharge of their sacred trust. The the next regular meeting, the causes of the difference of the rank of schools of the same grade in the city. power allowed by law to the parent over the The difference' person of the child may be delegated to a teachhere referred to, is that of er, the better to accomplish the purposes of edu- an unequal progress made by classes of the cation. Though the town schools are instituted same name in the same grade of schools. For by authority of statute, the children in those example, it was officially reported at that meetschools are to be considered as placed in the ing, that in one of the Primary Schools the first charge of the teacher, for the same purpose, and class had learned to spell during the whole term be clothed with the same authority, as when he only the words of one page in the speller, while is directly employed by the parents. in others, the words contained on forty pages The power and right of the parent to restrain had been equally well mastered; that in ariththe child cannot be doubted, and the power dele-metic, out of a list of questions submitted alike gated to the teacher must be accompanied for to the first classes of all the Primary Schools, the time being with the same right as incidental, only one or two were answered in some of them, or the object sought will fail of its accomplish- while in others only one or two were missed. ment. But, as has been said above, this power These are extreme, yet, as your committee beis always to be exercised by the teacher with lieve, well-stated cases, having every shade of caution and moderation. The teacher should difference lying between them. recollect that he is not the parent of the child, In accordance with the resolution, we have but is only occupying the parent's place tempo- endeavored to investigate the causes for this dirarily, and that it is far better to err in the fail-versity of attainment, and have come to the con
clusion, that in most cases the delinquencies of study, and supplies the lack by ill-judged complained of are to be attributed to no one and oft-repeated aid. The one cultivates thus cause alɔne, but to a combination of circum-in his pupils the habit of self-reliance, while stances, each of which has a greater or less the other enfeebles and demoralizes his whole prominence. school. The methods of the one are inspiring
Your committee believe that a poor school and thought-stirring; those of the other lead to cannot be found where there is not some defect, stupid and senseless routine. The whole atmoeither in its external circumstances, its internal phere of the school-room shows the difference management, or in its general supervision. to the casual observer. Equally great is the
1. Let us notice the different conditions of difference in the spirit and fidelity with which our schools, as affected by their external circum- the teachers perform their daily labor. One stances. We here refer to circumstances over gives the impression to the pupils that they are which the teacher has no control, such as the engaged in earnest life-work, while the other home and neighborhood influences from which leaves upon their minds the impression that the the children come, the general intelligence and hour of dismissal is the most delightful hour of habits of the pupils as to obedience, truthful- the whole day. An energetic, spirited and faithness, order, cleanliness and good manners; such ful teacher will have a school of corresponding as the school-room accommodations, the over-character. It is not, therefore, unjust to judge crowded condition of the schools, the criminal of a school by its spirit. The committee have enneglect of parents in not preventing lateness and deavored to ascertain in each delinquent school irregularity of attendance. A teacher may do what have been most prominent causes of its well in Prospect street, but fail utterly in Mason defects. In several cases the school-room acor Scott streets. A teacher who may do but commodations and the neighborhood influences moderately well in Walling street may distin- have had a large share in bringing about the deguish herself in Fountain street. It would be pressed condition of the schools, but even in unjust to decide the relative merits of a teach- such cases, the presence of a spirited and enerer's service by the same absolute standard. In getic teacher has often proved that a good school our judgments of the services of our teachers, may be had in spite of outward embarrassments. we have not overlooked this important element. The most perplexing cases which the commit2. As to the supervision of our schools, your tee have to deal with, are those which lie between committee believe it to be good, not so much, the extremes just described - those in which perhaps, from any praiseworthy fidelity on the all the outward circumstances justify the expectation of better results. The defects are not part of the committee, as from the constant activity of our superintendent. And yet, it is be- sufficiently marked to warrant the peremptory lieved that those schools have a decided advan-dismissal of the teacher, and, on the other hand, tage where the teacher is quickened in the per- they are so manifest as to lead to the constant formance of his duty by the frequent visits and wish either that some change could be made or suggestions of the district committee. that some good fortune would give the teacher 3. The chief cause of the difference in ques- a better position in some other sphere of labor. tion, in the opinion of the committee, is to be The committee therefore hope that by the found in the modes of teaching and governing adoption of such arrangements as they are the schools, and in the spirit, energy and fideli- about to recommend, at least a portion of these ty with which they are conducted. One teach- teachers may yet be enabled to render such a er strives to arrest the attention of the pupil service in the spheres to which they may be asand hold it to a single subject till it is thorough- signed, as may make their labors profitable and ly mastered; another is apparently satisfied satisfactory. We therefore recommend that the with the mere form of acquisition. The one general committee, by special action, leave all goes further, not only mastering the subject, the cases not recommended for reëlection in the but securing it permanently by painstaking and accompanying list, in the hands of the committee careful reviews. Another leaves what has been on qualifications, with the same discretionary partially conquered to the chances of a distant power which they are accustomed to exercise in future, when all has faded from the memory. relation to other teachers who have received no One holds the pupil to a strict responsibility for formal appointment from the general committee, the accomplishment of a reasonable task. An- and would propose for adoption the following other indulges him in careless and listless habits resolution:
RESOLVED, That the Committee on Qualifications be, and they are hereby, authorized to exercise the same discretionary power in relation to the employment of those teachers who have heretofore been under appointment by this Committee, and whose success has not been such as to warrant their re-election, that is granted them by the by-laws in relation to those teachers who have received no appointment from the General Committee.
The Rainy Autumn Eve.
WEARY, chilled, alone, desponding,
While the shadows, pale and spectral,
Strangely do they come and go,
Then in eyes like this, we nestled
Now your spirit-love may show.
Then sweet memories stole to us
Yet with distant tissues rife.
How our low laughs rang out o'er them!
Like a chime of silver bells,
Which in childhood's charmed moments,
Floating on midsummer eves from
Till with fainter sweetness rung
Where the sullen darkness clung. Though the fire-light crept toward it,
Or paused sportively half-way, And stretched out long, flaming fingers,
With its dusky hem to play-
While a throng of happy feelings,
Then a shade of pensive musing
Of a cloud on sunlit plain,
But a moment but a moment
Came the banished moon again,
Dismal Eve! the chill rain dashing,
For the Schoolmaster.
To be accurate who does not desire it, and yet who has fully attained to it? Of accuracy there are various grades, from the blundering school-boy's up to that evinced by most celebrated writers. The great Macaulay, in 1831, soundly rated a brother reviewer for blunders in diction and for gross errors of statements, and, in turn, in 1860, was himself arraigned before the tribunal of criticism, for mistakes in his history of a far more serious import. Scrutinize closely the work of any man, and imperfections will appear. Still, all who aspire, sigh to be accurate, to make fewer and fewer mistakes in remembering, perceiving, judging, ressoning and in expression.
To have an accurate memory is desirable, when we wish to quote, as authority, some record, or history, or reference book; to show, by means of an extract, the beauties of style and of sentiment of some prose writer or poet; or to state the argument of an opponent fairly, in his own words, in order to conclusively refute it. This is what may be called a verbal memory. Some have it in great perfection; they make good reciters and get high rank in schools and in colleges, while others, in whom it is deficient, seeing how little good often comes of it, are apt to despise it. esteeming it the part of a parrot, rather than of a man, to learn by rote. Yet a