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We will join the Reading Circle, or do almost anything, if you will just give us something we can understand and carry away with us into our schools. We wish to grow of course, but our chief business is to make others grow, and we would like to know what to set before them and how to set it there.
We never hear one of these psychological-pedagogical-terminological-institute instructors that we are not reminded of the following stanzas published in the New York School Journal some time ago:
Across the moorlands of the Not
We chase the gruesome When,
Through forests of the Then.
We track the crafty Where;
The Ego in his lair.
The Isness of the Was,
We hear the Think bees buzz.
To watch the Thusness roll,
To woo the Over-Soul. Now, Mr. Editor, if we must have this kind of psychological work or fun, let us have the fun. It makes us more cheerful.
A CHAPTER ON DON'TS.
GEO. W. HOSS.
WHEN hearing a recitation
Don't prance from one side of the desk to the other like a French dancing master.
Don't vibrate backward and forward, with a pendulumlike beat.
3. Don't declaim and scream at your pupils when you ought to use a pleasing conversational tone. 4.
Don't sit or stand in a listless or awkward attitude.
5. Don't constantly play with your watch chain, nor twirl a pencil or ruler.
6. Don't keep up a perpetual pulling or patting of your beard, as if it were a pet and needed to be poodled.
7. Don't run your hands into your pockets as if in search for lost cents (sense).
8. Don't run your hands through your hair, as if hunting for lost ideas or something else.
9. Don't spring and jump as if you were a gymnast. 10. Don't spit on the floor.
Don't ask for quiet and then stride over the floor with the tread of a cattle driver.
Don't snap your pupils up or off. 13. Don't treat your pupils as blockheads, and never call them such.
14. Don't,-save in extreme cases, -ridicule your pupils. 15. Don't fail to be kind, as well as firm. 16.
Don't say—“Look that up,”—when you ought to have looked it up yourself.
17. Don't say—“What does the class think?"--when the class ought to know what you think.
18. Don't pretend to know what you don't.
Don't assume to know everything.
Don't talk your pupils to death. 23.
Don't lisp and simper. 24. Don't wear a somber or scowling face. 25.
Don't substitute the Police Gazette for the School Journal. 26. Don't keep up a perpetual complaining of the teacher's calling. [Better resign. May be education will survive the loss.
27. Don't fail to prove to your pupils, not by words but by deeds, that you are their friend as well as their teacher.
28. Don't fail to realize and practice the truth that love is stronger than the rod. 29.
Don't fail to be a true gentleman or lady. 30. Don't fail to stand yourself up before the teacher's mirror and see how many of these don'ts do or do not belong to you.
THE SCHOOL ROOM.
[This Department is conducted by Geo. F. Bass, Supervising Prin. Indianapolis schools.)
EQUATION. Should there be a zh sound in this word, according to the dictionary?
Has th the sound in this word that it has in the word that ? Has s the sound of z?
MAKING PROBLEMS. A primary pupil being asked to make a problem, gave the following: “A man had 7 wives and gave half of them away ; how many has he left ?
WHEN pupils read, have them read to somebody. It is not very inspiring to read to the walls of a large room. Try it. A teacher should have the ability to be a good audience. He should be a good listener.
BICYCLE. What sound has y in the above word? Don't say the word is not in the dictionary. Look in the latest edition of Webster's High School Dictionary. Don't say that "everybody says" Bi'cy-cle. The dictionary in use is our authority on pronunciation.
"THE FRONT PART.” It will pay young teachers who have not studied the dictionary carefully, to read the article “How to Use the Dictionary.” The "front part” of the dictionary is not understood by all teachers. Enough is said in this article to start one to thinking about it.
"OVER AND OVER AND OVER.” Sometimes teachers say they have taught a certain thing over and over and over, and yet the pupils do not seem to understand it. Do not weary in well doing. At each repetition see that the proper thought accompanies it. Success will eventually follow.
“Review is the secret of clear view.” Always review. Have some question always in mind that will in some way call up something that has been learned. Watch your pupils carefully and learn about how long it takes them to forget a thing. Ask them for it just before they forget it; this will serve to fix it in the mind.
“LEARN TO LABOR AND TO WAIT." Wait patiently. There is too much hurry in our schools. A question is asked and some one called on in a startling tone. If he stops to think, he is told to hurry. He is handed a book and told to read without an opportunity to even “look over” a sentence. The teacher should say and do the right thing to put the pupil in a condition to think and then wait for him to do the thinking. Growth is slow. Some seem to think that a bad boy ought to reform as soon as he promises to do so.
It is not possible. “Learn to labor and to wait.”
Spelling Bees were once quite fashionable and are yet in some localities a part of Friday afternoon being spent in "spelling down.” Some good comes from it, but it is an example of the survival of the fittest, since the best spellers spell the greatest number of words and get the most practice. Why not have Pronouncing Bees ? A list of words frequently mispronounced might be placed on the black-board. The pupils might divide as they do in spelling matches, or they might pronounce down. As every one must pronounce words every day, this certainly would be an eminently practical exercise. Occasionally we do hear of one of these pronouncing bees. We hope they will become more common.
No one is free in the realm of nature until he understands nature's laws and obeys them. If he walks out at a second floor window, instead of going down stairs the old way, he will hit the ground hard. He is not free from the law of gravity. This plan of getting down stairs may be original, yet the result is the same and he is not free. There are those who insist on having fril
dom in teaching. They seem to think that this means that they must not do as any one else has done. They must have "a way of their own,” even though the “w2y” violates the principles of mind-growth. The most discouraging thing in regard to such teachers is, they are not sensible of their misery. The laws of mind are as unchangeable as the laws of matter. The violation of one brings about as disastrous results as the violation of the other.
"RING, RANG, RUNG."
The class was asked to use rang in a sentence. Hands came up almost instantly. One little girl was called on and she said very sweetly, “Has the bell rang?” “O my!” said the teacher. “Think, think; ring, rang, rung,” he continued. The little girl felt the correction keenly and would have made another trial, but the teacher called on “the next,” who said, “The bell rang.” “Yes," said the teacher, “that sounds more like it."
Question: Was the first pupil benefited ? Was she any less likely to repeat her mistake? The teacher called frequently for the different forms of ring, and they were always given as follows: “Ring, rang, rung." The teacher said to the visitor that the pupils knew those forms just as well as any body, but when called on to use them in sentences, they failed. He wondered why.
This is the first step of progress. Why do my pupils do thus? Teachers are too apt to think it is because they, the pupils, do not try.
We venture, in the above case, that the words when used carried no meaning with them as to time. It would have done them just as much good to say “Intra, mintra, cutra, corn," as to say “Ring, rang, rung.” Put meaning into the words and associate the word with its meaning frequently enough to make the one always suggest the other. Ring should call up the idea now. Rang, yesterday, last week, time past. The idea that the first child had was that the ringing had ceased: this idea should have called up the proper form has rung. Saying “Ring, rang, rung" will never bring about the end desired.