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THE BEST MEANS OF OBTAINING ORDER IN A SCHOOL.
SIR,-To obtain order and discipline in a school is of the utmost importance; there can be very little, if any thing, taught in the midst of disorder. The children themselves are not happy in it; the teacher is made unhappy and fretful, and totally unfit for his work, and at the close of the day he cannot look back and feel that he has faithfully performed his duty. On the contrary, in a well-disciplined and organised school it is surprising what an amount of work may be done, because it is performed in a regular manner, and every portion has its allotted time. The children get more knowledge, and learn besides the habits of regularity and order, and the teacher is cheerful and satisfied with himself.
I think perhaps the following hints may be useful to any of my fellow-labourers who find a difficulty in obtaining that which is most essential and necessary, viz. order.
In the first place, give your commands in a quiet and firm tone. I have invariably found that a noisy teacher has a noisy school. Let your voice be distinctly heard throughout the room; and when once you have issued a command, see that it is strictly obeyed. It is therefore of great importance that your commands should be considered before they are spoken.
Firmness in the tone of voice is necessary, as indecision is very soon noticed by children, and will be treated accordingly. Be sure that you always perform your promises, and never let a child have reason to think his teacher has broken his word; whether you offer a reward to the obedient or a punishment to the disobedient, in either case keep strictly to what you have said.
Instant obedience should be required, no hesitation allowed; an occasional drillingexercise will greatly facilitate this. I do not think that time is wasted which is spent in training children to habits of regularity.
Be sure that one command is obeyed before another is given. A teacher must govern his own temper, as hastiness and irritability will make him fail in the very object he is trying to obtain. These characteristics should always be found in a teacher, viz. patience, firmness, and gentleness.
In giving a lesson, I find that a kind and pleasing tone of voice will help to fix attention, and make a difficult subject interesting and agreeable.
Order must be preserved in little things. There are few things too trivial to be attended to. Let every child know his place and his work, and keep to it. In making children orderly, a teacher studies his own comfort as well as the good of his scholars. "Let every thing be done decently and in order.”—I am, &c.
THE ASSOCIATED BODY OF CHURCH-SCHOOLMASTERS.
E. J. B.
Lamport Endowed School, Northampton, June 12, 1855. SIR, Will you kindly allow space for the following remarks in your next publication? I do not think they are foreign to the subject of Church Education, especially as you once favoured me by inserting a letter having reference to the Associated Body of Church-Schoolmasters in England and Wales, which has the spread of elementary education, according to the doctrines of the Church of England, very much at heart.
At the Northampton district-meeting of the members of the Associated Body of Church-Schoolmasters, held at Northampton, on Friday, June 1st, 1855, the following resolutions were adopted, viz.:
"1. It is the opinion of this meeting that it is expedient to invite the assistance and co-operation of the clergy in forwarding the objects of the Associated Body of Church-Schoolmasters.
2. It is the opinion of this meeting that it is likewise expedient to admit the clergy as members upon the payment of an annual subscription.
3. It is also the opinion of this meeting that the third Rule of the Associated Body should be altered by inserting the word 'clergyman' between the words 'any' and 'Church' in the first line of that Rule.
4. It is likewise the opinion of this meeting that at the end of Rule 4, as at present constructed, the following words should be added, namely,And in all cases the president shall be a clergyman, if one can be obtained willing to accept that office.'
5. That a copy of the above Resolutions be, by the District Secretary, forwarded to the General Secretary, to be laid before the next Annual Meeting of the Associated Body."
Myself and Mr. J. Hare, of Ravenstone, Bucks, were appointed to attend the annual meeting, for the purpose of supporting at that meeting the above resolutions.
It is quite unnecessary just now to enter into any lengthened arguments in support of these resolutions, or to show the propriety of acting up to the spirit of them; but as I wish to call the attention of schoolmasters to the subject,-and they form a large proportion of the readers of the Monthly Paper,-I will offer a few brief remarks.
Resolution 1.-The objects of the Associated Body are these: 1. "The bringing together in closer bonds of sympathy and co-operation the whole body of Churchschoolmasters in England and Wales; 2. The improvement of the theory and practice of teaching; and 3. The advancement of elementary education." These are high and Laudable objects; they are worthy of the Church-schoolmasters of this country. But the question arises, can they carry them out? Can they cause elementary education to march forward and spread throughout the length and breadth of the land? They can improve it; they can improve the methods of instruction, i. e. the theory and practice of teaching; but they cannot raise and support schools in different parts of the country where none at present exist. And this is what I understand by the advancement of education. It is a notorious fact that the greater part of our country-schools are mainly supported by the clergy and members of their families. The clergy are the chief promoters of education in England; and they are mostly concerned in its advancement, especially on the principles of the Established Church. On this ground it is recommended that the clergy should be invited to assist in forwarding the objects of the Associated Body.
Again, the Associated Body proposes to attain these objects, "1. By encouraging the formation of local associations; 2. By the production and circulation of essays, model-lessons, and improved text-books, and apparatus specially adapted to elementary schools; 3. By promoting the formation of educational libraries or museums in various parts of the country; and 4. By representing to the proper authorities any defects or abuses in our educational system, and suggesting such modifications or additions as experienced teachers may deem desirable." I think no person will doubt that these means of obtaining the above objects are simple and necessary, and might be productive of much good to the cause of education; but they chiefly refer to the material helps of education. Has the Associated Body carried out any one of these propositions? If any, it is the first of the four. Has the Body published essays, model-lessons, &c., beyond those which have appeared in the School and Teacher? Has it established one library or museum? These things would yield an immense amount of good, if carried out. Why, then, has the Associated Body not established one museum, or published, as a body, one essay or model-lesson? Simply because it has not the means; it has not the cash, which is the one thing needful for such things. And when these museums are established, they would be of greater advantage to the managers of schools, who, as I have mentioned before, are clergymen, than they would to schoolmasters. Then why not invite them—and I believe they are willing, to come forward and lend a helping hand in raising such things?
Resolution 2.-The clergy and school-teachers are both to a certain extent engaged in the same occupation. Their qualifications, in a great measure, are the same. hopes and their duties are similar. They are both engaged in winning souls to Christ. The clergy have for their especial charge the sheep, while the teachers have for theirs the lambs of Christ's flock. They both ought to have, to be successful in their work, the love of God in their hearts; they ought to be good men. Since their occupations are so similar, they ought to go on hand in hand in Christian brotherhood, promoting and doing the works of the Lord; therefore I would recommend, if for no other reason, at least on the ground of "esteeming them highly for their works' sake," that the clergy be admitted as members of an association which has for its object the improvement and advancement of Church education.
Again, such a proceeding would be the means of raising the schoolmaster in the estimation of other people; he would rise higher in the social scale, which is something at the present time worth consideration.
I imagine the objection to including the clergy as members is that it is feared they would interfere very much with the affairs of the Body. This is an expressed opinion. This objection is quite absurd; there is scarcely a local association in the kingdom that does not number clergymen among its members. They do not interfere there unless for good; the masters and clergy work harmoniously together, and the associations go on prosperously, uniting more closely the bonds of sympathy between them. What a noble example is that set by the Lord Bishop of Winchester! Who can read of the handsome manner in which he treated the members of associations in Surrey without feeling that the clergy have an interest in every thing that concerns the elementary Church teacher. Why, then, refuse to admit, or, at least, virtually exclude them from the General Association ? There is no solid basis for such a proceeding; besides, their admission would give consistency, solidity, and weight to the whole body, as well as improve the pecuniary condition of the Society, by which alone it can hope to attain several of the objects at which it aims.
Resolution 3.-This is only a consequence of the preceding resolution. The Rule,
if altered, instead of reading, 'any Church-schoolmaster," will read, any clergyman, Church-schoolmaster, or mistress," &c.
Resolution 4.-If the clergy are to be admitted members of the Associated Body, it is thought that they might with advantage be allowed to fill one of the offices of the society; and the one which seems most fitted for them is that here proposed, viz. the president. By this measure, it is thought that the Society would acquire more strength, and be made more useful than it otherwise would be; it would enlist the sympathy of the clerical body, and become the means of more firmly cementing that good feeling which should always exist between the clergy and the school-teachers.
The subject of these resolutions must certainly be debated at the next annual meeting of the Associated Body, to be held at Birmingham, at Christmas. The attention of all Church-schoolmasters, especially those belonging to the Associated Body, is requested to these resolutions. It is firmly believed that they are for the interests of the Society, and they will be pressed to a division. All teachers who are favourable to these terms are invited to attend the annual meeting to record their votes in their favour.
I will not now, sir, take any more of your space; I have already greatly exceeded the length which I proposed to myself for this epistle, but I have been led into such length by the subject. Hoping you will, if possible, find a place for this communication in your next number of the Monthly Paper, I remain, &c.
JOHN J. GRAVES.
SIR, -Since I have been a subscriber to your Monthly Paper I have not once seen a remark made by any of your correspondents on the advantage of a "School Bank." I know that many of my fellow-schoolmasters are not unaware of the great evils proceeding from children being possessed of pocket-money, given them by parents or friends as rewards, or gifts for some little services-"going on errands," &c.
It is generally the case that money thus given is spent on some useless toy or sweetmeats, and often is the cause of children licentiously attending idle and dissolute places; the effects of which are well known. Also, when children are not shown the value and
use of money, they often forget or think little of it when grown up, and so spend it in some wickedness as soon as they earn it.
Seeing this great evil amongst my own scholars, I have tried to prevent it by adopting the following scheme, which I am happy to say has hitherto proved to be a successful one. It is thus conducted. Every child who commits his savings to my charge is provided with a book which he keeps at home, and brings to me whenever he has a few pence given him. I then enter down the sum, and return the book. By this, the little economist sees how his stock is increasing, and so becomes the more careful and anxious. An interest of five per cent is given at the end of the year as an encouragement. When the parents need the money, for purchasing clothes or any other necessary article for their children, they see the advantage gained by economy. I might relate many useful purchases made by the children with their savings. Mine is a village school; but I hope this plan, if adopted, would be successful in towns, where children have more temptations, and are more inclined to spend. Another great advantage is gained; it causes the child to place confidence in his teacher.
Hoping you will think these few remarks of sufficient importance to insert in your useful publication, I am, &c. A SCHOOLMASTER.
NEEDLEWORK AND MENTAL INSTRUCTION.
DEAR SIR, I would wish to call the attention of your numerous readers to a subject which I have had under consideration for some time past; and it is this- Can we not give the girls attending our schools more mental instruction than they now receive? At present, the girls in most schools are employed the entire afternoon in performing needlework. Is this necessary? Can it be that this important part of a girl's education (for of its importance none will doubt) requires just one-half of her school-hours? and if it is necessary, can nothing be done to assist her mental studies while performing it? The suggestions which I now throw out are chiefly intended to apply to mixed schools, taught by a master, and assisted in the afternoon by a sewing mistress-a class of schools, perhaps, more numerous than any; though I make no doubt that some good may result from an inquiry into the subject generally.
It would be well, then, to learn whether the mistresses can dispense with some portion of the sewing time? And if not, why the girl should not be taught by means of the sense of hearing, while employed at her work? For this purpose, would there be any objection to give lessons to the boys in the hearing of the girls, in such subjects as, in a general
way, only require the sense of hearing, such as geography, history, mental arithmetic, object lessons, &c.? And would it be thought irreverent to impart religious knowledge to the boys, for the purpose of instructing boys as well as girls? Again, could not one girl be made to read aloud for the benefit of the others? Singing might also be well and profitably taught, and very much work committed to the mind. I apprehend we should do away with one of the evils of needlework (talking). Thus the children would be better disciplined, and more apt to work well; and there could be no reason why each girl should not leave her seat as often as she required the assistance of the mistress. The Government Inspectors of mixed schools seem to expect the girls to produce as much work as the boys, where they are classed together, while in fact they only receive half the instruction.
I feel assured that by gaining some practical opinions on this subject from your correspondents much good may be done. I remain, &c. VERITAS.
CAUTION TO TEACHERS.
SIR,-I wish to warn any fellow-teacher who may be changing his sphere of labour, to be particular in giving due notice to the Committee of Council on Education, as ignorance of this requirement has been the cause of my losing a considerable part of my gratuity from government. FRATER.
HOW TO CORRECT A DICTATION LESSON.
The above was given as one of the questions upon school management, at the last government examination. Perhaps the following might be edifying to some of the readers of your valuable periodical.
In schools where the children are taught in square classes, the following method of correcting a dictation lesson has been found to answer well.
After the class has carefully read and spelled all the words in the portion to be written (for never give a dictation lesson which has not been looked over previously), let it be distinctly and slowly read. After all have finished writing it, let the children stand; and being commanded to put their slates down on the benches, march them round until the top boy comes to the bottom of the class. (This can be done without that confusion which might annoy some of the neighbouring classes.) Now each child is standing by another's slate. Then make all take up the slates behind them, and sit down and mark all the mistakes on them. This is done by drawing a line under the error; and do not deface the whole word, that each one may see his own mistake. After this process has been gone through, the class is marched back again, and each child takes his proper place. All are very anxious to see the number of marks on their slates. If any word is wrongly marked, he who marked it, and the other also, are to spell it aloud; and if both fail, the teacher or the class might spell it for them. Children seem delighted in this method, since they are very fond of correcting each other. This method also practises them to read different handwritings.
The teacher at the end of the lesson might make the children spell successively all the words in the lesson, that all may be convinced of their correctness.-I am, &c.
GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
SIR,-I wish to call the attention of your readers to a fact of, I think, no small importance, viz. that there is not at present any authentic grammar of the English language. Systems of grammar there are in plenty, but no two are alike; they differ even as to the parts of speech to which a word belongs. This is in itself a reproach to the literary character of the nation; it becomes a positive evil to those who have to conduct an English education. We are informed, that one of the qualifications for the office of pupil-teacher is, to be able "to write out a sentence with correct spelling and punctua tion," and to point out the parts of speech therein. But how are we to be sure that the system taught in that particular school is correct in the eyes of her Majesty's Inspector? For these inspectors have each their own system, differing from each other. I have a grammar before me just published by Mr. Morrell, one of her Majesty's Inspectors, in which he proposes to obliterate altogether the article as one of the parts of speech! Another inspector told me that he always followed the Latin grammar. The Privy Council has on its lists three or four grammars, all diverse. Now what are we managers or teachers of schools to do in this case? How can we teach our children correct grammar, when there is no such thing in written existence? How can we be sure that our system agrees with that of the inspector, or of her Majesty's Council itself? But this evil goes further; it pervades the very notices of the Council, and the questions of ex
aminers. The notice that I received from the Council of the intended visit of the inspector, was drawn up in expression and punctuation such as would have disgraced the first class of an ordinary elementary school. I was once present at the examination of pupil-teachers, in which the papers set by the inspector were unintelligible from the badness of grammar and confusion in the collocation of the words. I bring proof of this latter charge: another clergyman and myself, who were present, understood one of the questions in totally different senses; was it fair to ask pupil-teachers such questions, and to pluck them for an incorrect answer? The Council on Education sets itself up as a sort of oracle to all England, an õμpiños tîs yns, as Delphi was to Greece. The wits of that age said of the responses of Delphi, that the god of poetry made the worst verses ; may not something like this be said of the Council on Education, with regard to grammar?-I am, &c. EDWIN L. BLENKINSOPP.
ATTENDANCE AND COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL GRANTS FOR SUPPORT.
The following rules, forwarded by a correspondent, have been adopted by the managers of the Gresford National Schools, in order to secure greater regularity of attendance and a larger amount of capitation fees from the Committee of Council on Education:
The Managing Committee of the Gresford National Schools find it necessary to make the following alterations in the children's payments:
After the 1st of May next, those children in the Upper Schools who now pay one penny weekly and an additional penny monthly, and those in the Infant School who pay twopence weekly, will be required instead to pay two shillings a quarter in advance.
If there are two or more children of the same family in the schools, each child after the first will be charged one shilling and sixpence a quarter.
There will be no extra charge on entrance.
The quarter days will be, the first Monday in May, August, November, and February.
Parents may bring their children for admission as before, on the first Monday of other months; but they will then be required to pay twopence-halfpenny weekly for a first child, and twopence weekly for each after the first, until the quarter-day next following, when the quarterly payments will begin.
One half of the above quarterly payments will be given back, at the end of each quarter, to the parent of every child who shall have attended school 44 whole week-days during the quarter, provided leave of absence has been obtained for the remainder of the days.
The reasons for this arrangement are as follows:
The funds of the school are not sufficient to pay the expenses of the education now provided for the children. The Government is ready to give a certain sum towards the education of every child in the schools who has attended in the course of the year 192 whole days, or 4 days in each of 48 weeks,
but of none other.
This is not much time to devote to education. It is not two days out of every three in the whole year. Yet the Gresford Schools have not been able to claim during the last year for more than 20 children out of 108, so irregular has been the attendance of the rest.
The new arrangement is intended to discourage this irregularity. It will not increase the actual payments of any who attend the due number of days: indeed their payments will be less than before. Those only will pay more who are very irregular in their attendance; and it will be only fair that this burden should fall on them, since they prevent the managers from claiming from the Government the necessary assistance towards the education which is provided for them.
March 5th, 1855.
Tune-" Old English gentleman."
Oн, I'm the glad and merry Spring, all clothed in gown of green,
Oh, I'm the glad and merry Spring, I bring the little child
Oh, I'm the glad and loving Spring, and always 'tis my rule
Oh, I'm the glad and hopeful Spring; and when the school I see,
I bid each passer-by to pray that ev'ry child may be
A never-dying flower of Spring, to bloom in Heaven at last,
When winds and waves, and storm and strife, and life's short day is past.
CORRESPONDENTS' ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES.
TUNING PIANOFORTE.-J. Purnell says "I. J. G." will probably find all he requires of the principles of tuning in Hamilton's Art of Tuning the Pianoforte, edited by Joseph Warren, published by Cox and Co., price about 1s. 6d. "J. P." says, by carefully going through the method commenced near the bottom of the 17th page, he has always been enabled to leave an instrument in first-rate order as regards tune.