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answer correctly are rewarded by going to the board and putting on it the result of the mental work. The class will make the table o + 2 = ? to 9 +2=? Now, I want to know which children can say this table perfectly? I am pleased to see so many hands up, but I want to be sure that each child knows every addition in the 2's. I draw on the board in front of the school, a large circle, and on the edge I place figures from o to 9 promiscously, and in the centre of the circle, + 2 =? Breathless attention is the condition of the school, except that several youths are attempting to draw a similar one on their slates. I commend their ambition-asking them to wait till after class, when I will give them time to draw. To encourage the children to draw, I place, frequently, on the board simple forms as models. “How many of you have been to our State Fair, and have seen the horses running around the race-course?” “What was the shape of the race-course?” “How did the horses run when they went around the ring ?” “What do they call the fast running of horses.” “Racing.” Well, some of you boys may race around this ring with the pointer, giving the result of each number added to 2. Those who can make each addition without hesitating will have their names put on the board as the best arithmetic pupils in school. Jimmie goes around in less than half a minute, without a mistake, so all must make that time. Each day I will allow a new set to try, so by the end of the week nearly all in the school will have raced over the addition of 2's, and no bones will be broken.
We will now prepare our lesson for to-morrow. So hold your readers in your left hands and look at the picture after the one we had to-day. Who will tell us what is in the picture? Jennie is correct, there is a frog. What kind of legs has a frog? A smart child may tell me on to-morrow why the frog's hind legs are longer than his fore ones. Mary sees water in the picture. Carrie says there is a rock, and a pair of sharp eyes has discovered grass. All will point to the last word on the bottom line; the class may say the words in that line. Here is a new word, at the end of the next line, Will's raised hand indicates that he can tell us what it is. “Pole.” You are a smart boy to know that long word. I will put it with our other hard words on the board. Another and another is met with and dwelt on, until we've reached the top line. At home you all must go over this lesson backwards a great many times until you know every word in it, so that on 10-morrow we will be able to read this little story about the Frog.
For being so attentive and quick this afternoon, I will teach you a new verse of your calisthenic song. We will have ten minutes for singing before the bell rings for dismissal, so rise and take positions, and drive away frowns and bad feelings by singing these sweet words, “Were I a Bird.”
The monitors pass the hats and wraps, and I allow the older ones to assist their smaller companions in preparing to go home. When all are ready and quiet regained, a bow is the signal for dismissal, and the fifty little ones march from the room into the street, on their way homeward. I, with my small refractories, remain and spend some time together in going over missed lessons, and learning that “the way of the transgressor is hard,” even among the wee folks.
Hints to Teachers.
BY S. P. ROBINS, LL, D., SUPT. OF PROTESTANT SCHOOLS, MONTREAL.
GENERAL 1. Remember that, inasmuch as you are left very much to the guidance of your own judgment in the management of your class, it is especially necessary to use all your observant and inventive faculties for securing the best possible result of your labor.
2. That the best possible result is the thorough preparation of each of your own pupils to prosecute his studies and perform all other duties well hereafter. The first aim is not a high standard of attainment, but a good discipline of mind and manner, so far as it can be attained with each little pupil.
3. Because the habits of thought and action that are earliest formed are the most persistent and influential throughout life, and because the imitative faculties of a little child are especially active and his nature peculiarly impressible, yours is the most important work done in school. It is difficult work, but if well done, you deserve corresponding consideration and honor. If you do not get them now, yet your heart and life being right in other respects, you will secure them hereafter.
4. As you are conducting, in common with other painstaking and successful teachers, a great experiment in the management of half-day classes with very little children, carefully observe whatever in your manner, or in the ingenious devices to which you will be led, makes for your success, practice it diligently, and tell it to others.
There is no need of reference here to the mode in which the successful teacher acquires ascendency over each of her pupils by strength and consistency of character, by a loving heart, a kind manner and a clear and vigorous understanding. All these things are pre-supposed in the successful teacher. When, as in my presence less than twelve months ago, a teacher says to a class, “I will look at the slate of no child out of place," and then in less than a minute does so, it is not surprising that her class despise her authority, and make little or no progress. One who can promise so lightly, and forget so readily, is fit for no important trust; certainly, not for that of the teacher. But there are many things, little in themselves though important in their results in discipline, which are sometimes overlooked even by those who have all the essential elements of excellent teachers.
1. Consider well the disposition of a little child. He is active, but undisciplined. He longs to know, takes great delight in learning; he loves to do, takes great delight in putting his knowledge into practice. But then he has but little persistency and steadiness.
2. You must, therefore, when he is not at play, teach him constantly, or keep him doing constantly, and this with rapid alterations from the employment of his mind to the employment of his body.
3. So you must never be without a definite plan of action that shall engage the attention of every child. A half-minute's embarrassment of the teacher in the presence of the class, will work ruin in its discipline for the time being, and a child with nothing definite to do at any time during the school session becomes forth with a center of disturbance.
4. You must not put too prolonged a strain on the feeble power of attention in pupils of preparatory grades. Let your work be varied, and your lessons short and lively. Let the teacher who will follow you in the school course have most of the trouble involved in securing long-continued and concentrated attention.
5. Frequent change of rooms will much facilitate your work. In some schools visited there is not nearly enough of this. Your class should occupy two rooms during parts of every hour. This may compel you to change in the middle of a lesson, but you can so choose the lessons that the interruption will not be harmful.
6. Much aid to discipline is afforded by the drill of changing
rooms, by simple calisthenic exercises and by exercise songs. But this aid is only secured by the enforcement of prompt and exact obedience.
7. Hence, the slightest tap of the bell should be followed by immediate and intense silence, not, however, permitted to continue long.
8. Hence, also, the first word of each command must be so chosen and given as to suggest invariably what is to follow; the next and finishing word of the command must be the signal for the prompt, universal, and, therefore, simultaneous execution of the command.
9. Hence, also, no second command should be given until the first has been universally and precisely obeyed.
10. Finally, the effect of each command must be minutely considered beforehand. For example, in a series of commands those first given should be those that can be executed noiselessly, the whole series being terminated by that one which necessarily involves disturbance.
1. You must yourself be accurate. The distinction between the well educated and the improperly educated, is just here, that the one is, and the other is not, automatically and minutely correct in recol. lection, in mode of thought, in manner of expression. Do not teach anything that must be subsequently unlearned.
2. With little children, especially at the outset, much attention must be given to them individually. This, however, in many instances, can be done so as to interest others, not directly addressed, who may be appealed to to give the information that their companion requires.
3. The effect of every collective lesson is greatly increased when every child attends to the whole lesson. But this attention can be secured only by making each child feel that in all you say you have reference to him.
4. Hence, recitations and other exercises must not be wholly, nor even principally, simultaneous. No more convincing evidence of inexperience on the part of a teacher is needed than the general inability of a class to report individually, what in concert, or rather following the lead of one or two, they can in sing-song style deliver simultaneously.
5. In questioning a class, you should not give it to be understood whether you intend to have the answer from the whole class or from
any particular pupil until after your question has been asked and a moment's pause for reflection and recollection has been allowed. After the pause, you may say, “John Brown,” or “any one," and then expect an instant answer. Thus you prevent one or two higher pupils suggesting the answer to all the rest of the class, and you secure the attention of each to the work in hand.
6 Take care that each child gets a fair share of questioning, Sometimes the teacher has a few names that somehow spring first to the tongue, and their owners get the lion's share of attention. When the teacher is conscious of this, let her make sure of each child occasionally by some such device as the following: Let the whole class stand, and as questions are answered by individuals, let them sit. Thus proceed until every child is seated.
7. Holding up the hand to indicate the wish to reply to a question is open to great abuse. Forward children answer everything. Timid or diffident children answer nothing. It is a good rule that the hand shall not be held up except when another pupil has made a mistake, or when the teacher, in asking a question that she thinks a little too hard for the class generally, gives special permission to raise it.
8. Rising from the seat, running after the teacher, thrusting the hand into the teacher's face, snapping the fingers, are highly improper acts, instances of each of which I have seen as importunate efforts to attract the teacher's attention.' At times the teacher, by standing so that she cannot see the whole class, is the direct cause of such rudeness.
9. It is impossible to carry on work with the active co-operation of the teacher in two classes at once. Having given one class an exercise on the slates, or one of some other kind, that has been properly explained, that is within their power, and the result of which can be subsequently examined by yourself, bend your undivided attention on the other class.
10. In the examination of slate work, it is, as a rule, better that children bring it to the teacher than that the teacher go to examine it. Hence, in every room pupils should be taught how, without marking time, or marching noisily, to move in single file before the teacher, showing work as they pass slowly, and then to return in order to their places, having completed the circuit of the room.
11. Home work is not needed in preparatory classes. It will much conduce to good order, therefore, if books, slates and pencils be always left in school under the care of the teacher.