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DEVOTED TO THE
EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS OF VERMONT,
HIRAM ORCUTT, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR,
WEST BRATTLEBORO, VT.
VOL. V. & VI.
Published under the Sanction of the Vermont State
Vermont School. Journal.
LETTERS TO HIS TEACHERS;
No. 6. Mr. B: I do not address this letter to you so much for your own benefit as for the instruction and encourageinent of others of less' experience who may chance to read it. You have seen too much service to be much benefitted by the instructions even of an older brother in the profession; you have become too familiar with approbation to be affected by my praise. I have known you by reputation for many years, and more recently in my official capacity, I have seen you in the school room; have heard you speak of the means and methods in school keeping and have witnessed your zeal and earnestness in your great work. And the first thing I will notice in passing, is the fact that you have gained the unbounded confidence of your pupils. They evidently believe in you, trust you, imitate you and follow you. This is not only an important point gained as a means of success, but it is a solemn fact, as it measures the extent of your responsibility. How exalted the character and pure the life and example of that Teacher who can be safely imitated. How free from faults you should be if your habits, thoughts and feelings are to be engrafted upon your pupils. But as an item in school management, by gaining the confidence of vour pupils, you have gained their parents also. They know
Superintendent's Letters to his Teachers. you chiefly through their children; they will not seek to know you in any other way. You have frequently complained that they do not come more often to your school room, and I hope you will succeed in drawing them in. But I very much fear that you will have to be judged still longer, by the reputation you sustain among your pupils. I notice that you rely much in the government of your school, upon the public opinion you have been careful to create. You do not rule by force except in extreme cases, but by the power of sympathy and the influence of a thoroughly systematized and well regulated school. This is exactly as it should be.
And it occurs to me here to suggest that I find the sympathetic element very prominent in your school. Your pupils think, feel and act with you ; you carry them along at every step you take, and inspire them to make effort for themselves, by the power of your own living and stirring example. Fortunate it would be for our schools, if more of our Teachers had this knowledge and possessed this power,
And I have been happy to observe that your interest and care of your pupils are not confined to the school room. You follow them into the noisy and vicious street and aim to protect them from the ruinous influences by which they are surrounded. You seem to realise that it is your business, not merely to meet the demands of the law, or the expectations of your patrons, but also to edu cate your pupils for the duties and responsibilities of citizens-for their important life work. I would that every teacher in the state stood in this position, and felt this obligation. You seem to understand also that it is your right and duty to bring an influence to bear upon the district; to lead them if possible, to co-operate with you in your efforts to elevate the school. You are some. times impatient ip view of their indifference, but hold on; your patrons will move by and by, in this work of reform. They are not so much, unlike the rest of the world, after