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Expense of our Public Schools. expends more money for the public schools than for all the expenses of its civil government; and that in each town the support of the schools requires, upon an average the expenditure of more money than do all the other town expenses; it cannot be considered impertinent to demand in the management of school matters the same patience of investigation and the exercise of the same judgment and sagacity which is readily given, as their just meed, to the direction of other practical affairs. And it is precisely this intervention of the same practical good sense, and every day economy which in all other affairs imperatively demands its full value for every dollar that is necessarily expended, that would speedily and easily double the efficiency of all our schools.
RIDICULE.—We may satirize error, but we must com. passionate the erring, and this we must always teach by example to children, not only in what we say of others before them, but in our treatment of themselves. We should never use ridicule towards them, except when it is evidently good-natured, that its spirit cannot be mistaken. The agony a sensitive child feels on being held up before others as an object of ridicule, even for a trifling error, a mistake, or peculiarity, is not soon forgotten, nor casily forgiven. When we wish, therefore, to excite contrition for a serious fault, ridicule should never be employed, as the feelings it raises are directly opposed to selt-reproach.
SUN GLASSES.—"Then there is another class of teachers who imagine themselves sun-glasses. They enjoy the light and heat of the meridian sun of science and of literature; and they think their duty is to converge the rays that shine upon them to a focus upon the minds of their pupils ; making them burn with a lustre which dazzle the eye for a little, yet surely destroys, and leaves but the white ashes of lives that should have been as the cedars of Lebanon. They would pour the rays of the midday of life full upon the heads of the little ones whose feet are yet wet with dew."
Female Teachers and their Wages.
FEMALE TEACHERS AND THEIR WAGES,
According to Mr. Adams's last Report, male teachers in Vermont, during the past year, have been paid, on an average, more than $17 per month, while female teachers, for similar service, have been paid less than $8. Why this difference? Can it be justified on principles of equity or propriety? It is and must be admitted that in a majority of cases, both in summer and winter, schools are better taught by females than males. It is not the scarcity of male teachers, merely, that makes females in so great demand, but the fact that they are better teachers. More than sixty per cent of all the schools in Connecticut, during the last year, were taught by females, yet we are told by the State Superintendent that " a majority of the schools which have been broken up on account of incompetency of teachers, were taught by men.” The same truth is revealed before our eyes by every year's experience. We have in mind two primary schools which we have repeatedly visited, (each numbering some sixty-five pupils), and which are better managed and taught than they could be by any male teachers that would be employed. They are model schools of their kind, yet these teachers receive only five dollars' per week without board, for their services. They are em ployed thirty-slx weeks during the year, receiving in all, $180 for their labor. They must have their board fiftytwo weeks of the year, which cannot cost them less than two dollars and fifty cents per week, or $130. This leaves a balance of $50 for wardrobe, traveling expenses, books, et cetera! How much will these worthy and efficient young ladies have laid up for a stormy day, after ten years of hard service ? Can they, without charity, live and clothe themselves decently, for so long a time?
Female Teachers and their Wages.
And is not this a fair specimen of compensation in our best schools ? And do not our district school teachers fare still harder? Again we ask, where is the justice of such treatment? It cannot be found in the established custom: for that is all wrong. The wages are not adequate to the teacher's necessities. The service rendered deserves better pay. And then again, there is no justice or propriety in demanding female labor which is equally exhausting and equally valuable, for one half the compensation given to males. There is no reason why a woman who does the work of a man in the school room, and often does it better than he would, should be paid less. Yet custom demands it. We admit that there are some female teachers as well as male, whose services are not worth what they cost; yea, it would be better to dismiss them with full pay, even before they begin. But efficient service in the important business of teaching, should be liberally remunerated, and when equally valuable, it should command equal pay, whether rendered by male or female.
Since we have come to rely mainly upon female teachers for the management and instruction of our public schools, we should show them that their efficiency is fully appreciated, by offering them fair compensation.
The liberal course here recommended would have a tendency greatly to improve our schools. Teachers ought to be highly educated; they should have a professional training. But what means or motive can they have to this end, while their salary hardly affords them a comfortable living ? They need to make, every year, a liberal outlay for 'books and periodicals, that they may keep pace with the progressive age. The good of the school requires such improvement in the teacher. Yet, with $8 per month, how much can be saved for such purposes? This miserly spirit exercised in the payment of school teachers, defeats its own end. It operates to drive
the better teachers out of the State, or to cripple and paralyze their efforts to elevate our schools.
When will our "enlightened people” learn that true economy requires a very liberal outlay for the support of public education ?
SOLUTION OF EXAMPLE. In the Dec. number of the JOURNAL, M. G. D. wishes a written solution of the following question :
Sold 800 ells English for $3,450, and gained on a yard as much as 1-5 of the cost of an ell Flemish. Find the cost of a yard.
Since 1 ell E. = of a yard, 800 ells E. = 800x 1000 yards. One ell Flemish = of a yard.
Then of the cost of an ell F. = of of the cost of a yard, = 20
Hence, every yard sold was at a gain of of cost, or form of original cost.
$3,450= %=$3,000=original cost of whole -1000= $3, original cost per yard.
· A. F. B.
Full solution of the following example is wanted :
New York, Jan. 3d, 1854. For value received, I promise to pay to James Knowles or order, dollars and cents, on demand, with interest from date, at the rate of 7 per cent.
There were on this note the following indorsements : Feb. 16th, 1855, received $1875.40; Sept. 15th, 1856, $3841.26 ; Nov. 11, 1857, 1809.10; June 9th, 1858, 2421.04. July 1st, 1858, received balance due, $1127.041. For what sum was the note given ?
THE OLD AND THE NEW YEAR.-Still another cycle in the course of time, another link in the endless chain of years, a few more griefs and many more joys and blessings, and again we pause to dismiss the old and to welcome the new year. The past has fied ; its history is written. Upon some of us it has laid its hand heavily. It has disappointed many hopes, sundered ties of affection, and left our hearts crushed and bleeding. Has any year in the experience of living Americans filled so many hearts with the anguish of bereavement? Has any year been more fruitful of thrilling events that will tell on the destiny of coming generations ? Has any year left upon us such a weight of responsibility, and opened so wide the field of usefulness? The nation is being educated in the school of War. But war unattended by controlling and purifying influences, is a school of vice. It will crush the waning rebellion, but can bring no relief to the millions made wretched through its agency. It may break the chains of bondage, but it will leave on our hands a nation of freedmen unfit for the blessings of liberty. Amid the din and smoke and carnage of battle, we now hear the cry of the christian philanthropist, “Come over and help us." If the country is to be saved; it will be done not wholly by the army and navy, in the field and on the ocean, but through the efforts and influence of a christian education. And never as now have we been called upon for strenuous effort in this direction. Every available agency should be employed in this work, the coming year. Our first duty is at home, to elevate the character and increase the efficiency of our schools. The educational interests of Vermont are committed to us; upon us rests the responsibility and to us belongs the honor, if we are faithful and true. We have great reason for encouragement in view of past progress.
The last Report of our Secretary of the Board of Education and more recent legislation, afford abundant evidence of improvement. Let us take courage, and grapple more earnestly with the work yet to be done.