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Teaching In The District Schools

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Kead before the Washteuaw County Teachers' Associatiou, Mauy of us who are present repi'esent the rural schools of the county. The school where one teacher serves as principal, intermedíate and primary. . We country teachers are usually a product of the country achools, with a very little high school education. We ar' quite apt to keep in our school room old forms and habits that have been hamled down from Ichabod Crane and stül thought, by many, to be necessary. One of onr greatest obstacles in district teaching is overcomiug this old time belief in some parents' mind. They will teil you they went to school when they were young, or have taught and know what is the best, and wish no snpplementary work. Fellow Teachers ! We can remember when we were pupils quite young, in the oountry school room. The old motto on the wall,"God Bless our School", and the maxim, - Work and you will prosper, be idle and you will come to naught, " near by. Did these sayings improve us? Did they excite our curiosity? Yes, we admired the style of the letters and the beautiful colors with which they were worked but further than that we did not comprehend, only to kuow they were in touch with the atmosphere of the room, and served as a preface of the school work. We longed in those days for mature years, and we are glad they have come, we profited by those errors, some of us, some have not seen the errors. Our school rooms will teil which have not. Nw, as to material used in omschool, one side of the books used. Some of us have none. I make and buy mine. I make my cubes, cylinders, prisms, counters, toy rnoney and boards, buy my colored crayons, stencils, pictures and reproduction stories. The little time and money I use in getting these lightens my work enough to more than repay me. Money used in such purposes out of a small salary comes hard, but the old maxim "Nothing ventured nothing won," was never proved more truthfully. The carpenter, the mason, in fact all tradesmen, have their tools along with their education and experience. Then should it not be true of the district teacher? We can always tel! each other how to become successful teachers, the same as a poor man can give plans for getting rich ; ' so the only proof you can have of me is to cali aud see my tools aud special parapheiialia. Aside f rom prepared material we have a better chance to study nature, as the city teacher of ten tells us. The neighboring hills, brooks. trees and vegetation furnish great aid both in themselves and in comparative work, aud the country child is an apt scholar in this work and could perhaps puzzle mauy a city teacher with Iris knowiedge of animal, vegetable aud insect life. We have found a ehange of work suits the average child the best, so we treat him to a few side issues every day, and he becomes curious to know what each day will bring, be it a masim, current event, neyv drawing, natural ciu'iosity, or an interesting story. ïiow in conclusión I wouid say we are grateful to onr County Commissioner for the way in which he hns pushod to the front the current topic in examinations, thus compelliug the applicaut to be, as he shonid, a mauual of receñíate.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News