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Teachers Talk

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The Washtonaw County Teachers' associatiou held au interesting meeting iu the high school room at Manchester ou Saturday, Nov. 2. President Evan Essery.of Manchester, presided and Miss Bessie Torrey aoted as organist. The secretary and treasurer wero both absent. Owing to the inclemency of the weather Mr. DeWitt,of Dexter.who was to present a paper at the morning session, was abseut ; and af ter singing a patriotic song, the association proceeded to consider the question bo. ' ' When shall we expect the county cominissioner to visit our sohools?'was the flrst questiou, and was referred by its reoipieut, Mrs. Pierce, to County Comtnissioner Wedemeyer, who failed to give us auy defiuite information but thought it preferable to take us by surprise. " What would you do in a school baring twenty three different kinds of text books?" cmonext. Consolídate olasses and use the topic method in histoiy and geography.was the answer of the assowatiüu. "How can ye secare a uniformity of wages in district schools?" Answer bv Mr. Anstin, of Saline, who said that there could be no uuiforrnity of wages as there was do uniformity iu the qualifioations of teachers. At this point Prof. McDerruiad, of Chelsea, arrived and preseuted a paper on Geography. Iu regard to teauhing Geography, there are two schools. One believes in approaching the subject from the large sido, viz, takiug the earth as the unit. The whioh the writer belouged, would begin with home surroundings and work out. Teaoh the pupil first to draw maps, upon a certain scale, of his desk with various objects upon it, then of the sohool yard, theu to the distriot, eto. One of the first essential is knowledge of direction. Take up the scudy of rivera, teaching erosión, eposition, etc. Iú teachiüg Washtenaw county take an irnaginary jouruey to Ann Arbur, considering on the way the industries, productions, etc. Teach that Ann Arbor is the county sent. Make much of social oonditious and iu this conneotion draw attentiou to the court house, jail, church buildings, Jniversity buildings, etc. Conueot Ypsilanti with Ann Arbor. It second oumey go to some body of water, as Whitinore lake. Show each shore, bay, ape, península, etc. In studyiug size use school yard as the unit. Air. Arbury, of Battle Creek, opened ;he discussiou. The question with eachers in district schools is "What can we actually do in the time at our disposal?" not"What would we do in other circurustauoes?" Commended ;he paper read by Prof. McDermiad. Correlation should be prominent. Sociology.writing, spelling, arithmetic, aistory, political economy, civil government, commercial relations, in fact alniost every subject could be correlated with geography. The country teacher was haudioapped by lack of time, but should learn to dovetaü one subject iiito auother, and make one suoject help anothér. Teachers should have special training jost as other professions do. President Essery thought teachers shonld be able to conduct recitations without the aid of the text book. After further discussion the meeting adjourned untü 1 :30 p. m. At the afternoon session Miss Grace Smith, of Saline, read a paper on "Englishbelow the high school. " The subject waa one of the greatest impor tance. The real object in view was to give the pupil a inastery of the mother tongue, and inoludes the expression of thought. The great end of free schools is to make good oitizens and he is the best citzien who is of the most nse, not only to himself but to others. The writer considered the subject ouly iu the grainmar grades and advanced a unión of parsing, analysis aud compositiou ; but composition is the greatest of these three. The stndy of aical gramruar should begin iu the sixth grade. Pupils should follow each Sefinitiou with a sentence illustratiug it. Much attention sbould be given to letter writing, capitalizaron, eto. Reprocluction of Euglish classics teaches pupils good style. Analysis and explauations in arithmetic aud reoit.ariou iu bistory aad geography furnish good langnage lessons. Choose simple subjects for compositious. The disoussiou wap opened by Miss Storms, of Chelsca, who declared berself a Methodist aud as suoh wished to utter a hearty "amen" in response to the paper. The subjcet merited more attentiou from teachers in both district aud graded schools. Mr. Wederneyer advised teachers to have pupils commit to rnemory quotations from English classic conneoting the name of the author with each quotation. In this connection he related an anecdote of an old teaoher of his who oup day addressed the pupils as follows: Now, boys aud girle.I would ike to have yon comrnit to memory a qnotation froni soine standard anthor every day and give the name of the author with each seleotiou. You vvill find that they will always be iuseparably connected in yonr inind Now, i never hear the name of Bryant without nstautly recalling those irnmortal words: "Tell me nofcin monrufnl unmbers, Life is bnfc an empty dream. " The discussion was continued by Messrs. Schlicht, Anstin and Huehl, and Miases Webb, Gillet, Kirohoer aud others. "Whatsubjects that are usnally foun1 ín arithmetic oan be diopped trom our course ofjstudy" was the nexf, question oonsidered by the associarion. Mr. Wedemeyer suggested alligation. Mr. Austin thought greatest oommon sor, eompound proporción, and cudo root might be dispensed vvith, Pvesident Essery would add to the above list exchange, and true atid bank discount. The meeting aecepted the invitation of Mr. Austin and othor Saline teaohers to hold the next meeting in that village some time during the winter terru and after giviug those present au opportunity to subscribo to the oonstitution and pay np tbeir duea, an adjournment was taken and the wielders of the rod hastened homeward.


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Ann Arbor Argus