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Profitable Meeting

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The couuty teachers' association at Saline last Saturday, was one of the cnoat profitable ones that has been held. The attendanne which reacbed 150, was made up chiefly of people frorn Saline ar vicinity, the disagreeable weather keeping niany at a distance from coming who expected to be present. Dis3DSsions were freer and more geueral tbau usual. Cornmissioner Wedemeyer and Prof. DeWitt, president of the association, were on hand. Tbe leading paper of the day was given by Prof. R. O. Austin who spoke, however, without manusoript for abont 25 minutes on the subjeot "Qnalifícations of the Teacher." He made a dozen or more propositions and elaborated upon eaoh one in turn. The speaker said in part somewhat as follows: "Teaohing must be regarded as a professiou because deflnite preparation is needed and a lioensing certifícate required. Prepaiation may be considered nnder two heads: (1) general preparation or the training and schooling before beginning the work; (2) special preparation or the study of the daily lessons. In scholarship the teaoher should be at least four years ahead of the pupils; but tbis cannnot be taken as test of qualiflcation, nor does it mean a definite nurnber of years within college walls. "1. The teacher, however proficient in schoolarship, must carefully review each lesson of the day, no matter how many times he has been over the subject or how familiar he may be with it. His kuowledge must be not only systematic, but fresh, as coming from recent study. Pupils must not be fed cold victuals. Some tbink it a oonfession of weakness to prepare lessous, but not to prepare is a certaiu evidence of weakuess. The new teacher must study the text tu know jnst what it contains and the old teacher mnst do collateral studying iu order to present uew and fresh knowledge. The teacher who presents the same matter year after year is a failnre as a teacher. "2. The teacher must have a profesBional euthusiasro. She cauuot inspire her pupils unless she is an inspiration herself. "3. The teacher mnst have an abundant supply of energy. More teachers lose their pnsitions because they get lazy than for any other cause. The teacher who is habitually tired shonld surrender her position. "4. The teacher raust be a stadent. When he ceases to be a student be ceases to be a teacher in any true sense of the term. To the general teacher there should be two lines of study (1) some well deflned course in two or more branches, as history, literatura and oivics. These are the subjeots that edncate most; (2) a constant etudy of ourrent professional literatnre as found in sohool journals and magazines. This keeps her iu touch witb the advancements of the age and introduces her to the ideas and experiences of others. The successful teacher is the progress teacher - progressive in ability to teach. The live teacher is ever willing to learn new things and is eager for tbe ideas of others. Fitness for teaching so f ar as comes from misinstrnotion consists in a liberal eduoation and a knowledge of the best methods. Teaching is an art bat it must be pursued through the light of snience. "5. The teacher must have a likiDg for the work. Without this there will be a lack of zeal withont whicb success can be bnt partial. "6. The teacher must not be tied to the text book. Teachers make the mistake of keeping the eyes of the pupils rivited oo one page at a time of tbe text book, instead of leading them up to a broader view by properly correlating subjpots. The pupil tbus works aloug like a mole in tbe gruund. Avoid qnestioning iu the language of the book. (Here the speaker illustraterl the textbook metbod of qnestioning. ) "8. Shonld be careful not to overestimate the progress of her papila. This occurs with teachers who have very few writteu reviews. "9. The mistnke is often ruarte of flattering the pnpils and using too much baby-talk. Praise pupils for extra work. It is jnst as easy to teach primary pupils that this is a vertical line as chat it is an upright line. Avoid teaching what must be untaugbt " The matter of salaries in the rural schools was treated at some length. The speaker deplorod the measly salaries now paid and hoped the time would come when the district scbool teaoher would get wages at least as good as the kitchen girl or the winter bired man. "Bnt the teacher mnst not grade tbe quality and quaütity of her work by the salary she receives. The teaoher who takes a school, coDtrcats to do not $20 wortb or $25 worth but to do the very best her healtb and ability will permit. To give poor servioes ior poor wages is poor polioy. The way to ?et a higher position íb to make one's self too big for bis present positioD. The teacher who is doing jnst $25 wortb cannot irumediately go into another school and do $40 worth. Those wbo do not keep in mind self-improvement must eventually be dropped frorathe ranks of teachers. "Teachers may be divided into two classes, (1) school keepers and (2) school teaobers. Portunatsly the forrner class is becoming extinot. Tbe old scboolmaster of flfty years ago, who tanght the three R's was a type of the fnriner class. Pnpils are now tanght more in each of eeven or eight branches than they formerly were in eaoh of three or four. " Long and lively disoussions followed the paper, especially on the matter of salaries in the rural schools. Coinmissioner Wedemeyer, President De Witt aud D. E. Townsend were aotive in discussion. Prof. Austin said that the district sobool salaries were lower in Wasbtenaw connty than in alruost any other oounty in the state. 'Langnage and composition received considerable attention. Miss Wheeler spoke frorn the standpoint of the distriot school aud Miss Webb from that of the high school. The latter said that district sobool pnpils coming into the high school were found defloient in these branches. It was the consensus of opinión that the rural schools were weakest in these subjects. A paper on history by W. H. Bohliobt brought out some discussion. Xot the least interesting feature of the meeting was the question box. The next meeting will be held at Manchester in April.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News