I see, perhaps, two or three hands raised, and call upon the individuals by name, and they express their opinions. One says that a part can go out at a time. Another proposes that those who are tardy one day should not go out again, &c.
“I think it possible that a plan can be formed on these or some such principles. If you will appoint a committee who will prepare a plan, and mature its details, and take charge of the execution of it, you may try the experiment. I will allow it to go on as long as you avoid the evils I have above alluded to.”
A committee is then raised, to report in writing at the business hour of the following day.
“Proposed that the Study Card be down every half hour.”
“You may decide this question yourselves. That you may vote more freely, I wish you to vote by ballot. The boxes will be open during the next recess. The vote-receivers will write the question and place it upon the boxes. All who feel interested in the subject may carry in their votes, Aye or Nay. When the result is reported to me I will read it to the school.”
In this and similar ways the various business brought up is disposed of. This custom is useful to the scholars, for it exercises and strengthens their judgment and their reflecting powers more than almost any thing besides; so that, if interesting them in this way in the management of the school were of no benefit to me, I should retain the practice as most valuable to them. But it is most useful to me and to the school. I think that nothing has contributed more to its prosperity than the active interest which the scholars have always taken in its concerns, and the assistance they have rendered me in carrying my plans into effect.
You will observe that in transacting this business very little is actually done by myself, except making the ultimate decision. All the details of business are assigned to teachers, or to officers and committees appointed for the purpose. By this means we dispatch business very rapidly. The system of offices will be explained in another place; but I may say here that all appointments and elections are made in this quarter hour, and by means of the assistance of these officers the transaction of business is so facilitated that much more can sometimes be accomplished than you would suppose possible. I consider this period as one of the most important in the whole morning.
After the expiration of the quarter hour above described, the Study Card is dropped, and a recess succeeds.