In all the former part of the day the scholars are divided into classes, according to their proficiency in particular branches of study, and they resort to their recitations for instruction. They now are divided into six sections, as we call them, and placed under the care of superintendents, not for instruction, but for what may be called supervision. Teaching a pupil is not all that is necessary to be done for her in school. There are many other things to be attended to, such as supplying her with the various articles necessary for her use, seeing that her desk is convenient, that her time is well arranged, that she has not too much to do nor too little, and that no difficulty which can be removed obstructs her progress in study or her happiness in school. The last hour is appropriated to this purpose, with the understanding, however, that such a portion of it as is not wanted by the superintendent is to be spent in study. You will see, then, when the last hour arrives, that all the scholars go in various directions to the meetings of their respective sections. Here they remain as long as the superintendent retains them. Sometimes they adjourn almost immediately, perhaps after having simply attended to the distribution of pens for the next day; at other times they remain during the hour, attending to such exercises as the superintendent may plan. The design, however, and nature of this whole arrangement I shall explain more fully in another place.
Close of the School.
As the end of the hour approaches, five minutes’ notice is given by the bell, and when the time arrives the Study Card is half dropped for a moment before the closing exercises. When it rises again the room is restored to silence and order. We then sing a verse or two of a hymn, and commend ourselves to God’s protection in a short prayer. As the scholars raise their heads from the posture of reverence which they have assumed, they pause a moment till the regulator lets down the Study Card, and the sound of its bell is the signal that our duties at school are ended for the day.
For the instruction of the pupils the school is divided into classes, and for their general supervision into sections, as has been intimated under the preceding caption. The head of a class is called a teacher, and the head of a section a superintendent. The same individual may be both the teacher of a class and the superintendent of a section. The two offices are, however, entirely distinct in their nature and design. As you will perceive by recalling to mind the daily order of exercises, the classes meet and recite during the first three hours of the school, and the sections assemble on the fourth and last. We shall give each a separate description.