A great responsibility is thus evidently intrusted to them, but not a great deal of power. They ought not to make changes, except in very plain cases, without referring the subject to me. They ought not to make rash experiments, or even to try many new plans, without first obtaining my approval of them. They ought to refer all cases which they can not easily manage to my care. They ought to understand the distinction between seeing that a thing is done and doing it. For example, if a superintendent thinks that one of her section is in too high a class in Arithmetic, her duty is not to undertake, by her own authority, to remove her to a lower one, for, as superintendent, she has no authority over Arithmetic classes, nor should she go to the opposite extreme of saying, “I have no authority over Arithmetic classes, and therefore I have nothing to do with this case.” She ought to go to the teacher of the class to which her pupil had been unwisely assigned, converse with her, obtain her opinion, then find some other class more suited to her attainments, and after fully ascertaining all the facts in the case, bring them to me, that I may make the change. This is superintendence—looking over the condition and progress of the scholar. The superintendents have thus great responsibility, and yet, comparatively, little power. They accomplish a great deal of good, and, in its ordinary course, it is by their direct personal efforts; but in making changes, and remedying defects and evils, they act generally in a different way.
The last hour of school is devoted to the sections. No classes recite then, but the sections meet, if the superintendents wish, and attend to such exercises as they provide. Each section has its own organization, its own officers and plans. These arrangements of course vary in their character according to the ingenuity and enterprise of the superintendents, and more especially according to the talents and intellectual ardor of the members of the section.
The two upper sections are called senior, the next two middle, and the two younger junior. The senior sections are distinguished by using paper for section purposes with a light blue tinge. To the middle sections is assigned a light straw color; and to the junior, pink. These colors are used for the schedules of the members, and for the records and other documents of the section.
This account, though it is brief, will be sufficient to explain to you the general principles of the plan. You will soon become acquainted with the exercises and arrangements of the particular section to which you will be assigned, and by taking an active interest in them, and endeavoring to cooperate with the superintendent in all her measures and to comply with her wishes, you will very materially add to her happiness, and do your part toward elevating the character of the circle to which you will belong.