The Teacher eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 338 pages of information about The Teacher.

Such are the means to which I resort in endeavoring to lead my pupils to God and to duty, and you will observe that the whole design of them is to win and to allure, not to compel.  The regular devotional exercises of school are all which you will necessarily witness.  These are very short, occupying much less time than many of the pupils think desirable.  The rest is all private and voluntary.  I never make any effort to urge any one to attend the Saturday meeting, nor do I, except in a few rare and peculiar cases, ever address any one personally, unless she desires to be so addressed.  You will be left, therefore, in this school, unmolested, to choose your own way.  If you should choose to neglect religious duty, and to wander away from God, I shall still do all in my power to make you happy in school, and to secure for you in future life such a measure of enjoyment as can fall to the share of one over whose prospects in another world there hangs so gloomy a cloud.  I shall never reproach you, and perhaps may not even know what your choice is.  Should you, on the other hand, prefer the peace and happiness of piety, and be willing to begin to walk in its paths, you will find many, both among the teachers and pupils of the Mount Vernon School, to sympathize with you, and to encourage and help you on your way.

CHAPTER VII.

SCHEMING.

[Illustration]

Some of the best teachers in our country, or, rather, of those who might be the best, lose a great deal of their time, and endanger, or perhaps entirely destroy, their hopes of success by a scheming spirit, which is always reaching forward to something new.  One has in his mind some new school-book by which Arithmetic, Grammar, or Geography are to be taught with unexampled rapidity, and his own purse to be filled in a much more easy way than by waiting for the rewards of patient industry.  Another has the plan of a school, bringing into operation new principles of management or instruction, which he is to establish on some favored spot, and which is to become, in a few years, a second Hofwyl.  Another has some royal road to learning, and, though he is trammeled and held down by what he calls the ignorance and stupidity of his trustees or his school committee, yet, if he could fairly put his principles and methods to the test, he is certain of advancing the science of education half a century at least at a single leap.

Ingenuity in devising new ways, and enterprise in following them, are among the happiest characteristics of a new country rapidly filling with a thriving population.  Without these qualities there could be no advance; society must be stationary; and from a stationary to a retrograde condition, the progress is inevitable.  The disposition to make improvements and changes may, however, be too great.  If so, it must be checked.  On the other hand, a slavish attachment to old established

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The Teacher from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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