=Repeating answers.=—Still another characteristic of the thirty-minute teacher is her habit of repeating the answers that pupils give, with the addition of some inane comment. Whether this repeating of answers is merely a bad habit or an effort on the part of the teacher to appropriate to herself the credit that should otherwise accrue to the pupils, it is not easy to say. Certain it is that school inspectors inveigh against the practice mightily as militating against the effectiveness of the teaching. Teachers who have been challenged on this point make a weak confession that they repeat the answers unconsciously. They thus make the fatal admission that for a part of the time of the class exercise they do not know what they are doing, and admitting so much we can readily classify them as belonging among the thirty-minute teachers.
=Meanderings.=—Another characteristic is her tendency to wander away from the direct line and ramble about among irrelevant and inconsequential trifles. Sometimes these rambles are altogether entertaining and enable her pupils to pass the time pleasantly, but they lack “terminal facilities.” They lead from nowhere to nowhere in the most fascinating and fruitless meanderings. Such expeditions bring back no emoluments. They leave a pleasant taste in the mouth but afford no nourishment. They use the time but exact no dividends. Like sheet lightning they are beautiful but never strike anything. They are soothing sedatives that never impel to action. They lull to repose but never vitalize.
=The ten-minute teacher.=—It is evident, therefore, that only the ten-minute teacher is worthy of a place in the vitalized school. She alone is able and willing to conserve, with religious zeal, the time and interest of the pupils. To her their time and interest are sacred and she deems it a sacrilege to trifle with them. She knows the market value of her own time but does not know the value of the time of the possible Edison who sits in her class. She gives to every child the benefit of the doubt and respects both herself and her pupils too much to take chances by pitting herself against them and using their time for her own purposes. Moreover, she never permits their interest to flag, but knows how to keep their minds tense. Their reactions are never less than incisive, and, therefore, the truths of the lesson groove themselves deep in their consciousness.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. What is meant by the time element in teaching?
2. How is an operation in a factory timed? For what purpose? What are some of the results that have accrued from the timing of work by efficiency experts?
3. How can teaching be timed approximately? Is it probable that more of this will be done in the future by supervisors and investigators? Would you resent the timing of your work? Would you appreciate it? Why?