|Tioga County School Articles 1839 - 1849|
|Continued From Teachers' Institutes 1855-1859||Tioga County Teachers Institutes 1860|
|Tioga County School Articles 1861 - 1869||Tioga County School Articles 1870 -|
Wellsboro, Nov.5th, 1855
The Teacher’s of the several towns of this county, convened at the Academy in accordance with the call of the Co. Superintendent, on Monday Nov. 5th, for the purpose of organizing a Teacher’s Institute in this place. They were called to order by the County Supterintendent., and a temporary organization effected. After listening to a short lecture upon the best method of teaching, & c., the Institute adjourned till Tuesday morning.
SECOND DAY Nov. 6
Institute met pursuant to adjournment. After listening to several lectures upon the best methods of teaching the several branches in our Common Schools.
On motion the following named persons were appointed a Committee to draft rules &c., for a more permanent organization; L. Catlyn, I.D. Richards, A.G. Sturrock, Caroline Spencer, L.E. Moore, Sally Locke. On Motion the Institute adjourned to meet in the evening, at the Court House to listen to a lecture upon Phisiology and Hygiene by Dr. C. Cutler.
THIRD DAY Nov. 8
Institute called to order by Supt., the Com. Appointed to draft rules, & c., submitted the following report, which was adopted: Wellsboro, Pa. Nov. 8th 1855.
Your committee appointed for drafting rules for a more permanent organization of a Teacher’s Institute, respectfully report the following resolutions.
1st. Resolved. That we form ourselves into a Teacher’s Institute.
2nd. Resolved. That a President be appointed to preside upon the meetings of this Institute, and attend upon the duties pertaining to that office.
3rd. Resolved. That a Vice President be appointed to discharge the duties of the President in his absence.
4th. Resolved. That a Secretary be appointed to keep the minutes of the Institute.
5th. Resolved. That a Corresponding Secretary be appointed to carry on the correspondence of the Institute.
6th. Resolved. That a Treasurer be appointed to take charge of the funds of the Institute.
7th. Resolved. That a committee of three be appointed in each township to attend to the interests of the Institute, solicit members, & c.
8th. Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to draft a Constitution and By-Laws to be submitted to the Institute at the next meeting.
9th. Resolved. That we govern ourselves by the foregoing resolutions, until a more permanent government can be organized.
On motion the following officers were appointed:
President, N.L. Reynolds; Vice President, L. Catlin; Secretary, Mrs. Wealthy F. Richards; Cor. Sec., I.D. Richards; Treasurer, Mrs. Caroline Jackson.
On motion, all the teachers whose names were on the Co. Supt’s roll, were admitted members of this Institute.
On motion the following persons were appointed a Committee to draft Constitution and By Laws, to be submitted to our next semi-annual meeting;
A.G. Sturrock, Eli Bacon, N.L. Reynolds, T. Catlin, E. Lichenthaler, E. Cariel
On motion the following persons were appointed a Committee to draft Resolutions, &c., to be submitted to this Institute:
Prof. N.L. Reynolds, I.D. Richards, J. Walbridge, W.F. Richards, E. Lichenthaler, E.L. Mack.
On Motion the following persons were appointed a committee to draft Resolutions on the death of Mr. Merris: H.N. Williams, D. Bacon, E..Lichenthaler, .E. Lowrey.
Institute adjourned to meet in Court House to listen to a lecture from Dr. Cutter, upon the propriety of teaching physiology in our Common Schools.
FOURTH DAY Nov. 9
Institute called to order by Supt., after listening to a lecture upon the best method of teaching grammar from Prof. J.R. Gaut, of Philadelphia, and several lectures upon the best method of governing schools, the Institute adjourned to meet in the evening to hear reports of Committees, Essays, &c.
Institute met pursuant to adjournment, Vice Pres., in the chair. The committee on death of Mr. Merris, submitted the following report which was unanimously adopted.
Whereas, it has pleased God in his Divine Providence, to remove from this world our beloved brother, teacher, and co-laborer in the great cause of education: Wm. Merris, a person eminently qualified both in heart and mind for the high and responsible position he has held in this county, as an instructor of youth; being called away whilst faithfully performing his duty, endeavoring to insure the youthful mind in the paths of truth and science, a virtuous citizen and an exemplary Christian, and desirous of expressing our just appreciation of his excellent qualifications as a teacher and his true nobleness of character as a man, and as a tribute to his memory, we offer the following resolutions:
Resolved, that we as a common brotherhood extend our sympathy to those
bereaved scholars with whom he last labored and mingle our tears and join
our sorrows with theirs.
Resolved, That, we as an Association, tender our condolence to the afflicted parents and relatives of the deceased, feeling that their loss is irreparable, and can only be sustained through a living hope of the resurrection.
Resolved, That as we dearly mourn his loss, we will in future be more faith ful in the discharge of our duties as teachers.
Resolved, That a copy of the above be presented to the parents of the deceased, and also to his school which is now in session.
Essays were then read, one by each of the following persons, J. Walbridge,
A.G. Sturrock, Miss C. Spencer, Mrs. W. F. Richards, Miss Hutchinson and
On motion the following were appointed a business committee, to fix the time and make other necessary arrangements for the next semi-annual meeting: J. F. Calkins, I. D. Richards, R. Austin, W.F. Richards, E.L. Mack.
On motion, Dr. C. Cutter of Mass., and Prof. J. R. Gaut of Phila., were elected honorary members of the Institute.
] The Committee appointed to draft resolutions &c., to be submitted to this institute, report the following which were on motion unanimously adopted.
Whereas, there is great need of an increased interest in the cause of common school education, and a great want of a proper estimation of its importance, and an evident deficiency in the qualifications of teachers and management of School Directors to raise our Common Schools to the standard which the age demands, therefore.
1st Resolved, That all engaged in the business of teaching should possess a high degree of moral and intellectual culture.
2d. Resolved, That teachers must have the ear, next by-operation of parents, to render their efforts successful.
3rd. Resolved, That no system of Instruction is complete, unless it embraces the moral and physical as well as the intellectual development of the pupil.
4th. Resolved, That to improve that condition of ours, Common Schools, it is necessary that competent teachers should be more liberally compensated for their services, and that without regard to sex.
5th. Resolved, That under our present school laws, too much power is vested in the hands of School Directors unless they are generally better qualified.
6th. Resolved, That, the text-books in our Common Schools, be uniform, and selected by a convocation of teachers and School Officers of the county.
7th. Resolved, That we deem the office of County Superintendent, a great auxiliary in promoting the interest of Common School education.
8th. Resolved, That there should be a system of graded schools established, and the school house architecture so improved as to meet the object of this plan.
9th. Resolved, That we hereby express our indebtedness to Prof. J.R. Gaut of Philadelphia, for his many valuable and interesting suggestions upon the art of teaching and also to Dr. G. Cutter, of Mass., for his able and instructive lectures upon Anatomy, Physiology & c., and that we recommend all Mrs. Cutter’s work upon Physiology in all our Common Schools.
10th. Resolved, That we extend to Rev. J.F. Calkins, our sympathies in the discharge of his difficult and labors duties as County Superintendent, and also tender to him our sincere thanks for that degree of interest which he has succeeded in awakening upon the subject of Common School education.
11th. Resolved, That we request the Editors of the different papers of this county and also the editor of the School Journal of the /state to publish the foregoing preamble and resolutions.
] The following amendment to the report of Committee by Rev. J.F. Calkins, was unanimously adopted.
12th. Resolved, That we tender our thanks to Prof. Reynolds, for providing accommodations of room and lights, and for his valuable services as teacher for the Institute.
Wealthy F. Richards
April 10, 1856
Time for commencing schools
The schools of this county have usually commenced their summer term on the first Monday of May, except in the Boro’ districts – It is respectfully suggested to the School Directors that this year the rural schools be commenced on the third Monday of May, vis, the 19th day of May. Then the first school month reported by the teachers will be the June month, and will fall within the next legal school year, constituting one of the four months they are obliged to report before drawing their public money. The teachers furthermore will by that time have made up their minds about teaching, so they will have less trouble in procuring teachers. The Superintendent also hopes by that time to have had a better opportunity, after the breaking up of the roads in the spring to give the teachers a chance to qualify themselves for their business.
Ways To Hire Teachers.
It is further respectfully suggested to School Directors, that at least two weeks notice be given by the Secretary of the board, through the papers, or by written notices put up in several conspicuous places, of a day when the Directors of such township will meet to receive application of, and contract with teachers. Then always hire by the month and never by the week-much misunderstanding has arised from hiring teachers by the week.
Taxes, Assessment and Collection of.
Directors that have not met and laid their assessment for school purposes, should do so immediately, voting also what proportion of it shall be applied to building and repairing school houses and what proportion to the payment of teachers. They should decide also how many months of summer, and how months of winter schools they will keep; then, knowing the number of schools they will keep up, they can easily decide what average wages they can pay. Without such deliberate financing as this, every board must get embarrassed and do much wrong to those who serve them as builders and teachers. When the tax is levied, the duplicate and warrant should be made out immediately, and put into the hands of the collector of state and county taxes, who, as a general thing, should have the collection of all the taxes, that no man in the county need be asked for taxes but once, and know at a glance just how much he has to pay for all purposes. Much perplexity may be saved to the Directors and taxpayers if this suggestion is promptly adhered to.
School Director’s Convention.
We have frequently contemplated the thought of calling a convention of School Directors and the friends of education generally in the county for the purpose of conspiring our views on several educational topics of vital importance. When I mention among them
Subjects deserving much deliberation, these: uniformity of text books, location and style of school houses, teacher’s associations, inequality of school taxes, school visitation by directors and teachers; it will be seen that there is much need of such a convention. We have therefore fixed upon Wellsboro at the place and Friday the 9th day of May next as the time of holding a convention of this kind. We shall be happy to see a liberal delegation of directors from every district of the county, where it is impracticable for all to come. Let us have one good, telling convention of School Directors and other friends of education in Tioga Co. This day will be the closing of the Teacher’s Institute in Wellsboro and the evening is devoted to a public exhibition and oratorical exercise, by the students of the Wellsboro’ Academy and Teacher’s Institute.
Believing that the Directors of the county generally agree with us that much more good is to be accomplished by teacher’s drills for mental improvement than by hasty examinations, without any or but little instruction, we have concluded to appoint four such Institutes this spring, preparatory to an intelligent opening of the summer schools. The places we have selected are Mansfield, Knoxville, Wellsboro and Tioga. They will commence on Monday 5th May at Wellsboro, and Monday the 12th May at Tioga—each one commence at 1 o’clock of Monday and close on the evening of the following Friday. We hope to meet all the teachers who propose to teach the following summer in this county, and as many others as may please to attend in one of these Institutes.
J.F. Calkins, Co., Sup’t
October 01, 1857
|Examination of Teachers|
|Township||Place of meeting||Day||Date||Time|
|Jackson||Daggett’s Mills||Monday||Oct. 5||9 a.m.|
|Rutland||Roseville||Tuesday||Oct. 6||9 a.m.|
|Sullivan||Gray’s Valley||Wednesday||Oct. 7||9 a.m.|
|Ward||McIntosh’s||Thursday||Oct 8||9 a.m.|
|Union||Swamp School House||Friday||Oct 9||9 a.m.|
|Liberty||Block House||Saturday||Oct 10||9 a.m.|
|Morris||Monday||Oct 12||10 a.m.|
|Elk, Gaines and Shippen||Furmantown||Tuesday||Oct. 13||10 a.m.|
|Clymer||Stebbinsville||Wednesday||Oct. 14||10 a.m.|
|Westfield||Thursday||Oct. 15||10 a.m.|
|Brookfield||Plank Sch. House||Friday||Oct 16||9 a.m.|
|Bouchers Isl’nd||Monday||Oct 19||9 a.m.|
|Lawrenceville||Tuesday||Oct 20||9 a.m.|
|Tioga||Wednesday||Oct. 21||9 a.m.|
|Middlebury||Holiday Sch. House||Thursday||Oct 22||9 a.m.|
|Farmington||House Sch. House||Friday||Oct 23||9 a.m.|
|Bloss||Tuesday||Oct. 27||9 a.m.|
|Covington||Wednesday||Oct 28||9 a.m.|
|Mansfield||Thursday||Oct. 29||9 a.m.|
|Charleston||Young’s Sch. House||Friday||Oct 30||9 a.m.|
|Delmar||Dena’s Sch. House||Tuesday||Nov. 3||9 a.m.|
|Wellsboro||Wednesday||Nov. 4||9 a.m.|
|Chatham||Treat Sch. House||Thursday||Nov. 5||9 a.m.|
|Union Acad’y||Monday||Nov. 9||9 a.m.|
|Union Acad’y||Tuesday||Nov 10||9 a.m.|
|Osceola||Wednesday||Nov 11||9 a.m.|
Teachers will not be admitted after 10 o’clock. No allowance made for stormy weather or bad roads. Each teacher is requested to furnish him or herself, with pen, ink and paper; the paper to be three sheets of foolscap doubled so as to make a book half the length, and half width of the sheet. Mind the form, for I wish all to be alike; well sewed, and neatly made. In villages, meet at the school house. The examination in the forenoon will be in writing, and of little interest to directors and spectators; in the afternoon, it will be oral, and the more company we have the better. All who think of teaching this winter, whether they have permanent or provisional certificates, should not fail to come forward for examination. The Board, or its Officers, ought to meet on this day, for the transaction of business. No certificates will be granted that average as low as four. It is extremely painful to be obliged to refuse any one, but the directors, the people, the good of the schools, and even the teachers themselves demand it.
We shall have no private examinations in future. If when visiting the schools, I find teachers, that have not been examined I shall request them to meet me at some central place for that part of the county, where I can form a class, and take an entire day for it. A general Institute will be held, the week following the examinations, Prof. Kenyon, Author of Kenyon’s Grammar, has engaged to be present. Other distinguished teachers are expected. The institute, however, will be thrown into the hands of the teachers of the county, and with them, succeed or fail. Further notice will be given when we ascertain where we can have the most liberal accommodation. Teachers who are not able to attend the examination, above advertised, can be examined at the Institute.
N.L. Reynolds, Co. Supt.
This is an article from The Agitator on Nov. 5, 1857.
The Tioga County Teacher's Institute will be held at Wellsboro, commencing Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9 o'clock A.M., and continue until Friday evening. Hotel keepers, Fellows, Smith and Hart, and also some private families have consented to make liberal deductions in the price of board, so there need be no excuse in this direction on the part of Teachers.
It is expected that those from a distance will come on Monday. Call at the Court House and a Committee will give further directions if necessary. The lecturers from abroad are intended chiefly for the evening exercises. The Institute will be thrown into the hands of the Teachers of the County.--If they have the talent and interest they will make it successful. I shall think the teacher who absents him or herself as wanting in interest, unless they have a good excuse.--The teachers who attend will have a great advantage over those who do not attend; for they will learn the manner in which I shall conduct the examinations of their schools.
Opposite the word “teaching” in the certificates there will be no mark found. I shall reserve this till I have visited the school, or witnessed your tact and improvement at the Institute. Of two teachers who were equal before the Institute, the one who attends it must of course have the better marking.--All teachers who have not heretofore been examined will be expected to be present early on Thursday for that purpose. The friends of education are earnestly invited to attend. School directors who have not yet secured their teachers will then find an admirable opportunity for that purpose.
November 8, 1857
The Session of the Teachers’ Institute advertised for Wellsboro, commenced on Monday. Upward of 50 teachers are in attendance. The County Superintendent is at work in the right direction.
THURSDAY MORNING, JUNE 3, 1858
Proceedings of the Tioga Co. Teachers' Institute
Mr. E. Wildman in the Chair
MORNING SESSION—On motion the words “in Tioga County: in Art. 2, of
Constitution were stricken out.
On Motion, Art. 6 was so amended as to provide for a semi-annual election of officers.
The resignation of the corresponding Secretary was tendered and accepted.
On motion, a Committee of three was appointed by the chair to prepare resolutions for the consideration of the Institute, as follows: J.B. Niles, H.N. Williams and J.D. Vandusen.
A discussion of the best mode of opening and conducting schools was entered into.
Mr. Williams, stated that he usually opened school by reading a portion of Scripture, following with a short lecture upon some appropriate theme. He recognized order as heaven's first law, and without system, no school could be profitably managed. He wo'd use the rod when all other reasonable means of persuasion failed.
Mr. Wildman, agreed with the first speaker that school should be opened by reading a portion of Scripture, followed by prayer—the later to be at the option of the teacher. This might lead children to the knowledge of new moral truths. As to the conduct of schools, he would suggest a short lecture touching the relations existing between teacher and pupil. He was no advocate of many rules of order for the government of schools. The fewer laws the better. Place confidence in the pupils, teach them to be men and women, and thus control them through the higher faculties. All necessary rules should be strictly enforced. Offenders should be mildly reproved, and if the rod was called in, it should not be in the presence of the school, and then only at the last pinch. He was in favor of systematical classification of studies and order of exercises. He was not in favor of the “pouring in” process. It was better to develop the self reliance of the pupil.
Mr. Emery presumed that the object in placing him on the list of speakers was to learn how schools were conducted twenty years ago. It was wisdom to learn of experience. He had not taught for many years, other than a private school, in which he had proved so successful as to induce a steady increase. (laughter.) His old-time mode of opening school was first to become acquainted with the capacities of his pupils and their peculiarities of character also. He taught in the good old days of rewards and punishments, and thought it proper to excite the emulation of pupils either by rewards or credit marks. Were he to teach now he would open school with prayer—not formally—but earnestly and feelingly. Would advise others to do so when it could be done conscientiously. He preferred the Pesialozzian mode of teaching. As to rules—the fewer the better. Confidence in pupils would gain respect from them for the teacher. He had heard of a successful teacher who always held his pupils incapable of doing willful wrong. There was a chord which it was only necessary to touch to ensure obedience.
The following resolution was then read:
Resolved, that an examination of six hours, (three written and three oral) is not sufficient to properly form a correct opinion of a teacher's qualification.
Mr. Hickok, said he was not a little encouraged at the boldness and independence evinced on the part of the teacher's of Tioga County, in the submission of this resolution, if the submission was in good faith. It showed great progress and that confidence which is necessary to ensure success in teaching. A good teacher would, of course, fear an examination of 6 hours duration as little as one of half that period of time. Still, he thought the majority of teachers would not credibly pass through a longer ordeal than six hours. The object of examinations was not to puzzle candidates, but only to ascertain the availability of their practical knowledge.
Mr. Calkins, said that if the Superintendent could improve the capacity of the teacher by a longer examination, so be it; but if he only desired to ascertain the available amount of practical knowledge possessed by the candidates, it was not necessary. He had found out all that in ten minutes often. He could learn more of the fitness of a candidate during half an hour's visit to his or her school room than in any other way. He had known the best teachers to be most timid and unsatisfactory at an examination. Graduates of colleges often could not pass a good examination, yet were not necessarily unfit to teach. He thought a longer ordeal than an hour, as a rule, to be useless.
Mr. Reynolds, had great faith in examinations, properly conducted. All teachers examined last year who received certificates marked with more than two “1's: (two excepted) gave excellent satisfaction. Those two would get drunk. Certificates marked on an average of “2”, were so far as he knew had done well; none had been turned out. Those of the grade “3” and “4” had a hard time of it generally. He did not agree with Mr. Calkins in regard to intellectual qualifications. If a graduate could not pass a good examination, he would not prove a successful teacher. He placed intellectual qualifications very high. He aimed to put no puzzling questions to teachers, but only such as were really essential. Teachers should take rank as they were more or less familiar with the practical knowledge necessary to successful teaching. As “embarrassment” had been offered as an excuse for teachers, he would ask how much embarrassment should excuse the candidate with the Superintendent?
Mr. Hickok, thought that would depend much upon the nature of the embarrassment. If it arose from modesty, every allowance should be made.
Mr. Reynolds, thought it would be dangerous to admit diffidence as an excuse. Teachers would not be slow to take advantage of such a rule. If teachers are to forget today, what they claim to have known yesterday, of what practical use is the knowledge lost so easily? He thought teachers should be credited with just the amount of available knowledge they possessed. The true criteria for the Superintendent was the present available knowledge of the candidate.
A lecture was announced from Mr. Hickok upon the efficacy of the Co. Superintendency, and the duty of the friends of education in sustaining him.
Mr. H. said that so far as the utility of the office was concerned, that was settled beyond a peradventure. That battle had been fought and won. True, there was still no little opposition from a certain class—a class constitutionally opposed to the entire system of Common Schools. From this class proceeded the great bulk of the petitions rushed into the Legislature last winter. The people had a right to ask how their money was spent.--They are the sovereigns—the source of all oppropriations for public purposes. As one of the officers, he could conscientiously say that the money expended under the present law was judiciously expended. The State had expended $15,000,000 during the last 20 years for Common School purposes. How had it been expended? That Schools were necessary, all would agree—or nearly all. The question is, how can the evils of the system best be cured? The Legislature had taken the matter in hand and had furnished a framework for the superstructure of a noble system—the best in the Republic. Means to carry out the reform were needed. Under the old system the school houses were not fit to receive the children of white people.--Heretofore, money appropriated to school purposes, had been no better than thrown away. It was squandered by defaulting officers or expended upon improvements not contemplated by the law. Under the old system the schools were often the hotbeds of vice and immorality, and were in such a low condition, that, when he was called upon to assume the duties of State Superintendent, he recoiled from the task. But things were different now. The new low removed the obstacles to progress, and had already, with but four years trial, lifted our schools up to a proud position. The only wonder was that it had not bought them much nearer perfection. Complaints poured in from every quarter, but in spite of all, the system was gradually winning the administration of the people. It was based upon popular sovereignty—giving the whole matter into the hands of the people. With directors at least nine-tenths of the power is placed. There is no autocratic power at Harrisburg, guiding and controlling the matter.--The co. Supt. is the right arm of the system, as the directors are the back-bone. Of course a perfect organization cannot be had without a head in the State. Like the Judiciary, it must be perfect from top to bottom. Strike out a link of the chain and you destroy the efficacy of the system. Each officer has his peculiar duty to perform the system ends to place teaching in the front rank of professions. It was formed with a higher view than dollars and cents.
R. R. Austin stated his plan of teaching the simple rules of Arithmetic accompanying his statement with lucid demonstrations.
Ambrose Close followed with an admirable dissertation touching the best method of teaching fractions, accompanied with very clear demonstrations upon the blackboard.
Hon. H.C. Hickok being called for, took the floor.
Mr. H. said: If there were any difficulties; or misunderstandings touching the operation of the School Law, among directors or teachers in Tioga, he hoped none would hesitate to interrupt him at any time with questions relating therein. Under the old system there was no uniform mode of conducting Common School matters; the masses being apathetic, good teachers were not always sought, nor found when sought. Teachers, then, as a claim, were fit for almost anything else than their vocation. Sometimes a college graduate came along, and to “raise the wind,” engaged to teach. As a general rule, such persons were as poor timber for teachers as could well be got at. Their studies in College were not such as to render them proficient in the elementary branches. Often they had grown up blissfully ignorant of their own language while deep in the mysteries of a dead literature. Such seem to think that a knowledge of the common branches comes by intuition. But the old time furnished some earnest, kind-hearted and capable teachers—men and women with a tact for teaching. Others were employed because they were cheap, or favorites with those in power in the districts. Under the old system directors could not prevent the swarming of these hordes of incompetent teachers; the districts were isolated, and, refused in one quarter, they fled to another. Now, all are but parts of one systematic whole and the uniform standard of qualification which had been established under the new law operated to drive this class from the Schools. From them and their friends the opposition to the new law in good part proceeded. They had cause to be alarmed. He said that the present system had only to be fairly tried to be come popular—it had become so wherever it had been best carried out. (Mr. H here introduced several amusing anecdotes illustrating his subject which were received with applause). The Co. Superintendents were but agents of the people to carry on the reform. The work of driving out incompetent teachers was going on silently but certainly. A hundred per cent in progress had been made; and still we were 500 percent below where we ought to be. Our Boards of directors are more officiant than they were three years ago. They begin to understand that good teachers cannot be hired at a small price. So then incompetent teachers are refused certificates we have a great complaint against the new system. He had established a rule that no candidate should receive a certificate whose proficiency in orthography would not entitle him to an apprenticeship in a country printing office. As to the office of directors, nine-tenths of the power was delegated to them, and rightly. Their duties are arduous and often thankless; yet the Co. Supt. Took much of the burden from their hands. (Some one asked if teachers might prescribe exercises suitable, in their judgment, to the capacities of scholars.) Mr. H. thought the teacher had such discretion, under favor of the Board of directors. The Superintendent had concurrent jurisdiction with the directors in selecting text books.
Mr. Reynolds: How do you understand the law in regard to keeping schools open on Saturdays?
Mr. Hickok: I am utterly opposed to keeping schools open on Saturdays. Of course, the wishes of the majority of patrons must be prudently deferred to in such matters. You may hire a man to chop, split rails or mow from Monday morning until Saturday night; but you cannot keep little children hard at brain labor six consecutive days with either reason or profit. Education does not consist in intellectual culture only, but in physical and moral as well, the law does not define the length of a teacher's month, but leaves it to the discretion of the people. So, many improvements were made, not expressly provided for by law. Institutes, and township associations were of this class of improvements—signs of healthy progress and legitimate outgrowths of the system.
Mr. Niles: Should directors receive a stated sum for their services?
Mr. Hickok: I would not at present alter or amend the present law. The directors have great responsibilities to sustain, but the office is highly honorable. He thought a salary attached to the office might work corruption, by throwing the office into the hands of politicians, and the directors would then be the creatures of men who had axes to grind.
Mr. Chapman: Is it legal for directors to break up old districts and consolidate two in one?
Mr. Hickok: The law vests that discretionary power in the directors. It is almost an absolute power, yet in a very exalted sense, that power is still in the breasts of the people.
Mr. Calkins: What should be done with pupils using profane or indecent language in the school room:
Mr. Hickok: I would reprimand for the first offense. If that proved insufficient, the offender should be ejected from the school room. Profane or indecent language should not be permitted within the jurisdiction of the teacher.
Mr. Emery: What is the bound of the teacher's jurisdiction?
Mr. Hickok: that is a mooted question. The general rule however, is that when the pupil steps from the paternal threshold, he passes from the jurisdiction of the parent into that of the teacher. There would be some difficulty in carrying this rule into effect in particular cases. Still, in his judgment, it was the proper rule to be adopted by teachers and parents. There could be no subordination without so extending the jurisdiction of the teacher.
Adjourned to 7 ½ o;clock, p.m.
The discussion of the question touching the length of time proper
to be consumed in examinations by the Co. Supt., was resumed.
Mr. Niles, thought six hours sufficient for all practical purposes—to entitle a teacher to a certificate, or to refuse one. He could see no utility in changing the present custom, when nothing better had been as yet proposed. He thought a teacher would find one difficulty in answering questions with which he had rendered himself familiar. Embarrassment, he thought, should be taken into consideration; the Superintendent, of course to decide for himself in how much failure was attributable to diffidence.
Mr. Kirkendall agreed with the past speaker in regard to time. If a Superintendent could not ascertain the qualifications of a candidate in six hours, he could not, in his judgment, in six times six hours. As to embarrassment, he was for ignoring it altogether. If a teacher knows his business, he can answer without much difficulty—that is, teachers can answer all questions of practical importance without embarrassment, in a majority of cases.
Mr. H.N. Williams, thought teachers had no option in the matter of time consumed by the Sup't in examinations. That officer must be his own judge as to the length of time called for. He agreed with previous speakers that teachers having a good knowledge of their business would not, as a rule, be too much embarrassed to reply. He would leave it to the Superintendent.
Mr. D. Bacon, was in favor of reducing the time from six hours to half an hour. He thought six questions in each branch would be enough to give the Superintendent a fair estimate of the capabilities of candidates.
Mr. Vanduzen, agreed with others that six hours was long enough time for examinations. He did not think either six or twelve hours would be sufficient to enable the Superintendent to judge intelligently of the candidates tact for teaching.
Mr. Bailey, differed with the last speaker. Six hours to each candidate would be very well; but with a class of 10 teachers it would give only 36 minutes to each other. One hundred questions per hour would be a small estimate, giving the proper number to each of the six branches. Then, at least fifteen minutes would be lost to embarrassment.--Three hours of oral examination would give but 10 minutes to each teacher.
Mr. Hart, thought six hours of sufficient time to ascertain the qualifications of candidates. He did not feel called upon to suggest the proper number of hours, but opined that it should not be an arbitrarily fixed time.--Proper allowance should be made for embarrassment. Few teachers could stand before the Superintendent and remain as free from embarrassment as in their school-rooms. He remembered that some of the loudest now against allowance for embarrassment, visibly quaked in their shoes before the Superintendent. (laughter) Six hours was not sufficient for a deliberate judgment on the part of the Superintendent, as to tact, and those who thought that officer could make up his judgment in half an hour, meant to flatter. It was too large to be true.
Dr. Webb, thought the question of time should be left to the Superintendent. He can spend but one day with each class of teachers. Six hours was deemed a proper time for pupils and teachers in schools, and the Superintendent was governed by the same rule. From the responses to the more important questions in the several branches taught, he could form a fair judgment of the claims of teachers of certifidates. He thought six hour's time enough, except for first class certificates. Certificates of lower grades could be given after a six hours' ordeal.
Mr. Ritter, said there was great unanimity of opinion, so far, prevailing among previous speakers. He was willing to abide by the pleasure of the Superintendent.
Mr. Walbridge, said he had taught during ten years, and had been examined by Justices of the Peace, Lawyers, Doctors, Ministers, and Tom, Dick and Harry. He had been let off with one hour and had been bored for three hours. Seminaries required at least a week to examine teachers. Can the Superintendent require less time? He thought not. A person of a mathematical mind “required more time to digest and properly answer questions than one of a metaphysical mind. Six hours did not seem long enough for a thorough examination.
Mr. Cady, would leave the time options with the Superintendent, but thought sex hours long enough. There should be some allowance made for embarrassment. He was satisfied that persons might be so diffident as to fail in the simplest questions. He had a case in point in which the best scholar in a class in Algebra, failed utterly.
Mr. Reynolds, asked to hear from the female teachers. He considered six hours all sufficient. There were seed questions which would extract the practical knowledge of a class in a very short space of time. If an examination was any test, an hour was sufficient to constitute that test. In written examinations he gave full three hours to each teacher. He would like to make some allowance for embarrassment in female teachers. But the precedent would be dangerous. Each would plead it on failure. He believed a proper degree of embarrassment to be beneficial, because excitement quickened the operation of mind. He had a poor opinion of recommendations of principals of high schools. Of course a teacher would recommend his pupils in some sort, since it was for his interest to do so. Teachers must be content to rest upon their own merits.
Mrs. Reynolds, thought if longer time was exacted, it would be necessary to get a law passed exempting Superintendents from the exercise of eating and sleeping. She thought some allowances should be made for embarrassment.
Mr. Hickok, agreed with Dr. Webb that six hours was time enough for certificates of a lower grade, and not long enough for first class certificates. In written examinations, the Superintendent could ascertain the amount of practical knowledge of candidates, in six hours. In some, embarrassment was constitutional; but with all the favorable circumstances usually attendant on such occasions, little allowance should be made for it. Good teachers could stand the test. The standard of teachers would be raised 50 per cent, per year until none but first class teachers would be employed.
The Resolution was lost.
The following Resolution was read and ordered to lie over.
Resolved, That the office of Co. Sup't should not be abolished until fairly tested.
Mr. H.M. Williams then read a fine essay upon “Primary Education.”
Adjourned to 9 A.M. Of Wednesday.
Ms. E. Wildman in the Chair.
Mr. Niles submitted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the members of the Institute accept the proposition made by the Editor of the Agitator to devote one column of his paper weekly to the discussion of questions pertaining to the educational policy of this country or State.
De. Pratt, in behalf of the Democrat, offered a column of that paper for the like object, which was accepted without discussion.
The State Superintendent Mr. Hickok, then addressed the Institute. He expressed himself delighted with the manner of conducting the Institute. He further urged that teachers should strive to prepare themselves for the proper discharge of the duties devolving upon the Co. Supt., since, from the ranks of that profession the Supt's must be taken when the system becomes perfected. He pronounced farewell blessing.
On motion, Hon. H.C. Hickok, was elected an Honorary member of the Institute.
Minutes of the morning session read and adopted.
Demonstrations in Arithmetic.
Greatest Common Divisor.- by Miss Amy Rockwell.
True Remainder.-Miss Augusta Orvis
Cube Root.-Miss Beach
Square Root.-S.E. Kirkendall
Least Common Multiple.- J.D. Vanduzen
Best Method of Calculating Interest.-Miss Liehtenthaler.
Reason of the Rules of Alligation Alternate.-J. Walbridge
Those demonstrations were characterized by great clearness and elicited general approval.
Recess of ten minutes.
Mrs. Maynard was elected Treasurer pro tem.
The Institute then listened to an oration by F. D. Ritter. It was a highly creditable production.
R.C. Bailey read a very excellent essay upon Education.
A motion to amend the Constitution was lost.
Mr. Vanduzen and Misses, Beach and Rockwell were made a Committee to report permanent officers for the Institute.
Messrs. Niles, Williams, Kirkendall, Ritter, and Bailey, were made a Committee to report resolutions.
The Institute voted to close its labors on Thursday night, and adjourned until 7 ½ P.M.
The minutes of the afternoon session were read and approved.
The Board of Counsel reported in favor of Mansfield as the place for holding the next session of the Institute. Adopted after a sharp debate.
The following resolution was submitted for discussion:
Resolved, That the word “Tower,” in the resolution relating to text books, be stricken out and the word “Brown” substituted.
Mr. Hart, was in favor of the resolution. “Tower” was a minor work, having for it's only analyzable. It showed little research, while Brown's is remarkable for its depth and perfectness. It had been adopted by nearly every college in America. It cost it's author years of patient labor, was made for all time-not for dollars and cents but as a benefaction to the language. He would vote for the resolution.
Mr. Bacon, was in favor of Brown's grammar for Common Schools. Tower was too silly and Kenyon too obstuse. Brown's was the grammar of grammars.
Mr. Niles, had never used other than Kenyon's grammar and was not prepared to choose between Tower and Brown. He deprecated this constant meddling with text books. It was the fruitful source of grumbling among parents, who were taxed enough already. He did not favor these vain attempts at uniformity in text books. It was impracticable.
Mr. Williams, agreed with the last speaker touching their meddling with text books. He preferred Kenyon in Etymology, Brown in Prosody. As a text book he certainly preferred Brown before Tower.
Mr. Rogers, said he was little acquainted with Tower's grammar, therefore could not discuss the resolution in all its bearings. He regarded Brown's grammar superior to all others. It contained all that was necessary to be known touching the science of the English language.
Mr. Spencer, preferred Brown very decidedly. He had given Tower a thorough trial and found it wanting in many essentials-very defective. The best results accrued to a substitution of Brown for Tower, as he could testify.
Mr. Elliott, decidedly favored Brown as a text book for our Schools. Tower analyzed better than Brown; but Brown reaches the same result by rendering the student familiar with the drift of a sentence by a shorter route. He had heard the Co. Supt, remark the students in Brown were more advanced than those in Tower. He thought Brown superior to Tower in every department. The fine print in Brown's grammar was worth more than Tower's entire work.
Mr. Walbridge, had studied Brown's grammar and preferred it for beginners as well as for advanced classes. Men of long experience preferred it before all others. No one could teach Kenyon except Prof. Kenyon. As for Tower, he began at the wrong end and ended where he began.
Mr. Bailey, had changed in opinion somewhat since hearing the matter discussed. He had given an inch and they had taken an ell. Did they wish to introduce that monstrous book into Common Schools? What had its adoption by colleges to do with it as a Common Schools book? He thought Kenyon as good in every sense; and would turn out some of his Kenyonites against any number of Brownies.
Mr. Kirkendall, said the gentleman would do well to remember that he, himself, taught Brown's grammar in the same school but a year before, when he talked about turning out his Kenyonites against Brownites.
Mr. Bailey, said he not only remembered that fact, but he had not forgotten in what condition he found the pupils.-(great laughter and cheers.)
Mr. Kirkendall, just so: And somebody will remember in what condition the gentleman left them. (laughter.) He thought that when a pupil understood how to read, that was grammar enough. None but good grammarians could be good readers.
Miss Beach, said she was not prepared to discuss the resolution; but would say that these frequent changes did not, in her judgment, tend to improve either the temper of parents or the knowledge of pupils.
Dr. Pratt, said that grammar was a plain common sense science. When an author only displays research in coining new words he had little claim to preference. He thought that grammar the best which taught the science of the language in the plainest manner.
Mr. Reynolds, was willing to leave teachers to settle this question as suited them. It was the most vexatious of all questions. He would not advise those teachers marked low on their certificates to try to teach grammar; or if they did, to make use of the simplest elementary work which was Tower's. He liked all kinds of grammars and thought a good teacher would make a good grammar pal of any one in use. He preferred Tower in many respects before all others. Brown did not give good definitions. Tower taught by inducing thought. Brown piled form upon form. It looked like retrograding to adopt brown.
The resolution was adopted.
Mr. H.W. Williams read an essay before the Institute. On motion, a copy was requested for publication.
Mr. E. Wildman in the Chair.
Minutes of late day's session read and approved.
Report of Committee on nomination of officers, made by Vanduzen, as follows:
PRESIDENT—S. E. Kirkendall.
VICE PRESIDENTS—R.C. Bailey, M.F. Elliott, Morgan Hart, D.L. Vanduzen, Guy Snover.
TREASURER—Mary E, Pitts
RECORDING SEC.--J.D. Vanduzen
COR. SEC.--Mrs. E.K. Reynolds.
COUNSELORS—Miss Maria Rott, Miss M. P. Binery, H.C. Ved, A.E. Rockwell, Kate Morris, Mary Bowen, J.B. Cady, Nancy Potter, Morgan Hart, N.L. Reynolds, A.J. Webster, O.A. Smith, Rebecca Tate, Marietta Clo's, A.M. Simpson, D.W. Broan, E.C. Cummings, Maria Rathbone, Triphenia Catlin, J.E. Peters, Benj. Dorrance.
The following orators and essayists were reported by the proper committee:
Misses E. Lichtenthaler, E. Beach, L.A. Smith, S.M. Locke, L. Fish, M.P. Emery, Mrs. N.L. Reynolds, Mrs. W.F. Richards, Messrs, M. Hart, A. Cloos, E. Wildman, S.E. Kirkendall, W.W. Webb, G. Snover, A.J. Spencer, Dr. Pratt.
On motion of Mr. Emery, the Institute requested a copy of each oration and essay read, or to be read before the present session of the institute, to be furnished for publication.
On motion, Dr. Pratt was requested to form the Institute into a class, and to drill them in Geography. Gave his method of teaching in a lucid manner. He was followed by Miss Beach, Miss Rockwell, M.P. Emery, Dr. Webb and Mrs. Reynolds—all of whom expressed themselves with great brevity and clearness.
The following Resolution was then discussed at length:
Resolved, That female teachers are amply compensated.
Mr. Kirkendall thought that female teachers were amply compensated. They were not capable of doing so much, mentally or physically as males. Therefore, they should not receive as much wages. There were some exceptions; but as a rule, they could not govern large schools as well as males. Females received all they asked. If they could do as much work their wages should be the same.
Mr. Hart, said that females should be well paid—as well as any teachers, that is, if they could perform as much labor. In his judgment, there were many teachers overpaid—male and female. He was for employing good teachers and paying them a fair price for services.
Mr. Bailey, said he could not say upon which side of the question the last speaker intended to be. He thought for one, that the grade of the certificate should govern the wages. It was an absurdity to say that females could not govern schools as well as males.
Mrs. Reynolds said, that though not now employed as a teacher she yet felt a very deep interest in all that concerned those of her sex in the profession. The question now put by employees in all departments of industry, was not, “Is the work well done?”-- but, “Was the work done by a man?” If “yes” then so much; if by a woman, only so much. If women had less physical strength, she had more tack. She had never been conquered by mud and slush; and in bad weather, there were generally young men enough who considered it a privilege to take the school mistress to her school in a sleigh or buggy.--(laughter.)
Mr. Niles, said that female teachers received $12 per month in his district, and the males $16. He would sooner move to cut down the male teacher's wages to $12, than as the female teachers should receive $16. The people were taxed to the utmost now; and if any greater burden were laid on them they would rebel.
Mr. Reter presumed that the Institute could not affect this question to any great extent.-- If females were as well qualified, they should receive equal pay with ales. Were they as well qualified? He could not say. The contrary was alleged. He knew that custom decreed that female labor should receive less than male labor, even in the same department, and as well performed. The world could not be reformed in a day.
Miss Rockwell, said that the negative of the resolution seemed to her self-evident.
Mrs. Reynolds, said she knew of a woman, now teaching in this county at $2.50 per week, of whom the Superintendent had often said that “she governed her school better than any male teacher in the county.”
Mr. Jackson, moved to strike out the word “female” in the resolution.
H. Cobb said, if wages were to be proportioned in the ratio of physical ability, then the worthy President pro tem, would be worth about twice as much per month as some gentlemen who had employed this argument.--He thought tact to be of greater importance than physical strength. If it was desired to degrade labor, it could not be done better than by making it unprofitable, and by saddling it with false distinctions. So much compensation for so much labor, was the proper rule.
Mr. Wildman, said that female teachers did not receive enough wages. As a rule, their wages were reduced in the lowest bearable ebb. Women paid as much fare on stages and railroads; as much for board, for dress and education, as man; therefore let her receive as much for her labor and time. In the South she received as much per antrim as a man, generally. It was customary there to pay for labor without regard to the sex of the laborer. By elevating the standard of wages, the profession would be elevated. He would be glad to hear from the other side of the house, though it was a pleasure to speak in their behalf.
Mr. Spencer, thought it a proper question for the consideration of the Institute. Teachers must protect themselves, and the directors should not be sole judges in the matter. He had known good male teachers to be dropped at the close of the winter term because equally as good female teachers could be hired at two or three dollars per month, less.
Mr. Walbridge, held that equal tact, labor and skill, should command equal compensation without regard to sex. Superior skill should command superior compensation.--Why was it that females did not demand better compensation? He thought it because they could not get it under present customs.
The resolution was rejected.
J. WALBRIDGE IN THE CHAIR
Voluntary Exercises.--Parsing and dissertations upon the various
relations and properties of words, in which Dr. Pratt, Messrs. Wildman,
Spencer and others took part.
The best method of teaching the primary branches was taken up and discussed at length by Messrs Bacon, Williams, Pratt, Niles and others. The ladies also put some pertinent questions to their brothers.
Mr. H. N. Williams explained his mode of teaching reading by words, in a very interesting manner. Dr. Pratt added some pertinent remarks.
The Committee on Resolutions asked leave to report, which was granted. The resolutions were taken up seriatim; and adopted with some slight amendments.
Whereas, we, teachers of Tioga Co., being desirous of becoming more intimately acquainted with the duties of our profession, and for the purpose of elevating the standard of public schools and extending an opportunity for an education to every one, do offer the following resolutions:
1. Resolved. That our faith in the efficiency of Teacher's Institutes has increased.
2. That we regard the County Superintendency of the utmost importance to the safety and perpetuity of our Common School system.
3. That we deem the visiting of each other's schools, by teachers, in connection with town Institutes, an admirable means of improving ourselves as teachers.
4. That, in the opinion of this Institute, Physiology and the History of the United States should be introduced into our Common Schools.
5. That every pupil in our Common Schools should be exercised in mental arithmetic once a week and in spelling every day.
6. That the writing of compositions and declamatory exercises should be practiced semi-monthly in our Common Schools.
7. That the Hon. H.C. Hickok, State Sup't of Common Schools of Pa., has won our entire approbation by this able and eloquent support of our system of schools.
8. That these resolutions be published in the County papers and in the Penns. School Journal.
S.B. Kirkendall, H.N. Williams, J. B. Niles, F. D. Ritter, R. C. Bailey:--Committee
On motion, L.P. Williston Esp., was elected an honorary member
of the Institute.
After some preliminary business had been disposed of, Mr. J.B. Niles, read an essay characterized by earnest, vigorous and original thought, and entitled--”Have a mark.” He sat down amid prolonged applause.
The remainder of the evening was taken up with short speeches by various members of the Institute and spectators.
Rev. N.L. Reynolds, pronounced an appropriate paring address, in which humor, pathos and practical wisdom were happily blended, and sat down amid hearty applause.
The Institute then adjourned to meet at the call of the Co. Superintendent.
A very general “good time” ensued, during which, old acquaintances were renewed and new ones formed, and a decorous hilarity prevailed until a late hour. Thus closed the second session of the Institute, lasting throughout by the utmost harmony and good feeling.
A vote of thanks was tendered to the people of Wellsboro, for the generous hospitality accorded to those in attendance.
The greatest number of teachers present at any time was stated to be 157.
[The following report of Wednesday's proceedings of the Institute was mislaid and could not be found in time to appear in the regular order. It gives a tolerably full account of Mr. Hickok's farewell address, as also of some interesting exercises.-Ed. Ag.]
Mr. Hickok said the occasion was one of deep interest to him, as teachers are the vital agencies through which our educational interests are to be redeemed. School funds may day much; but without good teachers the interests of education cannot be furthered one step. The teachers of the county should form themselves into a body-guard around the Superintendent, to cheer and to sustain him in the discharge of his manifold duties. If they neglect to do this, the system cannot be perfected. Their interests are identical. If you place obstacles in the way of the Superintendent, you do but obstruct your own paths.
To perfect the system, teachers must be educated up to the position of the Superintendent, for it is from their ranks that these officers must be taken ere the object contemplated by the law is reached. Let teachers awake to the importance of this truth.
Text books are to the teacher what the bible is to the clergyman. The living teacher, only, can instruct successfully, how to reduce theory to practice. The voice, the eye, the manner and the presence give emphasis to every truth and life to principles.
On motion, Hon. H.C. Hickok was elected an honorary member of the Institute.
On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered that gentleman for his valuable services.
Dr. Pratt here remarked that nothing had been said upon the subject of rending.==Teachers were not uniformly good readers, as reports from various parts of the State alleged. There was no soul in their reading.
Mr. Kirkendall said that no person was qualified to teach unless a good reader.--Good reading is one of the first and most valuable accomplishments, but there are difficulties in the way of teaching this important branch.
EXERCISES IN GRAMMAR.--The Chairman suggested that all teachers desiring to participate in the exercises should form themselves into a class, and that some teacher be selected to drill the class. On motion the Chairman was appointed to take charge of the class.
Mr. Wildman, said that the study of grammar was one of the most important of the educational branches. It is a common sense branch, requiring much of the judgment. It was a very erroneous idea, entertained by some people that the study could be mastered in three or six months. It was a work of years of careful study. He then proceeded with a very interesting examination of the class.
December 02, 1858
The Mansfield Seminary building has been carried up to the height of two stories. The building when finished, will consist of a main building and two wings, occupying an area of 151 by 51 feet. The main building will be carried up four stories and the wings three stories. It will have four towers, of brick, in one of which the bell will be hung. The walls are of brick, eighteen inches in thickness and most substantially built.
The plan of the edifice is by Mr. S.B. Elliott, and seems very excellent indeed. Mr. Elliott, it will be remembered, is the architect of the People’s College, now building under his supervision at Havana, NY. He is likewise superintending the erection of a Seminary at Danville. It gives us pleasure to record these triumphs of the genius of a Tioga boy in competition with older and more experienced architects, and judging from the little acquaintance we have with the gentleman, he has but just entered upon a career destined to reveal greater successes than any he has yet achieved.
December 02, 1858
The Institute - We are enabled to give a pretty full report of the proceedings of the Teachers’ Institute held in Mansfield last week, for which we are indebted to Wm. Garretson, of Tioga. We had the pleasure of attending the afternoon and evening sessions of Thursday and the morning session of Friday. Thursday evening we listened to a lecture on The Advantages of Education by Prof. Kenyon, of Alfred University. The lecture was one of the most substantially practical to which we ever listened. Its system and its logic were admirable, as its illustrations of the subject were happy. On Thursday morning Prof. Kenyon again addressed the Institute on the importance of the moral training of Teachers. We feel certain that this lecture will work great good in the teachers of Tioga County and through them, to the children. After listening to the lectures of Prof. K., we no longer wonder that Alfred Seminary has won a popularity as wide as it is profitable. Whatever we may find to condemn in the Grammar of which he is the author, for Kenyon, the man and the thinker, we have a profound respect.
December 02, 1858
Report of Proceedings of the Tioga Co. Teachers’ Institute, held in
Special Correspondence of the Agitator
The Tioga County Teacher’s Institute held its semi-annual session at Mansfield last week, commencing on Monday evening and adjourning finally on Friday evening. The number of teachers attending was over one hundred and fifty, and the average attendance about one hundred. The M.E. and Baptist Churches were freely devoted to its use, the meetings of the Institute being held in the former, and meetings of committees [mostly] and of teachers, for examination by the Co. Superintendent, in the latter. Your correspondent was not present on Monday evening, but was informed by those who were, that on their arrival they found the meeting house warm and well lighted, and other arrangements made for a hospitable reception by the people of Mansfield. I was also informed that the meeting was organized by electing Rev. R.L. Stilwill, Pres’t pro tem; and A.J. Webster, of Mainesburg, Secretary, pro tem; and selecting a committee on “business and exercises” - consisting of V.A. Elliott, Albert Clarke and A.J. Webster; and that a lecture was delivered by N.L. Reynolds on “Language in general,” which was very instructive and interesting.
Tuesday, Nov. 23rd - The Institute met at 8:30 A.M. Report of Com. On Business, & c, providing exercises for the day received and adopted. A.N. Elliott, Caroline Gaylord and Daphne M. Drew, appointed a committee to confer with a committee of the citizens of Mansfield in relation to the boarding of teachers while attending the Institute. Rev. R.L. Stilwell resigned the Chair, and Simon B. Elliott, was elected President, pro tem.
Methods of teaching spelling described and discussed. The morning exercises closed with a short address by the President, S.B. Elliott, in which he related his first school experience in the old log school house, when the “beech club” was a regular institution; and drew a hopeful conclusion from a contrast between the present and former condition of common schools and school houses.
Met again at 1:30 P.M.
Resolved, that the Secretary make a lost of the names of members attending the Institute, and further report from the Committee on Business, &c, adopted.
Demonstration of rule for finding the cube root, by I.R. Spencer.
Lecture on English grammar, by V.A. Elliott.
Drill on elementary sounds by County Superintendent - N.L. Reynolds. Adjourned to 6:30 o’clock in the evening.
Met at 6:30 o’clock, P.M. Teachers explained their respective methods of opening school and classing pupils. This was followed by a general discussion on the same subject, on the management of scholars, and on the necessity of corporal punishment, in which several gentlemen not members of the Institute were invited to participate. A large majority deeming such punishment necessary at times, in most schools.
Wednesday, Nov. 24th - Met a 9 A.M. The Superintendent being absent, [engages in examining teachers].
Discussion on methods of teaching Geography.
Lecture by S.B. Elliott on Astronomical Geography, followed by general discussion of several points under that head.
Illustration of the true remainder in division with component factors, by --.
Explanation of multiplication of vulgar fractions, by Miss D.M. Drew.
Met at 1:30 P.M. Mr. E.S. Hubbell of Sullivan, an ex-teacher, invited to participate.
A Committee on Resolutions appointed, viz: Miss D.M. Drew, Miss Sarah Thinkhum, S.B. Elliott, Marcus Brooks.
Lectures on Phonography, by Wm. Garretson.
General discussion upon the subject of Grammar, and methods of teaching it.
Resolved, That Counselors be elected for those school districts not now represented in the Board. [These were elected but I have obtained no use of their names.]
Mr. R.M. Pratt of Wellsboro, offered the following resolution, which was largely discussed, and negatived, viz: “ That text books on Grammar ought not to be used in Common Schools.”
Met at 6:30 P.M. Lecture by S.B. Elliott on the ventilation of school-houses - explaining very clearly how the air becomes unwholesome in close and crowded rooms, and showing how this may be prevented by suitable contrivances [which he described] for regulating the ingress and egress of air.
A resolution, “That Drawing ought to be taught in Common Schools,” was presented and laid on the table.
A resolution, “That in the examination of teachers, allowance ought to be made for embarrassment,” was presented, discussed and negatived by a majority of two votes.
Thursday, Nov. 25th - Met at 9 A.M. Demonstrations & c, in arithmetic by N.L. Reynolds Superintendent. Subjects, simple and local values, in numerical notation - Different methods of notation - Greatest common divisor.
A method of allegation explained and illustrated by Albert Clarke.
A resolution - “That the Institute ought to hold but one session per year,” was discussed an negatived; and it was resolved that the next meeting be held immediately preceding the next summer school-term.
The Board of Counselors report in favor of holding next meeting at Tioga. Adopted.
Prof. William C. Kenyon, President of Alfred University, having arrived, he was unanimously requested to drill the teachers present, in English Grammar, during the afternoon, and to deliver a lecture in the evening.
Met at 1:30 o’clock P.M. Lecture on English Grammar and drill of teachers by Prof. Kenyon - mode of reaching beginners to classify words - mode of illustrating definitions. [The teachers, pupils now, were invited to “ask questions;” and they proposed many difficult inquiries relating chiefly to sentences of anomalous construction, which were disposed of in a manner that showed Mr. K. to have a thorough acquaintance with the subject. He seems remarkably free from pedantry - the besetting vice of mere grammarians; but, in the opinion of some of the teachers present, he is rather too fond of reforming the language of the author before parsing it.]
After having a good time of it on Grammar, the Institute adjourned to 6:30 o’clock P.M.
Met at 6:30 P.M. Superintendent Reynolds, offered a resolution, “That teachers, who on examination, are marked number one, in all the branches, ought to receive permanent certificates.”
Discussed by Morgan Hart, R.C. Bailey, V.A. Elliott, F.M. Elliott in the affirmative, and R.M. Pratt, R.R. Austin, and A.J. Webster in the negative; and laid on the table.
On motion of N.L. Reynolds, Supt., A.J. Webster and S.B. Elliott, Rev. R.L. Stilwell of Mansfield, Wm. Garretson of Tioga, and Prof. Wm. C. Kenyon of Alfred University were elected honorary members of the Institute.
An able and interesting lecture was delivered by Prof. Kenyon on “The advantages of Education.”
Friday, Nov. 26th - Met at 8 A.M. On motion of N.L. Reynolds, Supt., A.C. Clarke and S.R. Elliott, J.S. Hoard, President at Mansfield Classical Seminary, was elected an honorary member.
Committee on Resolutions report the following, viz:
Resolved, 1 - That our faith in the efficiency of our Institute has greatly increased.
Resolved, 2 - That was deem it detrimental to Common Schools to be kept open more than five days in each week; on account of non-attendance on Saturdays, and the consequent derangement of classes; and also detrimental to the health of pupils.
Resolved, 3 - That district Institutes ought to be sustained.
Resolved, 4 - That we deem it the duty of directors and parents to visit the schools, at least monthly.
Resolved, 5 - That we earnestly request the school directors throughout the county, so to arrange the school houses that they may be suitably warmed and ventilated.
Resolved, 6 - That the County Superintendent ought not to grant permanent certificates to teachers.
Resolved, 7 - That in the person of Prof. N.L. Reynolds, we recognize the man eminently led, by natural and acquired ability and by his indomitable energy and untiring zeal, for the performance of the arduous and responsible duties of his office.
Resolved, 8 - That we tender our sincere thanks to Prof. Kenyon for his clear and practical demonstrations in English Grammar, and for his elegant and instructive lectures.
Resolved, 9 - That female teachers whose certificates bear the same marking as those of males are entitled to the same wages.
Laid on the table.
Lecture by Prof. Kenyon. Subjects - special daily preparation of teachers for each class exercise - necessity of interesting the pupil in his task, Grammar, &c.
Recess of ten minutes.
Lecture by Prof. Kenyon on “The necessity and means of moral education.” [This was a most able and interesting lecture.]
Resolved that an order be drown on the Treasurer for $13, on account of compensation to Prof. Kenyon.
Report from Mrs. Maynard, former Treasurer accompanied by balance in her hands, $8.50.
Met at 1:30 P.M. Report from Committee on Officers presented, and the following officers elected.
Morgan H. Hart, President.
R.R. Austin, Secretary.
D.D. Clarke, V.A. Elliott, Anna Kemp, Ella Sears, A.J. Webster, Vice Presidents.
Miss Mary E. Pitts, Treasurer.
Miss Cassie McCabe, Cor. Secretary.
The present Board of Counselors all re-elected.
On motion of N.L. Reynolds, Sup’t, A.C. Clark and M. Hart, N.F. Handy Esq., of Mansfield, was elected an honorary member.
Unanimously resolved, “That the teachers of Tioga county ought to use their influence to build up the Mansfield Classical Seminary.
A resolution, “That children in school should be taught mental arithmetic as soon as they can read,” adopted by a majority of one vote.
The resolution concerning permanent certificates was taken up, discussed, and adopted by a majority of fifteen votes. [This resolution created much interest, and gave rise to a lively and somewhat spicy discussion, especially in the affirmative side. The serious arguments urged on either side, so far as remembered may be summed up thus: In favor of permanent certificates; that they might be justly claimed by teachers of the first class as a stimulus and reward to industry and perseverance, and as a convenient recommend in communities where the holder is not known; that it is a great hardship to the teacher to be compelled to come before the Superintendent for examination once a year, forever, or forfeit his right to teach a common school. Against the resolution; that permanent certificates would burden the school system with an unnecessary cause of trouble and vexation, there being quite enough of such vexations already in the distinctions necessary to be made between teachers of different capacities; that a permanent certificate would generally become the ultima thule of the teacher’s ambition, as such, and that the just withholding of it would in many cases, be more vexing to the candidate and his friends, than a failure as to any of the present grades; that the justice of such withholding would in most cases be no adequate defense to the school system against the sentiment of the disappointed, who would be more or less blinded by self-interest and his esteem; that the practice of granting these would tend to foster on the part of the holders laziness in study and mental culture in general - unreasonable pretensions to superiority, and, above all, would give rise to a -?- claim of equity with teachers who shalt graduate several years later, when a standard for a first class certificate would probably be much higher; that a first class certificate, wile in force, is as good as a permanent one, when it is understood that no permanent ones are ever granted; The under a general rule, necessary for the good of a teacher as well as of the school, that he should submit to examination, as often as once a year, to the end that he shall keep up in the progress of the system; that if he -?- progresses with the standard, as he ought to do, he will not find any serious expense or difficulty in the way of allowing the Superintendent to discover that fact.]
The general resolutions [previously -?-] were then taken up, considered and made excepting that relating to teacher’s certificates, which was rejected, having been substantially decided before.
Met at 6:30 P.M. Mr. Webster, Secty being absent, R.M. Pratt was elected Secretary pro tem.
Resolved, that an order be drawn on the Treasurer in favor of ----------- for $1.39[?] for contingent expenses.
R.M. Pratt was requested by vote, to furnish a digest of the proceedings for the Democrat; and thanks were voted to M.H. -?-, editor of the Agitator, for furnishing a reporter for his paper.
The resolution, “That drawing ought to be taught in Common Schools,” was discussed, considered and adopted.
Mr. Reynolds, Sup’t, addressed the members at some length, and stated among other things, the interesting fact, that he -?- of pupils in the County who attended Common Schools during the year last past exceeds those of any previous years by -?- thousand.
Mr. V.A. Elliott introduced -?- of thanks to the people of Mansfield whose interest they had manifested in behalf of the Institute, and the generous hospitality they had afforded to its members, which was voiced by the Superintendent, recorded by R.S. Hoard on behalf of Mansfield, unanimously adopted. Mr. Hoard also spoke the good will of the teachers of Mansfield Seminary.
The meeting was addressed by Rev. R. Stilwell, H.F. Handy Esq., Rev. W.S. -?- and others, and after a vote of hands the President, S.B. Elliott and -?- by Mr. Alden, adjourned to meet at Tioga at the call of the Superintendent.
It is not possible in a report not un--ably extended, to give the reader an adequate history of the interesting features of the session, to wit, the lectures, speeches and discussions. I must be -?- with -?- the interest never flagged, but increased the end, and that your correspondent has a far higher opinion of the educators of Tioga County, and of the County Superintendent and of our Common School system, than he had just one week ago. Yours Truly, G.
November 29th 1858
The Agitator – May 19, 1859
Educational. Proceedings of the Tioga County Teachers’
Special Correspondence of the Agitator.
Tioga, May 3, 1859.
The semi-annual Session of the Tioga County Teachers’ Institute commenced here his morning. The number of teachers present is not so large as we expected. The people of this place built, last year, a large and commodious school house, probably the best in the County, and here the Institute met. V. A. Elliott, of Cherry Flats, one of the Vice Presidents, called the meeting to order, and S. E. Kirkendall, of Lawrenceville, was elected Secretary pro tem. On motion the Chair appointed the following Committee on Business for the morning: N. L. Reynolds, R. C. Bailey, and Anna B. Kemp.
Mr. Reynolds then spoke to the teachers, and congratulated them upon having met once more to devote a portion of time for the benefit of each other. After some appropriate remarks in regard to Institutes and the benefits derived from them, he spoke on the subject of Orthography, and the necessity of a thorough knowledge of this important study to the teacher. He was followed by Wm. Garretson Esq., of Tioga, who offered some pertinent remarks on the “Pronunciation of Words.”
The Committee on Business reported that Mr. R. C. Bailey, of Middebury, would occupy the first half hour of the afternoon session, on the subject of “Reading; how it should be taught,” whereupon the Institute adjourned.
Afternoon Session – The President, Mr. Morgan Hart, of Charleston, took the Chair, and returned thanks for the honor conferred upon him.
Mr. Reynolds suggested, that, in order to facilitate business, teachers should write on strips of paper, to be left at the desk, any question or subject they would like to hear discussed.
On motion, R. C. Bailey was elected permanent Secretary. Mr. Bailey then gave his views on the subject of teaching the art of Reading.
Mr. Garretson on being called upon proceeded to explain the difference between “spelling” and “reading” in performing the operations of arithmetic, and showed in a lucid manner the superiority of the latter over the former method.
Mr. Reynolds spoke on the subject of Primary Reading. He recommended that the child be taught to name the words at the beginning of a lesson until he becomes quite familiar with them, then let him begin at the end of the exercise and pronounce each word correctly, going backwards through it, then the child will be sufficiently familiar with it, to read the exercises through correctly, from the beginning.
Miss Anna B. Wright, of Middlebury, then proceeded to demonstrate the principles involved in Compound Proportion or Double Rule of Three.
The Institute then disposed of some general business in regard to lights, &c.
On motion, Mr. Reynolds was requested in behalf of the Institute, to invite Rev. A. C. George, of Rochester, N.Y., who was known to be at Mansfield, to deliver a lecture before them on Wednesday evening.
The Chair then appointed the following persons as a permanent Committee on Business: N. L. Reynolds, O. M. Stebbins, Miss A. B. Wright, Miss M. Coon, and Miss Anna Kemp. On motion the following resolutions were adopted for discussion during the evening session:
Resolved. That no prizes, nor even head-marks should be given in school as an inducement to emulation.
Resolved. That music ought to be one of the regular exercises in Common Schools.
Resolved. That it is the duty of the teacher to devote the entire time for which he is engaged to teach, for the advancement of his pupils.
Evening Session – The Secretary proceeded to record the names of the members present. The Institute then proceeded to discuss the question,
Resolved. That no prize nor even head mark should be given in the common school as an inducement to emulation.
Victor A. Elliott spoke in favor of the resolution. He was opposed to giving prizes for the reason that he that thought it stimulated improper motives, and did not do justice to all schools. He was in favor of giving each scholar credit according to his recitation, but was opposed to giving a head-mark to one, while others who had recited equally as well received no mark of credit.
Mr. Ezra Williams was opposed to the resolution. He thought every one was striving for a prize in some way or other, whether in school room, the work shop, or the law office. He did not think giving prizes stimulated improper motives as has been alleged, and he could see no injustice in giving head-marks.
Mr. O. M. Stebbins had tried giving prizes during the past winter, and had not been successful. He had since taught in the same school without offering prizes, and had witness a much healthier progress among his scholars.
Mrs. Kellogg was in favor of giving prizes to all scholars in proportion to their progress, by allowing them a certain per cent on some given amount.
Mr. Morgan Hart thought that the teachers had proved each side of the question conclusively by their own experience. He saw no farther use of discussing the resolution. As for his experience he had never offered prizes, but had frequently given head-marks.
Mr. Reynolds thought that offering prizes was appealing to the lower motives, which might be resorted to in certain cases of absolute mental depression, but he was of the opinion that those teachers who appealed to higher motives to induce their scholars to study, were pursuing the better courses.
On motion, the further discussion of the resolution was postponed.
The question, “Resolved that music ought to be one of the regular exercises in Common schools,” was next called for, and discussed by Wm. Garretson, Esq. He thought that music would have a tendency to promote harmony in the school room, and in some cases where there was a lack of energy in the scholars it might rouse their ambition, and infuse new life into their drooping spirits. The resolution was adopted without further discussion.
The question, “Resolved that it is the duty of the teacher to devote his entire time during the days for which he engages to teach, for the advancement of his pupils,” was discussed by Messrs. Williams, Garretson, Bailey, Hart, Stebbins and Reynolds, all agreeing that teachers should devote their entire energies either directly or indirectly to the advancement of their schools. It was argued that teachers should have proper time for recreation, and they might devote a reasonable portion of their time in gaining useful information, by reading historical works, new, &c.; but that in so doing they should not neglect their duties to their scholars.
An amendment was offered that the word energies be substituted in the place of “time.” The amendment was adopted, and the original motion put, and carried.
Second Day, Wednesday, May 4th.
Morning Session – Names of the members called by the Secretary, and the minutes of the first day’s proceedings read.
Mr. Garretson proceeded to answer the following question: Is it essential for a teacher to use incorrect language in order to be understood by his scholars, or should he use strictly grammatical language, in order to be better understood. He thought that teachers would hardly be excusable for using ungrammatical language in any case, much less before their scholars.
Mr. Reynolds enquired if under some circumstances teachers might not conform to the usages of certain localities, in pronouncing words improperly, for the sake of not appearing over-wise by being too particular, and thus draw upon themselves the sneer and ridicule of the people.
Mr. Garretson thought that teachers would gain nothing by thus bending their conversation to the usages of society. A teacher would make himself a hero by correcting popular errors in a neighborhood, in spite of opposition. He thought public opinion would soon be sufficiently strong in any community to uphold a teacher in speaking grammatically regardless of the sneers and ridicule of the vulgar.
The remainder of the forenoon was devoted to the demonstration of Arithmetical principles.
The Superintendent performed long division upon the board, and gave his method of teaching it to beginners. Division of common fractions was very clearly demonstrated by Miss Martha Peet of Delmar. Other methods of explanation were suggested, but that given by Miss Peet seemed to claim the preference.
Mr. O. M. Stebbins of Middlebury gave decidedly the best explanation of Equation of Payments that I have ever chanced to hear.
Alligation alternate was ably demonstrated by Mr. H. C. Vail of Liberty.
Multiplication of duodecimals was explained by R. C. Bailey of Middlebury to the entire satisfaction of the class.
The principles involved in the cube root were carefully explained by Miss Coon of Blossburg. The explanation of these long and intricate principles, was given in such a manner as to leave no doubt upon the minds of the teachers that she had mastered the subject.
Mr. Morgan Hart of Charleston proceeded to demonstrate the principle involved in arithmetical progressions.
V. A. Elliott of Cherry Flats gave an explanation of the "how" and "why" of finding the value of the repetend in decimal fractions.
Mr. Ezra Williams of Tioga gave a short lecture on the modes of grammar.
The general question "How should orthography be taught?" was then discussed by several members.
Afternoon Session – Many philosophical questions were propounded, and assigned to different teachers for explanation.
Mr. H. C. Vail gave his method of teaching Geography in answer to a question upon that subject. He approved the use of the globe in explaining the motions of the earth, and the consequent changes of the seasons. In his opinion it was the only way that those phenomena could be satisfactorily explained. He also favored the use of outline maps. He would have students frequently exercised in drawing maps upon the black board.
Mr. R. C. Bailey read from the decisions of the Stats Superintendent 1854-'55, p. 65, in answer to sundry questions concerning the teacher's authority over pupils. The section alluded to reads as follows:
"A teacher in the common schools stands in loco parentis, in the place of a parent to a pupil, and may administer correction to him under the same restrictions as in the case of a parent," et cetera.
Miss Martha Prutsman of Tioga, explained the revolution of the earth around the sun.
Miss Anna B. Wright of Middlebury explained to the teachers that the cause of the earth's depression at the poles was in consequence of the rapid revolution of the earth while in a fluid state. A limited depression of the poles had been observed with reference to other planets which revolved most rapidly were subject to the most depression at the poles. This tended to confirm her opinion that the depression was caused by the revolution of the earth. The fact that the earth is depressed at the poles, is proved by the effect produced upon gravitating bodies, as we approach the north or south pole.
Mr. Reynolds gave his views respecting the laws which govern the rain and wind. He thought the fact of our having more west wind than any other was occasioned by the long chain of Rocky mountains lying on the west, which by their great height operated as a cooler to the atmosphere, while the air becoming heated in the valleys, west of them would ascend, and the cold air from the mountains would rush in to fill the vacancy. Other remarks upon the same subject were exceedingly interesting, and useful.
Mr. Williams described in very beautiful language the appearance of the sun at either pole during the summer months.
After recess a lively discussion took place upon the question, whether
the participle or the participial mode, was the preferable term to be employed
in teaching Grammar. Miss Prutsman spoke in favor of the use of the
participle, also Messrs. Hart, S. B. Elliott and others argued the superiority
of the term participle, contending that it participated in the properties
of the verb and adjective. Messrs. Reynolds, Garretson and others
favored the term participial
mode for the reason as they alleged, that is was only a separate form of the verb, and should therefore be classed with it.
A resolution was read from the chair to the effect that teachers should be expelled from school for the use of alcoholic beverages during term time, which after some very strong and pertinent temperance remarks by S. B. Elliott Esq., of Mansfield, was unanimously adopted.
By permission Mr. S. B. Elliott read an excellent article on "Schooling" from the Agitator of May 5th. He also read a very generous proposition from the editor, offering a prize of ten dollars in books for the best essay upon "The duties and responsibilities of teachers."
This proposition was warmly received by the teachers, and many publicly expressed their thanks to Mr. Young for the interest he had manifested in the teachers' cause. It was also announced that a column of the Agitator was still open for the communications of teachers; and the Superintendent and others urged teachers to give it a cordial support.
Evening Session – The teachers proceeded to discuss the Resolution that pupils should be compelled to write compositions, and speak declamations in the Common Schools.
The opinions of teachers seemed almost unanimous in favor of the resolution.
Mr. Hugh Young, of Wellsboro, was invited to address the teachers upon the subject of the resolution.
He commenced by saying that he was no speech maker upon educational subjects, but he would give a simple method of teaching the art of composition writing. He illustrated upon the board how the thoughts of young boys might be drawn out and combined into sentences upon a plan both useful and interesting.
Addresses were delivered by Mr. Ezra Williams, of Tioga, and Victor A. Elliott of Cherry Flatts.*
The Institute then adjourned for the evening.
Third Day, Thursday, May 5th.
Morning Session – The attendance is considerable larger this morning that before. Teachers are coming from abroad, and the inhabitants of the village begin to realize that there is a Teachers' Institute in town.
The resolution on offering prizes was called up, and after considerable discussion was adopted almost unanimously as follows:
Resolved, That while we are in favor of giving progress marks to all scholars in accordance with the decision of the State Superintendent, we are opposed to offering prizes, or even giving head-marks as an inducement to emulation.
A resolution favoring the introduction of history as a study into the Common Schools, was adopted.
On motion it was resolved that a committee of five be appointed to draft resolutions expressing the sentiments of the Institute.
The Superintendent introduced a resolution favoring the method of reciting by subjects instead of question and answer. Discussed by Messrs Williams, Hart, Stebbins and Reynolds.
The Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, of Elmira, having arrived, spoke upon the resolution, much to the amusement and edification of the teachers.
The resolution was adopted.
Resolved, That in the Common Schools teachers should always be governed by the rule of Right.
Mr. S. B. Elliott argued that the resolution amounted to nothing definite as there would be just as many different opinions as to what was right as there were scholars in school.
Mr. Williams thought that teachers should decide what was right.
Mr. Beecher proposed that in order to obviate the difficulty suggested by the gentleman from Mansfield, that a coordinate resolution be agreed upon,
Resolved, That in buying and selling ????? the law of gravitation should be the only guide
The resolution was indefinitely postponed.
Mr. Beecher offered the following resolution as a substitute for the one just laid upon the table.
Resolved, That in the Common Schools every offence should be treated upon its own merits, and not by any fixed rule of fault and punishment.
The resolution was discussed by Messrs. Beecher, Garretson and Williams, and then postponed for further discussion.
Afternoon Session – A question was proposed, "What are Thermal Springs, and what causes them?"
Mr. Reynolds answered the question in a short speech.
On motion the following resolution was adopted for discussion,
Resolved, That the character of a school depends more upon the community than upon the teacher.
This resolution elicited many curious and interesting remarks respecting the occupation of teaching, and the situation of the common school teacher.
A large number of teachers entered largely into the discussion of this interesting resolution. Their names are as follows: Messrs. Reynolds, Bailey, Williams, Garretson, Stebbins, Kirkendall, Hart, and Misses Martha Prutsman, Elizabeth Lichtenthaler, Diantha M. Drew and Anna B. Wright. The Reverends Beecher, McCullough and Stilwell also participated in the discussion.
The opinion seemed to prevail that a good teacher would make a good
school in any community, and that a poor teacher would do no good in any
place. One teacher (Mr. Stebbins of Middlebury) thought that a good
school might be taught in any neighborhood. He generally calculated
to suit himself when he taught, and let other be suited or not as they
thought best, and he thought if teachers would adopt this plan, they might
teach good schools even in bad neighborhoods. When asked what he
would do if the Directors refused to uphold him in doing as he pleased,
he replied, "I would pack up my duds and toddle." (Laughter.)
*We shall try to publish this address in fall, in our next issue. –Ed. Agitator.
Mr. Beecher said that teaching was like preaching; as a good preacher could not long remain in a bad congregation, so a good teacher could not long remain in a bad school. The good preacher would either convert his bad congregation, or he would soon be obliged to "toddle," as the teacher had beautifully said. So he also thought a teacher who had the true spirit of a teacher in him, would not only make his school a good one, but he would improve the parents and completely renovate the neighborhood.
The resolution was lost.
Mr. Beecher offered some suggestions how teachers might gain the confidence and esteem of parents. He was followed by Mr. S. B. Elliott on the same subject.
Mr. Reynolds made a few remarks cautioning teachers against taking sides in neighborhood quarrels.
On motion, it was resolved that the Institute proceed to elect Counsellors for the present term. The following were duly elected:
Bloss – Miss Marietta Coon.
Brookfield – (to be supplied).
Charleston – Morgan Hart.
Chatham – Daniel Vandusen.
Climer – (to be supplied).
Covington Borg – Sarah Derow
Covington T's'p – Augusta A. Orvis
Deerfield – Miss Mary Purple.
Delmar – Martha Peet.
Elk – (to be supplied)
Elkland Boro – M. H. Brooks.
Gaines – Emma Watrous
Jackson – Phoebe Grinnell
Knoxville Boro – James Goodspeed.
Lawrenceville – S. E. Kirkendall.
Lawrence – Miss Lichtenthaler.
Mansfield – S. B. Elliott.
Middlebury – O. M. Stebbins.
Morris – (No teachers)
Nelson – Miss Ellen Eddy
Osceola – N. L. Reynolds.
Richmond – Mary E. Pitta.
Rutland – Miss Amanda Simpson.
Shippen – (to be supplied).
Sullivan – J. E. Webster.
Tioga – Letta Mitchell.
Union – A. A. Griswold.
Ward – (No teachers)
Wellsboro – Hugh Young.
Westfield – Ambrose Close.
Mr. R. C. Bailey proceeded to explain the predicates according to Kenyon's Grammar.
Evening Session – Address by M. Beecher.
[The School House was crowded to hear Mr. Beecher's speech. We have a full report of it, and regret that our space prevents the insertion at present, though was intend to give extracts from it from time to time in our educational column. The audience was delighted, although many were disappointed because it was addressed solely to teachers. –Ed Agitator]
Fourth Day, Friday, May 6th.
The Institute was opened this morning with more than usual interest.
Mr. Reynolds occupied three-quarters of an hour in explaining "new teachers' reports."
On motion, Mr. Beecher was invited to take charge of the Institute as much of the time before adjournment as he thought proper.
Mr. Beecher conducted the exercises during the forenoon with his usual elegance and good humor. His remarks to the teachers were highly interesting, and we have no doubt but that they will have their desired effect.
Afternoon Session – It was announced from the Secretary's desk that the next meeting of the Tioga County Teachers' Institute would be held at Wellsboro.
The Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions reported the following, which were taken up separately, and after sundry amendments were adopted as follows:
Resolved, That the Common School System of Pennsylvania merits our unqualified approbation, that we have increased confidence in the County Superintendency, and in the efficiency of the present system of School Directors.
Resolved, That the "Tioga County Teachers' Institute is the fit place for teachers to declare their adherence to the cause of popular education and to publicly vindicate the character of their professors that it is both the privilege and duty of teachers to be punctual in attending the meetings of the Institute, and that they do individually and severally pledge themselves to uphold and support it by all honorable means.
Resolved, That while we acknowledge the Tioga County Teachers' Institute to be a result of the labors of the County Superintendent, - that it was not, and probably never would have been established except through his instrumentality – we hold that it is the means of sustaining the Superintendency and serves the important purpose of commending it to public favor.
Resolved, That we heartily welcome to our midst the Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, of Elmira. That we express our heartfelt thanks for his eloquent and feeling addresses, and for his many expressions of sympathy and encouragement which we feel will not only tend to lighten the burdens, but also the hearts of the teachers who have listened to him.
Resolved, That the thanks of the Teachers are due to Hugh Young Esq., of the Agitator, for the kindness an attention he has shown us. In him we recognize a zealous advocate of Common Schools and an earnest friend of the Common School teacher. We recommend him as well as his valuable journal to the kind regards of all teachers.
Resolved, That in the Wellsboro Democrat, we recognize an able paper, whose columns have ever been open to the discussion of all questions pertaining to Common Schools. We recommend it to the favorable consideration of Teachers.
Resolved, That the thanks of the Institute are due to those inhabitants of Tioga, who have so kindly aided us during this session of the Institute.
Victor A. Elliott
S. E. Kirkendall
N. L. Reynolds
It was moved and carried that a committee of seven be appointed to nominate officers for the ensuing term.
The following persons composed that committee: Messrs. S. E. Kirkendall, O. M. Stebbins, H. C. Vail, and Misses Martha Peet, Lydin Coon, Martha Prutsman, Ellen Eddy.
Alligation Alternate was explained by V. A. Elliott. He was followed by Mr. Beecher, who gave a very plain and clear solution of that intricate rule.
The Committee on Nominations presented their report.
A motion was made to elect by acclamation.
The following persons, nominated by the committee, were duly elected officers for the ensuing year.
President. – Victor A. Elliott.
Vice Presidents. – Miss Lydia Coon, O. M. Stebbins.
Recording Secretary. – R. C. Bailey
The Tioga County Agitator – November 24, 1859
Proceedings Of the Fifth Semi-Annual Session of the Tioga Co. Teachers' Institute.
Wellsboro, Tuesday Morning, Nov. 15 1859.
Pursuant to the call of the County Superintendant, the Tioga Co. Teachers Institute organized and elected J. Walbridge, Pres't pro tem., and R. M. Pratt, Sec'y pro tem. It was then moved that a Committee of three be appointed to prepare business for the afternoon and evening sessions. Carried. I. D. Richards, Miss Lichtenthaler and Miss Beech were appointed. Adjourned to 1 ½ o'clock P.M.
The President, Victor A. Elliott, in the Chair. Moved that a permanent committee be appointed to prepare business for the present session of the Institute. Carried. The Chair appointed N. L. Reynolds, I. D. Richards, Miss Beech, Miss Lichtenthaler and Miss Martha Peet. – Committee report the following order for the afternoon: 1st. Orthography, by Miss Eliza Beech, 2d. Reading by J. Doan; 3d. Geography by Miss Simpson; 4th. Arithmetic by J. Walbridge. Moved that R. M. Pratt be permanently elected Secretary. Carried. Business Committee report the following for the ensuing session: 1st. That at the opening teachers shall contribute to the Item Box. 2d. The discussion of the following: Resolved, That four and a half months winter school is better for the District than three months winter and three months summer school. 3d. Lecture by H. C. Johns.
Adjourned to 6 ½ o'clock.
Evening Session. – President in the Chair. The following Resolution discussed: Resolved, That four and one half months winter school is better for the district than three months winter and three months summer school. After discussion it was moved to postpone the further consideration of it, subject to call at any time. Carried.
Lecture by H. C. Johns on "Thinking." The subject was well chosen, well written, well delivered, and was received with evident satisfaction by the teachers and others present.
Minutes read and approved. Regular order of business being called up, Miss Beach took charge of the members as a class and proceeded to drill them in orthography. Business Committee report for afternoon: 1st. Geography by Mr. Ostrander, to be followed by Miss Lichtenthaler on the same subject; the remainder of the Session to be devoted to the "Item Box."
Afternoon Session. – Mr. Ostrander being absent, Mr. Reynolds called upon the teachers for their methods of teaching Geography. The "Item Box" was then brought forward, when the following were read. 1st. Resolved, That compulsory measures should not be resorted to to obtain lessons from scholars. It was moved to amend by striking out the word "not"; carried. The Resolution was then adopted as amended. 2d. Resolved,That no scholar should enter a district school until they are ten years old. -- ??? on the table. 3d. Question: "Ought not the big girls to be ashamed to let the master sweep the school house?" This was referred to a committee of five females. 4th. Resolved, That a teacher who occasionally goes to the hotel and takes a drink of whiskey ought to have his certificate annulled. Adopted for discussion and the [remainder of line cut off] postponed until evening. 5th. Resolved, That scholars should not be allowed to use the words of the text book in recitations. Amended to as to read – "that scholars should not be confined to the words of the text book in recitation," upon which it was carried as amended. 6th. Resolved, That Kenyon's English Grammar as a text book is superior to any now in use and therefore should be introduced into every school in the county. Discussion postponeduntil evening. Adjourned.
Wednesday Evening. – Roll called and minutes read and approved. Resolution No. 4 being before the House, it was carried by a large majority. The committee report the following order of business for Thursday forenoon: 1st. Arithmetic by H. C. Johns. 2d. Mental Arithmetic by R. B. Webb; 3d, Reading by Mr. Brion. Resolution No. 6 then being under consideration, it was moved to amend by striking out the word "Kenyon's" and insert the word "Brown's." the yeas and nays being called, the amendment was carried; the vote then recurred upon the resolution as amended. The question being taken by yeas and nays resulted – yeas 44, Nays 20. Adjourned.
Roll called, minutes read and approved; -- when Mr. H. C. Johns proceeded to examine the teachers in the science and art of Arithmetic, explain principles, and solve difficult problems. After which R. B. Webb proceeded with a drill in mental Arithmetic. Moved that an auditing committee be appointed to examine the books and accounts of the Treasurer. Carried. Moved that we proceed to elect by ballot, a Treasurer for the present session in place of Miss Pitts who is absent. Carried. Miss Mary Sharpe, Mrs. L. K. Royce and Miss Augusta Orvis were nominated. Miss Orvis elected on first ballot. Adjourned to 1 ½ o'clock.
Afternoon Session. – The subject of reading having been allotted to Mr. Brion, he said that he considered reading the most important of all the branches taught in our schools. After other interesting remarks he called upon the different members to give their experience in breaking up the habit of drawling in scholars, and also in getting large girls to read loud enough. This interesting subject was followed by Arithmetic by L. L. Bacon. Committee, report for evening, Essay by Miss Lichtenthaler. R. C. Bailey offered an amendment to Art. 2d of Constitution, so as to road, "Any person who has been a teacher within a year, is now, or intends to become a teacher in any public or private school in Tioga county within a year; any graduate of College or any one who has been a Co. Supt. in this State, shall be eligible to membership and upon the recommendation of three members (of which the Co. Supt. shall be one) any gentleman or lady can be elected y "honorary member." Adjourned.
Thursday Evening. – Essay by Miss Lichtenthaler of Lawrenceville. Subject – "The Common School Teacher." Adjourned.
Minutes read and approved. Moved we proceed to elect Counsellors to fill vacancies. Carried. The following is the list as corrected:
Brookfield, Mary McBrule.
Charleston, Morgan Hart.
Chatham, Daniel Vanduzen.
Covington Boro, Mrs. L. K. Royce.
Covington Township, Miss Augusta Orvis.
Deerfield, Miss Mary Purple.
Delmar, Miss Martha Peet.
Elk, Octavius A. Smith.
Elkland Boro, (vacant).
Knoxville Boro, U. P. Stebbins.
Lawrence Boro, Miss Jenny Andrews.
Lawrence Township, Miss Lichtenthaler.
Mansfield, S. B. Elliott.
Middlebury, O. M. Stebbins.
Nelson, Miss Ellen Eddy.
Osceola, N. L. Reynolds.
Richmond, Diantha M. Drew.
Sullivan, H. C. Johns.
Tioga, J. C. Mitchell.
Mainsburg Boro, Miss E. Packard.
Liberty, H. C. Vail.
Wellsboro, Hugh Young.
Moved that the counselors meet at 1 o'clock P.M. Carried. Moved and carried that the Secretary be instructed to prepare a digest of proceedings for the County papers, and that an order of three dollars be drawn on the Treasurer to pay expenses for the same. Moved that a committee of five be appointed to nominate officers. Carried. The regular order of business being called for, Mr. J. I. Mitchell proceeded to give his views as to the best method of teaching Grammar, and also to analyze difficult sentences, &c. The subject was handled in a masterly manner and reflected much credit upon Mr. Mitchell. the committee on nominations are Morgan Hart, H. C. Veil, U. P. Stebbins, Miss S. M. Stillwell and Miss Hettie Prutsman. Adjourned.
Friday Afternoon. – The Board of counselors make the following report: Organized by electing Morgan Hart, Pres't. and H. C. Johns, Sec'y. Mansfield and Union Academy were named as placed for holding the next session of the Institute. Union Academy received eleven votes, Mansfield eight, Wellsboro one, and Bloss one. Union Academy having received a majority of all the votes cast, is selected as the place for holding the next Institute. Moved by Mr. Mitchell that an expression of all the teachers who taught last winter or summer, or who have engaged to teach this winter in this county, be taken, and upon the following question, Resolved, That we are opposed to that provision of this Institute which is in favor of introducing Brown's where Kenyon's Grammar is now in use. This motion was ruled out of order. J. B. Niles then offered the following, Resolved, That in the judgment of this Institute, Brown's or Kenyon's Grammar should be used in the Common Schools of Tioga county, and that all resolutions inconsistent with this are now and hereby repealed. Ruled out of order. J. Walbridge having voted in the affirmative on the move to amend the resolution in favor of Kenyon's Grammar, moved to reconsider the vote by which that amendment was carried. M. F. Elliott moved to lay the motion to reconsider on the table, and upon the motion to reconsider on the table, and upon the motion called for the yeas and nays; which being taken resulted as follows: Yeas 44, Nays 22. – So the motion to lay the motion to reconsider on the table was carried. Committee on Nominations report that they leave the nominations to the Institute. Moved that we proceed to the election of officers by ballot. Carried. Officers elected: President, H. C. Johns; Vice Presidents, Miss Rathbone, Miss Sharpe and Miss Purple; Recording Sec., John I. Mitchell; Cor. Sec., Miss Sharpe. Treasurer, Miss A. Orvis. The present Board of Counsellors were re-elected. Auditing Committee report, that they find the books and accounts of the Treasure correct, and [line cut off] in the Treasury of $12, which has been paid over to her successor in office. Moved that a Committee be appointed to solicit foreign lecturers for the next session of the Institute. Carried. Committee, N. L. Reynolds, C. G. Williams and Hugh Young. Moved that a copy of the minutes when prepared by the Secretary be furnished to the editors of the Democrat and Agitator. Carried. Moved and carried that an order be drawn under the supervision of the Auditing Com., on the Treasurer, to pay the expenses of the Institute. On motion the Institute unanimously gave a vote of thanks to the editors of the Democrat and Agitator for the interest they have taken in the cause of education, and for publishing the proceedings of this session of the Institute.
The following is the report of the Counsellors in regard to the progress of the educational interests in their several townships. [By reference to the proceedings of the Institute held at Tioga, it will be seen that the Counsellors were instructed to give a written statement of educational affairs, but as they failed in this, and not all being present, and only gave it verbally, this report is necessarily quite imperfect.]
Charleston. – Two school houses built within a year; three first class ones in the town, five good and the rest poor – seventeen in all. Pay $18 to males in winter, $14 to females; $7 to females in summer. The present school system would be sustained by the people on vote.
Covington. – Poor lot of school houses, and little or not interest in the cause of education.
Delmar. – Two new school houses – tax laid this year was 19 mills on the dollar.
Lawrence. – Schools prospering. Successful in introducing a uniformity of text books – Brown's Grammar in use. Females receive the same wages as males. (Cheers)
Mansfield. – Great interest in schools. Good two-story house 25 x 50. School tax levied 8 mills. Select school been well supported for the last four years. School commenced in the Mansfield Seminary, Wednesday, Nov. 23. The amount of real estate assessed in the Boro is $17,000 and $9,000 were paid within the same limits towards the erection of the Seminary.
Middlebury. – Educational affairs in a prosperous condition. 13 school houses and all good.
Nelson. – None of the school houses in the town are worth 10 dollars. Pay from $10 to $15 per month for teachers in winter.
Osceola. – Poor school houses, and good wages for good teachers. One male teacher received $25 per month, and one female $15 last winter.
Richmond. – Ten good houses. Low wages last summer.
Rutland. – Ten good houses; one new one built last summer. Paid from $6 to $7 in summer for teachers. 6 months school in year. Inhabitants generally satisfied with the present school system, but do not visit the schools. – Secretary visits the schools monthly; but three permanent teachers i the town; will pay $10 for teachers this winter.
Tioga. – Paid $10 per month for females; six schools in the town; four or five good houses; one new one last summer.
Liberty. – 13 school districts; 5 good houses, rest poor; one new house built last summer; people waking up on the subject of education.
At the close of these reports, members were notified that M. H. Cobb would lecture before the Institute this evening. Adjourned.
After the lecture by M. H. Cobb Esq., it was moved that a Committee of three be appointed to make arrangements for the meeting of the Institute at Union Academy. Com. – N. L. Reynolds, O. M. Stebbins and Mary Stillwell. – On motion of the Counsellors were requested to furnish a report to the state of progress of the schools in their several towns, and that the Cor. Sec. notify them of this request by letter, at least four weeks before the meeting of the Institute.
Adjourned to meet at the Union Academy at the call of he proper authority.
R. M. Pratt, Rec. Sec'y.