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tween them is heard the siren voice of the tonic sol-fa-ist. You can't open your school-room door for a breath of fresh air without having some one with a mission fall in. The boys are assailed with rope-splicing and they have fretsawing at recess, and when it rains dry-land swimming is taught them in the basement.
The school-room stands wide open. The teacher and the receptive children within panting like gold fish for a little air; are they not fair game for the wise men from the East and the West and the North and the South, and the eight and twenty other points of the compass?
The truth is the large numbers of children gathered daily into schoolrooms form tempting fields easy of access to every hobby-horse rider for the introduction of what each considers the sine qua non for reforming the world. One of the most difficult phases of the teachers' profession is the fact that the teacher more than any other worker is at the mercy of theorists. No one gets more gratuitous advice than she does. Everyone you meet is willing to tell you how to do your workthey are just bubbling over with recipes of "how to do it." Parsons keep a regular supply of sermons for our use. City editors, when they run short of subjects for the Sunday sermonette, just turn their attention to "these well-paid and certainly not overworked teachers." "Children are not patriotic," they say, "and the teacher is to blame." What is the effect on the teacher, of all this public badgering? Here and there is found a worm who (like the pew-paying worm in 'Red Pottage') ventures to turn. For the most part the teacher (who is of a longsuffering race) accepts the editor's reproof, plunges wildly into Ladysmith and Mafeking processions, marshals her pupils into triumphal columns, drags the feeble from under horses' hoofs, and in defence of her charges engages in hand-to-hand conflicts with
bs and trampling hordes. And the ts, the natural protectors, one think, of their own offspring,
view the conflict from afar off, and smile approval from sheltered coigns of vantage; while the editor leans back in his carriage, smokes a committee cigar and thinks what a grand thing patriotism is.
Again, to satisfy some one's love of display school children are made a part of many public functions. I have been ordered out with my pupils to help celebrate the bringing in of a first railway train and the laying of hospital foundations. We have formed part of an agricultural exhibition (we were not told to which section we were supposed peculiarly to belong). Jammed in between the fire brigade and Adgie and the lions, we have helped to swell patriotic processions; and once at the sword's point was I ordered to marshal my class forth to join the pageant of a politician's public funeral
the occasion was not without its features of grim humour as the children, blissfully innocent of any incongruity, solaced themselves during the long wait with bun-bites and surreptitious oranges.
Now, well do I know that I will be called an obstructionist. I see it coming by more than one determined eye in front of me, so I want to clearly define my position with regard to these Bands of Mercy, Bands of Hope, W. C.T.U.'s and S. P. C. A.'s; this sewing, sawing and swimming, straw-weaving, rope-splicing, wood-splitting, cooking and tonic sol-fa. Some of them I know to be good in themselves, and the rest may be. But that is not the question which confronts us.
Five hours is a period of time with mathematical limitations. You cannot crowd something new into it, without crowding something old out. Already the ground-work subjects have suffered (6 We have of necessity. enriched " our course at the expense of thoroughness. We pretend to teach that which it is an impossibility, equally mental and physical, for us to teach in the limited time at our disposal.
I speak not for myself. I would fain be a special pleader for the child: as his " delegate." I in all earnest
ness ask: "Is it not time for some one to cry a halt and let the reasoning faculties draw the breath of life?"
In the school, as elsewhere in this busy age of emulation, of turmoil and competition, we attempt too mucheagerness takes the place of earnestness and we are out of touch with the good old-fashioned virtues of thoughtfulness and thoroughness.
The cure? If we have fallen into error let us acknowledge it. Put back the clock. Lop off the enrichments (I had almost said excrescenses), and get back to simpler conditions. Attempt less, and if we only teach a little, let us teach that little philosophically, livingly and lovingly, and (shall I say it?) trust your teachers a little more, oh, parents individually, school boards and framers of programmes ! Almost every theorist under the sun has been allowed to curtail a teacher's usefulness by binding him down to cast-iron programmes and by courses of study.
The real teacher, and by this I mean one who looks beyond the mere passing of examinations and satisfying of the "" 'powers that be" to a tribunal that deals with the roots of things and to whom mere externals and pretences are abhorrent, is longing and hungering to do real teaching. Give her a chance and see how willingly she will throw off the shackles of grind and
For my own part I have been reckless enough this last year to leave the regular course for days at a time to look after itself, while together my pupils and I explored the byways of literature and had many a comfortable talk together, talks which, although not labelled "instructive and profitable," served to make us better friends.
Nine-tenths of our teachers to-day would do the same thing if you'll only let them. I say, give them the chance.
Look back over your own school days. Who was the teacher for whom you entertain the kindliest feelings -the one who most influenced your life? It wasn't that teacher who held you off at arm's length, and in allopathic doses administered the school
course to you straight. It was the one who got at your inner self and let you see a little bit of his own in the process. Again, in throwing the whole work of teaching on the school, I feel that there is danger of depriving the home of its legitimate influence. Children of this generation are losing a something that nothing else in this world can supply. Their busy, overcrowded school lives are robbing them of that direct motherinfluence which belonged to us of the last generation of children. The quiet, heart to heart chat at the end of the day's work, the children's hour, is it not slipping away?
Is it permissible for me, I wonder, to speak about mothers to mothers? May an old maid do so without presumption? Then let me say that if I were one of the mothers of these days I would be jealous of my influence with my children-I would be loath to give so much of it up to the teacher. Educating children in the mass has its advantages, but it is the family, not the fifty children in a school grade which forms the unit of national greatness, and God's own plan is the family plan. A mother can, if she will, do more in foundation character building for the child in those first and only years when she represents to him the law of life, than any teacher can ever hope to do afterwards. Don't be too eager to pass your little one on to the nation's nurseries, the kindergarten and the primary school. Your child will in his school journey have many teachers and they will, some more and some less, influence his life, but he has and can have but one mother. Mothers are queer. There are some inexplicable points about them. I have studied the subject (from an exoteric standpoint) for years and there are some things that I cannot understand. One is the attitude of that mother who, when you are trying with all earnestness to strengthen the moral fibre of her child thrusts herself in between that child and the natural consequences of his own acts with a note of this tenor : "Miss Cameron, please excuse Johnny for being late; excuse him for his home
work; don't keep him in after school; don't punish him for anything at any time. Let him out of school at halfpast two, excuse him for all his delinquencies, past, present and to come, shut your eyes to everything that is wrong, take pretence for performance, and in short, Miss Cameron, make yourself one of a partnership of three to call wrong right and right wrong."
Let me with all the force at my command emphasize my deep conviction that the action of this mother (and her name is Legion, for she is many) is the cruelest folly. It must result in keen disappointment and undoing when the child learns in the sterner school of the world of men and women that surely and without one deviation does the great Father enforce His rule, "As a man sows, so must he reap." I think it is Goldsmith who says, "There is often the truest tenderness in welltimed severity." I suppose I will offend again when I say that I have little sympathy with that school of educators who would remove from a child's path all difficulties, and make it ever for him plain sailing. The tendency to sentimentalism in our age is, I know, constantly seeking excuses for not doing unpleasant things. Text books and school journals tell us how to keep our pupils wide-awake and interested so that they may need no rules. This may be very pleasant for the time being for all concerned, but there is no discipline in it. There are hard duties in citizenship, and I contend that the habit of always expecting to be pleased and interested while a child, does not help the man or woman to do earnest work in hard places. There can be no discipline unless the child learns to do unpleasant things because they are right.
Another thing difficult for me to understand is how a mother can be willing and content to send her child to school to be taught by a teacher whom she does not know. I couldn't, I wouldn't. If I were a mother I would want to know the teacher into whose care I was turning over my little one for more than one-half of his wak
ing hours. And I would want to thoroughly know her, too. I wouldn't be at all curious about her family history-it would be a matter of equal indifference if her father had been a doctor or her grandfather a ditcher. I wouldn't exercise myself about finding out what church she attended, or what names were on her calling list. Thequestion of "caste "would not trouble me. But I would want to know what she was doing in the world, what she was thinking about, what she was teaching and why she was teaching it -just what she stood for in the busy ranks of the world's workers. And if I couldn't approve of her, I would not leave my little one in her care. If I found in her a woman to esteem and respect (we might differ on a thousand matters if we were one on vital things), it seems to me that I would try hard to make a warm personal friend of her. If I could not succeed in this (and friendship is a tender plant which refuses to be forced), I would at least be loyal to her; I trust I would not be guilty of the bad form of discussing actions and questioning her methods, or of permitting others to do so, in the presence of my children; and I would honestly try to strengthen her hands in every possible way. And why not? Is not the teacher the mother's substitute for the time being -her full working-partner?
Just one thought and I am done. I put it forth in no captious spirit; indeed it is with extreme diffidence that I touch upon it at all. It is this: Parents allow their children to grow away from them; and too often just at the time when boys and girls have arrived at the borders of manhood and womanhood, at the time of all times when they feel the need of counsel of a personal nature, parents and children find themselves miles apart. I can best explain what I mean by speaking of my own experience, and I trust that you will excuse the ever-recurring personal pronoun. At different times I have had boys and girls come to me with troubles and questions of a personal nature, confidences too sacred to
touch upon here; and after we had been freely talking together, I have asked, "How about your home people, have you talked it over with any one there?" The reply generally is, "No, I didn't like to talk to my mother about it."
Now, I speak from my own point of view, of course; isn't something wrong somewhere? Does not the mother, busy and crowded though her life may be, who in following after the many lines of present-day activities fails to keep in close touch with her children, allow something to drift out of her life, the loss of which nothing else in this world can replace? And the pity of it
is that that confidence is such a subtle something! We can't let it slip one day and go back and pick it up the
IN N the course of several years' knocking about the West I had heard more than once of Canada Pete, and, being a Canadian myself and prone to be homesick, I had many times wished I could meet him. Though long a resident of the "Coast," and drift hither and thither according to the varied fortune of the prospector and gold-seeker, he had never yielded to either the blandishment or the bullying of the Americans with whom he came in contact; but, as it were, flew the flag of his native land at the masthead, and lived an outspoken, uncompromising upholder of the purest type of Canadianism. Knowing how many Hannibal Chollops there were in the West who would have their country "cracked up," it was easy for me to surmise as, indeed, I afterward learned from himself that many a time this clinging to the traditions of his birthplace had made enemies of those about him, and had got him into serious trouble. But he had won through it all, and by the time I first
Before closing I would say that as a teacher, personally, I have much to thank the parents for. Indeed the friendships which have meant the most to me in life have come to me through the school room. My lines have fallen in pleasant places and I am truly grateful. And with this I am done. I can not and will not write platitudes on this subject, and, after all, that which we feel most deeply is the thing which we never put in words.
A STORY OF THE KLONDIKE.
By A. C. Campbell.
heard of him, had been licensed by common consent to be in but not of the United States. The common opinion was well voiced by the man who first told me of him. This was Shorty McGowan, a prospector whom I met "promisc'ous," as they say, in the wilds of Guadalajara, Mexico. That was a great trip, and I would have made ten million dollars out of it if it had not been for-but I mustn't stop to tell that story now.
"Never heard of Canaday Pete?" said Shorty McGowan; "low you 'ain't be'n long on the Coast."
I was a tenderfoot then, and owned up to it. But I said that the name Canada Pete sounded good, and asked for more information.
"I knowed you was a Canadian," said my new friend, "by the make of yer plug terbacker, 'n' by yer talk. 'Twuz allus a wonder to me b'fore I see Canaday Pete that he wasn't lynched; but no man thet ever saw him 'd want to lay a hand on him. He's a forty-niner-fact-come to Cali
forny jest a kid. But when he come West he grew up with the country, I tell you. He's over six foot, 'n' when he wuz young he could heft a hill. Ever forgot Canaday? You'd 'a' thought, to hear him talk, that the United States wa'n't nothin but jest an outlandish, barbarious place, only good fer a man to make his pile in, 'n' then go back to Canaday 'n' clean up 'n' be a gentleman among gentlemen. One time, they tell me, he wuz drawed on the jury in Frisco, an' he swore out of it on account of not bein' a citizen. The judge asked him why he hadn't taken out his papers, an' Pete said he didn't have to 'r somethin' like that. The judge told him-that's a way judges hez up in the States-he ought to be ashamed of himself to be livin' in the country, gettin' the benefit of its laws, an' not become a citizen. Then Pete turned to an' gev him brimstone. Men thet wuz there hez told me it wuz ez good ez a Fourth July oration the way he talked about Canaday and the British flag. The judge threatened to send him to jail for contempt of court, but Pete told him not to be sassy 'n' he wouldn't get sassed back. He bluffed that judge to a standstill, 'n' walked out o' court with his head up 'n' his big eyes flashin' fit to set the air afire. The boys admired his spunk. An' so do I. Dern a man that 'd go back on his country anyhow! I'm an American, you bet, 'n' ef I had to live the rest of my days among these cussed greasers, I'd never be a Mexican while the sky held up. No Sir! Reckon
it's about the same with Pete. Never wuz in Canaday m'self, but I've seen consid'r'ble many Canadians, 'n' they're all right."
I would like to tell about that Guadalajara affair, but that's not the story I started out to tell. Anyhow it was a failure, and I had to look for other diggings.
In the course of human events I found myself in Alaska, one of those who made a living, such as it was, by washing gold out of some of the creeks that fed the Yukon or its tributaries. We used to go in every summer and
rush out every winter until we learned "burning" as we call it that is, thawing out the ground in winter and throwing up the dirt ready for sluicing or panning in the spring. After that we remained all winter. Circle City was our headquarters, and there we congregated, as strange a crew as ever fortune threw together.
In the bar-room one night a man stated in my hearing that Canada had never had any placer mining. When I reminded him of the Cariboo excitement, he said that that was in British Columbia before it became part of Canada, and so did not count. This made the point in discussion a pretty fine one, and by rights I should have dropped it. But, of course, I thought my next retort would clinch the argument-that is how wrangling begins. I said the Cariboo country was part of Canada now, anyway, and that there were still placers in it.
"Well," said the other, "there may be, but we don't hear of no rush to them. Anyhow, it seems to me that this Cariboo business must have been a fake, from start to finish, becuz I never see a man that struck it rich there."
"Here's one now," said a voice from corner of the bar-room; "take a look at him."
The man was a stranger to me, and I had not noticed him until he spoke. I shall never forget how the first sight of him recalled to my mind a line of Tennyson that I read when a youngster, where, speaking of Merlin, he used the words, the vast and shaggy mantle of his beard." Neither on head nor face of the stranger was there a tinge of grey, but in the large prominent eyes, in the strong lines of the countenance, and even in the great beard which seemed to add to his height and girth, both of which were remarkable, the experience of over sixty years of strenuous life had left its imprint..
"Did you strike it rich in the Cariboo?" asked the man who had been talking with me.
"That's what I did," said the big man, as he rose and came over to join us.