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carefully from weakening the government and diminishing the usefulness of the teacher by hasty or ill-founded distrust of his competency or faithfulness, and to consider that, in the regulations of his school, and in his judgment of the character and conduct, the merit or demerit, of the scholar while under his eye, he has advantages for discernment which can be possessed by no one else ; and to bear in mind that, as a general fact, the teacher feels his responsibility more deeply and constantly than others feel it for him, and that his reputation and disposition stimulate him to put forth his best exertions for the useful advancement of the school. Let them not forget that, while the children are in school, parental authority is passed away into other hands, and that neither the parent nor the scholar should entertain the thought that any remnant of domestic power may infringe on the supremacy of the teacher, whilst standing where the public will has placed him.
THE PROPER CHARACTER OF SCHOOL BOOKS.
WE deem this a subject of no small importance. Books which are to be used in common schools for teaching the elements of Grammar, Geography and Arithmetic, should be simple and clear, that the youthful mind may comprehend them without discouragement to diligence; correct, that they may not mislead it; and systematic, that it may not only acquire knowledge, but that it may, in a due degree, be disciplined and led on by such gradations as shall invigorate the mind, and allure it to make further progress when it shall be left to its own unassisted efforts. The improvement which has been made, within a few years, in books for teaching these branches of education, is a pledge that little will be wanting to meet the just demands of public schools.
There has been much diversity of opinion respecting the character of books suitable to be used in the exercise of reading. Books which are read much in schools, as books for reading should be, have no small influence in forming the taste and the sentiments of those who use them. The books for the more advanced pupil being used both for reading and grammatical analysis, he acquires a familiarity with them; their sentiments, and often their language, are engraven on the memory ; even that which seems to be heedlessly read over in childhood, is, by the memory's aid, the subject of careful thought in future
censure on the We are theroral character,
years; and in very many instances, becomes part of the individual's intellectual treasure and moral character, and of the public weal or woe. We are therefore of opinion, without passing censure on the books now in use, that essential public service is done by any improvement in books of this class, and that such books should be models of purity in language, simplicity, clearness, grace and vigor in expression, and, above all, fitted to inculcate and commend ennobling sentiments of private and social virtue, of human rights, both personal and public, of patriotism, of philanthropy, - in short, of duty to God and man.
We deem the art itself of reading to be, in no small degree, dependent on the book that is read, on the structure of its sentences, on the simple grace of its diction, on the vivacity and energy of its expression, on the thoughts which inspire its words, on that combination of literary and moral qualities which quickens the intellect and kindles the heart. Such a book too, in many instances, originates a taste for intellectual improvement, the effect of which is seen in the whole progress of life. A book that should in these respects be a model would be an invaluable treasure to public schools. An approximation to such a model, will be most likely to be made by leaving the door wide open to that competition which is so ready to spy out and to accommodate public wants. A State monopoly of this business would be less quick-sighted than private enterprise quickened by personal interest. Its tendency would be to discourage private effort, and the effect would be that less of mind would be occupied by the subject. Whatever power may safely and conveniently be used by Towns, should never pass into larger hands. It is a principle of liberty, which should be cherished in every thing, that the more minutely.power can be divided with safety and convenience, the more widely should it be distributed. As the Towns are competent to select books for their schools, let them do it, and not the State.
A MODEL TEACHER.
The following extract from a letter just received, contains a good description of a class of teachers which is in great demand. Similar applications are by no means rare.
“We want to find a superior female teacher for our High School — one accomplished, talented, apt to teach,' commanding the respect and securing the love of pupils, competent to teach Algebra, Geometry, Latin, French, and any of the common branches of study, one who will lead and not follow, -- who will be a model for young ladies.”
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REMARKS ON THE ANGLO-SAXON LANGUAGE.
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It is well known, as an isolated fact, that a large portion, about five-eighths, of the words of the English language, are derived from the Anglo-Saxon. But, although this fact shows the great importance of the Anglo-Saxon language in its relation to our native tongue, there are few who have even superficially examined it with a view to ascertain more definitely the nature of its influence, and to enjoy the advantage of the light afforded by a more intimate acquaintance with it, not only in ascertaining the derivation of words, but in the cultivation of an idiomatic, expressive, and yet simple, style, and in tracing its influence upon the grammatical inflections and the syntactical construction of the English language. Yet all these are points of interest to every educated man, and the last is of especial importance to the Teacher, whose duty it is to instruct the young in the principles of their native language. Not only do our words in most common use, our peculiar idioms and familiar expressions come from the Anglo-Saxon, but all our grammatical inflections, however modified by the subsequent influence of other languages, acknowledge their source in it.
I propose, in a series of articles which I hope to render concise and few in number, to exhibit the principal characteristics of the grammar of the Anglo-Saxon language, with occasional remarks upon its points of agreement with, and difference from, the English.
A few preliminary historical remarks, condensed from the Introduction to Klipstein's “ Analecta Anglo-Saxonica," containing a brief account of the origin of the Anglo-Saxon, and its subsequent modifications, may not be uninteresting. The Anglo-Saxons were a branch of the Teutonic race, whose origin has been traced to Northern India, at the base of the Himmaleh mountains. Hence the affinities of the English with the Sanscrit, and other Eastern tongues. The Teutones first appeared in Europe about seven hundred years before the Christian era, and speedily overran a great part of it. The Saxons first appear as a distinct people, inhabiting Denmark and the adjacent isles of the Baltic together with the Angles, a tribe of kindred origin. The latter have given a name to a part of the island of Great Britain ; and the combination of the two names, the appellation by which their language is known. Though it is to be remarked that this term does not exist in the language itself, but was applied by foreign writers. The Saxons and Angles, finding themselves pressed by the Danes, who invaded them from the North, resolved to seek new homes, and in the fifth century, under the command of Hengist and Horsa, effected a landing in Britain. They were received with joy by the Britons, who desired their assistance in repelling the attacks of the Scots and Picts from Ireland and Scotland. But having accomplished this, they were unwilling to leave the island, and a fiercely contested war of the races ensued, until the native Britons were not only conquered, but exterminated. Hardly a trace of their language, laws, or lineage, remained. Their fate was strikingly similar to that of the American Indians. The Anglo-Saxons were Pagans. Christianity was introduced into Britain in the seventh century. From this period may be dated the rise of their written literar ture. The language continued in its pure state until its purity was in some way affected by the irruptions of the Danes, who obtained a foothold, more or less permanent, from the eighth to the tenth centuries. They were several times defeated by King Alfred the Great, himself one of the first Anglo-Saxon writers. A second change of the language was effected, upon the Conquest of England by William of Normandy, in the eleventh century, by the intermixture of the Norman-French. Although the Normans held but comparatively little intercourse with the conquered people, whom they considered as an inferior and serf. like race, in the course of two hundred years a language compounded of the two was formed, known as the old English. Finally, the Latin element was introduced, with small additions from the Greek and other languages, and the result was the English language ; – a heterogeneous compound, but not surpassed for copiousness and power of expression. Its composition is stated to be in the proportion of about five-eighths Anglo-Saxon, three-sixteenths Latin, one-eighth Greek, and the remainder a compound of French, Spanish, and other tongues.
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PUBLIC SCHOOLS.—“We regard them as, under God, the affluent source of New England's enterprise and skill, her quiet and thrift, her safety at home, and her honor abroad. They are the check and the balance of power; the poor man's treasure and the rich man's bond. They are the eyes of liberty, and the hands of law, as they are both the root and the offspring of religion. They were devised by a foresight that reaches every interest of man: they were established by a sacrifice that proves the depth of principle which decreed their being; and they have been guarded, from age to age, by the sleepless vigils of wisdom and goodness. Be it ours, then, to cherish, to improve and to transmit them as a holy trust bearing in its hands the record of past, and the pledge of future good.”
MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
The Eighth Annual Session of this Association was held in New Bedford, Monday and Tuesday, the 23d and 24th of Na vember, 1852.
MONDAY EVENING. The meeting was opened by prayer from Rev. Mr. Thomas, of New Bedford, after which the President, William H. Wells, Esq., of Newburyport, congratulated the Association upon the favorable auspices under which they had met, and the kindness and attention which had been shown them by the citizens of New Bedford. He referred to the good which the Association was doing in the cause, and alluded to the “ Massachusetts Teacher," and the publication of the proceedings and lectures of the Association, as evidences that a good work was being accomplished. Journals similar to the “ Teacher” had been, or would soon be, published in many other States of the Union. Mr. Wells spoke of his recent tour in the West. The cause was rapidly progressing in that part of the country. The schools in St. Louis, Chicago, and many other places that he had visited, were in a most flourishing condition. Mr. Wyman's School in St. Louis was not surpassed by similar institutions in New England. We must labor zealously in the cause, or our western brethren would lead us. He hoped to receive letters from the West, during the session, which would give valuable information fresh from the scene of action, and which he would read. We occupied an interesting point in the history of Education ; at first, we had rushed on with impetuosity, afterwards we had paused for reflection. It would be strange if some errors had not been committed. We were now making healthy progress, and were gathering strength for greater results.
Teachers should not complain that they are not appreciated ; this was not true. Never was there a time when we were held in so high estimation. There was more of the esprit de corps among teachers than in any other profession ; we were better united than any other body of men. Everywhere had the principle of association among teachers extended, and this was leading to the most satisfactory results. Whilst we were appreciated by the public, we should not complain, but should endeavor to show ourselves worthy of such estimation.
After the reading of the Journal by the Secretary, a committee of nine was appointed by the chair to nominate officers for the ensuing year, as follows:-Messrs. Greenleaf of Bradford, Mansfield of Cambridge, Blake of West Tisbury, Tenney of