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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1878)
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doubly rewarded for the efforts wo will
make to sustain tlie Student in its pros
ont degree of excellence.
A PLACE FOK IMPHOVKM ENT.
Our state has made great and praise
worthy efforts in behalf of its education,
al interests; yet our country schools have
not reached that degree of efficiency which
they can and should possess. It is now
generally admitted, we believe, that the
teacher's profession, in its responsibili
ties, requirements and importance, ranks
among what are called the higher nrofes
sions. Since this is the case, il stands
equally in need of pers.ons who have
carefully prepared themselves for the call
ing, and who intend to follow it for so'mo
But this not all. The practical work
ing of our educational interests must be
such as to create a demand only for well
qualified teachers. It is true of teaching,
no less than of other professions, that un
less competency is insisted on, ils ranks
will be largely filled with its distinctive
quacks. This is the bane of our enn
moil schools to-day. They are also in too
unsettled a condition to have a high de
gree of efficiency.
Quite rarely do we find teachers who
intend to make the occupation their life
work. But few, even of those others who
are faithful instructors, expect to follow il
"more than a few years. An idea of infe
riority still clings in some degree to the
employment; but it accounts only in part
for the shortness of a teachers profession
al life. This is rather because the claims
of the calling are neither fully recog.
nized, nor sufficiently encouraged.
Il is a well known fact that persons who
have made little or no professional prep
uration are freely employed as teachers.
Yet as most of them turn to the calling
simply because access to it is so easy,
they arc, in some degree, excusable. But
their great number and the low rates at
which they offer their services, have pro
duced a depression of wages both great
and general. Such teachers, owing to
their unskillfulness, arc often changed,
thus causing, on the part of the patrons, a
great deal of interference that is indis
criminate and unfair. Then again, the
length of a school year is uncertain. In
most districts, it is but six months; sel
dom is it nine or ten months, though it
could, without great difficulty, be made in
all districts eight or nine mouths at the
Since this is the present condition of
our schools, is it much wonder that an un.
inviting field lies before the one who
wouldbeooinon professional teacher V As
the people, and especially the school
boards, are largely responsible tor this
fact, the primary improvement of the
schools rests upon them. Competen
cy should indeed be insisted on; yet
teachers must receive sufficient com
pensation. The examination of teach
ers should be more complete than it is,
and conducted mainly to test the candi
date's nliility to instruct. Quite often the
certificate indicates a certain amount of
mere knowledge, rather than both that
and the ability to impart it well. "When
a certificate is trustworthy evidence that
its bearer can successfully conduct a
school, there need be little hesitation
about hiring him, and seldom excuse for
outsiders to meddle witli the affairs of the
Fewer changes need then occur, ami
teachers will thus be largely freed from
that bane of the profession, forced mi.
gratory habits. By continuing some
time in a place, they take more interest
in their work, and do it more efficiently.
THK MILITARY DEPARTMENT.
All act of Congress, July 2, 18G2, donut.
ing to several states and territories for
the purpose of establishing colleges,
states that "the leading object shall be
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