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pupils, but one who could lay no claim to a high order of intelligence and refinement. So he has been viewed, and so he may now be regarded and treated by some. But erroneous indeed have these views been ; and unjustly too has the well qualified and faithful school-master been treated. The office of school-master, or teacher, is one of the most sacred that can be occupied by man; it can only be exceeded, as it is preceded, by that of the parent. Because by the parent the very first impressions are made upon the child, and from the combined influences of parent and teacher the twig receives its inclination. And although unworthy persons may get into the office of school-master, as indeed they have into all other offices, this unworthiness and intrusion dò not, and cannot, destroy the sacredness and importance of the office.
The force and influence of example are powerful upon the young mind. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” Man is an imitative being, and in youth this trait is much more predominant than in manhood.. How important, then, that good examples should be set before the young. Truth should be represented in action, by which it seems to assume a body, and is thus rendered palpable. It is to feared that the teacher, himself, as well as many others, have regarded the office of school-master as only useful to the scholar. Such an impression is very erroneous. And it is high time that this matter was better understood. A large portion of the world seems to be mistaken on this subject.
Intelligence, like goodness, is diffusive. The skilful teacher derives the most minute, detailed, and accurate knowledge of the subjects taught by him; he learns the dispositions, the passions and affections of his pupils to great perfection; he learns to analyse the mind. He not only improves himself in the arts and sciences,
but he learns human nature. His discernment will enable him to trace through the child, to a great extent, the knowledge and sentiments of its parents. The family government will be brought before him in bold relief; their views and habits, whether moral or vicious, will be strongly developed. And these will be determined with greater accuracy from the youngest pupils—those who act and speak out what they have learned at home. And these very pupils not unfrequently become the moral instructers of their teachers. Let the question be asked, whether a man, who has passed through a school like this, after having first been prepåred to enter it, can only be useful in imparting instruction to the pupils under his charge? The answer must be, that his usefulness does not stop here. The development of mind, in the school-room, which acts alike upon the instructer and the scholar, imparts a brilliancy which is carried out into society, and is seen and felt by all who come within their circle, and the beneficial influences of the teacher are rendered as much more useful, as they surpass the other in cxperience and attainments.
To impart instruction clearly, requires close thought and a sound and well disciplined mind. If the school-master is in the possession of these qualifications, and will act them out, he will become one of the most useful members of society-he will be distinguished in his profession, office, trade, or business of whatever kind it may be. He must have become a close observer of passing events.
If improvements are projected or made, he is among the first to notice them ; if there are defects, he points them out, and furnishes or applies the remedy. Ile knows when talent and energy are brought into requisition; he discriminates between virtue and vice; between good and bad conduct; between truth and falsehood : and if governed at all by the lessons enjoined upon his pupils, he must become a wiser and a better man. He must learn precision and decision. As he tests the accuracy of his measures and principles, and his skill in their illustrations and results, he acquires confidence in his performances, and acts with coolness and deliberation. This is very important. It is not so much that but few know and understand, as it is, that but few are capable clearly and efficiently to communicate and define what they know. Here the experienced school-master has great advantage. It is true, he makes no boast of his profession, and it is more true, that he acquires no wealth by it. Yet when we look around, and behold the intelligent, the industrious and useful man, and trace his history, we shall most generally find that he is, or that he has been, the faithful schoolmaster.
These are a few among the many good effeets of teaching. Who then would not wish his son, or his daughter, to engage in the business of teaching, as the most certain means of self-improvement? What young man or young lady would not willingly spend a few years in this intellectual improvement, and in the noble work of dispensing and receiving benefits? And although the school-house may present no attractions to those who know nothing about it, and the charge of pupils be deemed the most trying and irksome that can be imagined, which is often the case, yet witness the strength of kindness and affection that imperceptibly unites the teacher to his pupils, and them to him. They who havé truly and properly taught the young, in the various branches of education, can never be left without friends; and they can never feel that they have done no good. Here is the school-master's great reward, and it will be more durable than gold.
The great responsibilities that rest upon the school master, should prevent any from engaging in the business of teaching, unless they have clean hands and pure hearts. There may be some individual and official defects, to which the sentiments of the poet might be applied,
* Be to his faults a little blind, Be to his virtues ever kind ;
but this kindness is seldom extended to the school master. And it may be right that such lenity should not be granted to him, for his manners, his language, and the very habits of the teacher will be more or less followed by his pupils. Justice, however, should be rendered to the teacher. When he does-well, he should be rewarded for his well doing. None perform so many kind and beneficial offices with so few thanks and little reward, as the meritorious instructer of youth. He is often blamed and censured for his best and most praiseworthy acts. Thus it is that he learns to rely alone upon the purity of his motives, and a strict and faithful discharge of his duty.
And so important and difficult is the task of properly guiding and governing children, that the undeviating co-operation and efforts of parents should be united with those of the teacher, in securing their attention and obedience. This would have a happy tendency, not only in strengthening the family government, but also that of the school. This co-operation would greatly lighten the burthen of the teacher; it would give force and sanction to his precepts and moral lessons. Thus the understandings of his pupils would be enlightened, their passions curbed, and good dispositions encouraged, producing that beautiful order
“Which nothing earthly gives, or can destroy
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy."
There is a great diversity of gifts among men.. And so there is among scholars. Here it is that some take the lead, whilst others are left behind. For this the teacher is sometimes blamed. We should bear in mind that it is not in the power of the teacher to give intellect, but to develop and bring it forth.
“The mind, like the diamond in its original state, is rude and unpolished; but, as the effect of the chisel on the external coat soon presents to view the latent beauties of the diamond, so education discovers the latent beauties of the mind, and draws them forth to range the large field of matter and space ; to display the summit of human knowledge, our duty to God, and to man.”
This noble employment of elevating and enlightening the minds of youth, and of fitting them for virtuous society, and for the pure enjoyments of religion, belongs to, and is fully asssociated with, the office of the School MASTER.