Reynolds, Annie / The training of teachers for the country schools of Wisconsin
The teachers who train students for country teaching, pp. 52-54 PDF (744.2 KB)
TRAINING OF TEACHERS FOR THE COUNTRY SCHOOLS 53 sonie experience as country teachers. If they cannot qualify under all of these three heads, they should at least be able to quality un- der one. (I. Variety in teaching experience. Training teachers should have had variety in their former teaching experience. One who has taught in the country and In the grades or who has taught city grades and high school classes has had this necessary variety. 8. Conditions confronting us a. Early country experience valuable. For years the practice has been very common in this state for young people of first rate ability to go directly from high school to a state normal, and so begin their experience in city grades without any country school experience. Until very recently country teaching was, in general, chosen only by those financially unable to go to a state normal at once, or by those who wanted to find out before they took training work, whether or not teaching would prove a congenial vocation. This fact makes it hazardous to insist on country school experience in all cases. Valuable as It is, if it is demanded, people of unusual teaching abil- ity may be considered ineligible and schools may be compelled to take mediocre teachers instead. b. Careful inquiry necessary. The selection of good training teachers demands time and care. In the past, boards seem fre- quently to have expected miracles to happen because they have been willing to assign the task of training country teachers to persons who were brought up in towns or cities, who attended only city grades and who have had no country experience. It may be neces- ary perhaps to continue hiring training teachers without exacting previous country experience in rare cases for a few years. But It should be done only under protest and after making a most careful iiiuiry, which inquiry has established the fact that It Is the beat that can be done. c. First hand acquaintance with country life. The remedy to he applied will be a compromise, temporarily, but preventive meas- ires must be adopted. Publicity ought to be given to the fact that l ersons with country experience are greatly to be preferred for these positions, and after a few years, doubtless, country experience (-an be insisted on as a necessary qualification; it does not seem that conditions warrant doing so in all exigencies at present. But because training school boards cannot get all that they want, let them not forget to bestir themselves, for the supply of excellent teachers with first hand knowledge of country conditions will not be forthcoming unless boards are quite insistent in their demands. (1) Let boards hruing training teachers aith so coutrV erperiesec jqrat e.,certain that they are gensinely interested in acquainting themslves with O ountry conditioth. They may study the best new books on country school ;rapTovement and county life progress. They should feel that the problem They are helping to solve Is worthy of their best efforts to get the knowl- *-1ge they lack.
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