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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)

Page 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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