Teachers' Institute: the Annual Meeting held at Buctouche Last Week

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Teachers' Institute: the Annual Meeting held at Buctouche Last Week
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TEACHERS’ INSTITUTE. The Annual Meeting held at Buctouche [Bouctouche] Last Week. Interesting Papers Read and Pertinent Discussion. Demand for Six Weeks’ Vacation Unanimously Agreed Upon. BUCTOUCHE, Oct. 12. – [Special.] – The tenth annual meeting of the Kent Co. Teachers’ Institute was held Thursday and Friday last in the Convent at Buctouche. Minutes of last session read and approved. Thirty-seven members were enrolled. The following officers were elected for ensuing year: -- T. E. Cohnan, A. B. – President. J. S. Harrison, A. B. – Vice-president. E. E. King – Sec.-Treas. Philip Theriault – Assistant Secretary. Misses Chrystal and Bourque – Additional members of Committee of Management. WORDS AND TERMS. Mr. J. S. Harrison read a paper explanatory of Words and Terms. He treated the subject under three heads, viz: Theoretical, historical and incidental terms. Under theoretical terms he classed such words as active and passive in grammar, factor in arithmetic, etc. He showed that the pulpit should have a clear conception of the meaning of these terms, their derivation and their co-relation with other derivations from the same root. As historical terms he enumerated such expressions as revolution, war of independence, etc. Taking the American war of independence as an example, he showed that apart from the mere historical facts elicited the pulpit should have a correct idea of the causes of such wars, their object, the character of the leaders as brought into relief by their acts as such, the manners and customs of people of the time, etc. He showed that the explanation of these terms should be so treated, that by the law of association, the mere mention of the term would bring to the pupils’ recollection a host of ideas in connection with it, a key as it were which would unlock the treasure chamber of the pupil’s mind. Under the head of incidental terms he mentioned the words embodying the ideas impressed upon the pupil by means of object-lessons. The President announced that Father Michaud had kindly invited the members to dinner in refectory of the Convent. The meeting then adjourned. After doing ample justice to a magnificent repast, which reflected infinite credit upon the culinary department of the Convent, the members assembled in the hall for THE SECOND SESSION. Mr. A. F. Johnson opened the proceedings with a paper entitled “How to secure Good Attendance at School.” He said in discussing this question, the factors which should be considered were the Trustees, the Teacher, the Parent, the Child, and if we take into consideration compulsory education, also the State. It was the duty of the Trustees to visit the school as often at least as required by the regulations, to show that they had an interest in pupils’ work, and to provide the school with necessary apparatus. The teacher should visit parents often, should make school room attractive, and maintain a deportment benefitting his profession both in and out of school. The parent should perform all duties towards the child, which devolve upon him from that relation, one of the chief of which was the education of the child. When the parents were remiss in this duty, then the State should step in and exact its performance in justice to itself. Miss Young considered visitation of parents, and beautifying school room by means of pictures and flowers, a good way of securing a large attendance. Miss Crystal asked for an opinion on truancy. The President said if parents took a proper interest in the welfare of their children, truancy could be easily remedied, if not, then he deemed it the duty of the state to interfere, and compel the attendance of pupils; and spoke of the appointment of truant officers in places where the system of compulsory education was in force. Miss Young gave a lesson upon “Wind.” In a very interesting lesson she explained the causes of this phenomenon, and its uses to man. ADDRESSES BY OUTSIDERS. Messrs. Phinney and LeBlanc, M. P. P.s, addressed the Institute. Mr. Phinney said he himself had at one time been in the profession, and had some conception of the troubles and inconveniences inseparable from its pursuit. He spoke of the duty which the teacher owed to society, and his profession, if we except the clergyman’s, was the most exalted upon earth. The mind of the child was a plastic material put into his hands to mould for good or for bad, for weal or for woe. Many teachers did not seem to comprehend the responsibility devolving upon them, and to what extent the future destiny of the child depends on their practice and example. It was a disgraceful sight to see teachers lounging about bar-rooms and low places of resort. (At this juncture one young man shifted uneasily on his seat, but perhaps he was cold.) After a few more pertinent remarks by Mr. Phinney, Mr. LeBlanc addressed the Institute in French, a majority of whom being of that nationality. He felicitated himself upon the large number of Acadians present, and commented upon their vast educational progress during the past few years. Rev. Father Michaud was then called upon. He spoke of the pleasure it gave him to see so many Acadians at the meeting. He had always had the cause of education at heart, in evidence of which he pointed with pardonable pride to the magnificent convent with its well appointed class-rooms. The meeting then adjourned. On account of the unfavorable weather and the absence of the Chief Superintendent, it was decided to hold no public meeting in the evening. THE THIRD SESSION. At the opening of the third session the President read a letter from the Superintendent, in which he regretted his inability to attend the Institute, and asked that some time be devoted to a discussion regarding the establishment of school libraries, and also advised the members of the Institute to read some educational work during the ensuing year. A number of members spoke in favor of libraries and pledged themselves to do all in their power to establish such during the year. A resolution was passed enjoining upon the members the reading of some History of Education during the coming year. Mr. Basile Johnson read a carefully written paper on the Map of County which was well received. Messrs. Bourgeois and Theriault exhibited fine specimens of maps and freehand drawings. The Institute again accepted Father Michaud’s invitation to dinner and the meeting adjourned. After dinner the meeting opened with a discussion in regard to the FRENCH-ENGLISH READERS. It was shown that the smaller readers being a translation of the English readers were too difficult for young children, as words of three or four syllables were often required to reproduce in French an idea expressed in English by monosyllables. It was argued that it would be undesirable to translate the English Fourth Readers into French, both on account of idiomatic differences in the languages, and the necessity of making pupils advanced in the reading of French acquainted with the style and form of expression of the best French authors. A resolution was passed to the effect that the Board of Education should authorize an advanced French Reader, and recommending as a book to meet the requirements of the case “Le Cours de Lecture a haute voix, Par L’Abbe Lagase Principale de L’ecole Normale. – Laval.” A resolution was also passed urging upon the Board of Education the extension of summer vacation to six weeks in all schools, and that the school terms should commence in May and November as formerly. “FORM” AND “PERCENTAGE.” Miss Mary Chrystal gave a lesson on Form to a class composed of members of the Institute. She showed how she gave pupils ideas of surfaces, lines, &c. Then followed a discussion on Industrial Drawing. Mr. Coleman gave a lesson on Percentage. He showed how he gave pupils a clear conception of the idea represented by the word percentage and proceeded step by step to the more complex forms of the subject. He worked all his questions by the unitary method which he preferred to that of proportion. Mr. Harrison thought the unitary method too difficult for younger pupils. Mr. Johnson said he would not take up the rate per unit, till pupils were further advanced. Mr. Coleman thought if pupils had been properly drilled in fractions there would be no trouble found with either the unitary method or the rate per unit. Buctouche, Kingston and St. Louis were mentioned as suitable places for the meeting of the Institute next year. After some discussion the motion to meet at St. Louis was carried. Moved by Mr. Harrison, seconded by Mr. Johnson the thanks of the Institute be tendered to Father Michand and the good sisters for the hospitality and good will extended to the Institute during the meetings. Carried unanimously. Rev. Father Michand, in reply to the speech of the President tendering him the vote of thanks said that he felt that an honor had been conferred on himself and the sisters when he saw the Institute assembled in the convent. He had been present at all the sessions and had taken a deep interest in the proceedings. He was glad to see the harmony prevailing among the French and English members who were working together in the cause of education. Indeed, they seemed like brothers and sisters. Perhaps they might shortly form even nearer and dearer ties. (Enthusiastic applause, especially by the Vice-President.) The time had arrived when the Acadians were on an even footing as regards education, with other nationalities. Speaking of nationality – if the glorious privilege of calling himself a Frenchman could in any way be denied him then he would ask to be called an Irishman. (Extravagant demonstrations of joy by the President.) He congratulated the Institute upon their choice of such nice intelligent fellows for officers, and some of them were good looking too. (Here the secretary blushed.) If on any further occasion the Institute should decide to meet in the convent at Buctouche, they might rest assured that they would receive a warm welcome. After singing “Auld Lang Syne” and “God Save the Queen,” the Institute adjourned.