« PreviousContinue »
denial have acquired that higher professional training so desirable in our schools are to be adequately rewarded, something must be done to prevent the unfit, the incompetent and the improperly trained from crowding the calling. his is a matter of serious concern, and it is submitted for discussion.
In Massachusetts, the broad view that the public schools shall be in the hands of none but a high order of professionally-trained teachers is a sign of the times.
A new departure has been made to increase the requirements for admission to the Normal schools, so that hereafter no one can be admitted without having been graduated from a high school, or having received an equivalent education. This is to be followed up by a movemeut to employ no teachers but those who have been trained in these schools or in colleges, and, with that end in view, the number of Normal schools is to be increased from five to nine. This is the most advanced stand that has been taken in any State, and it is clear that it will result in doing much toward raising the rank of teaching as a professsion, and be an immeasurable benefit to the children who are to be educated in Massachusetts schools.
To measures that will work a similar result, and to restrictions upon our county boards of education in the matter of granting certificates, we must look for relief from the evils attending an over-supply of persons authorized to teach school in California, and it is hoped that a wise and thorough discussion of the situation will be productive of some practical plan to accomplish the end desired. A. MEGAHAN.
In the death of James G. Kennedy, one of the most prominent figures in educational work in the State passes away. For twenty.five years his name has filled a slowly but surely widening circle. He secured no position by what men call accident. He made a way for: every step. Born in Illinois in 1843, he came to California in 1852. In 1855 the family located in Santa Clara county, where Mr. Kennedy laid the foundation for the career so suddenly closed.
In 1862 he was a miner near Marysville. In 1863 he entered the State Normal School then located in San Francisco. After graduation, his experience included the little country school at Wright's Station, Santa Cruz county; the principalship at Los Gatos; principal of a grammar school in San Jose; of the high school in the same city; county superintendent of Santa Clara; city, superintendent of San Jose. In 1883 he came to San Francisco, where after a time he obtained a position in the evening schools. From there through the primary schools and the Commercial High School to the inspectorship (just created) of the city schools. Then followed the presidency of the Coggswell Polytechnic College in 1888. In this position, until the school was temporarily closed, when he was elected to the principalship of the Franklin grammar school. In July of this year, the public was surprised in his election to the principalship of the city Normal School-a position for which there was a keen contest in wbich his name had not appeared. This place suited his taste and ambition, and he entered upon it with a zeal, energy and enthusiasm even greater than usual to him. On the evening of September 23rd, in the auditorium of the Girls' High School, on the occasion of the first of a series of Shakespeare readings by George Riddle, Mr. Kennedy slipped from his seat and expired in a moment. He died as he would have wished, in barness. Samuel M. Shortridge, a former pupil, delivered an impressive funeral oration, in response to an expressed wish of the deceased. The pall-bearers were chosen from his former associate principals in San Francisco, with the addition of ex-State Superintendent Hoitt, James W. Rea, of San Jose, and Charles W. Welch, of San Francisco. There were two distinct sides to Mr. Kennedy, emphasized by two distinct periods in his life. There was his work in Santa Clara county, and his place in the history of the San Francisco schools. In the former there was a question whether Mr. Kennedy had not mistaken his career. Known at that time as "Jim" Kennedy, he was held responsible for much of the political manipulation in San Jose and Santa Clara. The favorite expression, “he is true to his friends" was affectionately applied to him by his associates. The spirit of the teacher seemed to have been lost in the engrossing demands of political machination. There followed, as there always will under such conditions, disaster. The particulars need not be detailed bere, for they are part of the history of Santa Clara county. Mr. Kennedy went to San Francisco. Then came bis dark days; then rose the sunshine of his real genius. He became a student again, a student of books as well as men. With fine courage he opened up a new career. He became an earnest advocate of manual training. He applied himself to the mastery of the subject, throwing into this new channel all the force of a naturally vigorous mind and a strong physique. He began a real growth as a teacher and a public expounder of educational principles. Temperate, without vices that degrade; clear-headed and unflinching in bis advocacy of what he held right; filled with the student spirit, these are the qualities that the teachers of California recognize in the deceased as worthy of emulation. For these they regret his untimely end, and lay their tributes upon his grave.
MRS. KATHERINE B. FISHER died in Oakland, September 4th. She was well-known in all the higher educational circles of the State. Her reputation as a teacher grew from her work in the Oakland High School, where for many years she had charge of the department of English. The daughter of a New England clergyman, she was a fine representative of all that New England life means. She was filled with its inspiration, and breathed the spirit of its highest culture. Thousands of students have reason to be grateful for her work, and the community in which she lived her unobtrusive but influential life, mourn her as they mourn no common loss ; for they realize in her life work the value to society of a gifted, devoted teacher.
MR. A. P. ROACHE, Master of the California State Grange, had some words of practical wisdom to say to the delegates to the State Grange which held its meeting in Merced county recently. To become conversant with the means which science has discovered to solve the important problems of agriculture, and to be made familiar with the best appliances and modes which experience has demonstrated for carrying on the work of the husbandman profitably, requires study just as well as preparation for following any other vocation does, and Mr. Roache's suggestion that more of our boys and girls should be educated for the farm is a timely one. Napoleon, that shrewd observer and embodiment of masterful energy, is credited with the pithy remark : “Agriculture is the basis—the soul of my empire."
In a still broader sense is agriculture the soul of a country like our own, and we heartily concur in these suggestions of Master Roache:
"When the farmer as carefully prepares himself to as successfully conduct the affairs of the farm as do men in other vocations requiring much less judgment and versatility of mind, there will be less of drudgery, less of discontent, less of failure, and vastly more of that satisfaction enjoyed where positive knowledge dispels all elements of chance or doubt, regardless of the monetary returns, which, though important, are often not the prime incentives to effort. We have a well-endowed, well-equipped Agricultural College, presided over by an able scientist, a man alike honored in Europe and America, and who for twenty years bas guided the progressive agriculture of California. Professor Hilgard is universally admired, and when he tells us there is no snobbery at the college we believe it, and our hopes rise accordingly. The closest sympathy should exist between the college and the grange.
Farmers should visit the college and see for themselves the thoroughness of the work conducted, and note the capital with which their sons and daughters would be endowed through a course in its excellent curriculum. As soon as it is truly understood that neither dollars nor acres, but mind, constitutes the man, and that knowledge is power when legitimately applied, farmers will send their children to be educated as farmers, and no longer wonder that the farms are being deserted by the brightest boys and girls, when they are educated for everything but farmers. Every farmer's boy or girl cannot attend the college, but what would be easier than for every subordinate Grange, or two Granges, or each county, to select a capable boy or girl, give him or her a full course in the college and receive the biggest interest for the small amount each would have to pay, by having this scientific farmer disseminate throughout the neighborhood that knowledge which but few, comparatively, can ever obtain ?"
and NORMAL DEPARTMENT.
The thirteenth term of the Chico Normal opened September 4th with every evidence of continued usefulness.
Statistically speaking, the Normal department numbers 190, 25 of whom constitute the Senior class. The entering class numbers 48, among them 9 graduates from the grammar department of the training school. Of the sum total, 59 are counted as the “new ones.” The training school enrolls 92 pupils in the grammar grades, 69 in the primary, 35 in the ungraded; total enrollment, 386.
Vacation wanderings have been quite extensive. Work has called the various members of the faculty “home again;" Principal Pennell from the bay, Miss Rogers, Messrs. French and Seymur from Southern California, the Misses Fuller and Parmeter from the East, Miss Esther Wilson from Berlin, Miss Helen Eliot from Palo Alto, and the others from the scenes of their various "outings;" all with new ideas, new zeal and stronger purpose to make the thirteenth term the best of all. The list of instructors has been increased by the election of Miss Alice Priest in English, Miss Emma A. Wilson in the upgraded school. Mr. U. G. Durfee succeeds Mr. J. H. Gray, Jr., in Physics and Chemistry.
Several new photographs and engravings have been added to the art collection. This collection, which is now of quite a respectable size, will be a great educator in lines frequently omitted by Normal schools. New photographs have been recently taken of the grounds and various rooms in the building. These will decorate the next commencement program.
The Literary Society is re-organized for pleasure and profit. Fraternal sociability was pleasantly inaugurated with a reception October 4th, given by the society to the new pupils. A debating society has been formed by the young men of the school, who are already planning vigorous oratorical contests.
The lecture course for the year opened October 11th with a talk by Lieutenant Connell on the Greeley expedition. Already eight entertainments have been arranged. Recently ex-President Horace Davis, of the State University, gave a most enjoyable talk on his personal experience in Japan. Mr. Davis never fails to interest as well as instruct.
The Normal grounds are particularly beautiful this fall. Landscape gardening is here perfected. Beds of gorgeous autumn blooming plants, so arranged that their colors blend in ribbon-like effects, encompass with graceful curves the beautifully-kept lawns. Indian summer has set its brilliant stamp upon the trees and wild grape-vines that fringe the creek in the rear of the building, a background of vivid coloring
Of the 44 members of the graduating class wbo celebrated commencement, June 19, 1895, all but five are now installed in schools, teaching their “first term." No more fitting tribute could be paid to the excellence of the work done by the Chico Normal. That her alumni are enabled to enter positions so soon after graduation, and suc