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Lady Jane Grey.
position of them that be young, as in the order and manner of bringing up by them that be old; nor yet in the difference of learning and pastime. For beat a child if he dance not well, and cherish him though he learn not well, ye shall have him unwilling to go to dance, and glad to go to his book; knock him always when he draweth his shaft ill, and favor him again though he fault at his book, ye shall have him very loth to be in the field, and very willing to go to school. . . . . . And one example, whether love or fear doth work more in a child for virtue and learning, I will gladly report, which may be heard with some pleasure, and followed with more profit.
“Before I went into Germany, I came to Brodegate in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholden. Her parents, the Duke and Duchess, with all the household, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the park. I found her in her room, reading ‘Phaedo Platonis,’ in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Boccace. After salutation and duty done, with some other talk, I asked her why she would lose such pastime in the park 7 Smiling, she answered me: “I wist, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folk, they never felt what true pleasure meant.” “And how came you, madam,” quoth I, ‘to this deep knowledge of pleasure ? And what did chiefly allure you unto it, seeing not many women, but very few men, have attained
The Kind Teacher.
thereunto ?’ ‘I will tell you,' quoth she, “ and tell you a truth which perchance ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that God ever gave me is, that he sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence of either father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be playing, sewing, dancing, or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so perfectly as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs, and other ways (which I will not name for the honor I bear them) so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time nothing while I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall on weeping, because whatsoever I do else but learning is full of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more, that in respect of it all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles and troubles unto me.’” May not parents and teachers draw a lesson from this? . Some poet thus happily portrays the power of gentleness and kindness : —
“Wouldst thou a wanderer reclaim,
I have written you a long letter on the subject of discipline. The great importance which I attach to the subject must be my apology, and if you can gain a single new and correct view of this part of your
duty, I shall not have written in vain, nor will you
have read in vain. I have given you some specific directions, which I trust may be of service to you. In closing, let me urge upon your attention, briefly, the importance of making your school pleasant and attractive, by doing all you can to make its lessons clear and interesting. Let the pupils see that they have in you a sincere friend, - one who loves them, and wishes to do them good. Study carefully their natures, dispositions, temperaments, peculiarities. Learn what you can of their home-training and “out-of-school” influences. Gain their confidence and secure their affection, and you may guide and control them at will. So far as circumstances will allow, cultivate the acquaintance of the parents of your pupils, and strive to inspire them with the
feeling that you are but a co-worker in the busi
ness of educating their children. If possible, cause them to feel that they can aid you, and that you have a just claim upon their cheerful and constant support and co-operation. With the good-will and kindly feelings of your pupils, and with the approving efforts of their parents, you will be strong for any work; without these, you will labor at great disadvantage, and your best intentions and plans will fail of accomplishing what you may desire to accomplish. As parental co-operation is so essential to your highest success in disciplining and instructing your pupils, I shall in my next give you a few hints in relation to your intercourse and duties with the parents of your pupils. Your sincere friend,
I, ETT E R V I.
MY DEAR FRIEND: —
THE highest success of a school demands the united and harmonious efforts of three parties, – teachers, parents, and pupils. If you would hope to be truly successful in your labors, you must not only have your own efforts earnest and judicious, but you must also be able to devise means and adopt plans that will awaken and keep alive an interest on the part of your pupils and their parents. It will be my purpose in this letter to offer a few hints in this direction.
You must manifest a deep Interest in your Daily Work. —If you possess true enthusiasm, and labor with a will and with efficiency, your pupils will not only imbibe of your spirit, but they will impart it to their parents. Let your scholars see that you feel a sincere interest in their studies, and that you take delight in their improvement ; let them see that you are ever devising plans which will tend to make their lessons more intelligible, pleasant, and profitable, and they will be quickened