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REPORT OF TREASURER.
To the Maryland State Teachers' Association:
OCEAN City, MD., July 12, 1899.
RECEIPTS. Balance cash on hand at date of last Report, July 14, 1897.... $132 72 Received membership fees, 1897 .........
...... 81 00 1898. June and July--Received donations from the following counties:
Washington, Montgomery, Harford, Worcester,
50 00 Prince George's, Baltimore, Garrett, Cecil, Anne Arundel ................
50 00 Carroll, Charles, Allegany, Howard.
40 00 July -Received membership fees from J. D. Worthington........ 15 00
Received from sale of badges from J. D. Worthington..... 1899. March Received donations from four counties....
......... April Received donations from Baltimore City and four coun
............. May Received donations from four counties.............
40 00 June Received donations from State Board of Education .........
10 00 Received donations from six counties....
60 00 July Received donation from one county..
$590 12 DISBURSEMENTS. 1897. July 15-Paid A. W. Hawks, lecturer and elocutionist.... $25 00
Paid Harriette M. Brown, elocutionist, railroad
A. Witmer and others............
Paid John L. Sanford, account of 1895. ..............
77.00 Paid John D. Worthington, chairman executive committee.............
9 64 Paid E. L. Torsch, account for badges ............... 24 00 Paid Alexander Chaplain, treasurer...................
26 08 Balance to pay expenses of meeting, July, 1899... 250 84
- $590 12
wm. C. Wilke blitz, Freden
The following officers were elected to serve the ensuing year: For President, L. L. Beatty, Centreville, Queen Anne's County; First Vice-President, Reister P. Russel, Reisterstown, Md.; Second Vice-President, Wm. G. Smith, Chestertown, Kent County; Recording Secretary, A. F. Wilkerson, Baltimore, Md.; Corresponding Secretary, Miss H. E. Boblitz, Frederick, Md.; Treasurer, John E. McCahan, Baltimore, Md. Executive Committee-Edwin Hebden, Baltimore, Md.; John E. Edwards, Cumberland, Md.; Dr. Wm. D. Straughn, Snow Hill, Md.; Thomas H. Williams, Salisbury, Md.; F. Eugene Wathen, Annapolis, Md.
The following report of the Committee on Resolutions was read by the Chairman, and, on motion, adopted:
OCEAN City, Mo., July 13, 1899. The Maryland State Teachers' Association, in thirty-third annual convention assembled, representing every phase of education, hereby affirms its belief in and devotion to the American system of public education.
Resolved 1. That this State should claim its equitable proportion of the proceeds of the sale of public lands for the support of its public schools, and we respectfully urge upon our Senators and Representatives in Congress that they use their best efforts to secure this claim.
2. We believe that the school should be the educational centre of the section in which it is located, and therefore advise that carefully selected district school libraries should be organized and maintained in each school district, and that a Public School Teachers' Library should be established in each county.
3. We believe that in full recognition of the professional nature of our calling suitable professional preparation of school teachers and superintendents is indispensible and that their tenure of office should be determined solely by their fitness. In this connection we take pleasure in comimending and endorsing the administration of Dr. William T. Harris, the United States Commissioner of Education, and we trust that his salary will soon be made equal to that of a cabinet officer.
4. We commend to the careful study of all our members the reports emanating from the National Educational Association as the opinions of the most noted educators of this country on the most important educational topics.
5. We desire to call the attention of school officers to the educational as well as the utilitarian value of the typewriter, and to encourage its introduction as far as practicable into the High School curriculum.
6. Resolved, By the Maryland State Teachers' Association, now in session, that their Presiding Officer and the Chairman of the Executive Committee be and hereby they are instructed to take the necessary steps during the next session of the General Assembly to secure an annual appropriation of five hundred dollars to be expended under the provisions of law in meeting the necessary expenses incurred in holding the annual meetings of this Association.
7. That it is the sense of this Association that the State School tax should be increased in proportion as the public debt of the State is diminished, thereby lessening the tax heretofore needed for the sinking fund.
8. That a special committee of five be appointed by the chair to take into consideration the general state of the Association. They shall report at the next annual meeting of the Association, offering such recommendations, suggestions, resolutions or amendments, if any, as may by
them be deemed advisable, to the end that the work of this Association shall be brought to conduce to the need, use and benefit of all connected with the cause of education in this State.
Resolved, further, that the said report be taken up on the first day of the said next annual meeting.
9. That the able and instructive papers that have been read at the present session of this Association would be profitable reading for all the teachers of the State, and, therefore, should be published (with the consent of the State Board of Education) in the next Annual State School Report.
10. We hereby express our appreciation of the courtesies we have received during this session from the representatives of the press in their able and comprehensive reports of the proceedings of the Association; from the railroad officials and from the proprietors and agents, and especially from Col. John A. Waggaman, proprietor of the Atlantic Hotel, and Major George D. De Shields, manager of the Atlantic Hotel, by tendering our thanks to them; and we also hereby thank the musicians for their successful efforts in making the meeting pleasant and profitable, and the presiding officers for their impartiality, dignity and efficiency with which they have directed our proceedings. We also hereby tender our thanks to the representative of the Remington Standard Typewriter, Mr. Howard Spelman, and to Mrs. E. B. Jordan, stenogranher and typewriter, for good offices extended to us, and also to the elocutionist of the evening, Miss Wharton, also to the representative of the Smith Premier Typewriter Co., Mr. T. W. Donohu, and to Miss M. G. Fuller, stenographer and typewriter. All of which is respectfully submitted.
E. B. PRETTYMAN, Chairman.
C. E. DRYDEN.
E. B. PRETTYMAN, GEORGE C. PEARSON, F. EUGENE WATHEN, EDWIN HEBDEN,
CHARLES E. DRYDEN. The minutes were then read and approved. On motion, the Association adjourned sine die. (Signed.)
A. F. WILKERSON, Recording Secretary. THURSDAY, July 13, 1899.
Address of Prof. Joseph Blair, On “The Kindergarten as a Part of the Public School System,”
Delivered at the State Teachers' Association, at
Ocean City, Md., July 12, 1899.
I consider it a privilege to be allowed to come before you on this occasion to talk for a few minutes on a subject, very dear to me, and one in which every educator of this State will ere long be deeply interested.
I shall endeavor to not weary you with statistics, nor to go into long biographies, of men and women, who have been instruments in giving this kindergarten system of education to the world. I will try, as far as possible, to confine myself to kindergartens and their relation to public schools.
It is, indeed, with pardonable pride that I say: I enjoy the distinction of having had under my care the first public school kindergarten south of the Mason and Dixon line, and if the pronouns I or we look very large, I crave an indulgence, as I have had to rely almost entirely on personal experiences in preparing this paper. It matters little to us, as far as this paper is concerned, whether Pestalozzi, in Switzerland, Froebel, in Prussia, or Robert Owen, in Scotland, established the first kindergarten.
We know that these men, working for the good of their race, all about the same time established their respective schools, under different names, having as their primary object the training of small children.
Robert Owen, at New Lanark, Scotland, called bis “An institution for forming the character of children," and if Froebel chose to call his “A child's garden," wherein, we might ask, lies any great difference? I would like to change both names and call them, what they truly represent to me, “The republic of childhood."
Give us kindergartens as a part of the public school system of Maryland, and in twenty years, I care not who is made superintendent of the reformatory schools of the State, for boys and girls, there will be no charges against him for mismanagement. He will have no children to manage. This may seem to you a very optimistic statement, nåy-you 'may even go further and say: We are not impressed by such extravagant arguments, but before closing your mind in this direction, listen for a few minutes to the principles on which these kindergartens are founded.
First, we have neatness. When we say neatness, we do not mean that certain forms of work shall look well, but we mean that teachers, schoolroom, children and surroundings are always neat. But we ask, can this be done?
Of course, if the teacher is not neat, she cannot expect her pupils to be neat. I am sure there is not a county in the State that does not allow janitor fees for schools, and in kindergarten or other schools there is never an excuse for an untidy school-room or unclean children. But you ask, how is it possible to have neat children from poor or ignorant families? I have seen children whose parents were uneducated and very poor among the neatest in a kindergarten of over one hundred children.
Instill into those little minds the idea of neatness, and teach them that those habits that tend to destroy this condition are not proper, and you will find that, led by their little children, the habits of the parents will be changed for the better. I have heard kindergarteners in iny own school say, on their first visit to the homes of some of their children, that the dirt and squalor was shocking to behold, but before the end of the first year of the child in school the home had taken on a new appearance, and on the bare walls and now well dusted mantle were to be seen many of the articles of handiwork made by the little ones in the kindergarten.
Indeed, I have seen some such mothers with tears in their eyes, and heard them say, “If I only had been trained in this way when I was a child it might have been different."
After neatness we have gentleness. I will not go so far as to say that man is entirely a creature of circumstances, although, to a very great extent, I am a believer in this doctrine; but this will I say: I believe there never was a child born into this world, if taken in its infancy and placed under proper training, that could not be controlled without corporal punishment.
Gentleness and kindness of heart are inherent traits that may be developed in all the human race, and let all teachers, kindergartners and others remember:
"That a temper once spoiled distills hate-bitter hate against the despoiler."
Robert Owen says in his twenty years' experience in a kindergarten school not one child was punished.
This naturally leads the children to the next important principletruthfulness.
After a study of children and child's nature for a number of years, I make the assertion that for a child to lie is an acquired habit. Children, until they are accused of falsehood, do not know what it is, or not until they fear punishment for some childish misdeed will they seek to hide behind a falsehood.
A lie is always the weapon of a coward.
Warren Hastings tells us that the chief characteristic of many tribes of India was their utter lack of truthfulness, simply because they were cowards and lacked the moral courage to face their misdeeds. . But in this childhood republic of ours, where all are equal and punishment is unknown, there is no need for a falsehood, and children soon learn to despise any semblance of an untruth.
As a natural sequence to gentleness and truthfulness, we find reverence one of the principles of the kindergarten.
It is here, that irrespective of sect or creed, all the little ones are taught to “lift the head and bend the knee" in thankfulness for life and health, and to ask for guidance in work and play. The last two lines of their morning prayer might well be adopted by us all:
“In our work and in our play,
Be Thou with us, O Lord this day.” Children taught in this way are naturally orderly and obedient. There is little effort required on the part of the teacher to secure order.
Do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to say that fifty healthy, active little children of four or five years of age will remain perfectly quiet for two or three hours. Far be it from me to ever desire to witness such infliction of misery, but "love," that great leveler of mankind, soon controls their acts, and nothing which the teacher would not approve is seen in the school room.
The little folks have now had gentleness, neatness, truthfulness, reyerence and order impressed upon them by word and example of their instructors; these habits once formed lead to the desired end of all instruction-industry.
The kindergartners will tell you that they aim to develop the mental powers through self-activity.
Let us transpose this into the good old words of Pestalozzi and say: “We learn by doing.”
It is just this one precept that we must look to closely if we wish to develop the future man or woman.
A child whose ideas are beginning to develop, surrounded by the gifts of the kindergarten, will naturally make a choice, clearly demonstrating the trend of its whole nature.
Here the artist, the engineer, or even the mechanic of future years, shows his inherent nature. How many people do we find in this world, unhappy and discontented in their vocation, simply because they are not fitted by nature for the work they have taken up.
Watching and developing these traits, helping the child to mature and polish crude ideas, is all the work of the true kindergartner.
Go to any man whose early years were spent in the kindergarten and ask him of his work done there, and you will find that some special feature of it made a lasting impression on his mind, and to some extent had its influence in shaping his future course of life.
I think I hear some one say: “Why go to a kindergarten or any other school ? Why not let a boy select some path in life and follow it without education in any other direction?”
No-no-no the balance wheel of the engine may be a little heavier in one part of its rim, to carry it over the centre, but if all the weight be