North Carolina. Dept. of Public Instruction.

Biennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) online

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elsewhere in this report. I was told that while the
other two houses were small frame houses, they were but
little more attractive, and perhaps no more comfortable, than
this. I could not help contrasting with these- little hovels the
beautiful new school-home among the trees on the slope. A
large crowd attended the celebration of JSTorth Carolina Day
at this school. I have rarely seen a more enthusiastic and
attentive audience. I was informed that nearly all opposi-
tion had vanished, and that such enthusiasm for education
had never been known before in the community. A number
of schools from surrounding districts were present and united
with the Mangum School in the celebration of the day. A
number of men from those districts consulted with me about
taking immediate steps for consolidation in their districts.
One object lesson of this sort is a more unanswerable argu-
ment than all your beautiful theories and fine words. If we
can get but a few such schools established in all the counties in
the State, the movement will spread until it reaches every nook
and corner of it.
Great need for There is > of course, a great need for judg-

judgment and ment and tact in the management of this prob-

tact in the min-

agement of the Jem, hut there is also need for firmness and

sohdatTon but" justice and a consideration of the greatest good
also for firmness, to the greatest number. The people should be



Superintendent of Public Instruction. xxv

justice, and«on- reasoned with, persuaded and led. Superin-
fection of good ten dents, Boards of Education, and commit-

ot all. '

tees', should acquaint themselves fully with the
facts, the geographical conditions, the population of the dis-
tricts, the location and condition of the school houses, and set
about the work of consolidation where the conditions are fav-
orable and the facts justify it, with intelligence and prudence.
The work should be done systematically. The interest of the
entire county should be kept in view. Every Board of Edu-
cation should have a carefully prepared map of the county
for guidance in consolidation and re-districting. Where con-
solidation seems necessary and advantageous, the people of
the districts ought to be consulted, some influential citizens
interested and set to work in these communities, a public
meeting probably called, and the benefits and necessity of the
proposed consolidation pointed out. Where a new house is
needed, or an old one is unsatisfactory or needs repair, con-
solidation of districts could frequently be encouraged by
Boards of Education by proposing to build a better house in
the centre of a larger district, if the people will agree to
consolidation.

How to secure T realize the difficulty of changing the loca-

consolidation. t j 011 n f a sen0 ol house after a district has been
formed and people conveniently located to the school have
become attached to it, but I believe that many of these people
could be reasoned with, shown the advantages of consolida-
tion, and induced to consent thereto. I am satisfied that,
after adoption under favorable conditions, the benefits will
be so apparent as to overcome opposition and stimulate con-
solidation in surrounding districts. It will not be wise, T
think, to force consolidation. It will be wiser to set about
systematically to create sentiment for it where it is needed,
and bring it about as rapidly as conditions and public senti-
ment will permit. Ttash and radical action in defiance of
the wishes of the people is always unwise, and invariably re-



xxvi Biennial Report of the

suits in harmful reaction. In many counties coasiderable
time will be necessary to consolidate all the small districts
that ought to be consolidated, after a careful study of the en-
tire situation. The work ought to be wisely planned at once
in every county, and pushed as rapidly, prudently and tact-
fully as possible.

TEACHERS AND THEIR IMPROVEMENT.

Good teachers Without the* necessary money and material

necessary to good • . , c i i i

schools. The equipment, we can not have successful schools,

dearth of such anc [ y e f w ith all the money and all the equip-
teachers and the . ^ x

increased demand ment, we still can not have successful schools

without properly qualified teachers'. After all,
it is the teacher that breathes the breath of life into the school-
As is the teacher, so will be the school. With the improve-
ment in educational sentiment and the increase in educational
interest, there has been a consequent increase in the demand
for properly qualified teachers. There is a great dearth of
such teachers in many counties of the State. This is not
surprising when you remember that the average monthly sal-
ary of white public school teachers is $26.78, and the average
annual salary is about $100.

Teachers better This salary is less than the skillful laborer

l™o„*!? 1 l be t, receives for the most menial service in almost

expected for such

meagre salaries, any other business- — -less than is paid the man
Causes of this. ,i ' i ■, -,

.that shoes your horse or plows your corn or

paints your house. The average teacher can not live as the
community requires him to live on such a salary. What won-
der, then, that many of our public school teachers are com-
pelled to make a living at something else eight months in the
year and teach four months for pocket-money? Is a man
who farms eight months and teaches four, more of a farmer
or of a teacher? Is a woman who does something else eight
months and teaches four more of something else or of a teach-
er ? The wonder is that upon such meagre salaries the rank



Superintendent of Public Instruction. xxvn

and file of the public school teachers are as good as they are.
They are far better than can be commanded in almost any
other useful, honorable business for the same money. They
are better in North Carolina and the South than could have
been commanded for the same money in any other part of this
continent. The truth is, that on account of the ruin and pov-
erty that followed the war between the States, and the inevita-
bly slow industrial development and limited field of profitable
employment here in the South, we have been able to command
for this work of teaching, even for the meagre salaries that
we have been able to pay, a teaching force of more culture
and refinement than could have been commanded anywhere
else, or than we can hope to command at the same salary in
the future, as the South comes more and more into her indus-
trial and agricultural heritage, and the channels of profitable
employment multiply. The demand for labor in other fields
increa&'es, and with the increased demand the compensation
therefor. Our teachers, then, are as good as we pay for, and
better than we can hope for them to be in the coming years
without better pay. Back of this question of better teachers
lies the question of better pay — a simple, practical question
of business in a world of business.

Unsatisfactory \t the recent State Conference of County

accepted ksome Superintendents in Ealeigh, in the discussions
counties to get t ^ necessity of maintaining a high

enough for the " "

schools. standard in examination of teachers, the fact

was developed that in many counties' where terms were short
and salaries necessarily small, it was difficult to find enough
teachers for the schools, and the Superintendents were some-
times forced to grant certificates to applicants whose examina-
tions were unsatisfactory in order to get teachers at all for
their schools. Is it any wonder that people do not break their
necks in a mad rush for jobs that pay less than one hundred
dollars' a year ?



xxviii Biennial Report of the

Counties having Jt is noticeable, but not at all surprising,

largest funds, that the counties that have the largest funds

longest terms and

best salaries and the longest terms and pay the best sal-

leasVdifflcui'ty in ar * es ^ ave ^ ie ^ est teacner s and encounter the

securing best least difficultv in securing them ? Some of
teachers. . .

these counties count among their public school

teachers graduates of normal schools, of the University, of
colleges, and of the best high schools. Such counties, to-
gether with the towns and cities and rural districts with
school funds largely supplemented by local taxation, are nat-
urally absorbing the majority of the best trained teachers of
the State. Men and women that have spent the large amount
of money necessary, even under the most favorable conditions',
to complete long courses of study at higher institutions of
learning and in schools for the professional training of teach-
ers, can not afford to work in the little rural school at the
pittance of less than one hundred dollars a year, if it is possi-
ble for them to secure better positions in the State or out
of it.

For small salaries For the small salaries that at present we are
teachers can not aWe to a in t o£ ^ j districts, men

afford long and J * ;

expensive train- and women can not afford to put themselves
insr •

into long and expensive training for the work

of teaching. Men and women already engaged in the work
can not afford to spend much time or money in better fitting
themselves for a work that pays twenty-five dollars a month
for four months in the year. They haven't the money to
spend, and most of their time must be used in helping to
make a living in some other employment. At present sala-
ries, we can not hope to command and retain first-class talent
in this business of teaching the rural schools, when so much
more is paid in other schools and in other sorts of business
for the same talent.

What can be done What > then > can be done to Jn0ct the Present

to meet the de- demand for better teachers at present salaries

mand for better , ,,..., .

teachers at pres- m these rural districts m the weaker counties «



Superintendent of Public Instruction. xxix

ent salaries in the What can be done for the improvement of the

rural districts ? . , , , . ,-, n £

teachers already engaged m the work, many oi

whom have neither the time nor the money to spend even
one year, much less two, three or four years in better prepara-
tion % Many of these teachers need, first of all, instruction in
the common school branches that they are required by law to
teach, as well as illustration of better methods of teaching j
these and instruction in the great principles of correct teach-
ing. The first essential of a teacher is a knowledge of the
subject to be taught, It seems to me absolutely necessary
to provide opportunities for such teachers to pursue short
courses of study in subjects and methods at small cost at
such times of the year as they are not compelled to be en-
gaged in teaching or other pursuits.

One method of Two feasible methods of providing such op-

SSS'fi^r^de portunities have suggested themselves 'to me.

summer schools of One is to substitute for the present short

a month or more in . , . ,

the counties.offer- teachers' institute oi one week m the counties,

ing instruction Slimme r school of a month or more. Such

in subjects and

methods. a system of county summer schools has been

tried with much success in other States. They could be con-
ducted at little more expense than the present short institute,
especially if two and in some case more counties were allowed
to combine. This could he easily provided for by a slight
change in the present law relating to county institutes. I
am confident that in their results, such longer schools would
be much more satisfactory than the short institutes. In them
much could be done in the study of subjects. Regular classes
con Id be organized in the public school branches, and the best
methods of teaching these could be daily illustrated in the
teaching of them.

Another plan is Another practical means, that has occurred

SSrSSiy to me, of providing opportunities to such

for teachers at teachers to improve themselves for their work,
small expense at . ,

the institutions is to provide such short courses for teachers,

ithetanfotned at small expense, at institutions already es-
by the state. tablished. It seemed to me that this could be



XXX Biennial Report of the

most economically and successfully done at the institutions
already established and maintained by the State for the
higher education of men and women and the professional
training of teachers. At the State Normal and Industrial
College, the University, and the College of Agriculture
and Mechanic Arts, there are already excellent plants in
the way of buildings', libraries, etc., and excellent faculties.
At the State Normal and Industrial College there is also
an excellent practice and observation school of about four
hundred children, equipped with trained supervising teachers.
One of the chief purposes of the creation of this institution
was the training of women for teaching. The University
has already a normal department for men and a summer
school for teachers. The A. and M. College has just organ-
ized a summer school for teachers, and hopes to organize a
permanent normal department especially for rural teachers.
It seems to me that the State ought to be able to offer greater
advantages to teachers in these shorter courses at smaller cost
to women and men teachers respectively at these institu-
tions than could be offered in new institutions established for
the specific purpose elsewhere, or in special departments es-
tablished as adjuncts to already established private institu-
tions. I, therefore, wrote to President Mclver, of the State
Normal and Industrial College, President Venable, of the
University, and President Winston, of the A. and M. College,
asking what could be done at their institutions and at what
outlay to the State, and bespeaking their co-operation and
counsel.

I have the honor to submit herewith my letter and their
replies :

December 15, 1902.

Dear Sir: — There is a dearth of qualified teachers for the rural
schools in many counties and an increasing demand for such teach-
ers. In these counties the school terms are short and the salaries
small, amounting, in many instances, to less than $100 a year, so that
the teachers now engaged in the work can not afford to spend much



Superintendent of Public Instruction. XXXI

money in better fitting themselves for it, nor can those contemplating
teaching afford to spend much money in preparing for it. I am satis-
fied, therefore, that in order to meet the growing demand for better
qualified teachers at small salaries, additional provision must be
made for short courses of instruction at small expense in the sub-
jects taught in the public schools and in methods and principles of
teaching.

It seems to me that the State ought to be able to make such pro-
vision at less expense for equal advantages at the institutions of
learning already established and maintained by it for the education
of men and women and the training of teachers than anywhere else.
I write, therefore, to you, as the President of one of these institu-
tions, to ask what provision has already been made at your institu-
tion for such short courses for such teachers and candidates for
teaching, the expense of the same, and what can be done for enlarg-
ing and strengthening these courses and providing others.

Please write me also what would be the total expense, including
railroad fare, to teachers pursuing such courses at your institution,
and what additional outlay, if any, by the State would be necessary
for their establishment.

Very truly yours, J. Y. Joyner,

Superintendent Public Instruction.



December 20, 1902.
Hon. J. Y. Joyner, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

In reply to your question as to what the University can do to sup-
ply teachers for the lower public schools, that is, teachers for the
great mass of the public schools of the State, I would say, that hith-
erto the University has devoted its efforts to supplying teachers for
the secondary or higher public schools. This was the first step neces-
sary and was the truest economy of power and money, as the Uni-
versity has sent out a great many such teachers, and these have
multiplied their influence fifty or an hundredfold in preparing others
to teach in the lower schools. A number of the students from our
lower classes go out as teachers in the lower public schools.

It is manifest that the direct teaching of these primary teachers
must now be undertaken to raise the scholarship and supply the
demand. The present income of the University is so small compared
with its needs, so inadequate for the training of the higher teachers
and of the citizenhood of a growing State that the authorities would
uot be justified in diverting any appreciable part of it to the training
of primary teachers. Still, all that can profitably be done will be
attempted.



XXXII Biennial Report of the

During the last ten weeks of the session special courses will be
offered, without charge for tuition, to all who wish to fit themselves
as teachers. This should prove of decided benefit to many. This
course is offered without additional cost to the State. It may be
stated that this is undertaken by professors already very busy with
their regular work and can only be a temporary expedient.

I am aware, however, that this will not solve the prooiem before
you. It is necessary that a full two-years course be offered in the
subjects, which will directly fit one to teach in the primary schools,
as well as other shorter courses, beginning, say in September, De-
cember and March. This means the employment of a corps of
trained teachers for this specific work. It can not, ana snould not,
be done by University professors. Yet, these professors can be help-
ful in many ways, giving lectures and special courses, whiV:h will
strengthen the work. At first, the University might furnish the
necessary equipment, but as the work develops and grows in value it
will require more permanent equipment.

I believe that a most helpful Normal Department for primary
teachers could be put into operation by means of a special appropria-
tion annually of from $5,000 to $7,500. With this sum provision
could be made for a Dean of the Department with several assistant
teachers. The preparation of the students would not admit of their
taking the regular University classes.

As to the expenses of students, the only charge on the part of the
University will be $5. If the railroads will give reduced rates, then
all cost of tickets above six dollars will be refunded by the Univer-
sity. Board and lodging can be secured at from nine to ten dollars
a month.

The University is the logical source of help in this matter, and is
glad to be of additional service in so great a cause. To make use of
the University means also a great saving in every direction; and
this would be in keeping with the Constitution (Section 14), which
says that, "as soon as possible after the adoption of this Constitution,
the General Assembly shall establish and maintain, in connection
with the University, a Department of Normal Instruction."

Very respectfully. F. P. Vexable,

President.



The State Normal and Industrial College,

Greensboro, N. C, December 22. 1902.

Hon. J. Y. Jotner, Raleigh, N. C.

Dear Sir: — I have your letter of December 15th. I do not see how
I can better answer your inquiry than by quoting the following from



Superintendent oe Public Instruction, xxxiii

my recent biennial report to the Board of Directors of this college, in
regard to the May School, established here last spring:

"Realizing that the demand in this State for teachers with some
professional training had increased, and realizing also that thei'e was
little corresponding increase in the length of the school term, or the
compensation offered to teachers, an experiment was made last spring
with the purpose of providing, during the month of May, at the
smallest possible cost, a brief course of professional training for
those women now engaged in teaching, who can not attend any col-
lege for a full year. Most of the public schools close before our May
School begins. Thirty teachers of the rural public schools matricu-
lated last year and received instruction under the direction of the
Professor of Pedagogy and others, with the opportunity of daily ob-
servation in the Practice and Observation School. So satisfactory
were the results of this experiment that I wish to enlarge the oppor-
tunities and largely increase the attendance of public school teachers
next spring. The teachers who would attend this May School are
older than the regular students of the college and there would not be
so much objection to their boarding in private families In the city for
the few weeks they are here. The matriculation fee is Ave dollars,
the usual matriculation fee for summer schools. I hope to secure
the usual summer school railroad rate of one fare for the round
trip.

'Many County Superintendents have indicated to me that they
would like for their teachers to attend this May School, nut with the
small compensation allowed for teachers it is impossible for them to
pay much railroad fare, and those at a distance claim that they are
at a disadvantage as compared with the teachers living near Greens-
boro.

"In order to meet this objection, I suggest that we agree to refund
to teachers all of their railroad fare above two or three dollars, thus
placing all of the public school teachers on an equal footing, so far as
the advantages of the school are concerned. Indeed, those who come
the longer distance, in that case, would have the advantage, because
of the travel, which is a good means of education, and, when teach-
ers can afford it, is worth all that a railroad ticket costs. I know of
no way by which a person who has not traveled very much could
secure for $3.00 so much education as by traveling one hundred miles
on a railroad.

"I believe that the five-dollar matriculation fees will furnish
enough money to refund the above proportion of the railroad fare.
If we secure the railroad rates, we would not be required to refund
anything to those teachers who live within sixty miles of Greensboro.
We would refund onlv about $2.00 to each of those who come from



xxxiv Biennial Report of the

the Goldsboro, Wilson and Rocky Mount sections, and only about
$4.00 to people who come from the Asheville section.

"I see no reason why we should not have here in the month of May
150 or 200 teachers, practically at no cost to them, except their actual
living expenses.

"It would probably become necessary for the Board to make a small
appropriation to employ one or two additional lecturers during the
term, but a large part of the work can be done by the Department of
Pedagogy, and the assistance that would be gladly rendered by other
members of the faculty, and Superintendents of Schools in the State,
who, for the first year, would probably give their service for a week
if their actual expenses were paid, provided there are no funds to
make proper compensation for the additional work.

"If the Board will consent to this extension of the experiment so
successfully made last year, I believe that one of tne perplexing
problems of teacher-training in North Carolina can be solved. Teach-
ers in schools lasting only four or five months can not afford to
spend a great deal of money for better preparation for that work.
The advantage of having the school in the spring, rather than in the
summer, is, that no summer school could have such good opportuni-
ties for observation as we have in our Practice and Observation
School, and in the five or six other public schools in and around
Greensboro.

"The four-month public school can not expect to employ Normal
graduates from this or any other college, so long as these graduates
are offered positions in the State in schools where the term is nine
or ten months.

"On the other hand, if the State has people engaged in educating
its children who are willing to spend annually $20 or $25 of their
small earnings, about one-fourth of their annual salary, to better fit
themselves for their work, it can well afford to furnish free instruc-
tion to these teachers. Moreover, if this college should make the
proposition to the public school teachers of the State and they should
fail to attend, it would prove conclusively that it is not the distance
from the college or lack of opportunity for professional training that
prevents it.

"I should hope to have the help of the Agricultural Department of



Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Public InstructionBiennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of North Carolina, for the scholastic years ... [serial] (Volume 1900/01-1901/02) → online text (page 3 of 46)