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Festivals

( Originally Published 1915 )



Fall Festivals.—Says King : "The school and educational forces of the community should be brought into correlation. The school, better than any other factor, may become the centre for this correlation" (Fig. 136). Schools and school teachers need the enthusiastic cooperation of the people of the district in order that the children may get from the school all that it is capable of giving. Many teachers are working along with fair success in places where, if they had the enthusiastic cooperation of the patrons, they would be having the very best of success. By that I mean that where there is enthusiasm, pupils learn more in the same length of time, they retain longer what they learn, they attend more punctually and regularly, and the work is easier for the teacher. One who has observed schools and school teachers for any length of time can duplicate the experience of the young man about whom Superintendent Dutton tells. He was teaching with fair success. There was no community spirit for the school. The teacher had made no use of the press.

A little indiscretion in discipline, and the district was against him. There being no sentiment for him or his work, he was forced, near the middle of the year, to give up the school.

For enabling the teacher to get into touch with the neighbor-hood, for enabling the school to do something that appeals to the people, I know of nothing more beneficial than the observance of festival occasions. The festival date offers the teacher an opportunity. The festival, if observed by the schools, acts as a unifying influence (Fig. 137). This comes from the fact that parents and friends are welcome visitors to something prepared by the children for their friends and for the performers there are certain advantages that can hardly come in other ways. Learning takes on a new aspect. Responsibility must be assumed for the occasion; this gives the pupils a new standard. Pupils be-come conscious of the need of effective communication and this requires clearness in voice, thought and action. If the teacher is tactful, she will see that every one has a part. In order to entertain others, pupils realize that they must prepare.



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