« ПредишнаНапред »
dred volumes of excellent reading matter, and the teachers are obtaining much valuable knowledge from its shelves.
While the raising of the general average from 70, 80 and 90, to 75, 85 and 95, per cent respectively, for a third, second, and first class certificate, has met a hearty approval of the majority of the teachers and patrons, others are inclined to grumble, saying, many persons are thrown out of employment thereby, and many professing to be first class are brought down to second.
Owing to the scarcity of rooms, the Iowa City schools are very much crowded, some teachers having charge of seventy pupils. I am greatly in hopes the voters may be convinced, at a time not far in the future, of the necessity of a new school building.
Notwithstanding the large attendance and over-crowded rooms the schools, under the efficient management of Superintendent Guthrie, are in an exceedingly prosperous condition. The town of Oxford is erecting a school building that will add much to the appearance of the place. It will contain four large rooms, and cost $4,000.
The educational outlook for the future is very encouraging. Teachers' wages are being gradually raised, and in some townships are graded according to the class of the certificate, which undoubtedly induces teachers to thoroughly qualify themselves.
O. E. ALDRICH.
The past year has been a peaceable and prosperous one in the schools of this county. During a period of more than six years I have labored to the best of my ability to advance the cause of education. During my administration thirty-three new school-houses have been erected, which are well furnished. Nearly as many more have been repaired enlarged and reseated. The schools are in good working order. We · have a fair corps of teachers, the majority of whom make teaching their profession.
We had the most interesting and profitable institute this year that was ever held in this county. Hon. C. W. von Coelln gave us a solid and practical lecture, and S. P. Leland delivered a course of very interesting and valuable lectures.
I most ardently hope the work thus inaugurated may go forward
and the schools of Jones county make a more enviable record in the future than in the past. In conclusion, I will say that I have made the normal institute self-supporting, the board of supervisors never having appropriated a dollar for institute purposes during the seven institutes which I have held.
J. S. STEWART.
The schools of this county show a decided improvement in many respects. More attention is now paid to the essential branches of reading and writing in elementary schools than formerly. Teachers are more careful in the preservation of school property. School officers are awake to the necessity of keeping school-houses, fences and out-buildings in good repair; also to the propriety and wisdom of retaining teachers who are giving satisfaction.
Many of our teachers are endeavoring to supply their deficiency of a normal school education by hard study, and close attention to normal methods presented in our leading professional works and periodicals. A county teachers' association has been organized during the last year, many of our leading teachers taking an active part, and we flatter ourselves that this association will be productive of much good.
Our normal institutes have been a success with an increased attendance of fifty per cent within the last two years. Our best teachers have been retained in their positions, and with the addition of several first class teachers from other counties and States, we have reason to believe that in the near future the greater part of the work will be well done.
Our high schools and academies are sending forth some very efficient workers who reflect great credit upon the management of these institutions.
With this report I finish my work as county superintendent. During the past eight years, I have labored to advance the cause of edu
cation in the county; and during all these years there has been a substantial progress in the noble work of popular education.
The people are becoming convinced that the public school, although expensive, does pay. Many old and dilapidated school-houses have been replaced by new ones, and through the efficiency of our excellent system of normal institutes, a better qualified class of teachers is employed, many of whom have entered upon the work with a view of making it a profession.
Realizing the necessity of improvement, they have assisted me by laboring to better prepare themselves to discharge the important duties devolving upon them; and with their co-operation during the past eight years, the work of the superintendent has been pleasant and we hope profitable to the teachers, and the schools of the county.
I shall never forget the kindness and hearty co-operation of my fellow teachers. And while retiring from the office, I hope to retain an interest in the educational work, and be instrumental in trying to elevate the standard of education in the county.
A. H. DAVIDSON.
The past year has been one of material growth and improvement in educational means and influence in this county, Many circumstances have in former years held our educational work in check. For several years, our industries were unsuccessful on account of the same causes which have retarded so materially the growth of other sections of this western plain. This has all changed, and naturally with general industrial improvement the people turn their attention to the improvement of all those influences which socially, religiously, and educationally, improve the neighborhood and home. This is the result in our case. The people generally manifest a great interest in obtaining and sustaining good schools, and all those several parts which together tend to make good schools.
We are able to report that our teachers are taking a greater interest in their self-improvement as teachers. They read a greater amount of educational literature, and an increased number attend our annual normal institutes. In 1880, eighteen teachers were in attendance at the institute, this year the attendance increased to forty-five, and the
same interest which brought out this increased attendance is still developing, and this foretells a larger attendance at our next annual session. Since our last report many of our schools have greatly increased their facilities for successful work. Several new houses have been erected, and all these are of a character that is quite satisfactory. These new houses and many older ones have been furnished with furniture of the most approved patterns. There are but four houses in the county that are not furnished with good desks from eastern manufactories. Of these four, three are buildings that must soon be replaced by new buildings; other than these our houses and furniture are good. The majority of the schools have been furnished with good maps, writing and reading charts, and blackboards. Many schools have globes and numerous other articles of apparatus that tend to make a complete workshop for a school.
The almost universal willingness with which our people use their influence to obtain sufficient means for procuring good houses, good furniture, good apparatus and good teachers is commendable, and foretells a rapid educational growth for our county; a growth that will very soon place us at least on an even footing with older sections, where educational conservatism has grown into a state at least akin to educational starvation.
At Rock Rapids, the county seat, we have now a very prosperous graded school. A fine two-story frame building is now handsomely furnished throughout. This building was erected several years since, but until the last year it has been far from completion. Now the building is very neatly finished, and as to furniture and apparatus each room is well supplied with first class goods. One drawback which this school has had to contend with of late, is too frequent changes in the principalship. The people and board of directors are not responsible for this, and to their praise, they have always thrown their influence against it.
During the year the people of Beloit have sold their handsome twostory school building to the Norwegian Lutheran church society, of Iowa and Wisconsin. It has been refitted and opened as an academy. The proposed course of study this institution presents requires four years' study for its completion. The course compares favorably with the average college course. This institution was formerly located in Wisconsin, from which State it was removed to this county. The outlook for its future is fair, and we are pleased to receive into our young and promising county so good an institution. Since the sale
of this building, the people of Beloit have erected a new building better suited to the wants of their public schools. This building is now nearly ready for occupation.
It is the policy of the superintendent to make frequent visits to the schools throughout the county; to encourage and advise the teachers in cases where assistance is needed and can be given, and always endeavoring to stimulate the teachers to a desire of self-improvement for their work. The requirements in examination for certificates will be made greater as fast as it seems prudent and practicable. It is very desirable that our schools and teachers attain, and maintain a high standing; for this end we shall work with a will.
I can report the schools of Madison county making, all circumstances considered, quite satisfactory progress. I have been in the office but a short time, hence am not yet very familiar with the particular status of each district. But I have been a resident of the county for many years, and received most of my early schooling here. From this fact, and from the observations which I have made since, I am convinced that the patrons of our schools have only themselves to blame if they do not secure from our common school system the results which it was designed to furnish. I have noticed with pleasüre, and endeavored to promote, the laudable spirit of improvement exhibited by many of our teachers, though many are hindered in making the progress which they otherwise would, by the unappreciating and miserly course pursued towards them by so many of our citizens.
In the last few years the cry of retrenchment and reform has become so popular, that our schools have suffered in consequence.
It is remarkable with what unanimity these patriots level their first shots in the way of retrenchment at our public schools, the acknowledged main-stay of our free institutions; while if one of them happens to be elected to an office, he can readily see that the duties of that particular position, are such as to compel him to perform labor sufficient to earn all that the most liberal legislature was ever willing to