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sors, instead of taking charge of only a portion of their scholars, divide their time among the sections instructed by their assistants.
We are glad to find in the school-houses recently built, an ample supply of blackboards, and we should be pleased to see them lining the walls of all our schools of every grade. They will be found useful in teaching not only mathematics, but foreign languages, grammar, history, geography, and even reading and spelling. They give the teacher facility in explaining and illustrating the subject of the recitation, arouse the flagging interest of the pupils, and convey to the mind many ideas which fail to reach the understanding through labored explanations. The Superintendent of Public Instruction in Illinois advises that "a zone of blackboard should extend continuously around the room, except where interrupted by doors and windows. It enables the teacher to exercise a whole class at once, and maintain a constant supervision over their work. It more than doubles the time that can be given to the effective instruction of each class. It affords the means of ocular illustration and demonstration, now demanded by the best methods of teaching in nearly every department of science. The use of them gives a pleasing variety to the exercises of the school, and promotes health by allowing frequent changes from a sitting to a standing posture."
Two of the most pleasing events of the past schoolyear were the Musical Festival, given in honor of the Prince of Wales, at his visit to our city in September, 1860, and the Sixty-eighth Annual School Festival in July, 1861. With this report is given a full descrip
tion of the performances on those occasions. To the Semi-annual Report of the Committee on Music, we refer with very great satisfaction, for an account of what has been done in our schools in that branch of education.
Inquiries are frequently made with regard to the truant laws and their operation. In order to disseminate information on this subject, Mr. Philbrick has prepared, at the request of the Committee, a statement of the mode of proceedings of the truant officers, which, together with the laws relating to truancy, is published with this report. It would be better that the officers should report to the Superintendent of Public Schools, one of whose duties is to investigate this very subject, than to the Mayor and Aldermen.
We have looked with pleasure upon the happy faces of the medal-scholars, and listened with interest to the recitations, songs, and declamations of the graduating classes in the halls of the Grammar Schools, on the morning of the day of the Medal Festival. But, since it is our privilege to add to the history of public education in Boston during the past year, whatever suggestions and remarks we may deem expedient, we would respectfully and kindly ask the parents of the female pupils to consider thoughtfully whether the do semi-theatrical performances of "the exhibition not cherish vanity, increase the love of dress and display, and bring young ladies too boldly before the public. Would not a better idea of the pupils' attainments be gained by visiting the school, during the term, and hearing the recitations? Why should not a few days, at the end of the year, be devoted to reviews
of the different studies, interspersed with singing, declamations, and reading original compositions? These exercises might be conducted in the hall, and the parents and friends of the pupils be invited to be present. This plan, which has been adopted in the Normal School, gives more persons an opportunity of being present during some part of the exercises, and affords a fairer test of the real condition of the school. It does not occupy as much time as the scholars now devote to preparation for " exhibition." Instead of diverting their attention from their regular studies, it fixes them in their minds, and helps to fit the pupils for the examination at the High Schools.
The public schools are open at all times to every one who feels an interest in visiting them. It is the desire of the instructors to co-operate with the fathers and mothers and guardians of the children under their charge, in the endeavor to make their pupils good sons and daughters, kind and forbearing to the inmates of the same household, gentle, amiable, and pleasant to all. It is the teacher's duty to train up the young in habits of honesty, industry, neatness, and purity; to teach them to speak the truth without fear, and to be just, self-sacrificing, and generous; to refine their tastes and develop their noblest faculties, so that they will not be attracted by low, sensual pleasures; to instil the great, universally-recognized principles of the Christian religion, its lofty morality, and its powerful motives; to cultivate holy affections, devotional feelings, and longings after a purer life.
Education is for the whole man. It is a preparation for life, its temptations, cares, and duties. It forms
the character, and gives a right direction to divinelyimplanted powers. While it is engaged with the mind it must not neglect the will, the temper, and the heart. It fails in the performance of its noble work if it does not show the young how to govern themselves, regulate their affections, control their passions, and use all their faculties for the glory of God and the good of mankind. It cannot accomplish this mighty task without asking aid from above, and carrying the hopes of man beyond his mortal life. In the words of Mr. S. S. Randall, Superintendent of Public Schools in the City of New York, "The moral and religious nature, as it is the highest and noblest attribute of humanity, demands the earliest and most assiduous care; and no education is worthy of the name in which this culture of the immortal soul, with its priceless affections, its heavenward hopes, and soaring aspirations, does not predominate. The monitory annals of the past, the collected experience of centuries and ages of recorded time, the solemn voice of revelation, all history, all philosophy, all reason combine to proclaim the utter inefficacy of the highest knowledge, the most brilliant talents, the most resplendent genius, unaccompanied and unguided by that wisdom of the heart, which, like Siloa's stream, 'flows fast by the oracles of God.' Respectfully submitted.
HENRY BURROUGHS, JR.,
JOHN B. ALLEY,
SAMUEL T. COBB,
THE Committee on the Latin School, in compliance with the requirements of the Rules of the Board of School Committee, submit the following as their Annual Report, exhibiting the condition of the school which has been entrusted to their care during the past school year.
The usual annual and quarterly examinations have been made by the Committee, all the pupils in the various rooms having been inspected, both in reference to their general proficiency, and also in regard to their relative condition in comparison with former years. The several rooms have been frequently visited, and there has been a general attendance of the Committee on the usual days of exhibition and on the public Saturdays. Thus advantages have been had which have enabled the Committee to witness the thorough working of the school, to judge of the progress of the pupils, and to gain a perfect knowledge of the instructors as to their efficiency in discipline and in imparting instruction in the different departments in which they are required to teach. The visits and examinations have been of a highly satisfactory character, and have shown that the school retains the high position for which it has been so long distinguished, not only for instruction