Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/63

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53
THE OSWEGO STATE NORMAL SCHOOL.

cocoons, cotton bolls, samples of grain, and specimens of pottery and glass.

In 1859 a new course for the primary schools was introduced at Oswego, in which lessons on form, color, size^ weight, animals, plants, the human body, and moral instruction were prominent. But his teachers knew little about the subject matter of such lessons, and less about methods of teaching them. The superintendent was forced to become the teacher and trainer of his teachers. Without training himself, he sadly felt the inadequacy of his instructions, and determined to try to obtain a training teacher from

PSM V43 D063 Old normal school building.jpg

Old Normal School Building.

the Home and Colonial School. The Board of Education consented, "on condition of its not costing the city a single cent." To assist in providing the means, some of his teachers resigned, for one year, half their salaries, which ranged from three to five hundred dollars. Their names should be recorded among the founders of the school, and written in letters of gold on its walls. To begin this work. Miss M. E. M. Jones was obtained, for one year, from the Home and Colonial School. After school hours each day, Mr. Sheldon, his most interested teachers, and a few from abroad, sat for two hours in a small, obscure room to receive the instruction which had been brought from over the sea at so much personal sacrifice. For one year these men and women became as little children, that they might enter and win the kingdom of childhood through the door opened by Pestalozzi, for Miss Jones was a disciple of that master. The work thus begun was continued by some of her pupils, and by Prof. Hermann Krüsi, who also had taught in the Home and Colonial, and was a son of one of Pestalozzi's most trusted helpers.

For two years, this training class was maintained by the city.