Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/108

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ever may appear that is pernicious. There is no other time in all the day when competent guidance can do so much to make boys manly and girls womanly as when they are at their games. It is not enough to leave the play-ground to the janitor or to some inferior authority; it is the place where the principal teacher and nearly all the others are most needed—not to direct the games, or to meddle in any way with the sports, but to be ready with a cheery voice and an easy grace to suggest to any one about to engage in anything improper that he has forgotten himself. Ruffianism will soon disappear, timid children will learn to assert themselves, and an esprit de corps of the play-ground can soon be formed which will have a wonderful influence on the characters as well as the actions of the pupils. Nor is the benefit to the pupils all that is derived from this plan; the teacher needs such a recess quite as much as, and in many cases more than, her pupils. Fifteen minutes of each ninety in the open air, away from the sights and thoughts of the lessons, will remove the nervous, tired, irritable, and almost despondent feeling experienced by many teachers, and give them renewed strength and cheerfulness and mental elasticity for the remainder of the session. By being upon the play-ground among her pupils, many a teacher learns their character, their ambitions, the bent of their minds, as she can not learn them in the peculiar position in the school-room; and yet there are many children who, unless understood in these particulars, can not be successfully taught. To the teacher who sees her pupils only in their relation of pupils, the school-work is very likely to become a grind, a machine at which she is to perform a regular and a constant part, and the children are little else than so much raw material which is to pass through the mill over which she presides. She sees no individuality in them, and of course her work is arranged for the aggregate, and individuals receive no consideration as such. To overcome this error there is nothing better than for her to see them daily at their sports, for there their distinctive characteristics are manifested as in no other place. If the schools are to build character, certainly an out-door recess is an absolute essential for both teacher and pupils.


A CORRESPONDENT of Manchester asks me which is the most nutritious, a slice of English beef in its own gravy, or the browned morsel as served in an Italian restaurant with the burnt-sugar addition to the gravy?