The Colby Echo: Teaching is the test of common sense

Colby Bicentennial Seal 1864-1913

March 1, 1880

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While some may be disposed to find fault with the present arrangement of our terms, especially in the summer season, the other side of the case is not to be lost sight of. In very many of the New England colleges a considerable number of the students are obliged to pursue their courses with very restricted means of support, and Colby is not exception to the general rule. It is customary for such students to seek employment as waiters in summer hotels during the long vacation, and often to spend a portion of the winter months in school teaching, to acquire the necessary funds to defray their expenses. But while in other colleges time spent in teaching must be taken directly from that of the college course, here at Colby such a necessity is entirely obviated by our arrangement of terms. With us those who desire to do so may teach a term of school, of the usual length, and lose but a very few days at the beginning of the spring term. Entirely neglecting the financial aspect of the case, the importance to a college student of the work of school teaching can scarcely be overestimated. As a general rule the schools taught by Colby students are in country villages throughout the State, and which, in the winter term, partake more of the character of a High School within pupils ranging from twelve to twenty years of age. The moment the teacher enters upon his work there settles upon him a peculiar responsibility and care, of which in college he knows absolutely nothing. He is now a part of the real and busy world, with certain interest at stake in common with every other man engaged in any legitimate business. The experiences of the school room can only be known and appreciated by those who have actually tried them. He who would successfully govern his school, must first learn to govern himself, a lesson of no small importance to any man. Then there are continually coming up cases which call forth the exercise of his very best judgment–cases which no Normal School theories can cover, and for which no set rules have been learned. Whatever common sense he may have is put to its extreme test.