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The annual pension amounts to three-fifths of the average annual salary for the last 5 years of teaching, but it cannot be less than $250 or more than $650. The Rhode Island law, enacted in April of the present year, is so simple and concise that I beg leave to state it. It runs as follows:
SECTION 1. Any person of either sex who on the passage of this act or thereafter shall have reached the age of sixty years and who for thirty-five years shall have been engaged in teaching as his principal occupation, and have been regularly employed as a teacher in the public schools or in such other schools within this state as are supported wholly or in part by state appropriations, and are entirely managed or controlled by the state, twenty-five years of which employment, including the fifteen years immediately preceding retirement, shall have been in this state, may at the expiration of the school year, unless his private contract with his employer shall otherwise provide, be retired by his employer or voluntarily retire from active service, and on his formal application shall receive from the state for the remainder of his life an annual pension equal to one-half of his average contractual salary during the last five years before retiring, but in no case shall such annual pension be more than $500; Provided, however, that no such employment as teacher within this state after this act shall be included within its provisions, unless the teacher, shall hold a certificate of qualification issued by or under the authority of the State Board of Education.
SEC. 2. The State Board of Education shall make all needful regulations for issuing certificates of qualification and carrying into effect the other provisions of this act not inconsistent with the act itself and shall examine into and determine the eligibility of each and every applicant to receive a pension under the provision of this act.
SEC. 3. For the purpose of carrying this act into effect the sum of ten thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, and the state auditor is hereby directed to draw this sum as shall be certified to him by the State Board of Education, according to the provisions of this act.
This act shall take effect on the first day of January, 1908. This statute is the most generous and, in its principle, the soundest yet enacted. It squarely accepts the whole responsibility for the state whose schools are to be benefited, and does not require the teachers to furnish any part of the fund. The defect of this law consists in the smallness of the sum appropriated and the absence of any provision for making the appropriation continuous. It is hoped and believed, however, that the next session of the Rhode Island legislature will remedy these defects, and place the smallest state in the Union in the position of leader and exemplar for all the others.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, is not the time and place auspicious for this great National Educational Association to inaugurate a campaign for the dissemination of such information and the creation of such popular sentiment as will insure the enactment in every remaining state of the Union of laws providing for adequate and honorable pensions for all worthy teachers? California has established some conditions that fit her to lead the way in such a movement. You have demonstrated the wisdom of provision by the state as a whole of the great body of the funds for the support of elementary schools. Under your scheme of state taxation you have built up a system of common district schools which, whether in mountain, hamlet, desert settlement, farming country, or prosperous city, are the envy of the Union. You have proven the
wisdom of state responsibility, especially when coupled with a wise measure of state control of the qualifications of teachers. In the campaign for the protection and improvement of the schools thru the establishment of teachers' pensions, we have a right to look for a leading of the way, in sections where this idea of state responsibility has been accepted and approved. Will California hear the call?
Back in the old Constitution state we honor the memory of a gallant soldier of whom we are fond of saying, "He dared to lead where they dared to follow." All over this Union are principals, superintendents, and school officers who with other influential citizens say of the National Educational Association, "Where this great body deems it wise to lead you may count on us to follow." Let us take advantage of the time, the place, and the conditions to make this great association leader in a campaign of popular education on this subject of teachers' pensions. Success in such a campaign and under such leadership will bring relief and inspiration to many thousands of teachers; but it will do more. It will bring richness into the lives of hundreds of thousands of school children everywhere. It will give them assurance of the better training that comes from the peaceful heart and undivided mind of the teacher who may live and strive for the single purpose of making your boys and girls worthy inheritors of the marvelous estate of the American fathers. Carry on your high duties and ours in a way more effective and glorious than our fondest dreams have dared to promise.
OTHER FORMS OF COMPENSATION FOR TEACHERS
GEORGE W. NASH, PRESIDENT, STATE NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL
The lucid and entertaining papers just read from this platform have commanded the thoughtful attention of this great educational body and have emphasized the importance of teachers' salaries and teachers' pensions. You are now asked to consider for a brief period some of the compensations other than financial which are the rewards of every faithful teacher.
We are doubtless agreed that the mere wages one receives are not to be regarded as the entire or as the highest portion of the compensation for an honorable engagement. The best recompense for effort is the joy, the satisfaction one gets from performing the labor to which his inclination prompts him. The artist's pay is in the work itself. He labors from a love of it. So the highest compensation of the teacher is the joy of working, the pleasure of contributing to an ideal humanity.
Whatever may be our views of personal immortality, the hope of it has been the very best compensation, inspiring the exalted labor of many of the world's greatest teachers. "To live in hearts we've left behind is not to die." Is not Plato immortal? Does not Pestalozzi live? Is not Horace Mann reincarnated daily in the lives of American boys and girls? Adopting the
thought of Preston W. Search, once active and honored in the educational life of this fair city, I unhesitatingly declare that, "There is no death to the faithful teacher who has passed something of personal spirit to children in the schools; such a life never ends; in geometric ratio it forever increases." And many a teacher, living, has seen his own likeness in a pupil who owes the world's plaudits to that teacher's faithful tutelage, and, dying, has left an ever-expanding heritage to the generations of posterity. In this prophecy of immortality there is recompense above the purse's gauge.
But immortality can come only thru effort. If the product of the school teacher is to be worthy, great care must be exercised in its making. Seneca truckled and Rome was scourged by the heartless Nero. Fenalon prevailed, and the Duke of Burgundy was prepared for wise leadership. Today, as ever, life is the greatest problem that confronts the world. Disease affects the public mind and human existence is held in light esteem. To teach the youth how to meet responsibility is the heaviest burden that rests upon the teacher. * *
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There is a property of human character called "soul." When the handful of heroes at Thermopylae died to save their country from the Persian conqueror, men said those heroes had great "souls." When any man bursts the chains of birth, outfaces poverty, outgenerals misfortune, falls back but never yields, we say that man has a mighty "soul." When any woman made childless by the hand of death, made beggar by a husband's vice, made weary by the galling of disease, still toils to fill her place on earth-still clings to life, yet smiles at the terrors of death-we honor that woman's "soul."
This is the name we give to that quality which tides man over the wrecked places of his life. It is the adamant. It is uncorrupted by triumphs; it laughs reverses to scorn. It can face dishonor, remorse, disgrace. It inspires the savage to bear the fire of torture without a cry for mercy. It supports the ruined merchant. It smooths the ruffled brow of the defeated statesman. It dulls the fangs of unpopularity, of slander, of libel. It ever murmers thru the mind in the voice of the divine Holland
The Devil gets never a man on his back,
It is this faculty, this embodiment of faith, patience, endurance, this quality that makes a barbarian a hero, that gives us our martyrs and our reformers; it is this which has not kept pace with the intellect in its growth. It is the cultivation of this that can remove the awful plague which threatens to undermine our social organism. How sacred, then, I repeat, are the obligations of the teacher! How dear the price of immortality!
"To give subtlety to the simple; to the young man, knowledge and discretion," is the divine commission, and he who sincerely sets his heart to the developing and uplifting task imposed cannot fail to reap a rich return in satisfaction as he beholds the magical fruiting of his honest planting. The complacency due to the development of the intelligent and moral citizen, the
exhilaration wrought by the expressed gratitude of pupils, the joy in the success of those whose lives have, in a sense, been molded by his hands, are delectable commodities in the school master's store not purchasable in the coin of the realm. Bacon put it well when he said, "The pleasures of the intellect are greater than the pleasures of the senses." The teacher's best fortune is of that invisible sort that makes the possessor happy, content, and unenvied. Than this, life has no higher reward for
Satisfaction and contentment are the chief ends of human activity. It is for these that every rational human exertion is expended; for these men labor incessantly; for these they make war and conclude peace; for these they explore the uttermost parts of the earth and follow the intangible spirit of the mighty ocean to its mysterious haunts; for these men sacrifice comfort, health, friends, and family to engage in a ceaseless struggle for wealth and power; only to learn at last that the satisfaction and contentment they hoped to purchase are far beyond the power of buying. Everywhere satisfaction, like the pronunciation of Demosthenes, is the first, the second, and the third thing, and happy indeed is he who so orders his life that satisfaction comes at his bidding to sit at his table and to share his bedchamber.
Sordid gold is the lowest and meanest measure of success. If gold be the standard, then the teacher's profession is meaner than the ditch digger's. But gold never was the standard of the measure of compensation in any exalted vocation for longer than a brief period. Who would ask how much money Socrates earned or what were the wages of Plutarch, Caesar, Cromwell, Washington, Grant, or Lincoln? No one has ever been so worldly as to think of these great characters in connection with money-making. No one associates the success of any teacher with the sum of money he has earned. The most exalted, the most highly respected name in history is that of the Great Teacher who had "not where to lay his head." Yet, who would exchange the undying fame of the Nazarene for the gold of a Rockefeller?
Dionysius the Younger, deposed from a throne of grandeur, wealth, and absolute power, became a poor but happy schoolmaster. The scepter gave him only disappointment; the birch brought infinite satisfaction. The tyrant of Syracuse learned in his declining years that the teacher enjoys compensations not weighed in the steelyards nor balanced in the ledger of the merchant.
There is an inherent elegance about the teacher's profession that appeals to the man or woman of fastidious tastes. Long vacations afford opportunities for rest, recreation, travel, observation, and study, not enjoyed by other professions, and these must compensate the teacher in some degree for the lessened material reward.
The profession has its gifts to offer to the ambitious. To him who is spurred to his work only by a desire for preference, for leadership, for high places in the sanctuary, schoolmastering presents chances equal to those found in other professions and vocations. The successes of ambition are
merely relative at best, and to excel in method, to secure the notoriety of fame, to win the preferments the profession offers, and to sit in its chief seats are as sweet to the pedagogue as to the politician. These may not be the worthiest compensations but they are tangible ones which have brought joy to many a teacher and induced many others to do better work in the schoolroom. Men live for money but they will die for fame.
Finally, "he who teaches is best taught," and the opportunity afforded the teacher to perfect himself in scholarship is no small element in the extrafinancial compensations of his position. The effort to teach develops the power of self-expression, the power to convince, and the ability to think. The teacher who does not daily find his life richer in intellectual attainments while with pride and joy he watches the unfolding of his pupils has wretchedly missed his calling.
In this brief paper I have not attempted to enumerate all of the other compensations of the teacher, but I trust that I have at least indicated that the salary, important as is that feature to all of us, is not the full measure of the schoolmaster's earnings and rewards.
SCHOOLS FOR DEFECTIVES IN CONNECTION WITH
C. G. PEARSE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, MILWAUKEE, WIS. The generations that have succeeded since the days of our Aryan ancestors have taught us much as to our duty toward the less fortunate members of our society. We have learned, in particular, much as to our duty toward those children-members of our society-who are born without, or who after birth lose, certain of the powers of body or mind by which normal children learn the things which other people know in the same manner that other people learn them.
There is much reason to suppose that in the earlier stages of our history those unfortunates who were born, or in infancy became, blind or deaf or greatly deformed, were got rid of in the easiest way-were exposed upon the mountain or in the forest, or in some other way eliminated from membership in the family and the community to which they promised to be a burden.
Later these unfortunate children were allowed to live and to inhabit the home. They were given scant care and received no suitable teaching. In the homes of the more barbarous peoples they were not infrequently treated with scorn, suffered indignities and cruelties, and led lives of wretchedness. Without thoughtful or kindly teaching, they developed, if at all, only in those lines which they were able to pursue without aid. If the tormented current of their lives, hemmed in and beaten back from the usual channels of development, did in occasional instances show depth or power, such instances were exceptions, and the result of accident.
The conditions of these children improved with our growing civilization,