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the principal one that is to be combated in elevating the intellectual and moral level of our people, the Mexican government has inaugurated in the schools an anti-alcoholic campaign, which, making known to the child the perils of intemperance, must protect it to a certain extent against the inevitable suggestions of the surroundings in which it has to enter.
Our native race would be regenerated, undoubtedly, if we could succeed in inculcating in the children the hatred of alcohol which has degraded this race for centuries. We have eloquent examples of the great qualities of intelligence, heart, and courage that characterize the Indians. When properly educated, they become useful citizens. Our great president, Benito Juarez, was an Indian of pure race.
This high aim can only be realized by the school neutralizing in part the bad influence of the homes in which vice reigns. With the improvement of the economical conditions and the diffusion of education by means of learned and self-abnegating teachers, we confidently hope for a better future, and we will have the satisfaction of having prepared it for the new generations who will be called to fulfill high destinies. Consequently, you can see that we are even more interested than you in the solution of the problems which you come to study here, from such distant places of this country, and at the cost of such great fatigue.
Allow me, in conclusion, to express to you the high esteem and gratitude of the teachers of Mexico for the distinction of which they have been the object; and their wishes that this half-century old Association may reach even a longer life and realize completely the high and noble end for which it was founded.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE TEACHER
RT. REV. THOMAS J. CONATY, D.D., BISHOP OF MONTEREY AND LOS ANGELES In discussing the personality of the teacher one finds difficulty in clearly defining what personality really means. It is felt to be one's character, one's individuality, yet it is neither eccentricity nor singularity. The personality of a teacher is a presence, an attractiveness, a magnet leading and urging to the best and highest endeavor; it is a power which awakens dormant energy. Clothed with the knowledge, it is gifted with aptness in imparting it. The teaching personality vivifies and energizes the entire being of the teacher; it is, indeed, the very soul of the teacher. It expresses itself not only thru the knowledge imparted but more particularly thru the character of the teacher whose power is more in what he is than in what he has or does. It makes him a living, intelligent being, an apostle of the truth with a message to mind .and heart, a helper in the things which should be known and done, drawing out of us the best we have and urging us to the best we can do. The personality which educates to the best is adorned with truthfulness, manliness, generosity, and sympathy.
Teaching has earned its right to be considered one of the learned professions and should feel something of the divine calling. The question of the personality of the teacher is a question of the teaching office itself and a proper appreciation can only be had in a careful estimate of the teacher's duty to education. No one will question the importance of the life work of the teacher or fail to be impressed with the truth that the vocation to the teachers' office is a most honorable one. Education aims to form men and women, to develop soul as well as body, heart as well as mind-in a word, to train all the faculties of man under the influence of the knowledge of God's intention in creation. The purpose of all education is the apprehending and understanding of truth and its application to life. Until man has seen truth in its beauty and possessed it in its entirety, his complete development is not reached. One of the world's masters of culture, the great schoolmaster of Italy, the immortal Dante, following the thought of his teacher, St. Thomas Aquinas, held that the soul was made to know the truth, to love and possess the good, and to enjoy the beautiful. Dante believed in God and in the immortality of the soul, and his constant axiom was, "God is truth and God is love." He believed that the union of the human with the divine will was the source of the perfection of all character. According to his theory, man's intelligence grasps the truth, his will follows the good, and his heart rests in the love of the beautiful. Dante was a believer in a revealed religion and found the fullness of truth in God's revelation, and the perfect good in the following of God's commandments, and the beautiful in the love of God. No man ever thought, spoke, or wrote nobler words, or reached to higher flights of fancy, or impressed himself more effectively upon the world's thought, than Dante, who, while charming us with the song of the poet in his immortal poems, is still the teacher.
The direction of education varies according to the ideas formed of life and is dominated by them. One would hardly concede to an atheist the education of a theist and it is hard to see how a purely philosophical education would satisfy the Christian. In a rationalistic education the absolute magistracy of the human reason is conceded; in the Christian education the sovereignty of God is the underlying principle. The teacher entering into the field of education as one of its masters should have clearly defined ideas of life and its relationship to God, for no one can fully fit to the end of life who has not realized its source, the purpose of which it has been given and the means by which it may reach its end. Thring says, "The teacher is one who has liberty and time and heart enough and head enough to be a master in the kingdom. of life." No truer principle was ever advocated than that which maintains that it is not sufficient to develop merely the natural faculties and dispositions of children but that care should be taken to ennoble and perfect them. To be the instrument in the perfecting of the faculties of mankind, in the upbuilding of the character of men and women, is indeed an important and honorable vocation. To lead the child and youth to the full and proper develop
ment of all the faculties of his nature is a noble and responsible calling. The Sacred Scripture reminds us of God's promise, "Those that instruct the youth unto life shall shine like the stars in God's firmament." The old pagans understood this, for Cicero said, "What better, what greater service can we of today render to the Republic than to instruct and train the young." All mankind has recognized the sacredness of the calling to mold human minds and lives in truth, to inspire men to the higher and better things. There is something God-like in a teacher. He draws from the heart of childhood love for the beautiful, the pure, and the true. He awakens latent energies, discovers unknown forces, opens up avenues of thought, directs the pupil to the treasure houses of the world's thought, helps self-development, reaches toward the fullness of manhood, in a word, the teacher makes men. Like the farmer who plows his land that light and moisture may enter the soil before he plants the seed, so the teacher prepares the way and opens up the ground that the seed of thought may act upon mind and life. The teacher stands before the world greater than the noblest heroes of military science and conquest. All nations, all peoples, at all times have loved and respected the teacher. There is no stain on his garment, there is no blood on his crown. He has been the philosopher and the benefactor of the people and has won the love of the people by his self-sacrifices and devotion to higher things. At certain times, the teacher has been the object of special favors and dignities. After the pastor of a parish in many places he was the chief man, freed from taxation and military service. According to the laws of the General Assembly of France in 1685 he was clothed in a surplice, incensed in the church, holding a place above the laity, even above the aristocracy of the parish. What a chapter might be written on the teachers who have influenced mankind! From Nineveh to Jerusalem, from Athens to Rome, from Iona to St. Gall, from Paris to Oxford, from Leipzic to Louvain, from Vienna to Harvard, a royal line of men and women who as teachers in the various grades of school have educated mankind.
There is no more interesting page in history than that which tells the story of the great teachers. Coming, as they did in the olden days, from distant countries to the centers of learning, creating, indeed, by their teaching, those very centers, they depended not on kings and nobles for their support but on the truth they taught and the enthusiasm they aroused. Those teachers had minds trained in knowledge, they had drunk deep of the fountains of knowledge and of faith, their lives had been spent in the acquisition of truth and in the mighty mission of the teacher they consecrated their lives to instruction. It was not mere knowledge or method that made the great teachers, it was their ability and personality by which they made knowledge lovable and imparted it to those whom they had taught to love them. As the Apostles at Emmaus felt their hearts burn within them as Christ spoke, so the student feels the personality of the true teacher. The master who really lives is the one teacher we never cease to love.
What made the great teachers? What gave the power with which they impressed the world? It was, first of all, the consciousness that they had a mission to intellect and heart and felt a divine vocation to tell the message of truth in the varied knowledge to be acquired. They possessed truth, they loved it, and they loved to spread it into the lives of others. A prominent. German teacher in the thirteenth century calls the schoolmaster "a spiritual father." "Gold and silver," he says, "cannot repay him, for the things of the spirit are higher and nobler than the things of the body. What he taught you remains a possession forever." St. John Chrysostom asked the question, "What is more noble than to form the minds of the youth?" and he adds, "He who fashions the morals of children performs, in my judgment, a task more sublime than that of any painter or sculptor." As Newman says of the teacher, "He is a professor, eloquent, a missionary and a preacher, displaying his science in its most complete and winning form, pouring it forth with the soul of enthusiasm and lighting up his own love of it in the breasts of his hearers." Personality weighs far more than method. The good teacher makes his own method and changes his method according to the varying changes of his pupils. Consecration to work, consecration to one's idea of how best to impart the knowledge he possesses is a key to successful teaching. Psychological insight into personal traits, untiring patience with personal defects, persevering kindness in all circumstances, are characteristic of the good teacher and they spring from sympathy which is fundamental to the teachers' personality. Every teacher should have faith that even in the least promising and least interesting scholar there is a power for good which should be exercised and which it is the business of the teacher to develop. Oftentimes when teachers grow weary of the dull child at school does it ever occur to them to ask how much of the child's inability to learn is due to the lack of personality in the teacher who has become unattractive to the dull child? All men recognize that the teacher, in final analysis, is the school. The best methods are but accessories, the most elegant buildings mere assembly rooms, the most finely equipped laboratories are machines, the skill, the strength, the light, the life, and the use of all these are crystallized in the teacher.
The teacher's office is endowed with sanctity, inasmuch as it is the ministry of God exercised in the interests of truth in the schoolroom. Justinian calls the legal profession "a priesthood of truth," inasmuch as laws rest on justice and equity and inculcate the same. The teaching profession is equally a priesthood of truth for it aims to teach the truth of life and to search after and find the knowledge which satifies the human intelligence, and nothing but the truth of God can give that satisfaction. Of all men the guide in the realm of truth and the agent in the development of it in the minds and lives of others should be a man of faith, a believer in the truth and practical in a virtuous life. He should live to fit himself the more certainly to lead where truth abounds.
The teacher's incentive to conscientious action is in the inspiration which
comes from the duty of education to develop manhood in the fullness of individual good character. How strong the impulse which comes from his feeling that his place is in what has been called, "the beloved ministry of childhood." As the "undershepherd of God's little ones," his life is called. to be spent in not merely instructing but in shaping and forming the character, developing toward the light and making life more intelligible and more worth living. A human life is entrusted to him, to be rightly developed by him in order to obtain life's best values. No one who assumes this sacred trust should fail to recognize the tremendous responsibility with follows. It comes
to him freighted with the sweetest loves and deepest anxieties of the parents of the children and of the commonwealth to which they are bound by social ties. No more honorable position in life awaits him than that which calls him to the duties of instruction, warning him to be alive not only to the truth to be taught but also to the duty which commands him to be what he would strive to have others become. Gregory the Great says, "No man undertakes to teach art unless he has himself first acquired it by diligent effort." One of the old master teachers of the thirteenth century said, "The master who is lacking in sound learning is preparing to live dishonestly." There is a world of truth in this for unless the child be properly trained for the duties of life, the teacher is not giving value for value and inasmuch as on his part value is lacking, he is more or less dishonest. The teacher needs to be versed in the knowledge of nature and nature's God in order to show the way, to explain the sights, to answer the questions, in a word, to mold character. How can he do this unless he knows with accuracy and shows with clearness? Like the eunuch before Philip, the child may say, "How can I understand unless some one show me?" How can the teacher honestly and sincerely develop in another what has been undeveloped in himself? No man can teach truth who has not apprehended it himself, no man can develop character who has not the fullness of character in himself, no man is accepted as a safe guide to morality who is not himself a follower of the moral precepts. Personal integrity, a character without stain, an upright and moral life, are the soul of the teaching personality and should mark the teacher's life. He should have conscience and morality himself to thoroly develop good morals in others. Children are quick to perceive the difference between precept and practice.
The development of morality is the very essence of all educational systems. Men differ as to what constitutes morality, but it seems to me that the majority of men will accept the principle that the morality that makes for life is built upon the po itive law of God and is developed and maintained by obedience to that law. Unfortunately, there is an ever-increasing tendency to divorce religion from school instruction because of the many and varied differences in religious thought. Serious-minded men and women are noting with fear the results of this divorce, which, among people regarded as educated, are already manifesting themselves in a growing disregard for the very commonest laws of morality. Fifty years ago general education was hailed as the panacea