OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF COLES COUNTY SCHOOLS
Charleston Ill., Jan. 1, 1894.
To the Coles County Teachers:
I take this method of expressing my approbation of the work done the first half the school year. I have visited all the country districts and in the main find excellent work, but there is always room for improvement. I hope you will not be satisfied with passable work but will lend every energy to improve. It is easier to teach a good school than a poor one-the careless and slothful are always behind time and are under the painful necessity of hunting a school each year. They seem to be fatigued and as the disease is easily imparted, the whole school soon becomes inoculated. On the other hand those who take an interest in the work attend teachers' meetings, the institutes, do the reading circle work, read the best papers and are satisfied with nothing but the best always have schools offered them, and at the very best wages.
The schools would be materially improved if the boards of directors would hire for the full year, say seven to nine months, instead of dividing the school year into two terms. If the teachers will urge this upon boards of directors as they talk with them and show them that continuing the same teachers will do the school much more service than to change, as the new teacher will necessarily spend two or thre weeks in learning what each pupil can do. It is poor economy to change teachers for the spring term. I am glad to see some of the boards of directors have caught the spirit and hire for the full year. In some counties in the state it is the exception where there is a change.
Central examinations will be held February 17, '94, as follows: Mattoon, at the Superintendent's office; Paradise, Etna; Pleasant Grove, Lerna; Hutton, Stringtown; Ashmore, Ashmore; Oakland, Oakland; Morgan, Rardin; Hickory, Fair Grange; Humbolt, Humbolt; Okaw, Cooks Mills; Lafayette, Loxa; Charleston, Superintendent's office in Charleston. The following persons will have charge of the examination in the respective towns: Mattoon, J. S. Allison, W. C. Aball; Paradise, A. M. Brandt, F. A. Caruthers; Pleasant Grove, R. C. White, Miss Lulu Snowden; Hutton, Miss Stella Beck, J. A. Riggins; Ashmore, J. L. Whisnand, C. N. Wigginton; Oakland, J. W. Teeter, J. D. Williams; Morgan, J. W. McKinney, L. E. Galbreath; Hickory, T. Noble Cofer, Miss Rose Burke; Humbolt, W. T. Harve, Ben Sellers; Okaw, B. F. Peadro, Miss Anna Crum; Lafayette, H. A. Kimery, Oscar Freeman; Charleston, Murry Stone, Miss Anna Graham. All Material for writing will be furnished.
The conductors of the examinations will grade the papers, and all those who make a grade of 75 with no branch below 70, will be admitted to the final examination. No teacher will grade the work of his own pupil. Examinations will begin at 9 a. m. and close at 4 p. m. Final examinations will be held in Charleston, March 17. Examinations for certificates will be held for the first Saturday of each month, in Charleston.
The teacher's meetings are not as well attended as I would like to see. I hope in the future each teacher will make it his special duty to attend the meeting that is nearest him. They have been held in Charleston, Mattoon and Oakland to accommodate the teachers, but I am sorry to relate the fact that many of those who have been in the city the day of the meeting have failed to attend. There can be no excuse for those who are in the city at the time of the meeting.
Remember that there is no calling of more importance, more responsible than the teacher's profession. The farmer cultivates the soil, the carpenter builds dwellings, the physician attends the sick, the lawyer looks after the financial interests of his clients, the farm hands look after the cattle and hogs. The teacher is the main factor in the character building and training immortal souls-teaches the children in all that goes to make a good citizen, an honest person and a Christian. "That upon which the teacher leaves his impress, is the human soul, destined to an eternal association with the Infinite."
C. T. Feagan, Sup't.
[Transcribed by Susan Geist]
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