Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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These articles about the early Teachers' Institutes and Common Schools give us insight into early educational practices. They are part of research I am compiling to write about Teaching the Teachers before colleges were available for their education. Joyce M.Tice
Tioga County School Articles 1839 - 1849
Continued From Teachers' Institutes 1855-1859 Tioga County Teachers Institutes 1860
Tioga County School Articles 1861 - 1869 Tioga County School Articles 1870 -

Tioga Agitator, September 22, 1874
Our Common Schools
By Charles G. Gray
Our School Houses
Architects have seemingly vied with one another in getting up plans for beautiful college buildings and elegant universities.--Every convenience and ornamental design that could be invented has been adopted almost instantly.  This is all right, but who not do something for the improvement of country school buildings?  It is true we have better school houses than we had forty years ago, but they yet lack a great deal of being what they ought to be.  The primitive log house has been torn down and a poorly planned structure placed on the old foundation.

The old house has given place to the new, but the latter is deficient in many respects.  There are a great many objections to those now in use.  They seem to have been built without any special plan for either comfort or convenience.  When looking at one, the idea will suggest itself that the people needed a place for the children to gather together and study their lessons, and so they appropriated a certain amount of money to defray the expenses of building, and were not very particular about the manner in which it was expended.  I said the idea would suggest itself, and my reason for so saying was that a great many have cost enough, but are rendered objectionable because the plan was bad.
Many school officers feel this defect and a conference of Superintendents held at Williamsport recommended "that the Directors should submit their plans to the County Superintendent, before building school houses."  While speaking of the necessity of better constructed school buildings a school officer says:  "If past Superintendents had been consulted they would have advised the construction of buildings differently arranged from many that are at present in use in the county, and which could have been erected without additional expense."
The above touches the exact point aimed at Directors need not expand much more money in putting up a school edifice than they have been in the habit of doing, but should exercise a little more judgment in its expenditure.
Any one who will think a moment knows that a house without a vestibule is not up to the proper standard.  Scholars coming into the school room during this winter must brush the snow off their clothing and stamp it, as best they can, from their feet, disturbing the school every time it is repeated.
Think how unhealthful it is for twenty, thirty, or forty scholars to be boxed up in a common sized school room with no means of ventilation.  How long would the same number of men and women submit to such treatment?  And yet where is the school house in Tioga county that has any means of ventilation save through the cracks and crevices, or perchance a broken window pane?
The arrangement of seats and recitation benches in many is very poor.  The graded school house at Covington is a fair sample in this respect.  No provision was ever made for a recitation seat, unless it was intended the recitation should be conducted in front of the blackboard and directly under the stovepipe.  In order to keep the room warm during an average winter day the stovepipe must emit so much heat that it is next to impossible for scholars to sit under it, and if they could, the dust from the blackboard would put a miller's stamp on every one.--  Then the seats are so constructed that no one can stand up in them, but must bend the knees forward in an uncomfortable position.
I might go on and point out other defects in the structure of the majority of our common school houses, but for brevity's sake will not.
We are in need of better houses and in time will get them.  Our citizens are beginning to realize that the hope and honor of our country is centered in our common school system, and we shall have better facilities.

Tioga Agitator  October 13, 1874
By Charles G. Gray
VI -- Reading Teachers
It is a lamentable fact the newspapers are not read as they should be by the people generally.  Too many think money given to the printer is thrown away.
Go where you will and you will find the man of newspapers a man of influence.  His opinion when given is counted of worth.--His advice is solicited every day.  People expect the reading man will know all about this movement or that, and when they desire as explanation they ask him.  This not only gives him an influence but does wonders for his memory.
Teachers especially ought to be inveterate newspaper worms.  They cannot continue to be posted on educational matters and keep pace with the times unless they read the papers.  Education is continually progressing and its advocates must not lose step or they will fall behind.  Once in the rear and it is hard to overtake and attempt to lead progressive education.  Everything pertaining to school matters is of such a changeable nature that unless the press is consulted regularly the teacher remains in ignorance of many things.
It has for a long time been a mystery to me why so many teachers shun the periodicals of the day.  Are they afraid the papers will convince them of their ignorance?  The press of the country is the teacher's friend, and why refuse to clasp the hand, that is so willing to give substantial aid to the hard-working educator.
Once while visiting a lady teacher I asked for a newspaper.  She handed me a third rate religious paper.  After glancing over the columns filled with worn-out extracts from other papers, I asked for a copy of the Agitator.
"We don't take it."
"Please let me look over your last Pennsylvania School Journal?"
"I never read that magazine much, nor do I care enough for it to subscribe."  Thus she gave me her opinion of the teachers organ.
"Surely you take a staunch weekly paper," said I.
"No, we only take this paper published by direction of the church to which father belongs."
Just think of this!  A teacher, the daughter of a farmer worth ten thousand dollars, and not the subscriber to any paper of worth.
"Is our civilization a failure?  Or is the Caucasian played out?"
I made up my mind that she would never astonish the world with her advanced theories of theaching.
While talking of school matters with a teacher who had been in the profession over ten years, I mentioned an article which I had read in the Pennsylvania School Journal.  She had heard of this organ but had never seen a copy.
Teacher, by all means read the papers.  If you have no taste of them, cultivate a taste.  Read your county and village papers; subscribe for an educational journal; read a good sound city paper.  Don't neglect your best interests.  Hand in hand with the printers let us march on the road of improvement, and finally the services of the true teacher will be better appreciated.  Some of you will say that your pay is so small you cannot afford to buy newspapers.  I agree with you that you are but poorly paid; but you can afford the reading matter.  Wear your dresses a little after you think they are beginning to appear shabby, and purchase a cheaper hat.  Gentlemen of the profession, take your boots to the cobbler and get him to patch them, and wear your coat awhile after it becomes seedy; but by all means "Take the papers."

Tri-Counties Page 16338

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 23 SEP 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice

Gazette & Bulletin, Williamsport, PA, Saturday morning, 30 Oct. 1937

Annual Sessions Held by Teachers and Directors of Tioga County Schools
WELLSBORO - Addresses by prominent educators were highlights of the 70th annual Tioga County teachers’ meeting and the annual school directors’ convention. Both were held here Thursday and Friday.
 Officers of the School Directors Association of Tioga County were elected as follows: President, Mrs. Mae Smith of Elkland; first vice president, Frank Snyder of Liberty; second vice president, A.H. Vosburg, Mansfield; secretary, Mrs. Clara MacIntosh of Covington; treasurer, Fay Furman of Wellsboro.
 Salom Rizk, lecturer, spoke on “Americanization of an American” at a meeting of the teachers in the high school Thursday morning.
 Sectional meetings, followed by panel discussions were led by the following: Irving T. Chatterton, on English; Dr. Paul J. Steele, science; Miss May M. Mattson, home economics; George S. Howard, music, all of the Mansfield State Teachers College faculty.
 The afternoon addresses were given by Dr. Joseph F. Noonan, president, Mansfield Teachers College, and Florence Hale, lecturer and editor.
 Preston O. VanNess, executive secretary of the state directors’ association, E.A. Quackenbush, of the department of public instructions, and Mr. Rizk, addressed the school directors.
 Music was furnished by the Mansfield Girls’ Glee Club, directed by Miss Eleanor Barnard; the Wellsboro High School Band, and instrumental quintet and pupils of the Charleston grade school. Mrs. Catherine McClintock, Wellsboro, led group singing.
 Dr. Hilton Ira Jones, scientist and lecturer, was the only new speaker at yesterday’s meeting of teachers.
 Entertainment was provided by the Wellsboro High School Orchestra; a baritone solo by Ronald Walter of Tioga; dances by Wellsboro High School girls in charge of Miss Jane Farwell; selections by Sophomore Girls’ Glee Club of Wellsboro, and vocal solo by Lane Webster, Wellsboro.
 Approximately 300 persons attended the two-day sessions, at the close of which the following officers were elected by the Tioga County Tuberculosis Society: President, Rock L. Butler, Wellsboro; vice president, Walter G. Clark, Westfield; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. C.E. Bennett, Wellsboro; auditors, Edgar Brandt, Wellsboro, and R.D. English, Antrim; delegates to P.S.E.A. convention, Warren L. Miller, Mansfield, Miss Josephine Squires and J.G. March, Wellsboro. Officers of the county unit were elected as follows: President, Rock L. Butler; secretary-treasurer, Miss Eleanor Donovan, Elkland.