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Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 9/14/2017 at 14:02:44

Thursday, July 23, 1868
Paper: Anamosa Eureka (Anamosa, Iowa)
Page: 3


Rome Township has eight schools, with the largest average attendance of any township in the county.

Dist. No. 1, at Rome Village, has 70 scholars, taught by Mr. J. C. Thomas, who is already well-known as one of our most successful teachers. But why does he succeed so much better than many others? His heart is in his work and it is the study of his life to learn how to teach a good school. Possessing indomitable energy aptness to teach, is not content to follow the old beaten track of those who “kept” school a century ago; but believing in progress, he is continually striving to awaken an interest in the minds of his pupils and lead them to think for themselves. As a natural consequence, his labors are beginning to be appreciated where he is best known, as I learn that he is offered forty dollars per month and board, if he will teach the same country school next winter that he has taught for a few years past. If a goodly number of energetic teachers, would make teaching a profession, could take the places of many in our schools who “kept” school because they could not find anything else to do unless they go to work, those teacher should advance rapidly and teachers would be generally better paid.

In school Dist. No. 2, is having a vacation until after harvest, so I cannot speak of its merit at present.

School Dist. No. 4 has 34 pupils taught by Miss Eva Foreman, is a very good school house. Some of the recitations in this school are tolerably fair, but there was plainly a lack of thoroughness in some branches. There was not one scholar in the school who could tell the name of an interrogation or exclamation point or for what purpose they are used. Miss Forman does not like teaching and it is a wise conclusion she has made not to attempt teaching again, as no one can be very successful as a teacher who has no love for her work.

District No. 5 has 12 pupils, taught by Miss Helen Tharp. This school appeared very well and showed thorough progress in most of the branches taught. Miss Tharp likes teaching and desires to qualify herself more thoroughly for her work.

Dist. No. 6 has 25 pupils, taught by Miss Mary Cool, this school does not appear as well as it would if the people of the district would do their part toward maintaining the teacher. The Director’s children left the school the day I was there, at recess, having had such permission from their parents and as a number of others followed their example, the school was not a fair representation of everyday workings. The teacher is young and inexperienced and appears somewhat lacking in government, yet under other more favorable circumstances, might teach a good school.

Dist. No. 7 has 32 pupils, taught by Miss Mary E. Johnson, in a very poor school house, which was remarkably dirty the day I was there, as the Director will not provide a broom nor come near the school room to see how filthy it is! I propose to show up some of our School Directors at a future time. I have neither time nor space to do them justice now. This teacher has taught eleven terms of school, but still knows nothing how to use Outline Maps, so they are nicely folded away in one corner and the broken globe occupies another corner. Some of the recitations were tolerably fair, but this lacks considerable of being a model school.

Dist. No. 8 at Locust Grove, has 63 pupils, taught by Mr. J. P. Walter. This school appeared very well, although the teacher is not capable of carrying out the system that Mr. Thomas established and carried out so admirably before him; yet Mr. Walters teaches a better school than the majority of teachers.

The school in Dist. No. 9 has adjourned until after fall harvest.

The weather was extremely warm when I visited Rome and schools cannot make as good an appearance in such weather as when it was more favorable.

J. R. STILLMAN, Co. Sup’t.
Bowen’s Prairie, July 21, 1868


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