Alton Democrat, 05 Mar 1904
The Professional Teacher's Association meet held here last Friday evening
and Saturday was as successful as the average. The attendance was good—there
being a fair sized crowd at the opera house Friday evening to hear Rev.
Smock deliver his address on ''Dreams and Dreamers." The evenings exercises
opened with prayer by Rev. Gales of the Alton congregational church. A
quartette consisting of Messrs. Waldron, Bowers, Bernard and Davidson of
Alton rendered a pleasing selection. Rev. Smock spoke eloquently of the
great men of the world like Columbus and Edison and many of the poets and
musicians who in youth were called dreamers and in after life startled the
world by the consummation of their dreams. He dwelt much on character
building and the necessity of right ideals in the achievement of success. He
is an eloquent speaker and enlivens his discourse with many anecdotes.
The program Saturday was carried out in full with Supt. May of Hawarden as
conductor—he being president of the association. The Saturday meetings were
held at the high school building. A number of good papers were
presented—among them one on "The Recitation" by John Riemersma of Sioux
Center which was especially
fine. It was commended by all teachers who heard it and some day teachers
who heard it and some day in the future it John should come out for county
superintendent he would find lots of supporters among the fraternity. His
paper shows him to be a man of high ideals and a thinker. The paper will be
given in full later. Other papers were by Miss Alma Stackhouse of Sioux
Center, William Van Benthem of Orange City, John De Koster deputy county
superintendent, Rev. Ralston of Sheldon and others. A few thoughts from
the various papers are all space permits us to reproduce.
A clear idea is better than book knowledge. Pupils may learn a book by heart
and have no conception of the subjects treated —like the boy who said
Washington City was a black dot on the map.
In the schools of England pupils are never questioned as to the faults of
another as it tends to make tale bearers.
Teachers should give attention to the pupils habits and assist in forming
French and German schools produce better scholars and in shorter time than
ours -due to the courses of study.
Observe pupils studying and you will see that nearly all are repeating over
and over the words of the text. In reciting the same pupils will be found
trying to recall the exact words —words that mean nothing to them. Teach the
pupil to think—not to memorize. If memorizing were the aim of study teaching
as a profession would be useless.?
John De Koster's paper contained some sound logic on the making of lessons
attractive and practical. He would apply them to local affairs. Suppose for
instance a church has recently burnt down. Discuss it. Whose property was
it? Was it insured? What is insurance? What sort of organization was it. How
do they raise money to build a church? Then we might go on and learn how the
money to build a school house is raised and
how to raise money to build a courthouse. Again the cost of these structures
might be estimated. How much did that church building east ? How much this
How much is this dwelling worth and that? You cannot help creating an
interest in a class by discussing such matters. You are sure to have
attention and without command.
You are getting your class down to business. They get practical ideas and
you may be sure that that class of children will become closer observers.
They will look more closely at every house that they pass by and estimate
its value. You have taught them to pay attention. They do it because they
understand what you are talking about or as it is sometimes called they what
you are driving at. It has a meaning to them. At one thirty o'clock the
business meeting was held. Minutes of last meeting read by Secretary Sylvia
Smith and approved. The executive committee recommended that the association
try to secure Pres. Storm of the Iowa Agricultural College at Ames to speak
at the next meeting to be held at Rock Valley May first. The committee also
moved that the program at Rock Valley be largely based on the book entitled
''School and Farm" by Prof. Egelets formerly of the state university.
Committee also moved that the membership committee be composed of the
following teachers: Helena Lohr of Orange City, Maud Sargeant of Ireton,
Kate Schalekamp of Maurice and Mrs.
Abbie Laden of Hull. The following teachers were present at the meeting:
SHELDON: J. E. Ralston, Clara Kimble, Clara Lon, Prof. Elliott, Cora
HAWARDEN: Marie Ross Eunice Horton, Musa Ross, Prof. May, Emma Lundie , Anna
ROCK VALLEY: Gertrude Huizenga, Anna Evans,
HULL: Supt. Nevelan, Kathryn Hogan, Carrie Jensen
ORANGE CITY: Prof Herr, Hendrlna Hospers, Jennie Nordhoff, John De Koster,
Will Van Benthen, Johanna De Jong, Sylvia Smith , Effie Hospers, Grace
Smith, Eva Beyer, Henrietta Van Rooyen , Phill p Soulen
SIOUX CENTER: Alma Staekhouse , Rena Stackhouse Prof. Latta, Minnie Fisher,
BOYDEN: Mrs Margaret Frame Miss E J Forbes
IRETON: Amelia Rhynsburger, Prof Johnson, Gertrude McKeever, Margaret
Overholser, Eva Stillman
GRANVILLE: Prof. Lampman, Emma Mulvany
ALTON: Christina Braskamp, Anna Bamberg, Jessie Campbell, Elizabeth Schmidt
Grace Swan , Ella Parker, Nellie Warner, Supt Fuller, Maude Kane
HOSPERS: Kittie Kramer.
MAURICE: Katie Schalekamp
There were numbers on the Saturday program by Alton school children and
talks by Rev. Smock on Burns and Pestalozzi the educator aud founder of free
schools. While there is a certain sameness about the meetings of the
organization they are nevertheless beneficial in a social and intellectual
way to all concerned.
[Submitted for posting by Minevera Van Peursem]