The School Report printed below covered  the 1892 Bethel schools situation.  It was printed in February 1893 at the close of the town’s fiscal year.  Therefore it was received by the public at the annual town meeting in March 1893.

 

Supervisor of School Nathaniel F. Brown was first elected to this position in 1891 at the March 1891 town meeting.

 

 In making my second animal report, I have to say that the schools of Bethel are generally prosperous. They have been con­ducted under the same general methods, as of the preceding year, with the exception, that we have paid more attention to Gram­mar this year than last. The study of Grammar has been neg­lected in our schools the past few years; partly on account of the change in methods of teaching it; some teachers advocating that the old way of teaching grammar, with a parsing lesson, was of little use, and recommending the use of the Language Lessons instead. I think the use of Language Lessons is a great advance in education and have insisted upon its use in all our schools; but I do not think it should take the place of analysis and parsing. I think the Language Lessons should be used in addition to the Grammar. One of the hardest things in school is to get children to express themselves readily and use correct English, and the use of the Language Lesson, used as it should be, meets the  long felt want in that direction.

In my last report, I recommended that Hyde's Language, Les­sons be changed for some other book, or that a good grammar be put in some of the schools for some of the advanced classes. The town voted to leave the matter with the Supervisor, and so, us we needed more grammars in the schools, I put in Maxwell's to sup­ply the deficiency, and to take the place of the others as they were worn out. This is the practice in many towns and I think it is a good one, especially with the readers. We shall want quite a number of new readers the nest year. I would recommend that something different from what we how have be introduced, not that the ones we are using now are not good, but to make more variety and help create an interest. It might be well to use the same plan in regard to the histories.

 

No serious trouble has interfered with the management of the schools for the past year, but sickness has disturbed the work of two or three of them. For this reason the school at West Bethel had to be closed after keeping five weeks of the winter term.

 

The school-house at the Steam Mill has been repaired, and the one on the Upper North Side, so that the school-rooms are in fairly good condition, with the exception of the one in the village. It seems a waste of money to expend very much in repairing them as they are not in the right locations and are not large enough to accommodate, properly, those who occupy them. I would recom­mend that new school buildings be provided for the village, using the same argument that I used last year, that it would be cheaper in the end, as the neighboring schools could be accommodated and save the expense of one or two teachers, besides having better schools.

I would again call the attention of the town to the necessity of rearranging the districts, or schools, and disposing of the school-houses that are not wanted; as has been recommended the past two years. By consolidating some of the smaller schools, I have been able to have a school term of nine weeks where we have had but seven. In some cases, if the school-house could be moved it • would be much more convenient and save expense in carrying scholars. We have now been under the town system a number of years, but very little has been done to permanently consolidate the schools. If the people are still going to fight, inch by inch, any effort to have fewer schools, we might as well have the old district system; for this is certainly about the only argument in favor of the town system. Under the district system, the village would have at least four times the money that they now have, and so the town would be sure of having two or three good schools at least. Under the town system, if you undertake to run a school in every neighborhood where there are four or five schol­ars, you ruin the whole, unless you raise money enough to be bur­densome to the taxpayers of the town. On the other hand, if the people will take hold of the matter, and put up with a little incon­venience to get their children to school, I have no doubt the town system will prove to be of great value. Nearly half of the scholars in town are in the village and if the principle' of the

 

I have continued the same teachers through the year, where their work was satisfactory, as much as I could. My estimate of the teachers of Bethel last year will apply to this year also. I think, no town in Maine has a more wide awake, faithful, or better corps of teachers than Bethel. They have shown a dispo­sition to comply with the requirements of the Supervisor, and to do their work well. Five of the teachers employed this year have been graduates of the Gorham Normal School, two have had a partial course at Farmington Normal School, and most of the others have been graduates of Gould's Academy. No certificates have been given except to those who were able to get a rank of seventy-five on the State Examination Papers. Last year I closed the report without taking up the work of the different schools. I think it unjust to select any teacher for commendation or reproof, so, with the following tabular statement, I close this report.

 

N.F. Brown

Supervisor of Schools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

greatest good to the greatest number is adopted, the scholars in the village have a right to receive the benefit of a large part of the school money.

I have continued the same teachers through the year, where their work was satisfactory, as much as I could. My estimate of the teachers of Bethel last year will apply to this year also. I think, no town in Maine has a more wide awake, faithful, or better corps of teachers than Bethel. They have shown a dispo­sition to comply with the requirements of the Supervisor, and to do their work well. Five of the teachers employed this year have been graduates of the Gorham Normal School, two have had a partial course at Farmington Normal School, and most of the others have been graduates of Gould's Academy. No certificates have been given except to those who were able to get a rank of seventy-five on the State Examination Papers. Last year I closed the report without taking up the work of the different schools. I think it unjust to select any teacher for commendation or reproof, so, with the following tabular statement, I close this report.

N.F. BROWN

Supervisor of Schools.