_1_ I have increasing admiration for the teacher in the country school where we have a third-grade scholar in attendance.She not only undertakes to instruct her charges in all the subjects of the first three grades, but she manages to function quietly and effectively as a guardian of their health,their cloths, their habits, their mothers, and their snowball engagements. She has been doing this sort of Augean task 1 for twenty years,and is both kind and wise.She cooks for the children on the stove that heats the room,and she can cool their passions or warm their soup with equal competence.She conceives their costumes, cleans up their messes,and shares their confidences.My boy already regards his teacher as his great friend,and I think he tells her a great deal more than he tells us. _2_ The shift from city school to country school was something we worried about quietly all last summer.I have always rather favored public school over private school2, if only because in public school you meet a greater variety of children.This bias of mine ,I suspect,is partly an attempt to justify my own past (I never knew anything but public schools)and partly an involuntary defense against getting kicked in the shins by a young ceramist on his way to the kiln3. My wife was unacquainted with public schools, never having been exposed (in her early life ) to anything more public than the washroom of Miss Winsor's4 . Regardless of our backgrounds,we both knew that change in schools was something that concerned not us but the scholar himself.We hoped it would work out all right.In New York our son went to a medium-priced private institution with semi-progressive ideas of education,and modern plumbing.He learned fast ,kept well,and we were satisfied.It was an electric,colorful,regimented existence with moments of pleasurable pause and giddy incident.The day the Christmas angel fained and had to be carried out by one of the Wise Men was educational5...
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