Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/432

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
432
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

ing stimulus to the boys that each should look forward to taking care of himself, not depending upon his neighbors or his government.

This plan would cure two difficulties of the present system. First the whole scale of pensions would drop away, as of course there would be no thought of so rewarding the female teacher. Second the disgraceful squabbles that take place periodically between the sexes over the question of equal pay for equal service would offend the ears no longer. Each sex would be hired on the true basis of compensation within its own ranks. That logical fallacy, such a fond subject of dispute, the equality of work of the two, would appear no more. It would be plain and above argument to every one that there is no such thing as men and women doing the same work in the schoolroom or elsewhere, and consequently to speak of equality of the two is absurd. The relation is far higher than that of equality, it is that of indispensability. It is the same as exists between the two halves of a circle or between the center and the circumference.

For some places, although the general rate of compensation would have to be raised higher, the total expense would not be very much greater. There would be no pensions, and instead of appropriating public funds to people who give no service whatever every dollar would get its worth in the devoted labor of both men and women teachers.

The school next to the family trains for life, for conduct, for character. The best method of development is that of example. What better model for these maturing natures than a teacher who is a success? Success for women means marriage. This notion is entwined in our very fibers so that we look upon the "old maid" as a failure in the great female game of life. The man who can not care for his family and for himself, who becomes a burden upon the goodness of his neighbors, is equally considered a failure. It is not a good pattern to set before the youth that the leader, man or woman, who daily instructs them has not succeeded in the great battle of the world. The schools should have the best and, in the long run, success, for the great bulk of mankind, is the proof of the best: competency for the man and marriage for the woman.