Keeping School

Looking up a School—Too Young to Teach—The Norton District —Stopping Over-night with the Family—Next Day’s Experience —Home again, Discouraged—His Mother’s View of it—Unexpected Call for a Teacher—A Providential Offer—Consults Uncle Amos—The Wise Decision—Excitement in the District—First Day of School—How Won his Pupils—Summing up of the Winter’s Labour—Boarding Round—At Home on Sundays—Becomes a Christian—Returns to the Seminary—Boards with the Carpenter— School-keeping the next Winter—Teaching Geometry—How his Trousers were Torn and Mended—Close of the School

The next day after James reached home, at the close of the term, he started out to find a situation as teacher.

“When will you return?” inquired his mother.

“When I get a school. Somehow I feel as if it would be a hard matter to get a school.”

“I hope not, my son,” answered his mother, rejoicing in her heart that James was going to be a teacher, and not a sailor.

I hope not,” responded James; but I don’t seem to feel so elated over the prospect as I did once. I shall do my best, however, and I may be gone several days.”

James took the most favourable route, on foot, and made his first application about ten miles from home.

“You are too young,” replied the committee to his application; “we don’t want a boy to teach our school.”

“I have a recommendation from Mr. Branch, Principal of the Geauga Seminary;” and he proceeded to exhibit his testimonials.

“No matter about that,” replied the committee-man.

“No doubt you know enough, but you can’t make yourself any older than you be; that’s the trouble. We’ve had boys enough keep our school.”

This was quite a damper upon the ardour of James; and he left the man, and continued his journey, reflecting upon the value of age to pedagogues.

The next school district that he reached had engaged a teacher.

“If you had come a week ago, I’d hired yer,” the man said.

It was encouraging to James that he had found a district where age was not an absolute requirement. He thought better of youth now.

“Possibly in the Norton District they’ve not a teacher yet,” the man added.

“Where’s that?” inquired James.

“About three miles north of here,” pointing with his finger. “Go to Mr. Nelson; he’s the man you want ter see. He’ll hire yer, if he’s no teacher.”

James posted away to the Norton District, and found Mr. Nelson, just about dark.

“Just found a teacher, young man, and hired him,” Mr. Nelson said. “Can’t very well hire another.”

“Of course not,” answered James; “and perhaps the one you hired needs the chance as much as I do.”

“Perhaps so; he’s trying to get an education.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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