REFLECTIONS UPON MY PEDAGOGIC CAREER
BY AARON SEITZ
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: ---
It was only after
the chairman of this organization had insisted quite a while
that I should say something here, that I consented with I
was sure that there would not be much expected of me.
The chairman of
this meeting is a peculiar man; knowing him, and the
composition of his make-up as I do, I know that when he sets
for the accomplishing of an object, it is useless to attempt
to resist him. He is a combination of Baker,
Leatherman and Seitz. In selecting a subject for me,
he suggested that perhaps a little talk of the recollection
of my school teaching days would be interesting.
Speaking of school
days reminds me of my first days as a pupil in school.
About 42 years ago, I commenced attending school in what was
known at the time as the Grubb school house, known more
recently as the Baker school house. The teacher of
this school was Hon. Michael Baker, and for a number of
years in succession, he was the teacher of that school, and
the school was largely composed of Bakers, Leathermans,
Grubbs, Smiths and Tablers. The other pupils in that
school were very few. In thinking of my own career as
a school teacher, I have often wondered how Mr. Baker
got along with that school. He had, as nearly as I can
remember, eighty scholars crowded in a little bit of an old
school house that stood only a few yards from the old father
Baker place. I attended school a few terms in other
places, but the last school that I attended was taught by
John Leatherman Baker Leatherman, and so whatever blunders I
make, I attribute largely to Bakers and Leathermans.
When I was 19 years of age, I had mother to load up my
dinner bucker and I started for the Auglaize School house.
Taught there four terms in succession, and there some of my
pupils were Leathermans. Taught the Baker school four
terms and every term, either had Bakers or Leathermans.
Taught the Ridge school and every term had Bakers or
Leathermans. Taught three terms in the same school
house in Kansas and there had a descendant of the Bakers and
Prof N.R. Baker was
a pupil of mine at one time and think I had several other
Bakers and Leathermans. We used the front row of seats
for the recitation seat. One of them was broken, but
we could place it back and by the scholars sitting very
still, it answered very well, but for some reason
unaccountable to me at the time, we could not keep the seat
in its place. We had a seat near the front for
mischievous scholars, and that seat was nearly always
occupied by Prof N.R. Baker, and a long time after that I
learned that Prof Baker had a little stick which he had
slipped in there and he would slide that seat out. Now
that is the kind of good little boy Prof. Baker was, when he
was my pupil.
When I taught the
last term at the Auglaize school, there were no fewer than
seven that thought they knew as much as I did, and I have
often studied over that matter and I have concluded that
there were about right. There was Albert and Lewis
Harrod, Emma Smiley and Miss Ruth Stevenson and Josie Hudson
who all had certificates before the term closed, and some of
them were as good as mine.
I could talk a long
time to you this evening. I see old pupils of mine all
over this audience, and I have pupils who have filled nearly
all positions from the page to the legislative halls.