Below is a letter written by Principal H. P. Mabry of Talihina Graded School on October 8th, 1894. He is the earliest recorded principal in Talihina’s history that was not teaching in an indigenous school. His valiant efforts for the year that his school ran helped feed a constant desire for a permanent school house in the area. It wasn’t until 1907 that the dreams of a permanent and separate school-house would be realized for the town. His school was housed in the second story of the original Presbyterian Church, in the place of the current Warcry Ministries.
Teachers and Their Duties
Teachers are the allies of the legislators; they have their influence in the prevention of crime; they aid in regulating the atmosphere of civilization, whose incessant action and pressure cause the life blood to circulate and return pure healthful to the heart of the Nation.
Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation. Of what unspeakable importance is this to the mothers who give lessons to the young before any others, who produce impressions that only death can obliterate and mingle with the cradle dreams that should be read in eternity.
The actions of the teacher are as important in his sphere as are those of the father and mother in theirs, as he has the molding of the “young ideas” entrusted to him. Someone has truthfully said that “Our children’s companions have more to do with the shaping of their characters than all the council of their tutors”. This is doubtlessly true, and when we take into consideration the number of children thrown together in the school room one will readily perceive how great a responsibility rests upon the teacher.
Here, under one common rule, is a miniature republic. But little can be accomplished until the teacher can be able to make an impression on the young minds. In order to do this he must be able to secure their undivided attention, which is not always an easy task. Some are full of mischief and must be drawn out; some are stubborn and must be controlled, others are indifferent and must be stimulated. It requires a knowledge of human nature and the aid of parents and guardians to accomplish this.
A school cannot be successfully taught until this has been done. The next step is to lead the young mind to investigate, and then to think for itself. Not until this is done can education be said to be on a sure foundation. Someone once said: “Think for thyself one good idea, but known to be thy own is better than a thousand gleaned from fields by each other sewn”.
H. P. Mabry
Principal Talihina Graded School