NOVEMBER 26, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—On Saturday evening I attended the New York State Classroom Teachers' Association banquet. There are, of course, many teachers' organizations but it seems to me that this one of the classroom teachers is the most important because it touches the most intimate contacts with the children and their parents. The classroom teacher knows her children very well and comes in constant contact with their parents. That is why I think it is essential for these teachers to receive more recognition in every community.
I had a letter not long ago from Mr. Charles C. Platt who feels it is important that we establish courses in character training in our schools. He points out that these courses are given in the Army and Air Force but they are really needed at a much earlier age. To me character training is inherent in practically everything that is done in the schools. I am not sure that I quite understand how you can have separate courses for this purpose because, it seems to me, that it should impregnate every course and every action in a schoolroom. The building of character and the teaching of ethics are tied up with ability to think clearly and to look honestly at situations when they arise, even when they affect oneself. Perhaps in teachers' training there should be more emphasis on the way each action of the day can be used to increase the understanding in children of their ability to develop character. Instilling a sense of responsibility is probably the basis of all future character and is an essential in preparation for citizenship in a democracy.
* * *
In our papers recently it was announced that by 1970 there will be an increase in New York City of the non-white population which includes our Negro and Puerto Rican population. So it is interesting to see that on November 30th Dr. Buell A. Gallagher, President of City College, will moderate a forum in the Hunter College Playhouse which will discuss the changes in the status of Negroes in New York in the past twenty years. This is the 6th annual Negro College Fund Symposium and an effort will be made to canvass the areas where improvement is needed. There will be very interesting people appearing in the panel and it will be sponsored not only by the United Negro College Fund but by the New York City branch of the American Association of University Women and the city clubs of eleven Eastern women's colleges.