The subject frequently comes up for discussion as to which makes the best teacher, the man or the woman. The writer will probably be accused of partiality to her own sex if she claims for the woman a knack and patience in the imparting of instruction which men seldom possess; or let it be said that men excel as class teachers, and women as the instructors of individuals. The reason for this opinion will probably be obvious to most of our readers.
A woman’s fondness for detail will enable her to lavish an amount of care upon the minutiæ which go to make perfection; whereas a man, looking upon matters from a broader and wider stand-point, aims at making the principal parts of the structure perfect, and leaves the smaller points to take care of themselves. A man who has his subject well in hand will easily give a more striking demonstration of it; but his exposition will only appeal to the keener intelligences among his pupils. A woman, with her innate sense of character analysis, will make an individual study of each student, and exert herself accordingly as the learner is bright, pert, sympathetic, or the reverse. Among my many teachers I can never forget the unsparing, unselfish, and devoted efforts of one gifted woman. I have never before or since witnessed anything to equal this lady’s absolute powers of concentration, and her ability to make even the most complicated point plain to the densest brain. Her power of estimating individual character and capability was marvelous, and no less remarkable was her ability to adapt her methods of instruction to every shade and variety of intelligence. Yet she held no certificate of any kind. She was simply “a born teacher.”—Dr. Annie Patterson, in Musical Opinion.