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Anne of Avonlea

4. Different Opinions
One evening at sunset, Jane Andrews, Gilbert Blythe, and Anne Shirley were lingering
by a fence in the shadow of gently swaying spruce boughs, where a wood cut known as
the Birch Path joined the main road. Jane had been up to spend the afternoon with
Anne, who walked part of the way home with her; at the fence they met Gilbert, and all
three were now talking about the fateful morrow; for that morrow was the first of
September and the schools would open. Jane would go to Newbridge and Gilbert to
White Sands.
"You both have the advantage of me," sighed Anne. "You're going to teach children who
don't know you, but I have to teach my own old schoolmates, and Mrs. Lynde says
she's afraid they won't respect me as they would a stranger unless I'm very cross from
the first. But I don't believe a teacher should be cross. Oh, it seems to me such a
responsibility!"
"I guess we'll get on all right," said Jane comfortably. Jane was not troubled by any
aspirations to be an influence for good. She meant to earn her salary fairly, please the
trustees, and get her name on the School Inspector's roll of honor. Further ambitions
Jane had none. "The main thing will be to keep order and a teacher has to be a little
cross to do that. If my pupils won't do as I tell them I shall punish them."
"How?"
"Give them a good whipping, of course."
"Oh, Jane, you wouldn't," cried Anne, shocked. "Jane, you COULDN'T!"
"Indeed, I could and would, if they deserved it," said Jane decidedly.
"I could NEVER whip a child," said Anne with equal decision. "I don't believe in it AT
ALL. Miss Stacy never whipped any of us and she had perfect order; and Mr. Phillips
was always whipping and he had no order at all. No, if I can't get along without whipping
I shall not try to teach school. There are better ways of managing. I shall try to win my
pupils' affections and then they will WANT to do what I tell them."
"But suppose they don't?" said practical Jane.
"I wouldn't whip them anyhow. I'm sure it wouldn't do any good. Oh, don't whip your
pupils, Jane dear, no matter what they do."
"What do you think about it, Gilbert?" demanded Jane. "Don't you think there are some
children who really need a whipping now and then?"
 
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