THE TECHNIQUE OF 211 Indeed, when the child is educating himself, and the control and correction of error Is given over to the material, there is nothing left for the teacher to do but to observe. With my methods, the mistress teaches little, observes a great deal, and above all, hers Is the function of directing the mental activity of the children and their physiological development. For this reason I have changed the name of teacher to that of directress. In the early days this name made people smile, for everybody asked who It was that this mistress would direct since she had no one under her sway and had to leave her little pupils at liberty. But her direction goes much deeper and Is more important than what Is commonly understood, since she directs life and souls. The directresses of the Children's Houses must have a very clear conception of two factors—the guidance which Is the function of the teacher, and the individual exercise, which Is the work of the child. Only after having fixed In their minds this idea can they proceed rationally to the application of a method for guiding the spontaneous education of the child and for imparting the necessary ideas. The personal skill of the educator is revealed by the oppor- tuneness and the efficiency of .her intervention.