"Socially, attractive, possessing diplomacy , executive ability, tact, persistence, patience, hopefulness, and of course, teaching ability"--those were the qualities required of American teachers who came here aboard the "Thomas" in August 1901. Needless to say, none of them knew they were expected to be such paragons.
In her informative article "American Teachers and the Filipinos (1904) ," Helen P. Beattie listed all the above-mentioned virtues. She stressed the importance of "social gifts" because she found Filipinos to be "eminently social people" and if the American teacher wanted to be invited to "...their dinners, balls, dramas..."Thomasites had to refine their social skills.
On the other hand, Ms. Beattie cautioned American teachers about "surrendering" the ideals they had long cherished. Was she alluding to encounters with local government officials? She believed and was probably right that the Thomasites, "...can accomplish but little in construction, repair and furnishing of school buildings" without the aid of these local leaders. However, it would be wrong for them to assume an air of superiority and act as if "things not American are hopelessly bad."
In Mrs. Beattie's opinion, tact and diplomacy were indispensable qualities in dealing with Filipinos ," for a prouder , more sensitive people than these never lived." That was very true then but now we have all but lost it. (Source:"Bulletin of the American Historical Collection, July -September, 1984).