Wednesday, September 19, 2018

3 First-Year Latin Teachers Share Their Stories: An Introduction


Wax tablet and stylus, a school supply essential
for ancient Roman students. 
(© Creative Commons 3.0/Peter van der Sluijs)

The beginning of the school year has come and gone, which means teachers have already put the finishing touches on classroom décor, finalized course syllabi, researched new methodologies and techniques to integrate into the curriculum, and at last welcomed students! Of course, despite all the meticulous preparation and planning from the very beginning, keeping up with the many demands of teaching frequently feels like a work in progress—and no one knows that better than first-year teachers.

This school year, the Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers Blog will follow three first-year Latin teachers, posting about their experiences in the classroom—the goals they want to achieve, the challenges they face, the pedagogical approaches they want to explore. While the three teachers are working in different environments and with different age groups, they all share a similar passion for their teaching subjects and a commitment to their students.

You’ll see some trends among these teachers. In particular, they list as a major goal the desire to create a classroom that is welcoming and comfortable for all students. They are all interested in incorporating active Latin elements into their pedagogy and are eager to implement ideas they encountered during their schooling and student teaching. At the same time, because these teachers are stepping into already established Latin programs, they will be integrating their ideas and interests with existing curricula to varying degrees. In terms of expected challenges, the three are concerned about maintaining a work-life balance, especially because they must plan out new curricular units, create materials, and figure out what learning activities work well for them. At the same time, they will also be acclimating to the norms and expectations at their new schools.

In this installment of the teacher series, we’ll meet our teachers:

  •  C. teaches Latin and English at a public high school in the western United States; this year, he will be teaching two sections of sophomore English, two sections of Latin 1, and one section each of Latin 2 and AP Latin. He is the only Latin teacher in his district.
  • K. teaches Latin primarily at a public middle school in the northeast and travels to the neighboring high school to teach one class. Her course load includes two sections of Latin 1A (seventh grade), two sections of Latin 1B (eighth grade), and one section of Latin 2 (primarily ninth grade). She is the only Latin teacher at her middle school, but she collaborates regularly with the high school teacher in her district.
  • M. teaches Latin to elementary and middle school students at a small private school in the New York metropolitan area. Her students range from fourth to eighth graders. She is the only Latin teacher at her school.

Stay tuned for the next blog posts for a more in-depth introduction to our teachers. And, make sure to check back for subsequent updates! 

—Amelia Wallace, Editor