Monday, July 16, 2007

Back to Basics

At the end of the school year I learned that I will be teaching Latin I this fall. Most teachers would not find this assignment surprising but I am a tiny bit nervous and becoming increasingly excited because I have not taught Latin I for well over a decade... maybe since 1994! I have taught Latin II, III, IV, V, AP Vergil, and AP Latin Literature, but the Latin I classes have always been covered by teachers who floated between schools.

This new addition to my teaching assignment provides me with the opportunity to apply those techniques and ideas which have been discussed and presented at numerous workshops, institutes, and on the LatinTeach list. Such things include oral Latin and pronunciation, emphasis on reading and not simply translation, and integration of culture, history, and mythology into the Latin (Why can't the questions and/or answers about these subject areas be in Latin?).

I have long inherited students who have adopted the philosophies, techniques, interests, and abilities of their Latin I teachers. Some of these teachers have been experienced, others fresh off the vine. I took their students and moved them forward from where they were dropped off. Sometimes I could make adjustments, sometimes not.

Now is the time for me to put up or shut up. I will be taking a group of students and teaching them from the very beginning. It will be an exciting ride... stay tuned!

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