Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fratres Sororesque

Last night orientation for freshmen and other new students was held at my school. This is always a positive, warm and fuzzy evening where everyone meets and greets full of anticipation for new experiences. The new students are excited, and more than a little nervous, about coming to a new school, in this, the "big high school."

I was surprised at the number of siblings of current and former students I will be teaching this year. For a couple of families, I will be teaching three of their children, and in three of those classes I will have siblings in the same room! I can only imagine the conversations around the dinner table on some nights: "Mr. Keith, blah blah blah, and then he blah blah blahed! We all blah blah blahed and rolled our eyes!"

In my 26 year career, I have, of course, taught numerous siblings and, indeed, whole families. This past year marked the end of a family of five! A mom of a graduated senior from last year remarked last night, "And now you've got me for eight more years!" Her daughter was entering into Latin II and her youngest was waiting in the back of the room. Bring 'em on!

For those families where I teach multiple children, it becomes a source of confirmation that I must be doing something right if they continue to loan me their children for the school year and their entire high school careers.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good Endings Come from Good Beginnings

We had our first meeting of Latin Club officers yesterday, a full week before the start of school on September 3. We met at the local Starbucks after the first teacher workday. All members were present and more than enthusiastic for the beginning of another school year!

While we had already done some pre-planning in the spring, yesterday's meeting provided an opportunity to review the schedule of activities through the end of September and to begin to flesh out some details. We plan to hit the ground running, so to speak, at Freshman Orientation tomorrow night and embark on a busy and fun combination of academic, entertaining, and social events.

So why is this important? Why did seven Latin students come to meet with their Latin teacher when summer is still calling their name (and summer assignments linger over their heads)? The answer is simple. The enthusiasm and commitment shown by these student leaders transfer to the classroom. Experiences in Latin Club add to experiences in Latin. Not only is Latin Club an outlet for fun and social interaction, but it provides well-rounded opportunity for students to grow and interact. The camaraderie alone is invaluable!

Organizing and supervising an active Latin Club is one of the best investments of time and attention a teacher can make for the promotion of the study of Latin. Students take a look a what we do, and how much fun and success we have while doing it, and say, "Hey! I want to be a part of that!"

It looks like it's going to be a great year!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Blather in Blogging

I wandered back to my blog today after an extended hiatus... of seventeen months! This IS something I am interested in pursuing, but finding the time gets in the way of following through, and then the whole notion slips from your mind until you reawaken.

I am very disappointed in the practice of others making generic, non-specific comments only to advertise their own sites. I am betting that most of this is even done robotically with very little input from the writer other than the original ad. No problem though; just another bother for the modern world.

Anyhow, I have lots to say concerning being a Latin teacher in the modern world. More later.

The NJCL's Century Club

The 2012-2013 Riverbend HS Latin Club has received the Century Club Award from the National Junior Classical League for having over one-hundred members! We have 116, to be exact!