Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Back in session!

I returned to teaching Latin this year after a 7 year hiatus to stay home after my daughter's birth. I am thoroughly enjoying being back in the classroom, though I had forgotten what it was like to be a first year teacher again. Thankfully, the Latin language hasn't changed on me, but I am teaching from a different curriculum and approach than I was before. I am teaching grades 3-7 and teaching from the Cambridge Latin Course. My breakdown of classes is as follows:

Latin 3 - Minimus
Latin 4 - Minimus Secundus
Latin 5 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 1-8
Latin 6 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 9-14
Latin 7 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 15-20

Previously, my instruction was largely paradigm based, with an aim for students to have a firm grasp on the grammar and vocabulary of the language, going even so far as giving Latin composition assignments. Cambridge, instead, takes a reading approach, with little emphasis on grammatical paradigms and vocabulary memorization, and instead a focus on reading comprehension and glossed vocabulary. While I think this works very well for boosting the confidence of 3rd and 4th graders, I am somewhat skeptical as to how well the upper grades are actually learning Latin as opposed to learning to "guesstimate" Latin for a general idea of the reading.

Still, this is the curriculum we are using and I am bound and determined to give these students the best Latin education I can using the resources at my disposal. I am excited for all that I am learning this year (mostly through trial and error) and look forward to a better understanding of the curriculum and flow of the material so that I can improve my instruction next year and the years to come.

It's good to be back in the classroom!

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