* What is National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week?
NLTRW is a week in which as many educators as possible across the nation (and beyond) find one day to devote to talking to their students about becoming secondary Latin teachers. NLTRW was created to address the Latin teacher shortage that we are facing in this country. The demand for Latin continues to grow, in great measure due to our own best efforts to raise awareness of the importance and richness of the study of Latin. Now that we've created the demand, it's time to create the teachers.
* When is National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week?
NLTRW is scheduled for the first full week in March, this year it's March 5-9, 2012. However, if you can't speak to your students that week due to testing or holidays or whatever, just pick another week or another day. The most important thing, of course, is talking to your students about becoming teachers.
* How can I possibly fill a whole class period talking about becoming a teacher?
You only have to do as much as you feel comfortable with doing. But push yourself to your limit. You may find that your students are more receptive to hear what you have to say about teaching than you think.
1) NLTRW Promo - Tom Sienkewicz's Advice for Promoting NLTRW, good for distributing to other teachers, is found on the Yearly Downloads page. Some ideas on this flyer include:
o Sharing personal experiences about teaching with your students.
o Having a class discussion about teaching.
o Getting a guest lecturer to come to classes to talk about teaching.
o Distributing materials about teaching Latin to students.
o Having students teach a short lesson.
o Targeting individual students who would make good teachers by taking them to lunch or something similar.
Currently the Materials page has several brochures/flyers for printing and distributing which are full of great information. These flyers are suitable for handing out to students:
2) Some Top Reasons to Teach Latin at the Pre-Collegiate Level: Testimonials from classics teachers on the thrill of teaching at the secondary level. Suitable for all level of students.
3) Secondary Considerations: PhD Testimonials on teaching at the secondary level. Designed with grad students in mind.
4) What Do You Make? An admittedly feel-good story about a teacher's value and worth. It is, at least, thought provoking.
Angelo Mercado on his blog, Sauvage Noble,had these suggestions:
- Monday How did you get started in Greek/Latin/Classics? What influenced you to pursue more than one course?
- Tuesday Discuss a memory or memories of something(s) cool you learned in a Greek/Latin/Classics class.
- Wednesday Discuss a memory or memories of something(s) cool you taught in a Greek/Latin/Classics class.
- Thursday How has training in Greek/Latin/Classics been of use and value to your professional and/or non-professional life?
- Friday Consider your view of the future of the discipline, based on how you see its present state, and your place in it. How would you promote/have you promoted the study of Greek/Latin/Classics in your professional and non-professional spheres?
* What have people done previously?
o See the Scrapbook page for more ideas!
o This report by Ginny Lindzey, generated by a survey she ran after the second NLTRW, also has great ideas.
o John Gruber-Miller wrote this article in 2003 for Amicitia, the newsletter of Amici (the Classical Association of Iowa).
* Is there any funding available to cover promotional activities for NLTRW?
As a matter of fact, you can apply for up to $200 in mini-grant funds to cover your promotional activities directly related to NLTRW.
* How can I become certified to teach Latin?
On the Colleges and Scholarships page you will find a list of universities and colleges who offer preparation and certification in teaching Latin. You will need to contact the classics department at the particular university you are interested in yourself. We hope that having this list will give you a wider choice of possibilities. If you already have your degree, consider alternative certification options. Contact your local school district to see what's available in your area. Each state varies so you will need to do some research.
* Is certification really necessary? After all, if a school is really desperate for a Latin teacher, won't they be happy to just find someone with a bachelors or, better yet, a masters or PhD?
Actually, yes. "No Child Left Behind" requires that all teachers be certified and highly qualified in order to teach in public schools. You might find work at a private school but there aren't nearly as many of those jobs available. One look at the list of applicants at the ACL Placement center will tell you something very interesting: almost 50% of those looking for jobs have no certification. And there are programs that are closing because there is no one "qualified" to take the position of a retiring Latin teacher.
Many people think that education courses are just fluff and that all you need to teach Latin is a solid command of the language. Truly there is much more to teaching at the secondary level, with classroom management weighing in almost as much as knowledge of Latin. Many enthusiastic teachers jump into a classroom thinking, "The students will love me because I will make Latin fun and exciting as well as challenging," and then are disappointed and frustrated when dealing with the reality of the classroom. And this is not to say that teaching won't be rewarding; it just takes much more than a knowledge of Latin in order to be truly effective. Those education courses are worthwhile; take your time to become certified while you are still in college.
And what about "highly qualified"--what does that mean? This is determined by each state, but often means that you must be teaching in your major field. That is, you cannot teach Latin if you only have a minor in Latin or a few hours of Latin.
* Who should be targeted as future Latin teachers?
Of course, we should begin with our own students, as has been said elsewhere. But for those of you teaching at the university level, why not take some of the recruitment posters to the Spanish and French departments? Most states want teachers to be qualified to teach in more than one field. Why not encourage a Spanish teacher to become certified in Latin as well? Also, consider taking a poster or some brochures to your counselors' office at the secondary level or the undergraduate advisers at your university.
* Are there scholarships funds available to someone who wants to become a teacher?
Yes, scholarships are available. You will find that some universities offer scholarships of varying amounts for prospective teachers. In addition, you might look at the following websites for information about these specific scholarships:
o Minority Scholarships from SCS
o Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award
o Manson A Stewart Teacher Training and Travel Awards from CAMWS
o Maureen O'Donnell Scholarship from ACL
* Where do I look for a job? Is there a placement agency?
See the Placement page within this website.
* Do you have advice for someone who wants to become a teacher? How about for someone training future teachers?
Yes. Anyone who is considering teaching should read the recently revised (2009) flyer, "So You Want to be a Latin Teacher?" It offers excellent advice about coursework, books to read, and skills that need to be mastered before becoming a teacher. Professors advising and training future teachers will find a wealth of advice, articles and books that should be incorporated into the methods course curriculum.
* Is there an actual NLTRW committee, and if so, who is on it?
Yes, there is a committee for NLTRW. It consists of the following people:
o Keely Lake, Chair
Dripping Springs High School
University High School, Irvine Unified School District
Plus these people are Friends of NLTRW:
o Adam Blistein, Executive Director, APA
o Stanley Iverson, Past Chair, National Committee for Latin and Greek
o Tom Sienkewicz, Past Vice Chair, National Committee for Latin and Greek
o Sherwin Little, Past President, ACL
Special thanks to Kenneth Kitchell, Jr, University of Massachusetts, who put so much into the creation of NLTRW.