Back in June, one of the deans came to me and said, “It’s possible we might need you to teach Latin. Can you teach Latin?”

“If it’s Latin I, sure,” I replied. “More than that, and I’ll need to spend the summer preparing.”

“Oh, I’m really not sure we’ll need to use you at all, actually. It would be good to have you prepped for Latin I. I don’t think we’ll need anything more serious than that.”

So naturally, I’m teaching Latin II. Having been assured in June, and again in July, that I didn’t really need to prepare all that hard, and having been told in August that there probably wouldn’t be any kids ready to take our Latin II class — I’m teaching two students, both of whom have had 10 chapters of vocabulary and grammar — TEN chapters — more of Latin than I have had any time in the last decade.

My dean has absolutely no idea how foreign languages get taught. Part of me feels like throttling him tonight as I review four chapters before bed, and set up review sheets for the last two chapters in the last book before we begin with the first chapter of the new book.

the other part of me wants to thank him for making sure I get a workout in Latin this year.

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    • I like Ecce Romani because I taught from it for ten years. But it has problems, including a slant toward privilege and the natural authority of classes. Wheelock’s is difficult and dated, I think.

      But one of the things that I really recommend is Cassell’s Latin dictionary, and Gabriel Wynner’s book, “Fluent forever”. His advice on learning languages is excellent.

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