Saturday, April 09, 2005

Teaching Latin...

brings instant gratification. 3rd grade Latin has got to be one of my favorite classes to teach. I love the enthusiasm they bring to class each day and their eagerness to discover something new. They can't wait for Wednesdays, when we talk about derivatives. Their hands shoot into the air when asked why we pronounce "Veni, vidi, vici" using a different pronunciation than our other quotes because they are excited to describe it as 'ecclesiastical Latin' and actually know what that means. They see pronoun chants not as more that they have to learn for a quiz, but as a new challenge, longer than the previous and therefore all the more rewarding when they master it. The author of this article states her experiences with elementary Latin students in much the same light. There is a great part of me that looks forward to next year when, Deo volente, I will be teaching only half the classload I am this year. But another part of me misses already the elation that comes from the excited faces of 3rd graders greeting me daily with, "Salve, Magistra Wickland!" The day is approaching when I must say "Valete, discipuli" for the last time as they file out of my room, but I will cherish each day until then and be thankful that God has given me the grace to teach all of the Latin classes for two years. What a blessing it has been to see the trivium in action, all three phases side by side each day.

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