salvēte, amīcī et sodalēs! As I mentioned in our last post, yesterday was “Open House” day at school in my face-to-face teaching world. For those lectōrēs fidēlissimī who aren’t familiar with that tradition, or whose “Open House” tradition might be a bit different from ours, this means in my world that
- I had a very long day, since we’re “open” in the early evening (from 6:00 to 7:30-ish this year).
- Teachers are absolutely convinced that they need to have a perfectly-decorated classroom (I try to resist, knowing that nothing will ever be “perfect,” but I still find myself obsessing over the perfect placement of a poster or bulletin board items from time to time).
- It was a very hot day, since we began in our not-quite-air-conditioned gymnasium.
- I saw large numbers of students and parents, since we usually have well over 50% participation.
- Our students and parents theoretically “follow the schedule,” visiting each class for approximately 10 minutes.
- All my incoming Latin I students – and their parents – who attended have now had a preview of the Tres Columnae Project and received the URL to the Version Alpha Wiki site.
We had some very positive preliminary responses, too! In my brief presentation to the Latin I students and parents, I stressed the “21st century learner” ideas that I’ve mentioned several times in this space – the idea that our multimedia-loving, multitasking young people aren’t well served by static, linear textbooks, and that they learn best when they have opportunities to create and share. I also mentioned that it’s a big step out of the comfort zone for me; I’ve spent years polishing and refining the “perfect” learning system (or at least I wanted it to be perfect – sort of like that “perfect” classroom that my colleagues were pursuing!) and now am letting go of that and stepping out in faith that my students and I – along with the rest of the Tres Columnae community – can build something even better together. It was a great evening, and I’m looking forward to the start of the school year now.
It was also a very LONG evening, since I had another meeting right after the Open House. So today’s post will be a bit short, and we’ll save the next Tres Columnae story for tomorrow’s post. As I thought about the title of this week’s series of posts, though, I realize that the Open House was closely connected with it:
- I’m obviously doing some major renovations to my “typical” teaching approach.
- My students, in turn, will be making some renovations to their expectations about Latin class.
- Communication is fundamental to the Tres Columnae model.
- Communication – not just with you lectōrēs fidēlissimī, but among parents, students, other Tres Columnae participants, and me – will be critically important, even more so than usual, as we embark on this adventure … and it may take different forms from the linear “parent communications” I’ve grown used to.
quid respondētis, amīcī? For those whose school year is beginning, or has recently begun, what changes or renovations have you been making? And what changes would you like to see in the Tres Columnae Project materials?
Tune in next time, when (if all goes well) we’ll finally find out why Caelius and Vipsania reacted as they did to the Fronto brothers’ proposals for renovating their vīlla. There was obviously some kind of issue with the Renovations, the Communications, or possibly both! intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.