salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs! Yet another L-O-N-G day yesterday, with a correspondingly short post today. The high point of the day for me was an almost-accidental conversation with a school administrator – we were looking for a video link we plan to use for a school-wide presentation next week, then started talking about some of the issues it raised. You’ve probably seen one of the many versions of “Did You Know?” by Karl Fisch … but if you haven’t, and if you’re interested in the “digital native” generations and the issues that face them, it’s well worth the few minutes it will take to watch the video. Anyway, in our conversation, the overarching theme was the importance of building Relationships and Community – among and between teachers, students, and parents. We just kept coming back to that … and I realized once again how fortunate I am to work with folks who “get” the importance of Joyful Learning Communities. Without their influence and support, the Tres Columnae Project might not exist at all.
Of course, for many Latin teachers, community may seem like a distant goal. Yes, there are many virtual communities in which we participate, and yes, we tend to build strong communities among our students and alumni. But professional communities that “get” our particular needs and concerns aren’t very common … especially for the many, many Latin teachers who are “the one” in their school and, all too often, in their school district. For you lectōrēs fidēlissimī in that category, I hope that the community that grows around the Tres Columnae Project will ease the sense of isolation that’s all too easy to feel when you are, in fact, “the one.”
Of course, the way that American schools are designed, most teachers feel isolated a lot of the time anyway: yes, we’re surrounded by students, but we spend much of our day as “the one” adult or “the one” authority figure, with few opportunities to interact with colleagues, see new approaches, or learn from each other. That’s been changing in recent years, as schools and districts become more aware of the importance of interaction and collaboration among teachers, but there’s still a long way to go.
quid respondētis, amīcī?
- Do you find that your face-to-face teaching situation is a Joyful Learning Community or a place of isolation … or is it a mix of the two?
- What are some specific things you can do to improve that situation … if you need to improve it?
- Are there other things the Tres Columnae Project might provide to help Latin teachers in general – and new teachers in particular – and to overcome some of the barriers and the isolation that we sometimes experience?
Tune in next time, when we’ll shift our focus a bit. intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.