I feel like my blogging experience has been much like my teaching: new, growing, and fascinating. I've been a teacher for two years (will be two and a half in May), and a blogger for 4-5 months. I am constantly amazed by both my blogging and teaching experiences and by all the new things I learn each day.
I am a firm believer that any student can learn a language and, more specifically, any student can learn Latin. The issue is not that the student must find a way to to fit Latin, but that I, the teacher, must work with the student to find a way to make the material accessible to them. Much like Rachel, I thrive in technology. I love combining pictures, video, PowerPoint, etc. to make the learning experience as accessible by as many people as possible.
I have spent many years hearing, and believing, that Latin is a certain way and must remain that way. I no longer subscribe to this belief. One of the first things I tell my students when they make the "ewww" face at such an idea as spoken Latin is this: "The Romans most certainly did not walk around chiseling out conversations on tablets or writing on scrolls. They spoke the Latin... They LIVED the Latin. Feel the Latin. Trust the Latin. BE THE LATIN!" Okay sure, it is a bit cheesy and no teenager in their right mind would ever admit to smiling at my goofiness, but they do and they do... feel the Latin that is... and that... is what it is all about :)
I am a bit behind Rachel in the public speaking area. I have presented at local and state student conferences and I am due to present at my first regional conference for teachers this Spring. Even though I am just beginning my journey, I am finding myself frustrated at just how little there is for me as a Latin teacher who speaks the language. The first thing I was told by my instructors, mentors, and administrators was "don't reinvent the wheel", but if the wheel is missing pieces... maybe it needs some work.
My goal in this project, much like Rachel's, is to start to provide some of what I seek, materials that teachers can use to reach as many students as possible. I hope that others find this blog and what Rachel and I have to share useful (you can see some of my work at my website: www.sites.google.com/site/magpatlatin) and that others start to join us and share their ideas.