You are on page 1of 1

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

Latin is often unappreciated in the realm of academic subjects since it does not make
airplanes fly nor cure diseases. Instead it builds character, which in turn strengthens humanity
and fosters responsibility. Since most students whom I teach will not pursue a career in Classical
Studies, I find it more useful to use Latin as a tool for building the character of my students,
regardless of their interests and backgrounds. Building character includes learning to appreciate
language as an art and science and being able to analyze and understand it. It includes being held
to higher standards and expectations in both subject matter and procedure, which in turn teaches
responsibility, organization, punctuality, and respect for both authority figures and peers. Finally,
it includes appreciating the past, and in turn reflecting on the present and future. So much of
Latin consists of history and culture aging over 2000 years old, which makes it unique among the
World Languages taught in schools.
Using Latin to teach these principles, I hope to do my part in furthering this great society
and ensuring that its future rests in hands capable of understanding and interpreting its principles
passed down from our forefathers. I hope that my students help to ensure the civic survival of our
republic with their abilities to critically read texts word-by-word. Further, I hope that students
can walk away from my classroom more able to express themselves, as I feel that there is a voice
in every person but not always the skill to present that voice accurately and precisely. I believe
that Latin provides enough vocabulary and grammatical training in English to allow people to
break down linguistic barriers and to make their true voices heard. These voices speaking out
are what make our society great, and what will continue to make it great in the future.
I believe that students learn best with structure, routine, and discipline mixed together
with warmth, kindness, and understanding when appropriate. The delicate balance of these two
moods creates a classroom of respect for fellow classmates and for the teacher, which allows for
an optimal learning environment. This structure teaches students about responsibility and self-
discipline, while reciprocal respect makes them want to apply their energy to the subject matter,
and focus their effort on their Latin work. Students learn mutual respect from this environment,
seeing the importance of showing respect to everyone and expecting it in return. The emphasis
on respect should penetrate all elements of the classroom from discussion to discipline. It is this
respect that allows for a student's academic or behavioral blunder to become a teachable moment
for the teacher and a learning moment for the students. This then encourages students to rise
from any blunder and grow from it, a lesson that is invaluable to all areas of life. This classroom
environment also helps students prepare for college and future jobs by promoting positive
working relationships, communication, and accountability to both authority figures and peers.
In conclusion, I believe that a classical education is one that opens doors to many career
choices, not limited to law, medicine, history, education and literature. It is a very versatile field
of study, which allows students to pursue many avenues and succeed at whatever they choose.
Imparting this knowledge to them enhances their chances at success in life, whether success
means personal happiness or monetary advancement. This ought to be the focus of every
academic institution and teacher.