CAMWS State VP Report for Texas
submitted by Ginny Lindzey
The following items are from the fall checklist (the spring one mainly being a reminder of deadlines):
contact state/provincial organizations either by mail or, preferably, in person with information about CAMWS membership, scholarships, brochures, CPL grants, CPL Promotional Activity award, etc.
Information about CAMWS membership, scholarships, CPL grants and promotional activity awards were and are continually advertised in Texas Classics in Action. In addition this information is posted on our website at http://www.txclassics.org/camws.htm.
Materials/brochures were available at our annual fall conference held this year at The University of Texas at Austin.
I designed a special brochure that was mailed by CAMWS this fall to a mailing list provided by the Texas Education Agency. When reading through PIEMS data earlier in the fall, I realized that there are many people teaching Latin in the state who are not members of TCA. The brochure, enclosed, advertised not only TCA but also CAMWS, ACL, TFLA (Texas Foreign Language Association), CASUS and some listservers.
determine Latin programs in the state/province where openings are anticipated or program cancellations threatened
The Latin Placement Service at The University of Texas at Austin (http://www.utexas.edu/depts/classics/LPS/index.html) keeps a posting of job openings in the state. Sometimes the schools in question inform the placement office when the positions are full, but sometimes they do not. There are currently at least two openings in the state currently. We really won’t know until later this spring about openings for next year. (One thing this does not reflect are school that no longer have Latin programs and could only think about replacing the now non-existent program if there’s an excess of teachers! For instance, I discovered that one of the high schools that a small percentage of our students go to from my middle school does not have Latin. This concerns me because we are offering two years of Latin at the middle school level for one year of high school credit. These students will feel cheated.)
I also provided Texas Education Agency data on teachers and the number of years they had been teaching in order to determine what percentage will be retiring soon. In fact, we have a number of teachers teaching while technically being retired (retire/rehire is the name of the game) because of needs. We definitely need to find a way to recruit more people into teaching programs now. After providing the TEA data I did pass out the CAMWS poster to recruit teachers.
We do NOT have any major issues with the forced closure of a Latin program that I know of; all of our problems stem from shortages of qualified teachers.
contact the foreign language liaison at the State Board of Education to determine pending issues related to foreign languages in general and Latin in particular
Earlier this year I was in touch with a woman at the State Board of Educator Certification. There are, in fact, some concerns on the horizon. The good news is that the Latin ExCET test (for certification) is finally going to be revised. This exam has been criticized for years as being too difficult and covering authors not taught at the secondary level (Sallust, Tacitus and others with little emphasis on the AP authors). Unfortunately, the revision won’t even begin until 2005 at the earliest.
The second issue is that of new types of teaching certificates. The secondary certificate has been separated to have one for middle school education and one for high school. The issue of language teachers needing to be certified for both has not been addressed yet. I did make a point of explaining that most Latin teachers have no idea of whether they will teach at a high school or middle school because they go where the need demands, nor, in many cases, whether they will even like middle school. To be certified in both middle school and high school will require additional coursework which many Latinists may balk at. I think they need to consider some sort of alternate/combined certification . This will be something that needs watching and may need some advocacy as well.
target potential applicants for CPL grants and encourage them to apply
Besides advertising for the CPL grants, I encouraged many people to apply at our fall conference and at local meetings. However, we only had three grants, two of which, I confess, were mine: 1) books for a mythology reading circle, 2) and 3) money for Legion XIIII.
create a list of expert high school teachers willing to speak to college students about careers in high school Latin teaching, sponsoring such events, putting testimonials on the CPL website
Our Expert Teaching List (http://www.txclassics.org/camws.htm#expert) hasn’t really changed from last year (see below). In fact, in a pinch there would be many others in each area that I would call upon as an "Expert Teacher" to speak to college students. I am under the impression, however, that many do not want to volunteer their name for something that seems rather vague and implies that they might need to travel somewhere (using their own money?) to speak. I feel that if there were something being organized on a regular basis at the university level that it might be worthwhile. Ideally, though, I imagine it should be in the fall because by spring Texas teachers are overwhelmed with JCL competitions. Come to think of it, this might be the perfect time—universities could have a party/mixer for incoming freshmen or new members of the undergrad program and invite local teachers to come mingle and chat with them. As for the testimonials, I have only just now mentioned them (I overlooked them before perhaps?) in my upcoming issue of Texas Classics in Action. I think I will try to pursue this further over the summer when teachers have the most time to sit down and write. And here is the list:
Gaylan Dubose, FFrank1060@aol.com
Jo Green, email@example.com
Samual Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Laake, DLAAKE@worldnet.att.net
Ginny Lindzey, email@example.com
Rose Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Fritsen, email@example.com
Karen Villarreal, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie McConathy, email@example.com
Ann Price, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patricia Rektorik-Sprinkle, email@example.com
Larry Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tish Dilworth, email@example.com
Doris Kays, firstname.lastname@example.org
identify the Latin teacher programs and their coordinators in your state/province and obtain statistical information about their graduates
Austin College in Sherman near Dallas
Contact: Jim Johnson email@example.com and Bob Cape firstname.lastname@example.org
Baylor University in Waco
Contact: Alden Smith Alden_Smith@baylor.edu
Rice University in Houston
Contact: Kristine Wallace email@example.com
Southwestern University in Georgetown, north of Austin
Contact: Hal Haskall firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas A & M in College Station
Contact: Elise Garrison (classics) email@example.com and Kathleen May (School of Education) firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Tech in Lubbock
Contact: Ed George ed.george@TTU.EDU
Trinity University in San Antonio
Contact: Joan Burton email@example.com
University of Dallas in Irving, north of Dallas
Contact: Grace Starry-West firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Houston
Contact: Richard Armstrong email@example.com
Contact: Tim Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
UT San Antonio (*new program)
Contact: John Rundin email@example.com
As one professor wisely pointed out, however, many who have graduated without formal certification are teaching at private schools or on alternative certification or emergency certification. For those teaching without certification (usually at private schools) we have no way of knowing what their numbers are. And how do we account for those individuals when assessing people available to fill open positions?
I believe that sums up the state of Latin in Texas.
I would like to work on coordinating more with the local universities. As you can see, some have active teacher training programs while others do not. We need to awaken these programs and reenergize them. But how? Perhaps next fall at the TCA meeting I could organize a session to brainstorm on what to do and how to get universities actively involved in recruiting students into their teacher education programs.
This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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