National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week

March 3-7, 2003

Some Activities in CAMWS Territory


Pat Kessler of Armwood High School in Seffner filled her week with NLTRW activities. She reports that on the first day she handed out bookmarks. They talked about teaching in general, and teaching Latin, in particular. They discussed the advantages of teaching Latin. On Day 2 she handed out the CAMWS pamphlet, reiterated Day 1’s message, talked about salaries, the 10-month work year, hours/day, benefits to teachers with families, etc. On Day 3 she handed out a B/W pamphlet and talked about many careers available to students with Latin background, and of course returned to TEACHING as being very rewarding, creative, always new and different, profession. On Day 4 she talked about aspects of what makes a good teacher. Students brainstormed qualities of a good teacher and then wrote a paragraph telling which of those qualities they possess. On Day 5 she showed a clip from Dead Poet's Society with Robin Williams teaching.



The UGA Classics Dept. held an afternoon Q&A session with refreshments for prospective new teachers among our undergraduates and graduates Tuesday of NLTRW; over 20 persons attended, including two school administrators there to RECRUIT, plus a rep. from the Coll. of Educ.  UGA faculty & grad. students, together with Ginny Lindzey, also staffed an NLTRW exhibit at the conference of SCOLT/Southern Conf. on Lang. Tchg., meeting jointly w. FLAG/For. Lang. Assoc. of Ga.



NLTRW activities in Illinois included a recruitment event organized by ICC President Laurie Jolicoeur at Illinois JCL in February. Latin teachers who had parented other Latin teachers were asked to stand and be recognized along with the former students (now teachers). At least three such pairs were present at JCL. NLTRW bookmarks contributed by the Monmouth College Classics Dept. were distributed to all 300 participants.

James Chochola of Oak Park/River Forest High School reports that he sent the following to the heads of each dept. in his school:  (1) a laminated, color NLTRW bookmark; (2) the color “Consider Teaching...” brochure AND poster (3) the top half of the “possible NLTRW activities” sheet on green paper (explaining what NLTRW is and why it is); (4) most of the NLTW letter (which accompanied the color brochure) from Ken Kitchell and James O'Donnell on gold paper (further explaining what NLTRW is and why it is); (5) a color photocopy of a poster/sheet showing 19 people from disparate professions who have studied Latin; (6) a letter from myself explaining NLTRW, encouraging dept. heads to share information with their students and fellow dept. members, or to ask me questions, on white paper. To all the members of the school he sent: a school-wide e-mail encouraging teachers to view the information sent to division heads (so that they can mention it to their students) and to encourage their students to stop by the wonderful Classics room at the school (photos of which can be seen at To his Latin students he distributed: a color laminated NLTRW bookmark; “Consider Teaching...” color brochure; the top half of “possible NLTRW activities” on green paper; and an extra credit assignment to share with two people (preferably total strangers but definitely not close friends or relatives) what was discussed as a class about taking/teaching Latin and NLTRW. One of the assignments during NLTRW was for students to reflect on the question “Why do you think I became a Latin teacher?”  When one student answered this question with “Because you had two degrees in Latin...what else could you do besides teach?!” Chocola replied “I'm not teaching Latin because I have two degrees. I have two degrees because I've wanted to teach high-school Latin since senior year of high school.” Jaws literally dropped.

Monmouth College celebrated NLTRW in a variety of ways. In addition to distributing NLTRW bookmarks to JCL students and to students at Monmouth and Pekin High Schools, Tom Sienkewicz visited all the education classes at the college to talk about the advantages of adding Latin certification. All of the advanced Latin students, as well as several of the elementary Latin students were also encouraged, individually, to consider a career in Latin teaching. Tom Sienkewicz and a student spoke at Pekin High School about Latin teaching and another MC student discussed NLTRW at Monmouth High School. Tom Sienkewicz was also interviewed about NLTRW by a local public radio station (WVIK in Rock Island).



Jeremy Walker of Crown Point High School spoke to graduate and undergraduate students at Indiana University about teaching Latin as a way to kick off the week at Indiana University.



John Gruber-Miller of Cornell College and editor of Amicitia, the newsletter of Iowa Classicists, put together a piece on what makes Classics worth teaching in the 21st century to accompany an article on National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week, March 3-7.  He asked his Iowa colleagues to take just five or ten minutes and write a few sentences or short paragraph to any or all of the following questions:  What got you interested in Classics?  What do you find rewarding about teaching Latin, Greek and the ancient world to others?  What reasons would you give a student to consider teaching Latin for a career? 



St. Olaf College recognized NLTRW with a performance of Plautus’ Rudens.


North Carolina

Mary Pendergraft and her colleagues at Wake Forest University passed out bookmarks and brought up the subject in their classes.


North Dakota

At the University of North Dakota, Dan Erickson stressed to his students the need for Latin teachers. He reports three students very interested in becoming teachers at the high school level. The CAMWS recruitment brochures were a great help.



Judith de Luce included in Humanitas (the newsletter for the Ohio Classical Conference) news Latin Teacher Recruitment Week and also wrote to all college and university programs in the state to remind them about individual and institutional membership and about the recruitment week. Miami University sponsored  a student Classics tea to which they invited an alumna and a colleague of hers, both of whom teach in secondary school in Cincinnati. Also present were the director of teacher education in the School of Education and the main advisor of students in teacher education.


The University of Texas the Department of Classics did National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week big time. Candace Kash, their undergraduate coordinator, rallied the troops, and local Latin teachers Ginny Lindzey, Jennie Luongo, Nick Martin, Bob Bogan, Cathy Moore, and Karen Moore joined Chair Tim Moore, Professor Bill Nethercut, and Candace herself to address every student studying Classics at UT this spring (over 2000) on the joys of teaching Latin. A .5% return would give them ten new Latin teachers. They used many of the materials provided (bookmarks, Some top reasons...,) and ordered the brochure “Consider Teaching in the 21st Century” from CAMWS They also made a flyer giving instructions on how to become a certified Latin teacher through the resources at the Univ. of Texas-Austin. The flier also included some financial aid information. They also distributed the material “Secondary Considerations” to graduate students.

Mark Kieft of Fredericksburg reported that NLTRW came at a very fortuitous time because it was also the week they were supposed to talk about course offerings for the next school year. He started talking about what next year's classes would be like and the the requirements for earning an “advanced academic” diploma and graduation. Then he talked about foreign languages in college with great emphasis on continuing their study of Latin. THEN, he asked them to consider a liberal arts education, the idea of teaching and the need for teachers, AND THEN he talked very seriously about becoming Latin teachers and how critical the shortage is. He was also invited by Mary Washington College to give a presentation and participate in a question/answer session with Latin and/or Classics majors interested in becoming Latin teachers. There were ten college students present. So, he covered high school students from 9th to 12th grade and college students, freshmen through soon-to-graduate seniors who are interested in coming back to certify to teach.

In addition to participating in events at the University of Texas at Austin, Ginny Lindzey also spoke for the whole period in her own Middle School classes. They began with a pro/con discussion on teaching in general, then read and discussed the Top Reasons pamphlet, followed by a look at the Consider Teaching Latin brochure, the bookmarker, and a brochure on universities with teacher prep in Latin in Texas.

West Virginia
In support of the National Latin Teacher Recruitment Week, on March 5, the Marshall Classics Department mailed 200 copies of a flyer which explained Marshall’s Latin certification program and other possible career opportunities for Latin majors.  Marshall University is the only institution in the state training Latin teachers, and the recipients of the flyer are state high school guidance counselors, foreign language teachers, and Latin teachers.  NLTRW was also the main topic of discussion at the WVJCL Convention March 13-14 when West Virginia Latin teachers held their spring meeting.