Addition by subtraction is the name of this game. Like most of us, my brain is flooded with ideas and anxieties heading into a new school year. So, as a general practice, I like to start the new year by identifying limiting beliefs that are cluttering my brain space. How do I define limiting beliefs for Latin teachers? I define a limiting belief as any belief that inhibits my ability to make quality decisions for my students and myself. Here are some beliefs that I plan on purging before my first day of classes.
I need to prepare my kids for…
I can honestly say, that I have never made a decision, that I’m proud of, based on the desire to prepare my kids for a standardized assessment, some future class, some future or some future teacher. I am under no pressure other than to be the best possible teacher for my kids, so there is no reason for me to invent inappropriate external benchmarks.
I need to spend lots of time prepping materials to be a good teacher.
I need to show up, be present, and provide meaningful input for my students. They won’t mind if I don’t stay up until 4am re-formatting a document or color-coding their stories by theme.
I must silence the critics.
At this point, anything short of infants translating Tacitus into both literal and lilting English prose will NEVER impress the CI detractors out there, so there is no point in trying.
The purpose of learning Latin is…
There is no need to decide for our students why Latin is worth knowing. Latin is beautiful. My students will come to class with a variety of reasons for wanting access to Latin’s beauty. The class is about the kids and their goals, not mine.
But I want them to do it right!
Take a deep breath. Now take another one. If a student writes ego amat legit, they have clearly expressed IN LATIN that they like to read. Let that sink in. Now take another deep breath. Now smile.
What about Latinity!?
Who’s idea was Latinity anyway? This may not be a popular opinion, but my eyes glaze over as soon as I hear that word. Is the world somehow a worse place if I use the word meus instead of mihi when writing a story? Seriously! I am not going to waste hours of my life engaging in endless conversations about how to express the simplest ideas in Latin. The obsessive-compulsive nitpicking just isn’t worth it.
Comprehensible Input is not enough.
It is 🙂
– Magister Bracey