There are many arguments schools give for having Latin as a language course: Its being the basis for a host of other romance languages; its use in the legal or medical fields; and even (which is a bit far-fetched in my mind) for forming the mind to function
more logically. Students who are obliged to take Latin will inevitably question reasons such as these or any reason a teacher or headmaster might give for studying Latin... and rightly so. If students are not satisfied with the answers teachers give, new answers
should be sought, answers that get to the heart of the matter of “why Latin?”
Anyone who speaks a handful of different languages can tell you that when they speak those languages they can sometimes take on a very different character. When I am with a group of Italian friends my way of communicating becomes much more ebullient, my need
for personal space is instantly shed and an exaggerated intonation is applied to every word I say. Moreover, my facial features...
Throughout history Aristotle’s works have been on and off of the world’s best seller list. Even though they might not be on it now, this does not take away from the perennial value that these books have. Indeed his work in philosophy, politics and science has
done much to shape western history, but not to be forgotten is his work as a tutor. Since his tutoring was linked to the immemorial name of Alexander the Great, the work of
Aristotle the Educator can never be underestimated.
One of the great ideas that Aristotle discusses in his work on rhetoric is that of the pleasure of learning. It is true that manuals and testing do much to rid the modern student of this pleasure with the pressure they cause to simply “cover the material”.
However, it is essential for the student to experience the pleasure of understanding if they are going to ultimately succeed in their educational experience.
Things that have helped my students enjoy learning have...
There is very little emphasis these days on teaching programming, in spite of the fact that technology is becoming more and more a dominant aspect of our lives. Perhaps this is because many programmers are self-taught, used to working alone on projects,
and therefore the assumption is that students will learn programming "as they go" or "on their own". This is unfortunate because I think that this aversion to traditional instruction and the preference for "self-taught" programmers leaves some people who want
to learn in the dust.
I have lately become interested in rectifying this problem. A few of my clients have discussed the option of learning programming through tutoring sessions with me. I think that if I had been able to avail myself of such an option when I was first learning
to program, I might have had a much easier time in learning how to properly use computers as the powerful tools that they are.
I believe, however,...
I enjoy having students at opposite ends of the learning timeline. I have had elementary school students, college students, and everyone in between. It is fun for me as a lifelong learner to work with such different clients. When I was teaching I had
a homogeneous group of middle or high school students learning science. Now I have an elementary student and a college student at the same time. It helps me to stay sharp in my own learning and teaching. It also helps me to stay grounded when thinking about
individual learners. By watching the struggles a third grader has in math I get ideas about how to help a college student studying chemistry. There are commonalities among all learners that emerge as themes and patterns. I am thoroughly enjoying my time
as a tutor and look forward to learning even more from my tutees.