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Boston University (Classical Languages)
I am a recent Boston University graduate with a degree in Classical languages (Latin and Ancient Greek). While getting my degree, I've worked as a long-term substitute teacher at both the Middle and High school levels and have taught students from the ages of 13-18. I ran my own classes in my own classroom for a few months at a time. It is my belief that Latin is an extremely beneficial language for students, both young and old, to have familiarity with, whether as a basic understanding of grammar and vocabulary (both relevant in our English language today) or a complete mastery of the material.
My love for teaching comes from a deep belief that learning and education are fun and rewarding. This was instilled in me by my former High school Latin teacher, who made a difficult language entertaining by various means that I replicate in my own methods. I also feel that the Latin language can provide many texts and lessons that are invaluable to adolescents as they pass through difficult times into adulthood. There's nothing more rewarding than to watch a student make a connection between their coursework and their everyday pop-culture or their own thoughts and feelings. My love for the language and teaching it to others comes from a personal debt of gratitude to both the subject matter and my own teachers.
That being said , I understand that it is not an easy language to learn and that it takes many years to master. For that reason, I tend to take things one step at a time as to prevent my students from being overwhelmed. I do give assignments, but only to make sure the fundamentals are down cold. I also understand the varying degrees of discomfort in translating/working publically and in groups, as I had a very similar problem with not being confident in my own work. Therefore, I help my students grasp the concepts of each sentence with direct questions, not only to deduce where their difficulty lies and subtly guide them towards the right path, but also to help them learn the basics of the sentence structure, and thus gain confidence by knowing the 'gist' of the sentence and then work on the subtle difficulties together. Though young, I've taken 10 years of Latin myself, so I know endless gimmicks to the seemingly impossible language.
The rigorous task of learning the language aside, I also like to keep the lessons entertaining. Instead of just memorizing vocabulary, I always try to connect difficult words to more common English words, and then teach a more difficult English word. Also, in order to understand the Latin language, it is both vital and interesting to understand the Roman culture and heritage, which I am well versed in. Many forms of nouns and verbs can be condensed into rules or even songs and catchphrases in order to make the material easier to digest. I take personal pride in witnessing a student start to excel in other studies (such as English grammar and vocab, world history, and critical thinking) as they improve their Latin skills.
The greatest advantage of Latin is that the skills learned in its study directly applies to the understanding of the English language. Vocabulary aside, the grammar and syntax of Latin helps young students learn complex sentence structure in English writing. Due to my knowledge of Latin and several literature courses, I can help correct a student's grammar or writing ability to produce a more direct and sophisticated work, and then educate them on how to do the same on their own.
The history and language of Latin are intertwined with each other. One cannot fully know one without some understanding of the other. For that reason, I am well versed and educated in Roman and Greek culture, history, and achievements. The story of Rome and Ancient Greece is the story of the Western world as we know it. The history of either should never be boring, monotone segments of history, but rather a lively tale of how one action in the Ancient world flows into another and causes events that define our modern world. Everything from Egyptian kingdoms, the German tribes becoming the German nation, warfare, language, the founding of America, you name it! It all goes back to what was happening in Ancient Greece and Rome some 2 or 3 thousand years ago.
I am most comfortable with sitting down one on one with students in a location their comfortable in, but if online is preferred, then I can make it work! I look forward to meeting parents and students of all ages, who wish to learn more about Latin or the English language and together we can see not only improved grades, but also a renewed interest in their studies, and a gained confidence in their progress. I am a recent Boston University graduate with a degree in Classical languages (Latin and Ancient Greek). While getting my degree, I've worked as a long-term substitute teacher at both the Middle and High school levels and have taught
Mike has been essential to my daughter's success in Latin this year. She began the year stymied by Latin grammar and discouraged by the complexity of the work. Things started getting easier for her from her first meeting with Mike. He is patient, explains concepts well, and knows his stuff. We highly recommend him!
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I've studied both the Classical Languages (Latin and Ancient Greek) and their history for 10 years, ranging from high school history courses with their focus on the Classical Civilizations to the Classical courses I took in my undergrad career at Boston University. The classes I took while at BU covered the history, literature, mythology, architecture, warfare, art, and scientific achievements of both civilizations. I have also taught high school level Latin, which also required me to teach these aspects of Classical Civilization.
I've taken Latin since the 7th grade all the way to my completion of my undergraduate career at BU. During my time at BU, I've been called to stand in as a long term substitute Latin teacher for my own high school, as the school went through some staff changes. I've taught every student from grade 7 to grade 12, including the AP classes.