The study of the ancient world, and particularly of the Latin language, has enjoyed increasing interest in recent years, at both the secondary- and primary-school levels. So if you would like to teach Latin, ancient history, Roman culture, and perhaps even a little Greek, what should you do to prepare?
Teaching Latin: organizations and links
There is a great deal of logistical and organizational support available for Latin teachers. Here are some examples:
- The American Classical League
- The National Committee for Latin and Greek
- The Texas Classical Association
The educational path
To begin preparations for a career in teaching, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree. Catholic University does not have a secondary-education major with a Latin emphasis, and so for maximum flexibility in your future work, your degree, if pursued in this department, should be either in Classics (Greek and Latin) or in Classical Humanities (Latin option). (The B.A. in Classical Civilization can also lead to a teaching career, but generally this would be in high school history, rather than in Latin.)
Another option here at Catholic University would be to major in English - Secondary Education through the Department of Education, and to add enough coursework in this department to qualify for a Latin endorsement upon licensure in English.
Licensure is state-level certification that shows that an individual has been trained to teach and has demonstrated the necessary skills to do so successfully. The acquisition of teaching licensure involves the accumulation of a series of specific college courses in areas such as education, psychology, and human development; the completion of a "student teaching" phase in the classroom; and the passing of state certification exams.
Many private institutions do not necessarily require a new teacher to hold licensure upon beginning a teaching career, but may allow the teacher to pursue licensure right away or soon after hire, by taking evening courses while working.
If you are an undergraduate in the Department of Greek and Latin, you can use Catholic University's minor in Secondary Education to build up some of the courses towards licensure. Consult the departmental undergraduate advisor or the Department of Education for more information.
Many high schools, including all public schools, mandate that teachers earn a master's degree within a few years of beginning their careers. Schools often offer logistical assistance and sometimes even limited financial support for this requirement, as teachers generally pursue the master's degree part-time while continuing to work.
If you have earned or are earning a B.A. degree which does not include teaching licensure, one option for you to consider for the immediate future is an M.A.T. degree. The M.A.T. ("Master of Arts in Teaching") is offered in Latin by a number of programs around the U.S.: it is essentially a master's degree that contains some Latin coursework in combination with a significant number of education courses. Some M.A.T.s even include a student teaching component and thus can lead directly to licensure.