I want to teach Classics. How do I go about it?
The official government site about teacher training is here. Click on ‘Routes into Teaching’.
What follow are some other considerations.
Career prospects are very good in many respects. At the moment there is a serious dearth of suitably qualified teachers and numbers offering Latin in one form or another are on the increase The number of state schools that offer Latin has doubled in the past few years, and they now outnumber independent schools.
Unfortunately, provision for training Classics teachers has been reduced. There is now pressure for new places on training courses to be provided, but at the moment the situation is unsatisfactory.
For those who do qualify, the prospects of finding a good job are very good. This BBC news item from 2001 gives an example.
They may have to offer another subject as well. Classical Greek is at a very low ebb.
The professional body representing Classics teachers is
A suggestion. Come to the ARLT Summer School and have up to 5 days to discuss with 50 or 60 Classics teachers what the situation is in their area.
I live outside the UK and want to find a Latin/Classics teaching post in the UK. How do I go about it?
Here are some guidelines for becoming a teacher of Latin in the UK:
You can teach Latin (or any other subject) in a UK school if it is an academy, a free school or an independent school. You are allowed to work in any of these schools with no formal teaching qualifications. The rules on this might change at the next General Election. Posts are advertised in the Times Educational Supplement, which is available on-
line. Classics teachers are expected to be able to teach Latin up to at least GCSE (age 16) and also up to A level (age 18). Some teachers also teach non linguistic courses such as Classical Civilization and Ancient History. Ancient Greek is taught in a few schools.
To teach in any other sort of school, teaching qualifications are expected, the PGCE. Cambridge, Kings College London and the University of Sussex all offer places. The website www.classicsteaching.com gives details and the application process is through UCAS teacher training. Some schools offer training ‘on the job’. This is called School Direct. Places are very limited on this scheme. Details are found on the Department for Education website under teacher training.
Applicants for teacher training or for posts directly into schools will be expected to give a demonstration lesson. In the case of teacher training routes, the demonstration lesson forms part of the discussion during interview. In schools, the demonstration lesson is a major part of the selection process. Schools will want to see confidence in subject knowledge and appropriate teaching approaches.
You can download the document “Initial Teacher Training in Classics” from the ARLT website here
You can also post a message on the ARLT (Association for Latin Teaching) Message Board.
I want to learn Latin but my school does not offer it.
It’s great that you want to learn Latin. It opens up so many worlds of understanding –
language, society, literature, politics and much more, and it can be good fun.
There are two lines you can follow. First, you can try to get Latin taught in the school, or secondly you can arrange to learn it on your own. I do recommend that you try the first way first, because it’s easier and more fun to learn with others, and from a real live human teacher, and also you will be opening the door for other students to get the chance of learning Latin.
So, how can you get Latin lessons into your school? Your first port of call should be Classics for All, who have helped many British schools introduce Latin, Classical Greek and Classics.
If you are in a Primary School, then Minimus is what you must look for. Minimus? It’s a Latin course about a little mouse and its family near Hadrian’s Wall. Boys and girls all over the country and beyond are enjoying its adventures. Your school doesn’t have to have a teacher who knows Latin, because the course is written so that any teacher can use it, and another thing –
there are probably people in your area who will be glad to come in once a week in lunch hour or after school and run a Latin club. Visit the Minimus site.
In a Secondary School you can tell your favourite teacher about all the help that the Cambridge Latin Course people can offer. With their help schools with no Latin teacher have already introduced Latin into the curriculum. Visit the web page about introducing Latin into your school. It really is possible now. Gather some friends who would like to learn with you, and show your teacher the web page. The Head will probably know that the government is backing this drive to get Latin into schools.
If your school is not able to use these resources for any reason, don’t despair. You can use the Independent Learners materials from the Cambridge people.
Check out the JACT Latin Camp – a two week residential course in Harrogate.
I want to learn Latin as an adult. What help is there?
Learning is easiest when you are with others. Unfortunately, we do not hold a nation-
wide list of evening classes in Latin, but it may be worth enquiring locally. If you are in the appropriate age bracket, U3A groups often run Classics courses. Your local paper might run a story about how you want to learn Latin, and invite volunteers to join you, and someone might well respond with an offer to be the teacher. It’s worth trying. ARLT has a list of private tutors who might be able to help.
If that comes to nothing, you can use the Independent Learners materials from the Cambridge Latin Course people. As you will see from their web site, they offer a wide range of printed, on-
line and CD materials, and you can pay to have your work marked by email.
For those who can spare the time, there is an intensive 8-
week summer course for beginners in Cork in Ireland. See their web site here.
The JACT Latin Camp also takes adults.
I want to learn Classical Greek. What help is there?
I’m starting my A level or university course and want extra help. Where can I find it?
There are brilliant Summer Schools in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisation run by JACT and others.
Here are some contact details:
Latin and Greek Summer Schools
This course caters for students at every level from beginner to advanced and from pre-
GCSE to mature. Although primarily residential, the summer school may also accept non- residents.
This summer school is for all ages over 16, from sixth form students to lifelong learners. With accommodation in an extremely attractive college very close to the cathedral, we enjoy working hard in a delightful environment.
Courses will be offered in both languages at five levels from beginners to advanced with three one-
hour sessions each day. In the evenings there will be lectures and other events, and there will be optional afternoon classes on various topics such as grammar or metre, as well as a trip to Hadrian’s Wall.
Classical Civilisation Summer Schools
There are Summer Schools for Latin and Greek in :
And in Cork, Ireland –