One steady job during an economic recession: Latin teacher

Friday, March 06, 2009

What your average textbook would look like in Latin instead of English: Si luna in loco 2 vel 3 stat, sol deficit. Luna in loco 1 vel 4 stante ipsa obscuratur. In aliis partibus luna super vel infra planitiem orbitalem terrae vel planitiem eclipticam est, qua re luna non linea rectissima inter solem et terram esse potest.

There's an article here today on the resurgence of Latin and how that means more plentiful work (relatively) for those capable of teaching it. I wrote about the same subject a few months ago, because with 1) a slow but steady resurgence of Latin as a language (and therefore increased demand), and 2) a decrease of people capable of teaching the language as Latin language teachers retire, that means 3) it's probably pretty easy to get a position teaching the language for those who are qualified to do it.

If Latin eventually succeeds at becoming a spoken, modern language again though the hiring practices for teachers are probably going to have to change, as the focus moves from those trained in classical education (reading and deciphering classical Latin from Roman times) to those that are capable of carrying on a fluent conversation in the language, and this latter skill won't necessarily mean your typical classical educational background.

So here's what the article says:

Looking for a safe career track as the U.S. economy goes off the rails?

Carpe diem and consider becoming a Latin teacher.

"Latin has been enjoying a slow but steady comeback for quite a few years now, and in general, demand exceeds the supply," said Rick LaFleur, a University of Georgia classics professor.

Reassuring words for UGA junior Brittany Baker, one of more than two dozen people who packed a small meeting room in Park Hall on Wednesday to learn about teaching the language of the ancient Romans in high school and middle school.

Baker decided she wanted to teach Latin soon after she began classes at UGA and is getting a triple major in Latin, classical culture and foreign language education. Wednesday's meeting was the second of these annual Latin teacher question-and-answer sessions she's attended.

and as for the number of positions available for teaching the language:

Jobs teaching Latin aren't plentiful - one per high school is typical in urban areas - but the numbers slowly are climbing.

One per high school is still not all that bad for such a specialized skill.

So, given the presence of online resources like the Latin Wikipedia, Schola, Nuntii Latini, Ephemeris and all the rest, what's the chance of eventually being able to encounter a Latin teacher that has no background in the classics but has simply learned the language to fluency out of personal interest?


Anonymous said...

Um, Latin becoming a modern, spoken language? Not sure how this could ever happen?!
(from a Latin teacher)

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