Sharing Videos

Bob Patrick, in a private email thread among the Latinists about sharing video, or not, with the Latin Best Practices (LBP) online group, memorably said:

When Latinteach was the main/only venue for Latin teachers, I often would share what I was trying and urging others to try there.  I never shared a video of me teaching.  I did offer short scripts of what I was doing,and without fail, one of the grammar police would attack.  I remember once sending a script of what had happened in class that day in which I was circling ut purpose clauses. I made the mistake of using “vel” rather than “an” in my question for did someone go here to do this or to do that?

Nevermind that I had just demonstrated how to introduce “the dreaded subjunctive mood” to Latin 2 students without ever having to say “subjunctive”, or that I had done it entirely in Latin, or that students were actively engaged and understanding.  I was chastized for using the wrong conjunction.   The one who publicly (and oh so politely) chastised me then wrote me off list to question just how much Latin I had studied, and then essentially took the position that if one were ever going to teach with oral Latin, one would need to be a near perfect  speaker “lest we lead the children astray and teach them bad Latin.”

This happened more than once, and any mistake I made became the latest reason why teaching this way was a bad idea and would never work.  It was always laid at my feet for not knowing a lot of Latin, but you could hear the trembling in the background–if teaching this way ever gained ground, Latin teachers would all be shown as mistake makers.  Recall, now, my email yesterday to you all about my coversation with the 4percenter who acknowledged he could speed translate faster than he could read.  4 percenterds are terrified of looking normal and making normal mistakes.

So, while I would LOVE to see some video of all of us on LBP because it is really the only way to teach any language, I am afraid that even on our list some of this would happen.  And, to be honest, for me, it was very painful.  I really think, looking back that I lived in a low level depression because of these things.  In other words, more stress that we don’t need to sign up for.

However, if and when we have videos to share apud nos, as David has done–I am all for it.  Bob

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2 thoughts on “Sharing Videos”

  1. I think this is why we need tested results. If your students – even with the occasional human mistake – score higher than students with only written Latin classes, criticism will quieten over time.

  2. And I’m sure they will score much higher (and have more fun all the way). Just wanted to make that clear.

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