“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi. (I will either find a way or make one.) - Kendall Ryan
Students still have the option to study Latin at GCSE and A Level. While most state schools don’t teach it, it’s still quite popular at private schools. Most of the students who choose to study Latin at GCSE or A Level pass their exams.
So while Latin may be a dead language, it’s alive and well for those wanting to study it. There are plenty of reasons people choose to study Latin. For one, the language can provide an interesting insight into our language.
Did you know that over half of English words come from Latin?
A quarter of our vocabulary came directly from Latin and another half of it came from Old French, a language which evolved from Latin!
Latin's also been an important language throughout history. It was the language of the Roman Empire and spoken all over Europe, leading to vulgar Latin which would later evolve into the Romance Languages like French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.
Medieval Latin was used as a way for the member states of the Holy Roman Empire to communicate and during the 15th century, Renaissance Latin replaced it as scholars tried to rediscover Classical Latin. Around 70% of books printed at the time were in Latin.
By the 17th century, Latin was being used as a language for the sciences and diplomacy. However, it was later replaced by French. That said, you'll probably notice that most scientific terms are of Latin origin.
Nowadays, Latin is most commonly used by the Catholic Church, as it has been for around 2,000 years. It's the official language of the Holy See and the Vatican City.
It's far from dead and it's an interesting subject for anyone interested in history, languages, or the sciences.
So how can you start teaching Latin? How do you become a Latin teacher in schools?
In this article, we'll be looking at how you can become a school teacher, get a teaching certification, degree in education, and all the different ways to become a Latin teacher.
How Can You Teach Latin in Schools?
Latin is almost non-existent in primary schools and it’s only really a subject you can gain teaching qualifications in if you attend a private secondary school which means that you’ll probably be teaching older students.
They’ll still need to learn how to use the language, though.
So how will they do this?
By learning from a teacher of course!
Find out more about becoming a Latin teacher.
Training to Become a Latin Teacher
If you want to study in secondary schools, the first thing you’ll need to do is get your undergraduate degree in Latin. Generally, Latin is taught alongside subjects like Ancient Greek, history, other languages, or even philosophy. You might also learn about Latin culture. After all, culture and language are pretty inseparable so you must study both at the same time.
Secondly, you’ll need a teaching qualification and the PGCE is the most common one. Firstly, you must be aware that there are PGCEs for all subjects. Except for academies and independent schools, you’ll need Qualified Teacher Status (NQT) to work as a teacher in a secondary school in the UK.
Keep in mind that most Latin PGCEs are Classics PGCEs and most Latin teaching jobs will probably involve working in a different content area or subject area. You'll probably have to be familiar with several different curricula.
That said, there are other education courses you can opt for depending on whether you want to be a high school teacher, a foreign language teacher, or a private Latin tutor.
Teaching at a UK Secondary School with a PGCE
So what exactly is the PGCE?
This is a course that you can study over one or two years to become a teacher within a state-funded school.
That’s what you’re after, isn’t it?
Once you’ve finished your PGCE, you’ll have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). However, you’ll have to complete your newly qualified teacher (NQT) year at a secondary school first. Then the real work begins!
School-Centres Initial Teacher Training
The SCITT programme is only available in England and it allows you to gain QTS while working predominantly within a school. Certain SCITT programmes will award a PGCE at the end. You can apply to one in the same way you’d apply to a PGCE, through UCAS.
These programmes are available for those wanting to primary, middle, or secondary school students.
Think of it as a PGCE for those who learn better by doing rather than by studying.
Discover how much Latin teachers earn.
Qualified Teacher Status
While we’ve suggested the PGCE since it's the most common qualification for secondary teaching, what you need is the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) that we mentioned and you can get this from a multitude of different courses or a teacher education program. All teachers in state schools need QTS.
While the PGCE is the most common and there’s also School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) that we mentioned, you might also want to consider Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), and Undergraduate QTS routes.
QTS is usually attained through completion of an undergraduate degree and a teacher training course such as those mentioned before. Then, new teachers also need to complete their NQT year.
Your degree will probably be in the subject you want to teach and during the training courses, you’ll learn how to transfer your knowledge of your subject to your students.
In short, being a teacher is about having a mastery of your subject and knowing how to transfer that knowledge to students.
If you need a particular teaching credential, you should contact universities, especially those with a department of education.
Changing Careers to Become a Latin Teacher
If you’ve always been interested in Latin, it’s never too late to become a teacher and start teaching the subject. Of course, you’ll have to get through the steps we mentioned earlier.
There’s no age limit when it comes to studying a PGCE, SCITT, or GTP. Do some research and see which option is best for you.
Who said Latin was a dead language?
That said, if you don’t already have a degree in Latin, you’re going to also have to do an entire degree again or prove your level in Latin. Similarly, once you’ve got your degree and teaching qualification, you’ll need to do your NQT year just like anyone else even if you are a little older than the other teachers. You might also need to brush up on your Latin if it’s been a while or even start with a Latin level test.
In short, becoming a teacher and starting your teaching career is a simple process as long as you’re passionate, hard-working, and driven. You need a good understanding of both your subject and pedagogy and if you have both, you'll have no problem finding a teaching job.
Whether you want to focus on early childhood education, teaching Latin as a second language, secondary education, or teaching adults, teacher education is important! Additionally, teaching experience, high teaching standards, and teaching skills are essential for anyone who wants to become a teacher. It's not always obvious how to become a teacher so if you need more help, consider looking at teaching degrees or a teaching certification and if you can, apply now!
If you want to learn Latin or some teaching skills, you can always get help from the tutors on Superprof! There are three main types of tutorial available and the perfect one for some mightn't be ideal for others.
Face-to-face tutorials are your typical private tutorial with a private tutor sitting opposite their student. These are usually the most costly option because your tutor will spend a lot of time preparing your bespoke lessons but they're also very cost-effective since every minute in class is spent teaching you.
Thanks to the internet, you can also get online tutorials. This is when the tutor teaches their student using video conferencing software and a webcam. These tend to be cheaper than face-to-face tutorials since the tutor doesn't have to travel.
Finally, group tutorials tend to be cheaper per student per hour since the cost of the tutor's time and expertise is shared amongst all the students in the lesson. However, you won't get as much one-on-one time as you would with face-to-face tutorials.