Although it is difficult to begin a sentence with "my name is" and not end with "Inigo Montoya," I will resist. My name is Jocelyn Demuth and I have taught Latin in public, private, parochial, and charter schools. I've taught in urban, rural, and suburban school districts. My students have ranged from grades 6-12, Latin 1- A.P. I am currently teaching Latin in an urban district in Massachusetts. The most important lesson of my career has been:
- Enrollment is the key to a successful Latin program.
- A successful program can never be taken for granted.
I have heard rumors of classical Utopias where Latin teachers need not worry about either of these things. Frankly, I am skeptical.
I began my career well-schooled in identifying subjunctive clauses but clueless about how to make my discipline engaging and accessible to students. My wake-up call came when my first principal told me that more than a few of my students had asked him if they could switch into Spanish. Thankfully, he denied their requests. It became clear to me then that although I knew WHAT to teach, I had very little idea HOW to teach it. I had a small repertoire of routines that could have doubled as dental anesthesia and little else. Through trial and error and with the help of veteran teachers, I developed a large collection of activities that instruct and entertain.
Having amassed so much stuff, I thought, Why not make a virtual donation bag of everything that has worked rather than wait for it to be recycled with the pep rally flyers or erased from my computer memory? (This is a rhetorical question.) Hence, I created this website.
In addition, I speak at conferences and lead professional development in the New England area. I specialize in workshops on student engagement and active learning methodologies. If you have a professional development event that you would like me to lead or assist in, please feel free to contact me.
About the Picture: Here are the answers to the questions students ask most frequently:
- No, it's a wig.
- I was performing at a pirate festival.
- Not in front of the Colosseum. It's Photoshop.
- I thought it would be funny.