On Saturday, April 7, the Department of Religious Studies and Classics hosted its first annual Classics Teachers Day on campus. Nineteen K-12 teachers from the Tucson and Greater Phoenix areas, thirteen University of Arizona Classics M.A. students, and seven Classics faculty attended the gathering together with workshop speaker Justin Slocum Bailey. Funding was provided by the Department of Religious Studies and Classics and by a Bridge Initiative grant from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.
After attendees had enjoyed a catered al fresco lunch at the Learning Services Building, the program began with a warm welcome to all participants from Classics faculty. Next, Dr. Marilyn Skinner, Legate for Arizona from the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), Dr. Arum Park, State Vice-President for the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and Dr. Cynthia White, a member of the Executive Board of the American Classical League (ACL), spoke on the advantages of belonging to their respective professional organizations. Dr. White also discussed the ACL Placement Service and brought promotional items in the form of ACL pens, sticky notes, and coasters, which were eagerly received. Junior Classical League representative Sarah Palumbo talked informally about JCL participation and distributed T-shirts. Finally, Dr. Rob Groves summarized the many enrichment benefits available to Classics majors and minors at the University of Arizona, particularly through study abroad programs, and urged teachers to bring that information back to students thinking about college.
Participants then adjourned to the Modern Languages Building, where Justin Slocum Bailey conducted a riveting 2.5-hour workshop based upon his “Indwelling Language” methods of second-language instruction. While the primary focus involved getting a class of introductory Latin students to feel comfortable speaking and comprehending oral Latin, Mr. Bailey also demonstrated applied techniques for helping listeners grasp and recall many kinds of material presented in a classroom setting. Enthusiastic conversations after the event indicated that attendees had found this workshop quite valuable.
The event as a whole was well received and the organizers are already discussing preparations for next year's event!
For more photos from the event, please see our facebook page here!