New Year, More Ancient Greek

For the last seven years, I’ve been combining my job as a foundation classroom assistant (that’s the five and six year olds) with teaching classical Greek. I’ve gone to school in the morning and helped children with numeracy and literacy, played with them, cleaned up grazed knees, wiped away tears and laughed so very much. Then I’ve taught Greek in the afternoons and evenings, as well as running errands for elderly parents and sorting out my 11-year-old who is settling into grammar school.

On Friday I said goodbye to school for the last time. In the new year, I will be tutoring ancient Greek language and literature on a full-time basis. Starting with the alphabet, I teach beginners and at the other end of the scale I have a group of adults who have reached intermediate/advanced level. I have tutored for A level examinations, and at present am preparing three high school students for GCSE. Classics as a whole is taught less and less in Northern Irish schools: a great shame. Primary after-school clubs run independently by both myself and a CANI colleague have demonstrated that primary school pupils adore learning the history of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and far from being put off by the perceived difficulty of Latin and Greek, the young people are excited, enthusiastic and eager to learn. Once young people are settled in post-primary school, they may realise that they wish to pursue classics subjects but discover that these are not offered in their school.

This is where I come in! I am currently preparing three students to sit their GCSE Classical Greek examination in 2021. Two of these are at a school which offers no classical subjects, while the other is already taking Classical Civilisation at school. My mission is to bring Classical Greek to the masses!

For the new year I also have in mind a short six-week course in which students will read Homer’s Odyssey in English and discuss the story, the myths, and anything else Homer-related.

Watch this space!

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