Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.

~ W. B. Yeats ~

Students seeking academic support through tutoring is becoming increasingly common, for all subjects including languages. Amongst the language learning options in the Australian Curriculum, Latin has a reputation for being difficult to grasp. However, in recent years, Latin courses have seen a resurgence in popularity, particularly in senior high school and college.

Studying etymology can be enlightening, and it is here you realise the influence Latin has had on our English vocabulary today, with a quarter of the words we use coming directly from Latin, and another quarter being derived from Old French — itself from Latin.

Latin is a fascinating language. It survived the Roman Empire, is used in Catholocism, was the language of science in the 15th century and the language spoken by diplomats during the 17th century. Today, Latin still exists in medical studies and forms a path of study in history, science and foreign language subjects.

There is a specific learning progression to follow when teaching Latin in high school classes, Years 11 and 12 or in university. Outside of the formal education arena, the progression is a little less defined.

Often, when tutoring subjects like history, chemistry, maths or even English, the learning processes and methodology are easy to work out. However, with Latin, there can be multiple entry points or areas of focus, depending on the career path of the student.

Many teachers find this challenge the most rewarding element of their Latin tutoring work but it takes a skilled tutor to do it well.

How do you develop these skills to become a successful private Latin tutor?

This is what we will explore in our article.

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5 (5 reviews)
Harriet
$80
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1st lesson free!
John
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John
$32
/h
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1st lesson free!
Leila
5
5 (3 reviews)
Leila
$45
/h
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1st lesson free!
Eliza
Eliza
$40
/h
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Gemma
Gemma
$35
/h
Gift icon
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Alexandra
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5 (1 reviews)
Alexandra
$40
/h
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1st lesson free!
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$37
/h
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1st lesson free!
Molly
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Let's go

Studying Latin to Maximise Your Teaching Credibility

As with all tutors, effective Latin tutoring requires more than just your basic knowledge of the language. Whether you're offering online Latin lessons or one-on-one tuition in person, you not only need to be a master of grammar and vocabulary, you need to know how to apply it all to a range of contexts.

You will not get the foundation you require by only studying Latin through your high school years. You will need to continue your studies at the university level.

What does a Latin tutor need to know?
Being an effective tutor requires ongoing study and learning | Source: Pixabay - StockSnap

Of course, along with studying the language, you can also do your own independent research into pedagogy and methodology as well as enrol in a teacher training course. In total, this may take about four to six years. After studying the Latin language in Year 11 and Year 12, you could:

  • enrol in an undergraduate degree, with a major in Latin
  • complete a master’s degree in Latin
  • enrol in an undergraduate Bachelor of Education, majoring in Latin and another language, like Spanish, French or classical Greek
  • follow your Latin degree with postgraduate studies in secondary education.

The last two options aren't essential if you want to stick to private tutoring, however, any ideas and skills you can pick up that will help you deliver effective outcomes for each individual student will be beneficial.

Having education qualifications will also help distinguish you from other tutors who are your competition. It doesn't matter if you are offering online Latin lessons, applying for a position in a tutoring agency or running small group tutorials after hours with a high school Latin club, potential students are going to be interested in your experience and ability to teach. Having formal qualifications, along with a sound reputation gives you credibility.

It may also make a difference regarding how much you can earn as a Latin teacher.

Take Online Latin Lessons to Brush Up Your Skills

Even if you achieved a straight A average during your high school Latin course, you still need to maintain your skills by continuing to practise them. You can do this with your own tutor, or enrol in online Latin lessons for advanced students.

There are a multitude of online resources and classes to help teachers brush up on their grammar and vocabulary, or broaden their experience and knowledge base by delving into the history of Latin or its literature.

Can I learn Latin online?
More and more subjects are available to learn online | Source: Pixabay - picjumbo

The Superprof platform is the ideal place to look for Latin tutors. Go there to find a tutor to help you gain experience with teaching methodology or a deeper understanding of the history of the Roman Empire.

Steps to Becoming a Private Latin Tutor

Anybody can offer tutoring services, however, if you're looking to make Latin tutoring a career, rather than just a way of earning a little extra cash while you're studying, you'll want to do it properly.

Can you teach yourself Latin?
Students can find and learn just about anything online these days | Source: Pixabay - fancycrave1

Step 1: Language skills

Make sure your language skills are up to providing the academic support required at your student's level. If not, acquire the resources you need to boost your level — dictionaries, textbooks, online courses.

Step 2: Methodology

Ensure you have a teacher's toolkit of strategies that engage students and provide the variety each student needs to learn in their preferred style.

Step 3: Curriculum and course knowledge

Keep up-to-date with courses and curriculum requirements for the level of students you are tutoring.

Step 4: Network

Get to know other language tutors. They may be your 'competition' but they are also an excellent resource for sharing ideas, strategies and, sometimes, students.

Step 5: Get to know the market

Find out as much as you can about Latin tutoring and how to become a teacher of Latin.

Finding Work as a Private Latin Teacher

This really is the final step — finding students and building your reputation as an excellent private Latin tutor.

So, how exactly do you go about advertising yourself and bringing in clientele?

How do you find students as a private tutor?
Your Latin may be brilliant - but it's wasted if you don't have students | Source: Pixabay - EliFrancis

Signing Up to Platforms

There are a number of tutoring platforms where tutors can sign up and advertise their services. As with everything, however, it pays to shop around. Some do not have good reach. Others may ask you to pay a large fee, or you may have no control over setting times with each student.

Just one of the gateways into Latin language tutoring, the right tutoring platform is a huge bonus for tutors who are just starting out. However, you still need to market yourself carefully to stand out from your competition.

Your platform page or profile should clearly explain a number of items, including your:

  • experience and qualifications
  • specialisations and subjects (for example, Roman history, literature)
  • level you teach
  • availability
  • rates.

A tutor profile on Superprof allows you to do all this, as well as provide a photo and description of who you are (allowing potential students to form a connection). The platform allows you to both look for students and be found.

We recommend checking out a few different platforms and signing up to the ones that appeal, to get a wider reach.

Word of Mouth

Don't forget to explore your existing networks to find tutoring students. These may be personal networks or traditional advertising.

Try avenues such as:

  • family
  • friends
  • teachers
  • peers.

Who knows somebody, who knows somebody else in need of Latin tutoring? These people in your personal network already know and trust you. They want to see you succeed. When you've exhausted this networking avenue, try the following:

  • social media — Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok
  • regular classifieds — digital and print newspapers and news forums
  • school and community centre noticeboards.

Once you start building a student base, you need to continue to work to ensure each lesson is impeccable. Your students will expect a lot from you, and you have to be able to deliver. A little extra effort goes a long way to building a stellar reputation where students will seek you out.

It might be a lot of work at the outset, but it's totally worth it once you've gained some traction.

A final word on tutoring

Go in with your eyes and mind open to possibilities.

Make sure you explore and make use of all your skills. In your Latin studies, you may have picked up expertise in another language — perhaps you could tutor French, Spanish, classical Greek or any of the Asian languages too, even at a lower level. Or maybe you could put your exemplary knowledge of grammar rules and vocabulary to practice by tutoring in English as well as Latin.

Offer the types of tutorials that work best for you. Essentially, with Superprof (as with other platforms) there are three types:

  • face-to-face (or, in person) — your home, your student's home or a public space
  • online tuition
  • group tuition (which can be in person or online).

If one type works better for you, only offer that. However, if you're happy with any style, offer them all.

Make sure your rates are inclusive of the cost of your travel, hardware costs (laptop, microphone), rent or other expenses (internet fees, electricity), stationery (pencils, paper, texts). Also, ensure your rates are competitive and fair — an online lesson is usually cheaper than face-to-face as travel costs are limited, group sessions are almost always more cost-effective for the students.

Above all, enjoy your new career. How wonderful to be engaged in something you love that is also rewarding.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.