Report from the Field – Jeffery Brickler

Here is a fine report from Jeff. If you want to know more about Jeff and what he endured last year, click on the Teacher of the Month category:

Dear all,

I wanted to update everyone on how things are going. Many of you know all too well what kind of year I had last year. To say that it was very difficult and challenging would be quite the understatement. However, in a years time, it is amazing how things can change.

First, I received my numbers for next year. My enrollment has gone up 75% over this year. I have the most number of students that I have ever had. My classes seem to be growing.

I have also noticed something that has never happened to me in the past. Students whom I don’t know, whom I don’t have in class are greeting me in Latin. They greet me in the bathroom, in the hallway, in the parking lot. Everywhere! It is truly incredible.

Two days ago, I spoke to a former student who is now a senior. I currently have his brother in Latin I. I stopped the former student, the older brother, to tell him how well his younger brother is doing. He told me that he recommended to his brother to take my class because of my nascent attempts at CI. I had just begun to use it with his class, too late for him unfortunately! But, I made such an impact that he recommended my class to his brother. Wow!

Lastly, I have recently been contacted by the Ohio Department of Education regarding how I teach Latin. The State is having trouble with resources for Latin and how to help Latin teachers teach Latin like a language. My name got passed around as a innovative, forward-thinking Latin teacher and now I am being asked to apply for a local leadership position to provide professional development in the state to Latin teachers. Wow! This is unbelievable! I cannot believe that people are already noticing what I am doing.

Last year I thought the resistance and backlash was going to do me in, but now I am being contacted for my work as it pertains to Latin. Completely unbelievable!

I want to send a huge shout out to all of you on this email. All of you have contributed to my progress as a Latin teacher. These last two years have been very challenging and difficult and I still work to improve, but all these successes are in large part because of the support all you have given me. This is certainly a complete turnaround from last year. I will definitely share all of this with my admins because it deserves to be shouted from the rooftops. My students are successful and what I am doing in the classroom is translating into gains for them and for me.

Thank you!




16 thoughts on “Report from the Field – Jeffery Brickler”

  1. [my private email response to Jeff and our Latin posse]
    I agree Jeff. Given the power of the work we are doing, it is only a matter of time before it gets through, first to our suspicious students who have been beaten down by an oppressive and 100+ year old model of education; then, their parents, and then our colleagues and administrators. I thought I was getting support in being allowed to teach CI, and I was, but when my program got shut down, I immediately thought to myself: “would this have happened if I had cultivated an aire of intimidation and superiority with my students and colleagues, by teaching old-school?” But the successes I have had during the past 4 years have outweighed those difficulties, and similar experience of having non-Latin-students greeting me in Latin, and using Latin, or hearing from colleagues who teach other subjects that students are spontaneously using Latin in Math, Spanish, science, PE, etc.

    Hearing not only about each others’ successes, but more importantly being there for each other as we come up against ignorance and tradition for its own sake, and slowly educate people about the beauty of CI–all this has really helped me and all of us to persevere. Thank you, Jeff, for sharing both your struggles and your successes. Both are equally inspiring.


  2. Jeff,

    This is all just incredibly good news. Not one bit of it surprises me. And you are being called on to provide direction and leadership. Fantastic!

    On the fly right now. More later! Macte et Optime!

    Bob Patrick

  3. This is amazing – so very happy for you!!! How does it go again? Good things come to those who keep plucking ahead despite resistance, or something like that. Anyway, this is such an inspiring post for many of us who are still fighting major battles every day. Thanks so much for sharing – now I can sleep well!

  4. First, it is so inspiring to hear about your successes! It speaks greatly of your commitment and your passion.

    Second, congratulations on being recognized as a person who can share your knowledge with other professionals. This is an honor and a responsibility and it will change your life as well as the lives of others.

    Third, you will never know how important it has been to others to read about the “turnaround” in a year’s time. So often we end up in horrible situations, personal or professional, and we cannot imagine how anything could get better. Just knowing that it has gotten better for someone else gives us hope. Thank you for that.

    with love,

  5. Jeff, this was very cool to read. Thank you so much for sharing.

    All I have to say is: You deserve it. We have safety when our numbers are good. You deserve it, you deserve the responsibility and all the notice from the state-level higher-ups. Good job!

    This is a matter of faith for me, but I feel it fits here: We are only tested with what the Lord knows we can handle. If it’s too much for us, if it will break us, the Lord keeps it away. Last year you suffered a lot precisely because you are stronger than most and can take it.

    Wonderful, Jeff. This has made my week!

  6. Thank you for another thing to rejoice about, Jeff. I went back and read Ben’s comments about your humility.

    I am sure that the difficulties you have faced will only put you in a more solid position as you are called upon for leadership.

    God bless you.

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