Report from the Field – John Piazza

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5 thoughts on “Report from the Field – John Piazza”

  1. Even before John started in with CI in Latin, founding, along with Bob Patrick, the Latin Best Practices website, the State of California was leading the way in this change. The California Board of Education in 2010 passed legislation clearly stating what it wants from their language teachers. This legislation includes an amazing statement, one that needs to be read carefully by all administrators so that they are not left out of the loop of the coming changes:
    “We can no longer afford to simply learn about languages and cultures but rather, we must provide students with opportunities to learn languages and cultures by participating in communicative interactions that prepare for real-world language use and global citizenship.” [bolded case text above is bolded in the original document]
    Links to the entire document can be found at my site benslavic.com ā€“ search the blog for “California World Language Standards”. California is the first, but certainly won’t be the last, state to DEMAND that its teachers address in their teaching the proficiency outcomes defined by ACTFL, and that memorizing lists of vocabulary and grammar rules is no longer going to cut it.

  2. John’s struggle with the culture there is epic. The culture is epic. Berkeley HS is a twin of the high schools that the sons and daughters of Ivy League professors attend, preparing them for a way of teaching Latin that hasn’t changed in centuries.
    I know what John went through bc I was one of his phone life lines along with Bob Patrick when he moved from teaching middle school Latin to go to Berkeley. He was beat up for a few years, almost lost his breath and fainted, stood his ground and now writes the above.
    It is a victory resembling few like it in our profession. It has been a ten round heavyweight fight and he got the tenth round knockout. Thank you for pointing it out. It needs to be recognized.

  3. The thing about John is that it was in LATIN! He may as well have gone into England. That is what impresses me. And you are right, he did it by winning over students. And he kept his cool.
    I can tell you the heat back in the day was intense bc there was a “beloved” retiring Latin teacher and then this young whip walks in and boy did he get hammered. But there was one AP who supported him in the building as I remember.
    I know he really wanted that job bc he had to drive over the Bay Bridge every day from Oakland and now his commute is a lot better. I do think he is a high school teacher. He’s a scholar as well. All those Latin teachers are.
    http://johnpiazza.net/book/

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