“There's no such thing as dead languages, only dormant minds.” - Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Latin is the origin of many European languages and half of English vocabulary has Latin roots (either directly from Latin or from French). This is one of many reasons as to why Latin can be useful to learn.
If you know Latin, you may want to put your knowledge to good use and become a Latin teacher.
Despite what you may think, Latin is still being taught in the UK. Admittedly, it was more popular until the 1960s when it was still a requirement for Law and Medicine degrees. Latin was taught in around 25% of schools. Nowadays, Latin is mostly taught in private schools in the UK.
So how can you become a Latin teacher? What do you need to do?
In this article, we’ve got what you need to know. Whether you want to be a school teacher or a private tutor, there are a few things that you'll need to do, regardless of your subject area. If you're thinking about becoming a Latin teacher, here's what you need to do.
What Qualifications do you need to teach Latin?
If you’re interested in teaching Latin, you should start when you’re in school and work towards higher education in the subject. The OCR, SQA, and WJEC exam boards all still offer qualifications in Latin.
Once you’ve got a GCSE and A Level in Latin, you can apply to Latin degree courses at universities in the UK. Generally, you’ll study Latin alongside another subject. While your degree will probably include another subject alongside Latin (another language or history, for example), you can focus solely on Latin once you’ve moved onto a postgraduate degree. Additionally, once you’ve finished your degree, you can also consider completing a PGCE to become a teacher.
The PGCE is a graduate degree for those who want to become teachers. However, different qualifications have different uses and it’ll be up to you to decide what you want to do with your Latin. There are also different teaching qualifications which can dictate what type of teacher you’ll become.
Once you’ve finished studying Latin, you could always become a private Latin tutor. In that case, Superprof can help you with that.
How Can You Teach Latin in Schools?
While you may think that nobody takes Latin, more students are studying Latin than home economics (food), general studies, applied engineering, art and design (textiles), D&T electronic products, and art and design (graphics) so there’s still hope for Latin school teachers.
Of course, Latin is significantly more popular in independent schools and boys-only or girls-only schools. As a dead language, it's can't be taught as a second language but rather as a language with subjects like classics and history.
Similarly to other languages, when you study Latin, you need to learn more about not just the language, but the surrounding culture, such as literature, and how it was used. Your end goal, if you want to teach Latin in secondary schools, will be to finish with a PGCE.
As we mentioned earlier, this is a postgraduate qualification for those wanting to teach in a secondary school by achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and although it isn’t technically necessary for independent schools, most will ask that you have it anyway.
Usually, if you are studying to become a teacher with Latin, you might want to have a foreign language to increase your employability. Fortunately, as we saw before, most degrees with Latin may include another foreign language component.
Once you’ve finished your PGCE, which is effectively a master's teaching degree, you’ll need to finish your NQT (newly qualified teacher) year in a school. Once you’ve finished the “induction for newly qualified teachers”, you’re effectively a fully-fledged teacher.
If you’re working part-time, it’ll take you longer than a year to complete your NQT period. As a part-time teacher, you could always teach private tutorials in your spare time.
Keep in mind that both your PGCE and NQT period won’t be easy! That said, new teachers should always be striving to improve! Even though you're teaching, you'll never stop learning. The classroom experience is invaluable and whether you teach a single subject or several different curricula, your lesson plans can always get better and you can always learn new pedagogical approaches.
How Do You Become a Private Latin Tutor?
Whether you’ve got a qualification or not, you can become a private Latin tutor. While it can take a while to get all the qualifications you need to become a Latin teacher in a school, if you’ve already got the language and teaching skills, nothing is stopping you from becoming a private Latin tutor.
That said, you should probably get some qualifications as these can act as proof of your Latin skills and understanding of the language. Getting an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in Latin can take 4 or 5 years.
Generally, you’ll do the following to become a Latin teacher or tutor :
- Study Latin at A Level
- Study an undergraduate degree in Latin (often with another subject)
- Study a master’s degree in Latin, or
- Study a PGCE
We can’t stress this enough, but you don’t need a qualification to become a private Latin tutor. You just need to be able to let your teaching do the talking. If you do a good job, your reputation as a tutor will precede you.
There are also Latin proficiency tests you can take to prove your level in the language. Of course, while these qualifications will help your profile look better on Superprof, so will a plethora are stellar reviews from happy students.
This profile will need to show potential students that you’re passionate about the language, a good teacher, and professional. Being a Latin tutor is all about wanting to share your knowledge of the language, after all, and, as a private Latin tutor, you need to be a master of the language and also have excellent language teaching skills.
Whether you’re going to tutor on a platform like Superprof or find students by word-of-mouth (friends, family, social networks, etc.), there are plenty of places and resources to help you find work as a tutor. If your tutorials are engaging and educational, you’ll have no problem finding students.
How Much Do Latin Teachers Earn?
Depending on where you teach and the level you’re teaching, your wage can vary a lot. Even in schools, many factors will affect your salary.
Teachers earn between £23k and £48k a year depending on their superiority and where they teach (wages are higher for those in London and the surrounding areas).
Again, these ranges change if you’re a Leading Practitioner, a teacher whose skills and role has been recognised. Additionally, there are other ways to supplement your income:
- You can set a Special Educational Needs (SEN) allowance of between £2,149 and £4,242 a year.
- Teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments of between £2,721 and £13,288 if you take on additional responsibility.
Headteachers earn even more.
Of course, these wages are based on your seniority, experience, and your schools. There are a lot of options and ways to advance your salary as a teacher. You could earn even more if you complete a master’s degree or PhD and work in a university. As you can see, there’s no single salary for Latin teachers.
If you want to teach Latin as a private tutor, your wages will be even more variable. Depending on your experience and the demand for Latin tutorials, you can charge anywhere between £20 and £100 per hour. If you can manage 25 hours of tutorials, this means you can earn between £500 and £2,500 a week. Good luck!
Whether you’re teaching school students, university students, or Latin as a hobby, you need to engage your students with the language-learning process since their future is in your hands.
Whether you're interested in early childhood education or secondary education in a state school, a private school, or teaching Latin as a private tutor, a teaching certification or teaching experience is almost essential.
While there are no certification requirements for private tutors, having a teaching credential will make finding students easier. Similarly, teaching experience will also help you find tutoring or teaching jobs. As for teachers, you can't work in state schools without teacher training and state certification.
It doesn't matter whether your an English teacher, history teacher, music teacher, science teacher, or Latin teacher, you need to know your subject (grammar, Latin literature, etc.), have studied how to teach (basic skills, pedagogy, etc.), and have a passion for teaching.