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Kelly Kusch

Head of School/Latin and Greek

Education

  • A.B. Classical Languages and Literature, University of Chicago
  • M.Ed. Secondary Education, Xavier University
  • M.B.A., Mount St. Joseph University (in progress)

Teaching philosophy

Important skills I want to teach my students

Learning Latin takes lots of skills--memorization, organization, attention to detail, pattern recognition, tenacity. These are skills that carry over into other classes and into life. Learning Latin is about more than the language though. Through the study of Greco-Roman culture, I want my students to see connections to all of their other classes and to contemporary experiences.

Teaching methods to reach these goals

I break grammar down for students. I make sure they understand English grammar first! Constant review reinforces the material. Once students have the basic foundation, it’s easy to build upon it. My love of mythology helped me enjoy Latin even more. I try to find this hook for students, whether it’s art or history or some other aspect of Roman or Greek culture. I want students to enjoy learning languages!

My Favorite Projects

Some students love mythology as much as I do. Each week, I tell a story and then show ancient and modern art inspired by the myth. Sometimes there is music as well. I discuss other connections to modern life--morals, phrases used which come from the myths, constellations, other stories based on the myth.

The Junior Classical League (JCL) is a student favorite. Participating in JCL means meeting other Latin and Greek students at state and national conventions, competing in contests, and painting pumpkins to look like Greek vases, among other things. JCL gives students opportunities to win awards, to show enthusiasm for all things Classical, and to develop leadership.

Why I love teaching

I love sharing my love of Latin and Greek. I love seeing students realize that they love Latin, and that, yes, they are pretty good at it. There’s the student who soaks up any bit of history. There’s the art project based on one of the myths learned. There’s the student who loves rhetorical devices. I tell students Latin is not a dead language; it’s all around them. If they look, they will find it. I encourage them to take pictures of Latin they see in the real world. They enjoy going back to Harry Potter and knowing what the spells mean. Greek is a secret code that they know.