Most Latin teachers who commit to using Comprehensible Input have been on some sort of journey to get to that point. That is certainly true for me. I didn't discover Latin until I was a junior at a Texas high school, and it absolutely changed my life. I will forever have a soft spot for the Cambridge Latin Course because I loved learning from it so much. My parents had thought I would major in something more practical, like political science or international relations. But it was not to be!
I initially thought that I would go into academia. I absolutely loved studying Latin and Greek in college, and I eventually added Coptic and went on to write a dissertation about Shenoute of Atripe, the most ornery Egyptian monk I have ever encountered. I loved research, and I miss it to this day. But I also took a long look at the academic job market and knew things weren't looking good. On top of that, I taught a Greek class by myself for the first time, and while I didn't start out as a very good teacher, I got a lot better--and I learned to love teaching by the end of the year. So much so that I could see myself doing it full time.
Unsure of how I could transform a Ph.D. in Ancient Christianity into a teaching license, I applied to Teach for America. I was originally assigned to teach Language Arts in St. Louis, but due to a hiring crisis, I ended up teaching Special Education in Durham, NC. For my first year, I co-taught English and Math classes and helped a caseload of students get support in the classroom and reach their academic goals. The next year, I started a Latin program at my placement school.
By then, I knew I wanted to have a Latin classroom that was welcoming to all of my students, with all backgrounds and ability levels. While I may have gotten a kick out of discovering the wonders of the ablative absolute back in my day, my students were not ready to board the grammar train. And yet, I wanted them to learn and enjoy Latin. Cue the desperate internet search that led me to an entire online community of Latin teachers using CI, or Comprehensible Input, to make Latin an enjoyable experience for everyone. While I did not totally make the change from the Reading Method at that time (I really do have a sentimental attachment to the CLC), I did start to incorporate activities and techniques that completely dominate my classroom today.
After moving to Atlanta to teach at a private school, I realized that my desire to learn how to teach with Comprehensible Input was not something I could ignore anymore. So when a position opened up at Parkview High School in Lilburn, where there is a very large CI Latin program, I did everything I could to get there. And here I am! I am a better teacher than I've ever been, working with the best colleagues anyone could ask for.
If you're interested in teaching with Comprehensible Input and you don't know how to get started, don't worry--I had the exact same problem before I came to Parkview. But I've been a CI Latin teacher for three years now, and I finally feel ready to comment on my experiences. Now I'll be sharing what I've learned with you!