NLU-ICC Latin Pedagogy Workshop

NLU-ICC Latin Pedagogy Workshop
December 6, 2019

Tough Talks: Difficult Conversations in the Latin Classroom!


REGISTER HERE - Registration Fee: $75 (Scholarships Available)


8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6th, 2019


National Louis University, North Shore Campus, 5202 Old Orchard Road - Suite 300, Skokie IL 60077-4409


National Louis University (NLU) & Illinois Classical Conference (ICC)

For Whom

Latin teachers and pre-service teachers at elementary, middle, high school, and college levels

Instructional Benefit

This one-day workshop for Latin teachers of all levels will focus on the theme of supporting difficult conversations in the Latin classroom.

The morning will begin with an introductory session on defining “Tough Talks” followed by three presentations. Sessions include a presentation by Kelly Dugan, University of Georgia, whose work focuses on slavery in the ancient world, Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany and Sean Sweany discussing best practices to use when confronted with the reality of “Tough Talks” in the Latin classroom, and a selection of round table conversations (see below).  All sessions will be led by experienced Latin teachers and will provide the opportunity for individual or collaborative work-time.

 Participants are asked to bring two instructional units and classroom assessment materials to the workshop. Also, please be sure to bring the technology of your choice (iPad, laptop, etc.) to use during the day.


NLU Latin Pedagogy Workshop Schedule


Time                                                                                                            Events 




Human Bingo



Susie Howe


Session I Presentation

 Slavery in Textbooks/Author/Novella and How to Handle Conversations with Q&A

Kelly Dugan, University of Georgia


Session I Work/Talk Time/Practice Evaluation of Textbooks




Session II Presentation

Tough Talks with Sean and Alessandra

Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany and Sean Sweany


Roundtable Discussions – Select 1 to attend

You have to be tough to teach Latin these days:

1.      Social & Emotional Inclusivity with Brad Savage and Kerry Smith

2.      Integrating Current Events with Susie Howe

3.      A Continuing Conversation with Sean Sweany & Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany

4.      A Continuing Conversation with Kelly Dugan


Wrap Up//Evaluations

***Attendance of Wrap up and Evaluations MANDATORY for completion of CPDUs


Speaker and Session Descriptions


Enslavement in the Latin Classroom: A Curriculum Enrichment Workshop

with Kelly P. Dugan

In some Latin textbooks such as Reading Classical Latin: A Reasonable Approach, one of the English definitions given for the Latin noun servus is ‘servant’ (Hall 2015, 368). Translations such as this sanitize the violence and involuntary nature of enslavement and promote a false “happy slave” narrative (Dugan 2019; Foreman 2018). A more accurate definition would be ‘enslaved person.’ In this workshop, I will ask the audience to consider such textbook language choices and discuss why it matters. In the process of evaluating discourses of enslavement, I will guide participants in examining select Latin and English passages. The workshop will include discussion and group work. The goal of this workshop is to equip attendees with the basic tools of functional linguistics, a sub-field of educational linguistics. Participants will develop lesson plans and brainstorm ways they can apply functional linguistics in their own classroom for the purpose of critically analyzing the presentation of enslavement and other topics. Audience members will also learn what implications the presentation of ancient slavery has on discourses of slavery today, including its relationship with the ongoing racism in American society.


Kelly P. Dugan

Kelly P. Dugan is a PhD Candidate in the Language and Literacy Education Department at the University of Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Ancient Greek and master’s degrees in Classics and Linguistics. Her research interests are equity, pedagogy, and multicultural education in ancient Mediterranean studies. She plans to graduate with her doctorate this spring and her dissertation is titled “Antiracism and Restorative Justice in Classics: Race, Slavery, and the Function of Language in Beginning Greek and Latin Textbooks.”


Tough Talks: Difficult Conversations in the Latin Classroom

with Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany and Sean Sweany

Working in small groups, attendees will be presented with four authentic classroom scenarios that span a variety of difficult topics. Through discussion and role-play, groups will identify best practices and potential pitfalls for engaging in these discussions in their own classrooms.

Objectives: Attendees will be able to

  • Develop an awareness of conversation topics that can be difficult for themselves or for others
  • Learn strategies for engaging in difficult classroom discussions
  • Model responsible engagement in difficult classroom discussions


Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany

Alessandra has taught Latin at Lane Tech College Prep, St. Mary of the Angels Elementary School and is currently the Latin instructor at DePaul University. She has her BA in Classical Languages from Fordham University, MA in Classics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Latin teaching certification from National Louis University. Alessandra has previously presented on supporting grieving students in the Latin classroom and lesson planning for combined level classrooms at the NLU Pedagogy Workshop. She is committed to making her Latin classroom a safe and supportive environment for students of any age and is excited to be moderating this conversation.

Sean Sweany

Sean has taught Latin at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago and currently teaches at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange. He has his BA in Latin from the University of Notre Dame, MA in Latin from the University of Texas at Austin and Latin teaching certification from National Louis University. Sean spent 8 years as the Director of Student Activities at Mount Carmel, spearheading the school’s first LGBTQ student group, organizing formational events for various grade levels, and helping found Studium - the school’s House System - intended to promote inclusivity and connections among the student body. This is his first time presenting at the NLU Pedagogy Workshop.


Roundtable Discussions


1. Social & Emotional Inclusivity with Brad Savage and Kerry Smith

This table will facilitate discussions on the most effective means of helping all learners in your classroom to feel included in your curriculum, projects, and readings. We will focus on social and emotional inclusivity with topics such as emotional triggers, LBGTQ issues, and racial equality/diversity.


Brad Savage

Brad Savage currently teaches Latin to students in preK through 12 at The Einstein Academy where he also serves as the Director of Student Activities.  He is interested in integrating technology and language best practices into the classroom.  He earned BAs in Classics and Political Science from The Ohio State University and an MA in Classics from the University of Washington. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Latin exam.  Over the past few years, due to the generosity of various entities, including NEH and Vergilius, Brad has had the opportunities to further his studies in Classics and has enjoyed integrating his experiences into all levels of Latin!


Kerry Smith
Kerry Smith holds BAs in Latin and Greek from Loyola University Chicago with a minor in Classics.  She also earned master’s degrees from Boston University in Education and Northeastern Illinois University in Educational Leadership.  Kerry is currently in her 15th year of teaching Latin at New Trier and has taught everything from introduction to Latin to a post AP course.  She has a special interest in teaching students with learning disabilities and bringing Latin into the 21st Century by making the Latin classroom interactive and hands-on for all her students.



2. Integrating Current Events with Susie Howe

We will endeavor to process current events via discussions and activities through the lens of a Classical curriculum. We will brainstorm ways of having civil discussions about antiquity that will reflect the zeitgeist and geographical events.


Susie Howe

Susie Howe has been teaching Latin at the middle and high school level since 2014 at Baker Demonstration School, Loyola Academy, and currently Elgin Academy. She holds a B.A. in Classical Civilization from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and an M.A.T. from National Louis University. She has a passion for making her students laugh and think deeply about history, language, and culture.


3. A Continuing Conversation with Sean Sweany & Alessandra Vaccaro-Sweany

Continuing the discussion of best practices and potential pitfalls for engaging in tough discussions in teachers’ own classrooms.


4.  A Continuing Conversation with Kelly Dugan

Continuing the discussion on language awareness and language choice while characterizing and describing slavery and enslaved peoples.


NOTA BENE! Participants should remember to bring two units of instruction with which to work and experiment.


Professional Development Benefit

5.75 CPDUs available for credit toward ISBE Educator Licensure.


Cost- Payable Morning of the Workshop (CASH OR CHECK ONLY)

 Fees and Scholarships

Registration Fee: $75              Total # of workshop spaces: 34

•   $75 Illinois Classical Conference scholarships: Available to first 4 ICC members who register.

•   $50 National Louis University scholarships available to the first 8 registrants (Registration fees - $25)

•   $75 Fees for all remaining registrants.

• Registration and scholarships are available on a first-come first-served basis. Registration and any scholarship notification will be emailed to you as it becomes available..


*** All registration monies will be collected on the morning of the workshop between 8:30-9:00 a.m.; check should be made payable to National Louis University.


General Questions

Rickie Crown        

Registration and Scholarship Questions

Mitzi Lawrence Schwabe


Tempus Fugit!

Hurry to register! Registration is open until the workshop is full. Please click on the link to complete your registration.




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