Skye Shirley has taught Latin in a variety of settings to students of many ages. As a student teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, she worked with diverse high school students and was mentored by Maria Giacchino, whose successful Latin program motivated her to develop a program at a school after graduation.
Skye taught at Newton Country Day School for six years and Brookline High School for two years. She currently teaches Latin online for the University of Massachusetts while residing in Florence, Italy.
She has organized a variety of activities for students including Classical Club, field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts, Certamen competitions, Classics Day at Holy Cross, and visits from guest speakers, including Yale University's award-winning Aeneid translator Sarah Ruden.
"Ms. Shirley's love for Latin and teaching is very apparent. She forms connections with all her students and I love how excited she gets over new concepts. I really enjoy the activities like TPR (Total Physical Response) because they make learning new material more active. Amo linguam latinam!"
~9th grade Latin student at Newton Country Day School
As a Latin teacher of middle and high school students, Skye Shirley has presented in a variety of venues to provide teacher support and curriculum ideas. She has crafted a unique teaching philosophy that she continues to refine through daily teaching, classical conferences, and graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
Her methods are supported by recent research in Second Language Acquisition and combine the best practices of the Active Method and Natural Method in order to optimize student learning. She specializes in crafting engaging, hands-on, immersive lessons which use Latin as the primary language of instruction.
"Skye Shirley is both incredibly knowledgeable and also very open to new ideas and techniques. In October 2014 Skye and I co-presented at the MAFLA conference, and as we worked together I found that as much as we were preparing to help other teachers through our presentation, Skye was helping me better my own practice as well!"
Latin Teacher at Chelsea High School
Skye Shirley excels in using the spoken method of Latin teaching to ignite her students' understanding of the language and to cultivate their enjoyment of ancient Roman culture. She sees herself as a life-long learner and language coach, and is energized whenever she finds that her students are winning a new sense of their connectivity to Latin language and culture.
Skye tirelessly promotes the pleasures to be found in spreading the Latinitas― the timeless quality and inimitable eloquence of spoken Latin― to all of her students.
Among her many other leadership activities, Skye is the President of CLIPeus, the premier spoken Latin professional association in the Boston area that organizes Active Latin events and workshops for classical enthusiasts.
"Skye is an exceptional presenter, regardless of the topic, and she brings an unapologetic energy and enthusiasm to her teaching. She is not afraid to take risks, and she makes traditional activities in the Latin classroom exciting and engaging for all levels. Her students are indeed fortunate to have her."
~Dr. Edward Zarrow
President, Classical Association of Massachusetts
MaFLA Teacher of the Year, 2015
NECTFL Teacher of the Year, 2015