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Woman’s Club hosts Dr. Edward Zarrow

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The Westwood Woman's Club welcomed Dr. Edward Zarrow, aka Dr. Z in the halls of Westwood High School, and just Ted, as guest speaker to their membership during their last January 18 meeting at the COA.

The much-sought-after language teacher arrived early to set up his interactive presentation with his friendly smile and signature bow tie. He opened with a trip down memory lane inviting the entire group who remembered studying Latin in high school. This teacher goes beyond the memorization of vocabulary and verb declensions to include role playing and performance.

A Yale University PhD, Ted had been named 2015 Language Teacher of the Year by the prestigious American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This seasoned intellectual is now turning the corner on 20 years teaching his preferred high school age group - this year of more than 100 students in five sections of Latin I-IV. Despite all these accolades, Ted’s pedagogical skills shined through with content, process, participation and fun for all with an endearing dose of modesty and candor.

On display was a diagram illustrating his philosophy on the teaching of language, as a method that engages all the senses with an emphasis on critical thinking, historical context, mythology, spontaneity and fun. His creativity was at work with an array of photos and videos that highlighted his work with classes, including theater productions and physical education challenges. A favorite was the video of a human Roman chariot race competition conducted entirely in Latin, in waist-deep snow on the WHS ball field. His thoughtful insight into the teenage psyche and inexhaustible effort to make life connections won him the admiration of all the WWC members.

Finally, Ted’s reflection on motivation led to recounting his student who went to Rome, met the Pope, greeted him in Latin, and gifted him a souvenir T-shirt from the Westwood High School Latin students with the youthful, fresh motto: "Non numquam fidelis (sometimes faithful), Semper suavis! (Always smooth!)"

Ted’s infectious enthusiasm made the afternoon truly enjoyable.

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