Friday, August 18, 2006

Learning from the Shakespeareans

If you are a teacher who loves children and who cares deeply about their education then the film, The Hobart Shakespeareans, may bring tears to your eyes.

The Hobart Shakespeareans is a documentary about a dedicated public school teacher, Rafe Esquith, and his students. Those of us who are educators within the Orthodox Christian Church can learn much from this teacher and the educational environment he creates with the help of his students.

We have the Holy Scripture, the stories of the Saints, the holy icons, the Divine Liturgy, and the whole dynamic living Tradition of the Church. What if we teach our spiritual way of life the way Rafe Esquith teaches classical literature, history, music, math, and so on. The story of the Hobart Shakespeareans shows us what Orthodox Christian education for both children and adults could be and indeed should be in America.

Visit the POV website for a synopsis of the film and excerpts from Rafe Esquith's book, There Are No Shortcuts. He comments On American Schools, On Teacher Selection, and On Teaching. A special section for educators includes "Rafe's Classroom Secrets." The video of David Brancaccio's interview with Rafe Esquith and a transcript of the interview are available on the NOW website. (Scroll down the transcript text of the show to find this interview.)

Listen to Michelle Trudeau's report, "Inner-City Teacher Takes No Shortcuts to Success," on National Public Radio. Also, read the brief article on the Hobart Shakespeareans present on the site.

Read the October 14, 2003 Washington Post article, "Pursuing Happiness, Through Hard Work," by Jay Mathews.

You can also visit the official Hobart Shakespeareans website.

Information on Rafe Esquith can be found at UCLA Spotlight and Wikipedia.

Ron Clark, a young teacher from North Carolina who moved to New York City to teach in Harlem, is also a dedicated teacher. You can listen to an interview with the actor Ernie Hudson about his own life and The Ron Clark Story, a recent TNT movie.

Watch a video about Ron Clark from (56k or broadband).

The August 2006 issue of Reader's Digest included the article, "A Class by Himself," written by one of Ron Clark's former students.

An article by Ron Clark can be found at

More information is available on the Ron Clark Website, including resources for teachers.

Copyright © 2006 by Dana S. Kees. The image is in the public domain.