Monday, January 4, 2010

The Mailbag

Okay, readers, here's some correspondence that tells a whole tale:


I love your blog, it is a miracle to find someone who believes as strongly as I do about teaching Shakespeare to children! My third-grade class has been practicing Macbeth for awhile, and they are WONDERFUL performers. They have learned so much and they want to keep learning as much as they can.

Sadly, my principal does not feel the same as I do, and has even told me so in meetings. So of course the other teachers agree with her.

What can you tell me to convince her how important it is?

Thank you, I appreciate any input. And happy to meet someone who has the passion to teach!

I'm shocked and saddened to hear this. That's just plain wrong, awful and sad. Don't give up. Tell your principal and fellow educators to read this blog, from the beginning, when it started in July of this year. Maybe they will get an inkling of what big words in big stories can do to raise big voices and big confidence.

I'm in an inner-city school with kids carrying and wrestling with all kinds of baggage. Their teachers will tell anyone that their students' reading and comprehension levels are up from their work in The Shakespeare Club.

I think when we raise the bar, they leap and are empowered.

Keep up the fight.
Thank you for your kind words. Our school is in a poor district as well, but it is a Catholic school. I think she thinks it is too controversial to perform, but I try to make it as G-rated as I can. You are right about comprehension. The slow readers want to read constantly.

One little boy in my class walks around with a binder filled with Shakespeare quotes. He was one of the "slow" ones. Thanks for letting me vent, sometimes I feel like I am all alone in my quest. But, when I read your blog, it was like a huge beacon of light.

I will try to show her the blog. Thank you!

P.S. don't worry I will never quit!

I have great news. My principal, after reading your blog, is now open to having the students do this play! I think your blog as well as a visit from the mayor of our city convinced her it was a good idea. Remember the little boy with binder of quotes?

Well, when the mayor came to our class, the class was prepared to ask questions. The student with the binder of quotes asked, "Would you like to see us perform Macbeth?"

The mayor was shocked, and of course said Yes. This is all pretty surreal to me. But, with prayer and conviction. great things can happen!

Thanks again!

I'm so, so thrilled for you, for your students, for the mayor and...well, let's applaud your principal!

Keep me posted.

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