Excellence at Hobart
I think the Hobart Shakespearians was an outstanding documentary. There are so many wonderful points to this film, many things stood out to me. I found Rafe Esquith, the fifth grade teacher, to be an amazing individual. He cares so much about his students and they care about him as well. His students were so engaged in their readings of “Hamlet” and “Huckleberry Fin”, at times they were moved to tears. This made me feel like you can help students to take notice and learn, even when their surroundings are negative. I thought one of Rafe’s statements was powerful, “One ounce of prevention is worth one pound of cure”. The structure of the class is also unique. The students’ desks surrounded Rafe’s desk. The students would also stand or sit on their desks during class time. This is an informal way to have a change of pace and movement within the school day. Rafe is a teacher who is approachable. Adam Avila spoke of a teacher who would not repeat anything when asked. Rafe said he would repeat himself fifty times to students if that is what it took. Their trip to Washington DC was a very educational experience, visiting all of our points of history. Rafe believes that travel helps them to become poised and polished. As I am studying to become a teacher myself, the documentary gave me a huge inspiration. If only all of our teachers would put half of what Rafe puts into his students, what a much kinder society we would live in. He is teaching them how to conduct themselves in real world situations. He tells them "Be “Nice and work hard”. He doesn’t just tell them this, he lives it. At the very end of the documentary, when he is leaving for the day he says, “Good teachers don’t give up”. I wanted to know more about how he is able to use non-traditional ways of teaching, but still remains within the guidelines that schools and government set.
I noticed a huge contrast in teaching when I was a young student. I was very reluctant to attend school. I had separation anxiety, so my first few years of school were difficult. My second grade teacher was not understanding of my situation at all. She was very old, and should have retired. When I would be having difficulties, I would physically get sick from my anxiety. She would come in the restroom and slap me and pull my hair and tell me I needed to get back to class. I never shared this with anyone for fear that I would be in more trouble for misbehaving. So I struggled through the school year. I hid on the bus one day and didn’t get off at school. I lost a lot of weight because of being sick all of the time. My parents took me to my pediatrician, he suggested a psychologist. After seeing the psychologist, he deemed there was nothing wrong with me other than school phobia. So the school year finally came to an end, and my parents transferred me to another school, because of the lack of support they received for me during my second grade year. I was now entering my third grade year and was still reluctant about going to school. My third grade teacher was aware of my situation and was very understanding and patient with me. She was so caring with me, and took extra time with me. By the end of the school year, I was a fully functioning student again. I believe Mrs. Farrow is much like Rafe, she cared about her students. Like Rafe, she would have gatherings at her home for her students. I will always be grateful for what she did for me.
In this next year, I would like to remain focused on getting my teaching degree, and continuing to gain useful information such as what I learned from watching “Hobart Shakespearians”. I would love to format a classroom like Rafe’s one day.