If you have been reading my blog this summer you’ll remember that I have spent the entirety of it at home instead of traveling to far away places. With that said, I have been far from unproductive, in fact, I’ve probably done more research this summer than any other summer prior. It is all because of a wonderful man, William Shakespeare.
For as far back as I can remember (in my English classes, that is) I have always been intrigued by Shakespeare. I couldn’t wait to start Romeo and Juliet as a freshmen in high school and I read Macbeth three separate times throughout high school. I fell in love with The Merchant of Venice as a senior finding much sympathy for the character of Shylock. My love would go further than that as I embarked upon my journey in England four summers ago. It was there that I was able to learn about William Shakespeare as a person. It was there that I was able to truly understand why he wrote amazing and complex characters like Iago and Caliban as well as hilarious characters like Bottom and Puck. I read more Shakespeare in six weeks than I had in my life thus far and I LOVED IT.
Upon graduation from my MA program I decided I needed to make Shakespeare a part of my daily life. I thought, what better way to do that than to integrate it into my elementary school reading program! I was lucky to be teaching in a school that would allow for this new vision and I’ve not been disappointed by the results. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my students have fallen in love with the texts I’ve exposed them to. They’ve analyzed sonnets that most adults have difficulty even reading. They’ve brought characters to life as I imagine Shakespeare’s troupe of actors did hundreds of years ago.
This year I have the opportunity to really make a mark. April 23, 2014 will mark what would have been Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Celebrations are occurring all over England and I wanted to be in on the action.
So all summer I have been researching Shakespearean texts, watching movies, engaging in scholarly discourse with anyone willing to listen (namely Kate, Dylan and Tyler), and making plans for a ShakesYEAR! Tomorrow I meet with my curriculum advisor to discuss my plans for the year and I couldn’t be more excited.
I cannot wait to impart my knowledge, my passion.
My goal is that by the end of the school year each and every student at my school will know one detail about William Shakespeare. I don’t think that is too much to hope for in a world where Shakespeare can be found most anywhere!