Or something like that... Today at school the English Department had an in-service about engaging ways to teach Shakespeare in the classroom. It was essentially a primer on theater 101. One thing I took away from the workshop was that it is not sufficient to sit in a circle and read a play out loud. Students need to be out of their seats, interacting physically with the text. I am looking forward to trying out some of what I learned when my students and I read Romeo & Juliet in April.
Another benefit from today's activity was that we got to bond as a department. Just like Tolkien has his nine ring-bearers, our school has its nine English elucidators... It was fun cavorting around the auditorium stage as we attempted to tame the physical space around us. At first we were timid and awkward, but by the end some of us really grew into our roles.
In other news, I'll be proctoring the 2007 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System for the next three days. Most students take the exam pretty seriously, as they must pass it to graduate. More importantly, the scores they earn determine how our district will be perceived by education officials and the general public. I wish our students well. I know if I was taking the test I would want to do as well as possible - not just for myself, but for area bragging rights. Just as I ran as fast as I could during high school cross country meets with rival neighboring towns, I would want to utilize every ounce of intellectual fortitude I possess to also beat them on the exam. It's a matter of pride as much as anything else. Bonne chance.