Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Rafe Esquith speak, and hear 7 of his students perform their version of Shakespeare! It was amazing. For being so successful, he is an incredibly humble person who truly loves teaching! He has been a teacher in the classroom for 27 years! His passion for teaching and his encouragement of other teachers was so refreshing. On to the kids... Wow, the kids, known as the Hobart (named for the elementary school) Shakespeareans, are amazing! They combine history, musics, and Shakespeare into an amazing performance. Basically, the kids present some history about Shakespeare, perform a monologue (last night it was from Henry VIII (I think) and Hamlet), and play a song to go with the theme. Last night, the kids performed Neil Young's Heart of Gold and Sting's Fields of Gold. The kids played their guitars and even the harmonica! While their performance was great, what amazed me most was how kind they were. When someone was speaking, the students were looking at the speaker, they helped each other, and they were just so happy and calm! If you have not had the opportunity to read any of Rafe Esquith's books, I suggest you do. His first book, There are No Shortcuts, is a narrative about his classroom and experiences in teaching. His second book, Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire, gives teachers actual lesson ideas and methods. His brand new book, Lighting Their Fires, is about how to teach the kids "the other stuff"-- being responsible, time management, being a good person, etc. It's meant for parents and teachers alike.