~by Amy Ulen
Teachers from around the country descended upon Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida, last weekend to attend the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention. In years past, the Folger Shakespeare Library conducted a one-day Shakespeare Set Free workshop on the Monday after the convention. This year our goal was to share our performance-based teaching methods with more participants by breaking our workshop into five acts over the weekend. As a result, we reached over 500 participants who will be able to incorporate the new techniques in their classrooms this week!
The Shakespeare Set Free workshops were a huge success, but we didn’t want to end it there. On Sunday morning, Peggy O’Brien, Rick Vanderwall, and Glenda Funk presented a Teaching Teachers to Teach Shakespeare workshop to 30 English methods teachers. They began an important conversation, and Folger Education looks forward to continuing the discussion.
On behalf of all the presenters, I thank those participants who attended our workshops and encourage those of you who weren’t there to host a Shakespeare Set Free workshop in your own school/district. We would love to share our performance-based Shakespeare methods with you.
Amy Ulen teaches at Tumwater High School in Tumwater, WA. She also runs the website Shakespeare High (www.shakespearehigh.com). Amy attended the Teaching Shakespeare Institute in 1996.