Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

The Beginning of the End

During this month’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute, some of our Summer Scholars have shared their experience with us. Today, Sarah Lanterman muses on the past four weeks and how she’ll take what she’s learned here into her future classrooms:

As a new teacher, I have been inspired by my experience at the Teaching Shakespeare Institute this month.  The wonderful mix of lectures by renowned scholars, seminars, curriculum, performance, and group work projects has given me new confidence and insight into my work as an educator.  I have forged new friendships and made professional connections that will last a lifetime.  Now, I know this sounds cheesy, but the sense of community we have fostered this month has given me insight into how powerful a learning community can be.  This vision of the potential power of fellow learners—both as teachers and for students—is something that I can’t wait to take back with me to my classroom next year.

Looking back, one of the most important “take-aways” I have from my month at TSI has been the importance and validity of performance as a form of close reading.  Performing the text in a variety of ways from reading around for punctuation, to rehearsing a scene with script in hand, to performing a piece of text learned by heart has given me a new level of comfort and familiarity with the text in ways I would have never anticipated. In our curriculum sessions we have not only discussed this important pedagogical strategy, but we have also experienced the ways in which we continue to gain new insights into and understandings of the text by doing this ourselves.  Another result of experiencing performance as close reading is that I have been more empowered as an educator, and I believe that my students will experience the same sense of growth and insight and empowerment we did when I take this with me into my classroom next year.

Sarah is a high school English teacher and high school girl’s lacrosse coach.  She attended the University of Oregon with a major in English/minor in Spanish.  As an undergraduate she interned with the education department at the Globe Theatre in London.  She earned her MA in Shakespearean Studies at King’s College London, and also served as a research intern with the Globe Education department.  After returning from London, she earned my M.Ed. in Secondary Education at the University of Washington—Bothell. 

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