Rafe Esquith, 1992 American Teacher of the Year and National Medal of Arts recipient, teaches 5th-grade children whose parents don't speak English at a school in a dangerous, poor, drug-infested 100% Latino/Asian neighborhood in Los Angeles.

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PBS documentary on Rafe Esquith, 1992 American Teacher of the Year and National Medal of Arts recipient plus several other teaching awards, including Oprah's Use Your Life Award, who teaches fifth-grade, and much more, in a dangerous, poor, drug-infested 100% Latino/Asian neighborhood in L.A. to kids whose parents do not speak English. Esquith lavishes care and attention on his students, takes them on international travel, and has then perform a complete Shakespeare play to live audiences at the end of the year. He ensures their future success by his careful and detailed mentorship and his limitless enthusiam and involvement with their lives. Written by angelofvic

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6 September 2005 (USA)  »

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Shakespeare für Migrantenkinder  »

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Riveting documentary; a must-see not only for teachers but for everybody with a soul
24 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE HOBART SHAKESPEAREANS is a riveting, life-changing documentary on Rafe Esquith, 1992 American Teacher of the Year and also National Medal of Arts recipient (plus many other teaching awards, including Oprah's Use Your Life Award), who teaches fifth-grade in a dangerous, poor, drug-infested 100% Latino/Asian neighborhood in L.A. to kids whose parents do not speak English.

He even has them performing an entire Shakespeare play to live audiences every year. The film had me in tears several times, and the kids themselves were in tears several times -- when Rafe is reading and describing Huck Finn's difficult choice about turning Jim in; and when the school year ends and the fun and learning is over for the students.

Rafe does even much more than this with these students, and he makes sure they are well-loved, well-traveled, and well-equipped not only to continue their academic trajectories, but also to live wisely and richly. His limitless enthusiasm and passion for teaching and for mentoring and for the life of the mind and soul is contagious.

Rafe is also the author of several well-known books describing his teaching philosophy, insights, and methodology.

The film is a grand inspiration and absolutely full of ideas and hope and sensible advice!


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