Waiting outside the domain she feared, the young college student fidgeted while nearby a group of her fellow English majors babbled about their love and excitement for Shakespeare. Anxiety clutched every vessel within her body. Tick. Tock. The moment had arrived where her deep, dark secret would be revealed—a secret most did not reflect in her realm of study. She. Didn’t. Like. Shakespeare. GASP! Little did she know that her attitude toward Shakespeare was drastically about to change due to the zealous Dr. Fry, who waited on the other side of the door ready to ignite that young college student’s appreciation for Shakespeare’s abilities as a writer and director of the stage.
I want to be that Dr. Fry for my students when teaching Shakespeare like he was for me MANY years ago while at Taylor University. I want to ignite within my students an appreciation for Shakespeare’s craft. I want to come alongside my students as they struggle with the Elizabethan language as well as the sensitive content not only to help them understand but also to view it through the lens of a Christian perspective, which allows for honest and thought-provoking discussions—discussions about relationships, priorities, choices, and appropriate problem solving. Through studying classic literature, students stretch their minds in unexpected ways and gain perspective on culture and unfamiliar time periods, which is a huge reason why I love teaching Shakespeare!
Teaching The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet provides students opportunities for mental, social, and spiritual growth and allows this fanatic (Mrs. Steiner!) for Shakespeare and theatre to energize the classroom and inspire students to stretch their minds! Whether through reading aloud in class the Elizabethan text (accents included!), acting out the famous fight scene, or creating fun projects, students in my classroom have the chance to grasp a glimpse of Shakespeare’s genius and have some fun, too. All it takes is one teacher’s passion, expressed in crazy, fun antics, to ignite students’ interests and perhaps change their future. Dr. Fry ignited my interest in Shakespeare; I hope to do the same for my Lakewood students.
JH/HS English Teacher