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January 30, 2007

The Madness In His Method

Rafe Esquith is a 5th grade teacher from Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles. He is, quite possibly, the "it" teacher of the moment, with interviews ranging from USA Today to The Today Show, in support of his new book, "Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire - The Method and Madness Inside Room 56."

Other interviews with Rafe have focused on his methods - charging kids rent for their classroom seats, for example. But we were interested in his "madness." Namely, teaching his 5th graders, most of whom speak English as a second language, Shakespeare.

Dick Gordon talks with Rafe about the origin of his passion for Shakespeare, and about the moment that Hollywood came calling. 

Rafe is currently traveling on a book tour with 16 of his students. Dick talks with two of them, Felix and Isel. Both children are native Spanish speakers. The students talk about their new understanding and love for The Bard, and they perform a short scene from memory.

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