I will do anything to get my point across to students who don’t find the relevance in the stuff I have to teach. Sophomores are reading A MidSummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare is hard on any given day for any of us, but when you’re 15 years old, earning F’s in all classes, are tardy every day and could care less about the standards and the testing and the school’s money…well, Shakespeare is like putting forks in your eyes. And mine.
I’ve given them the basic premise. We read it daily. Then I thought…let’s just put this out there. How about this. You bring in lyrics that tell of unrequited love. Missed connections. Heartbreak. Another teacher said, “Why are you doing that? They’re not going to do it anyway.” Ah yes, so I should just fail them every day and keep on with the “thous” and “doest”. Um. No.
Because I’m shameless, and will do almost anything to drive a point home, I plowed ahead with the project. And here is what I got. I rarely blog about my students any more, but while I’m on a training hiatus, I thought I’d share exactly what a 15 year old thinks about Shakespeare…and about love.
The last one is the song I’m currrently singing. See? They’re not so different from us…teenagers. I think they get it. Shakespeare… What do you think? I think Will would approve. Heartbreak. Long lost love. If you’re 15, you understand.