I read these books a few years ago and think of them everyday! Whether you’re a supportive parent or a homeschooler, there are many, many insights and inspirations here. Don’t miss the documentary The Hobart Shakespeareans!
There Are No Shortcuts Mr. Esquith taught 5th grade at Hobart Elementary in inner-city Los Angeles for over 30 years. He instilled in his students a love of learning not often seen in most students — anywhere. His students studied Algebra, learned to play the guitar, read the classics out loud as a class and even staged a full-length Shakespeare play each year. This is one amazing classroom! Most of his students continue to excel in school and eventually attend prestigious universities. Parenting and Teaching Book, 224 pages, Published in 2003.
Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56 More insight and inspiration on how to be an outstanding teacher. You’ll see why he is probably the best known public school teacher in America, and why parents want their children in his classroom. Parenting and Teaching Book, 243 pages, Published in 2007.
Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-Up, Muddled-Up, Shook-Up World This book is primarily aimed at parents who are looking for a good teacher for their child and how to be supportive at home. Parenting and Teaching Book, 208 pages, Published in 2009.
The Hobart Shakespeareans documentary is where I discovered Rafe Esquith. This inspiring film takes you through an entire year in his classroom, culminating in the full-length Shakespeare production (complete with original score) attended by both Ian McKellan and Michael York. Released in 2005.
In doing my research for this post, I discovered that controversy surrounded Rafe Esquith’s final year of teaching in 2015. It’s been three years since then. I have no way to know what is fact or fiction. I personally feel his body of work is still worthy of watching and reading.