Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rafe Esquith Lecture

Rafe Esquith is an American teacher at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School, the second-largest elementary school in the United States, located in Los Angeles, California. A graduate of UCLA, Esquith began teaching in 1981. His teaching honors include the 1992 Disney National Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, a Sigma Beta Delta Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University, Oprah Winfrey’s $100,000 Use Your Life Award, Parents Magazine’s As You Grow Award, National Medal of Arts, and Esquith was made an honorary Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth.

Esquith's fifth-grade students consistently score in the top 5% to 10% of the country in standardized tests. Many of Esquith's students start class at 7:00 each morning, two hours before the rest of the school's students. Most of his students come from immigrant Central American and Korean families and are learning English as a second language. They volunteer to come early, work through recess and stay as late as 5:30 pm, and also come to class during vacations and holidays.

Each year the Hobart Shakespeareans, as Esquith’s students are known, perform one of the Shakespeare's plays. They have opened for the Royal Shakespeare Company, been hired by Sir Peter Hall to perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and appeared at the Globe Theater in London.

There Are No Shortcuts (2003) ISBN 0-375-42202-1
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire (2007) ISBN 0-670-03815-6


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