Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hobart Shakespereans

Rafe had obviously done some amazing work in this school. He works with very interactivelty with the children.
However, I had some maojr issues with his attitude and and view of things. He says that he like baseball because it is so fair, which is great but he also says that he teaches it to the children because it's an American game and he wants them to feel American. This implies that those who don't participate in things that are considered "American" can't truly be or feel American. In a school made mostly of second generation immigrants this attitude is dangerous and could very easily foster a sense of self doubt or seperatist feelings in these kids.
He also says that he takes the children to better restraunts and hotels because he wants them to see the life they're striving for. He very strongly, however subconciously, suggests that working class lives, ( the life many of their parents live) are of subquality. Again, he implies that this is the only way to be successful and happy.
He clearly has done some wonderful things in teaching and expanding the horizons of these children. That being said, I find him pompous and condescending.


  1. I forgot my quote. He says of his students, " Some of them are just your every day, run of the mill kids." He says run of the mill in comparison to extraordinary. This is no attutude for a teacher to have.

  2. I also caught on to this attiude, but was too chicken to say anything

  3. Be honest, by all means! That's education! I think anyone like Mr. Esquith who is novel in approach and very self-assured is going to rub some folks the wrong way. I certainly don't agree with all his attitudes or methods. Yet most visionary people are cocky, and do have flaws. I think we just have to realize that. I think overall he gets huge results and helps a lot of kids find a direction and focus for their talents. Isn't that the point, overall? So I see much more good than bad in him, and can live with his faults because I do agree with many of his pedagogical methods and insights, and he helps so many kids who might otherwise be lost. Especially knowing that the graduation rates at the schools in this community are less than 40 percent, I have to admire that. Just my two cents!

  4. I agree Mary Beth. I found it disturbing the way he implied being wealthy is the only way any of us can be happy. I think he's setting these kids up for a huge disappointment later in life. He definitely has an interesting style of teaching.

  5. There is an enormous amount of good in his classroom and programs. I just think that subconcious lessons can be even more powerful than those we get from books. Attitude and point of view are so contagious that I fear these children will absorb this negative attitude about their neighborhoods and family situations. This can only lead to deeply rooted self-loathing.
    But yes, the academic results he is achieving are awesome and should serve as an inspiration to teachers the world over. Many of his students have the same goals as I: to maintain my grades but also have a well rounded experience my first year here.