Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, by Rafe Esquith
-sigh- i may be a cynic, but this book just seemed sooooo unrealistic. yes, inner city children can behave like well-to-do, cultured upper class adults, but a whole classroom of them? year after year? just because of this teacher, Rafe? Perhaps it is possible. While kids are indeed monsters, they can be civilized too, but they just seemed to be losing out on their childhood in this classroom. i am about to write a 1 to 2 page response paper to reading this, so forgive me, but i need to let loose all of my negative opinions about this book so that i can suck it up and "appreciate" it in my paper. lol i just felt like the entire book was him trying to sell his reader something- and i don't know what, which left me feeling very confused. maybe he wants contributions and charitable donations for his "hobart shakespeareans" group- children and that not only memorize and act out a shakespeare play in its entirety (these are 4/5th graders....), they also form a band to play accompanying ironic music- a little piece of me died when our author talked about great musicians of history, some of my favorites, like Jimi and the Stones, and paired it so "humorously" with scenes out of MacBeth or the First Wives Tale (okay, i know that isn't an actual shakespeare play, but i keep thinking about the first wives club and laughing a little, so i thought i would just write what i was thinking. as per usual, this may have been a mistake) please PLEASE don't tell me your kid orchestra/"rock band" is ruining great works of music by pairing them with horrific shakespeare plays. blech
As for the rest of the tale, i just didn't really give a shit. this may be a poor reflection on my future as a teacher (but let's face it, i'm here for my MRS degree, as are half the girls in my classes, if they don't already have that particular degree). but honestly, don't give me a self-help, tell-all be-all to teaching fifth and sixth graders. you're just making the rest of us look bad. keep it for the teachers and teachers-to-be who care.
and with that extreme cynicism out of my system, i feel i can now properly write a clear, cheerful response paper to 'Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire.' delightful.