"You canít watch the little actors without wanting to cry.   Why do you cry?
I suppose it's happiness, really, and a regret that not all the children in the world could have a Rafe Esquith for a teacher."
- Sir Ian McKellen
Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: No Retreat, No Surrender!
Real Talk for Real Teachers:"
Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: "No Retreat, No Surrender!"
Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World
Lighting Their Fires:
Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World
Rafe Esquith - Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire:
The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56
Rafe Esquith - There Are No Shortcuts
There Are No Shortcuts

Welcome to the World of the Hobart Shakespeareans

The Cast of Cymbeline (2014)

Year after year, The Hobart Shakespeareans excel. They read passionately, far above their grade level; tackle algebra, and stage Shakespeare so professionally that they often wow the great Shakespearean actor himself, Sir Ian McKellen.

Yet this takes place in Room 56, at a large urban public elementary school. All of the children at Hobart Elementary School qualify for free breakfast and lunch, and few speak English as a first language. Many are from poor or troubled families.

What's the winning recipe? A diet of intensive learning mixed with a lot of kindness and fun. These children come to school at 6:30 a.m. and often stay until it is dark. They come during vacation. They take field trips all over the world. They play rock and roll music. Mediocrity has no place in their classroom. And the results follow them for life, as they go on to outstanding colleges.

It is not easy, but these children dare to defy society's expectations. These kids are hungry, and they want out. They work their way out. After all, there are no shortcuts.