Tyler Flory is a teacher at Main Street School of Performing Arts in Hopkins. His Music Class column ties together his job and his music fandom in a neat little package.
A staple of 9th grade English is reading Shakespeare. He is arguably the greatest playwright who has ever lived, and his legend continues to grow even though he died 400 years ago. It has taken me awhile to appreciate his ability to develop meaningful characters and to twist a plot. Even though his complete works are free and only a click away, it's a rare bird who spends an afternoon reading Richard III. The only thing I remember from reading Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade are a few scenes from Shakespeare in Love and the giant purple textbook the play was in.
I teach Romeo and Juliet at the end of the 3rd quarter, a time when everyone is waiting for the snow to melt. Tensions are rising the among students just as they are rising between the Capulets and the Montagues. Most of my students have never read anything by Shakespeare. This is most likely the hardest text they will come across in their academic year and the anxiety that they have about their final test is high. I try to ease this tension with Radiohead*.More »