The view is worth the struggle!
Right now my students and I are right in the middle of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare is tricky to begin with but add the fact that we haven’t had a complete week of school in 2018 and it’s getting a little hard to keep our acts, scenes, and lines straight between all the thithers, thees, and exit stage left because we have a snow day (yippee Ohio!).
What I always have to do at this time of year is simply take a deep breath and remind myself that the view is worth the struggle. The extra time and effort it takes us to get through the play is worth it when you see it click with the kids. They gasp when Hero’s disowned at the alter, they make that little connection between this play and something that happened in Romeo & Juliet, or they take up the challenge of reading a part in old English after sitting back and watching their peers for two weeks. That’s when I know that it was worth it to shake off my time constrained doubts and dive into the full work. It’s so easy to think about cutting corners like simply watching some scenes or using a graphic novel (both great resources, don’t get me wrong!) in order to save time.
Students recognize and value the time we give them to work with a text. Okay, some of them will complain but the majority of them acknowledge the deep dive into a literary work or a paper draft as meaningful. I want to make sure that year after year I give them this opportunity. That we struggle up the final stretch of the steep slope to reach that ethereal view even in the dark winter months where everything can seem disjointed and disconnected. To quote the Bard himself:
The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,That ever I was born to set it right!Nay, come, let’s go together.