Culture

If Reading Shakespeare is Hard for You, You Shouldn’t Be Teaching English

A long-dead, British [sic] guy

When I saw this essay-lette from a high-school English teacher who would like to stop teaching Shakespeare because 1) he is hard and 2) he is white, I found myself wondering why the author is teaching in the first place.

disinterest1 copy

She is under the impression that "disinterest" is a noun that means "lack of interest." She does not know the difference between the words "right" and "rite." She seems unaware of the distinction between coordinate and cumulative adjectives ("a long-dead, British guy"). Even when her prose is grammatical, it is banal ("Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world") and repetitive:

And while I appreciate that many people enjoy re-reading texts that they have read multiple times, I enjoy reading a wide range of literature written by a wide range of ethnically-diverse writers who tell stories about the human experience as it is experienced today.

More important, while she does not quite admit that she cannot read Shakespeare’s plays—"stories written in an early form of the English language" is how she refers to them—she does tell us that she "cannot always easily navigate" them.

Still, I don’t mind her parading of her own ignorance or her rubbish about "the way it has ‘always been done’" nearly as much as I do her patronizing insistence that "students of color" are unlikely to get anything out of the plays. This was less an opinion piece than a plea for career counseling—clearly the author is not suited for her job.