Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Update 13

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Update 13

Subtitled: Fin~

Here is the link to the movie clips in case you missed it. Please tweet your thoughts using the #VMGPS tag so we can follow them. TIA!

I prefer to write about things when they are fresh in my mind. The movie and post movie discussion ended about 20 minutes ago and I just wanted to share my thoughts. 

This has been the best lesson I have ever been part of in my 10 years of teaching. Words will never be able to fully express how proud of my students and the students of Van Meter I truly am. 

The bumps in the road and the hiccups in filming were to be expected, but the kids pulled together and made a hell of a movie that I will hold dear until my retirement. To be honest, I might show that version to future classes as an example of a Romeo and Juliet production. 

I only had about a third of my students there because of a variety of sports and other programs, but the ones that showed up brought friends and family to enjoy the experience with them. We talked about what worked and what didn't. Kids shared some behind the scenes stories that were silly. I had 25 or so students engaged in Shakespeare on a Saturday! 

The only part that was disappointing was that I only had one other district person attend the movie. (Thanks Mr. Walsh!) I emailed all of my building admins, my entire department, staff members in the administration building (including superintendents) and the entire school board and only one showed. I knew some couldn't make it and they emailed me, but I wish they would have been there. Not for me, but to show the support for the students and the work they did. Maybe next time. 

I would like to end this series of posts on a positive note though. If there was one thing I would like other educators to learn after following this crazy adventure, it's that you should never give up on a dream lesson. There will be naysayers, obstacles and time constraints, but if you stay committed, amazing things can happen. Dream big, aim high and follow through and you can do anything you want. 

Now, what am I going to do next year...

- Nick


  1. I've done digital films with middle schoolers for a few years and they love it! And they learn! I always get nervous each time we film though, because I almost always have a teacher or two complain about us making too much noise, which we aren't, I film 3 or 4 kids at a time and the classroom doors are shut. They think we're "playing around" and not actually learning anything. So frustrating!!! Hope you didn't run into too much of that. Your kids did an awesome job and they should be proud. You made lit meaningful to them, ask any one of those kids what is the general message of Romeo and Juliet and they will nail it. Do that with a class that just read it and answered questions on it, and they will not have such a good handle on it. In addition, you taught them essential job skills such as working with others and problem solving. Bravo!

  2. Awesome work. I thought I'd just watch a few minutes, and ended up watching it all - well done all.


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