Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What's More Fun Than edTPA Training? Dinner with Michael LoMonico

The week kicked off with a 14-hour Monday that began with training for edTPA by a Pearson representative (for all my educator friends you know what that means, why it means as it does, and why I'm restraining any commentary on this post) and was followed by dinner with Dr. Shannon Kelley, from the English department, two students from my graduate course, Jim Fitzgerald, Vice President at Fairfield University, and the one and only Michael LoMonico: English teacher, Shakespeare enthusiast, author, and presenter.

I received an email last week inquiring if I was interested in having Michael speak in my courses and I said, "Sure! But how are we going to get him here?" It turns out the Office of Student Affairs was bringing him and that he's a Fairfield University grad! Long story short, he will be speaking to my Developmental Reading course tonight and last night I had the fortune of hearing about his career over burgers and bourbon. What a treat to have him with us (and to envision possible collaborations in the future).

From the website celebrating his contributions to English Education:

Michael LoMonico shows his passion for Shakespeare by writing, speaking, and leading workshops whenever and wherever he can. 
It is his goal to change the way that Shakespeare is taught in this country, and so far he has taught Shakespeare courses and workshops for teachers and students in 38 states as well as in Canada and England. 
Michael is the Senior Consultant on National Education for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Since 1986, he has worked at the Teaching Shakespeare Institute at the Folger as the Institute Director and Master Teacher and. He has organized and directed two-day and week-long Folger Institutes across the U.S.  He also serves as Secretary for the Shakespeare Theater Association.  
Michael is the author of a novel, That Shakespeare Kid  and the reference book, Shakespeare 101, published by Random House. He recently published the Second Edition of The Shakespeare Book of Lists.  He was the founder and editor of Shakespeare magazine, published by Cambridge University Press and Georgetown University. He was an assistant to the editor for the curriculum section of all three volumes of the Folger’s Shakespeare Set Free series, published by Washington Square Press. He was also the technical editor to The Complete Idiots Guide to Shakespeare. 
He was the guest editor for September 2009 "Teaching Shakespeare" edition of the English Journaland was also the guest editor for the CEA Critic, a publication of the College English Association. 
Michael taught high school English on Long Island for 33 years and English Methods at Stony Brook University.
It's been a long while since I was knee-deep in bard-talk, but my time studying at Binghamton, Louisville, Broadloaf, and Cambridge always brought me back to teaching plays and sonnets. I remember, too, spending the semester in London with Carol Boyce Davies during the Literature of Exile and the Black British Experience course. For me, teaching Shakespeare has always gone hand in hand with urban education.

I'm looking forward to everything to come tonight (and am using it to calm down about the edTPA stuff coming ahead - oh, how we educators unite when we fight for what is best for kids and how our strength doesn't stand a chance against Pearson and their way of assessing everything for profit. So, bad taste was replaced with good taste rather quickly.

Tuesday looks like it will have a cherry on top. What a fortunate coincidence!

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