I was very impressed with Rafe's style of teaching and the way he uses Shakespeare to inspire his students and make learning enjoyable. I know that when I was a kid I found Shakespeare to be very confusing and wordy, almost snobish; but thinking on it after watching this documentary, I really believe that by exposing children to these sophisticated terminologies and abstract ideas that are found in Shakespeare, Rafe is going a long way in promoting good learning habits for the children. More importantly, Rafe makes sure the kids aren't just memorizing the lines in a play but actually comprehending what they are saying, which one of the guests in his classroom commented on, saying: "the best thing about the Hobart Shakespeareans is that they actually know what they are saying."
I also liked Rafes ideology that learning isn't just academic, that a child can learn very important things from sports, music, and "fun days." I believe that in today's society, we sometimes forget this and neglect to integrate fun into educations, focusing on memorization and textbook reading. The development of social skills is equally important as academics, and I was happy to see that Rafe makes this argument and integrates activities into his classroom that focus on this area of learning.
Of course, the field trips are highly effective in inspiring interest in what might otherwise be dry information read out of a textbook. Unfortunately, there are financial requirements to conduct these trips which may not be obtainable for some schools. However, fundamentally, I believe they are extremely effective for learning and admire the effort Rafe put forward in funding them himself before he began receiving donations in recognition of his efforts.
My first attempt at college ended in dismal failure. I often skipped class, disregarded homework assignments, and didn't study at all for tests. I was at school for all the wrong reasons, throwing money away for a chance to party. This time around, I plan to commit myself entirely to academics, setting a personal goal for myself to obtain a 4.0 GPA. I might not, but it wont be because I didn't apply the effort.