Rafe Esquith

2014 Keynote: Distinguished scholar and Teacher: Rafe Esquith

Rafe Esquith may be the most inspiring schoolteacher in America. He's been called "a modern day Thoreau" by Newsday, "a genius and a saint" by The New York Times, and "the most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country" by The Washington Post.

For the past two decades, Esquith has taught fifth graders at a public school in a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs, and violence. His exceptional classroom at Hobart Elementary - known simply as Room 56 - is unlike any other in the country.

Esquith is the only teacher to be awarded the President's National Medal of the Arts. He has received the National Teacher of the Year Award and won accolades from Oprah, Queen Elizabeth II and the Dalai Lama.

He's also written four books, with his most recent being the critically acclaimed Real Talk for Real Teachers, published in 2013. His other books include Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, There Are No Shortcuts, and Lighting Their Fires. Esquith has also been featured, along with his students, in the PBS documentary The Hobart Shakespeareans.

Heidelberg students study Rafe Esquith’s books as part of their course work in Principles of Teaching Learning (Edu 220) and Vital Connections (Edu 110). The Summit will help student make real connections between their reading and the work of Rafe Esquith.

Event story


8:30-9:30am, Rafe Esquith breakfast meeting with honors and English students.

10:00-10:30am, Keynote address

11:30am, Lunch

12:30-1:15pm, Spencer Reames, high school science teacher

1:30-2:15pm, Chris Monsour, high school science teacher

2:30-3:15pm, Panel Discussion, Voices from the Classroom