Folger Launches New Online Teaching Community

Press Contacts

Garland Scott
(202) 675-0342
gscott@folger.edu

Esther French
(202) 675-0326
efrench@folger.edu

Platform Offers Lesson Plans and Resources, Live-Streamed Events, and Teacher-to-Teacher Discussion Groups

 
Washington, DC—The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Education Division has launched the largest online community for Shakespeare teachers with the debut of Forsooth! The Folger Teacher Community at teachingshakespeare.folger.edu. The platform combines rich content and community for educators teaching Shakespeare, whether for the first time or the fiftieth. 
 
“We know that teachers do the most important work on earth, and our online platform will enable us to better serve our robust national community of teachers,” notes Dr. Peggy O’Brien, the Folger’s Director of Education. “Forsooth! is a way for teachers to engage with us, with each other, and with the Folger materials they have come to trust all the time, not just in a workshop or on a professional development day.”  
 
In addition to dozens of teacher-to-teacher discussion hubs, Forsooth! offers access to Folger-curated Shakespeare resources and the latest scholarship, as well as teaching advice that can be implemented immediately. The Forsooth! Folger Teacher Community includes:
  • A steadily growing bank of hundreds of downloadable Folger-created, classroom-tested instructional resources proven to spark all students’ understanding of and interest in Shakespeare’s language; 
  • Opportunities to learn from and with other classroom teachers, librarians, and teacher educators from across the nation and the globe;
  • Digital images of primary source documents and other archival material from the Folger vault, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection; 
  • Live-streamed professional development sessions with expert teachers, scholars, Folger staff, actors, and directors
 “While many online resources exist to help us learn about Shakespeare and his plays, few exist to help us be better teachers of Shakespeare's plays,” notes West Des Moines, Iowa teacher Shannon Johnson, who helped test the site over the summer. “The members of this community definitely love Shakespeare, but they are just as passionate about teaching students to love Shakespeare too."
 
Teachers can benefit from Forsooth! in two ways:  as Teacher Participants—access is free with the creation of a profile—they can dive into lots of classroom resources and discussions with teachers across the country.  As Teacher Members—access through a $40 annual, tax-deductible gift—are provided with more of everything and in greater depth: hundreds of classroom resources; interactive, live-streamed events; additional communities for teacher-to-teacher conversations around specific plays; digital access to the Folger collection, and regular access to scholars and mentor teachers.  
 
After a beta phase that ran through the summer, Folger Education officially unveiled the new platform live at the National Council of English Teachers annual conference in St. Louis from Nov 16–19. 
 
Forsooth! is aptly named—it is all about celebrating in word and deed the work of Shakespeare and the work of incredible teachers around the world,” says Stefanie Jochman, a teacher at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia. “This community empowers teachers. Here, we connect with each other and share ideas, encouragement, successes, learning experiences, and love of Shakespeare! Forsooth! and the Folger know that great teachers are lifelong learners!” 
 

About the Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. We provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of pathbreaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and even work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages. Join us online, on the road, or in Washington, DC. 
 
Folger Education is revolutionizing the way Shakespeare is taught in classrooms, showing how the study of his work deepens knowledge and hones skills across key academic areas. More than two million teachers and students benefit each year from in-person workshops, lesson plans, the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, the best-selling Folger Editions of Shakespeare’s plays, and the free-to-all Folger Digital Texts. The Folger is a leader in performance-based education, which helps to build the deep reading skills critical to student success.
 
Shakespeare belongs to you. His world is vast. Come explore.
 

 

Teachers on Forsooth! The Folger Teacher Community 

 
"So many great minds and resources come together in this community. I've appreciated the fresh ideas, the opportunity to ask questions and learn from other teachers, and the access to Folger programs and resources. 
 
While many online resources exist to help us learn about Shakespeare and his plays, few exist to help us be better teachers of Shakespeare's plays. The members of this community definitely love Shakespeare, but they are just as passionate about teaching students to love Shakespeare too."
 
Shannon Johnson
Valley High School
West Des Moines, IA
___________________________
 
“The online Folger community has been an invaluable resource for me in my English classes.  It’s an easy way to chat with other teachers and share ideas for teaching the plays…I’ve already “stolen” several ideas from colleagues around the country.  And we get access to some heavyweight Shakespearean scholarship…all in one easy-to-access platform.  I’m excited about the future of Forsooth!
 
David Peters
Washington-Lee High School
Arlington, VA
___________________________
 
Forsooth! has provided me with a community of teachers, literally at my fingertips, with whom I can brainstorm lessons, puzzle over plays or aspects that have been tricky to teach, and share successes in the classroom. Additionally, the resources provided by the Folger staff on Forsooth! have been invaluable in my classroom—just today, I used the "Petrarch, Father of the Sonnet" in my 10th grade class and my students were quickly and enthusiastically grappling with previously unfamiliar language. The lessons are fun, dynamic, and intellectually rigorous; and after using them, I have this amazing community of teachers with whom I can discuss my experience. These discussions then lead to more ideas and even greater successes in the future. It truly feels like the most satisfying professional development workshop available always and everywhere. 
 
Liz Heck
Brooklyn Friends School
Brooklyn, NY
___________________________
 
Forsooth! is aptly named—it is all about celebrating in word and in deed the work of Shakespeare and the work of incredible teachers around the world. This community empowers teachers; here, we connect with each other and share ideas, encouragement, successes, learning experiences, and love of Shakespeare! The resources offer lessons that I can read about during one class period and teach in the next, the enthusiasm on the message boards is palpable and can revive me after a tough day, and live-streamed conversations keep my teaching fresh. Forsooth! and the Folger know that great teachers are lifelong learners! 
 
Stefanie Jochman
Trinity Episcopal School
Richmond, VA
 
 
 

Press Contacts

Garland Scott
(202) 675-0342
gscott@folger.edu

Esther French
(202) 675-0326
efrench@folger.edu