We are delighted to announce that Richard Silberg, a drama teacher at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, is our February Teacher of the Month. Mr. Silberg has wowed us with his commitment to empowering students through the process of writing and performing original theater.
Mr. Silberg has been teaching at Martin Luther King Middle School for over twenty years. Each year, he touches the lives of over four-hundred students, helping them gain confidence and find their voice through acting, journaling, and writing their own monologues. He also leads an after-school theater ensemble that collectively creates and produces a work of original theater in which each student can take pride. Among these young actors are English language learners and students who have not always found much joy and success in “traditional” subjects.
Mr. Silberg is a leader and model for fellow educators as well. Many of his adaptations of classic works are later used by other schools, and he will be presenting to other drama teachers later this year on ways in which theater can assist students with language acquisition.
Both the principal and students of Martin Luther King Middle School attest to Mr. Silberg’s incredible dedication to teaching theater “hands-on.” One former student related Mr. Silberg’s creative approach to classic works of theater, along with the opportunities he provided students to connect with professionals in the theater world, which have made his drama class a meaningful and transformative experience.
One of Mr. Silberg’s former students also expressed how much “I was inspired that Mr. S let anyone participate in a play, no matter what their talent, previous training, nothing. If you were serious, you were in.”
We, too, are inspired by Mr. Silberg’s dedication and innovation in teaching drama. The students of Martin Luther King Middle School are lucky to have such an amazing educator. Congratulations again, and keep up the good work!