How two English alumnae reconnected at New Swan -- and are helping other teachers rekindle the spark

Department: New Swan Shakespeare Center

Post Date: June 25, 2021

News Details

Ana Dinh, Julia Lupton, and Sarah Johnston
English majors and roommates Ana Dinh ‘12 and Sarah Johnston ‘13 went their own ways after graduating from UCI. When Sarah started teaching, she contacted Ana for advice on how to teach Shakespeare. “And Ana was like: Actually, you should get involved with Educators Day!”

Ana was co-organizing Educators Day with their former teacher Julia Lupton. The goal of the program was exactly what Sarah was looking for: a place to share teaching ideas and learn about Shakespeare with actors and scholars. 

“I just thought it was a great idea,” Sarah said. Now, the two work with New Swan to keep Educators Day going every year.

This tale of two roommates is the kind of experience that Educators Day strives to provide. “I think people forget that teachers are kind of on an island,” Sarah said. “I work with seventeen other teachers, but I don’t see them throughout the day… so I don’t really get to watch how other people might do it.”

“When we’re in the teaching profession, it’s all about instructional strategies,” Ana adds. “Educators Day brings all of us back to this love for literature. Rekindling that spark every year with our workshops on the plays ... that's a really intimate and amazing experience.”

This year’s remote Educators Day will focus on Romeo and Juliet and social justice. Attendees will be treated to a workshop with Chris Anthony of DePaul University, an acting workshop with members of New Swan’s theater company, and breakout sessions to share tips and tricks with fellow teachers. Teachers can also pick up a free Continuing Education unit by doing some extra remote course work.

For more information on Educators Day, click here.

Meet Ana Dinh in this short interview.

Article by Megan Strand, an English major and intern for the New Swan Shakespeare Center.