English Teacher Jochman to Present at NCTE National Convention

Grace Tressler, Staff Writer

Notre Dame English teacher Stefanie Jochman will be presenting at the National Council of Teachers of English at the end of November on behalf of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Jochman said she applied to be a presenter with two other friends and was chosen to demonstrate the Folger approach to literature at the Minneapolis NCTE Conference.

“I think we got picked because we are showing teachers how to use the Folger way to teach books, not just Shakespeare,” Jochman said.

She attended a four-week Teaching Shakespeare Institute in the summer of 2014 held at the Folger Library in Washington D.C., which gave her solid connections for the conference.

Jochman said she felt at home at the Institute and that “English teachers have a type!”

“Everybody looks like I look. It’s like my people!” Jochman said.

The teacher talked about her elementary school English background and how she “got lucky with awesome English teachers growing up” who helped develop her passion.

She has been teaching at Notre Dame for nine years, after getting her bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College and Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  

“I love what I do and I’m passionate about English; I do English in my spare time,” said Jochman.

Abby Thillman, an IB student of Jochman’s, described her classroom as “interactive” and “hands on” with all literature but especially Shakespeare.

“A lot of times we act out a scene or close read a passage which really helps us understand what is going on and why something is happening,” Thillman said.

Jochman said that the main focus of the Folger Shakespeare Library is to “put Shakespeare on its feet” which is what she and her team hope to accomplish in their presentation.

The presentation will be an hour long, is related to the theme of the conference, and incorporates an element of interaction, said Jochman.

She will be demonstrating elements of the Folger approach to literature with exercises including line tossing and teaching about confessionals.

Folger encourages using works from diverse writers, which is another reason her team’s presentation stood out to the organizers of the conference, Jochman said.