13 and 23: As usual, DylanFan nails it. Though I do not agree that one must love Shakespeare to be an English teacher...
"Having an english class while ignoring shakespeare is like teaching philosophy and ignoring the ancient greeks."
Um, no. Depends on the English class... If I'm teaching an American Lit class, there's no reason to include the works of Shakespeare, eh? If I'm teaching a survey course in, say, ninth grade, that encompasses all the major genres/forms, then yes, I need drama in there, and Shakespeare, at least in excerpts, should probably play a role. That said, when I was teaching the non-Honors 9 course, I gave up on R&J after a few years--it was pulling teeth for all of us; the kids just weren't ready, and I had nothing in my toolbox to help them with it. I've gotten a little better, but Dylan pointed to an essential debate: what's English for? And further, even if it's about culture as well as skills, do we HAVE to read any works of Shakespeare? Why? What about Milton, Dante, Donne? Or go to American literature: do any high school students regularly read Faulkner anymore? Why or why not?
Too many of you seem stuck in old-school thinking: You have to teach Shakespeare BECAUSE! (sigh)