Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teacher Movies

Like a lot of other teachers, I love teacher movies. They inspire me, they make me cry, and they make me remember why I do what I do. Sure they are corny and cheesy. But do you also realize that probably 99% are based on a true story? That means that these are real people, real teachers whose stories are being told on the silver screen. I caught the very end of "Stand and Deliver" yesterday, and it make me think about my favorite teacher movies.

1. "The Ron Clark Story"- fabulous movie about a guy who decides to move to NYC and teach at an inner city school. He makes a huge difference in his students' lives and now runs his own academy outside of Atlanta. I have his book, The Essential 55.
2. "Mr. Holland's Opus"- I went to go see this movie for my friend's 10th birthday back in 1995. And I have probably seen it about 25 time since then. And I cry every time. I hope someday my students look back and remember me like Mr. Holland's students remember him.

3. "Freedom Writers"- I had to read this book and watch the movie for grad school. I am so glad we had this assignment. It really makes you think about who people are and where they come from. And that no matter where we come from, there are similarities that tie us together. It also makes me remember to never give up on my kids, no matter what.

4. "Dangerous Minds"- this was the first R rated movie I ever saw. It's another true story about an ex-Marine who goes to teach in inner-city LA. It has a similar theme- a teacher who does not give up on her students.
Sure, all of these movies have a "never give up" attitude about teaching. But for where I teach, that's the attitude you need to have. Just because a student comes from a poor background, or has a bad home life, or whatever does NOT mean he/she cannot learn. Every child can learn. And if we didn't have these cheesy teacher movies, we might not have any teachers around to help those kind of students.

They got me into teaching, didn't they???

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