Thoughtful Tuesday

First, many thanks for the replies to last week’s thoughtful post. I benefited greatly from both perspectives.

To keep the collegiate dialogue active, here’s this week’s thoughtful question(s):

Is there a particular movie (it don’t have to be about school or teaching) that you think is a must-see for teachers? If so, what is the movie and why is it a must-see?

Is there a particular movie about school or teaching that you think is a never-ever-see because it does an injustice to the teaching profession? If so, what is the movie and why should I never-ever sees it?

I ask because I like watching my fair share of movies and am always looking for recommendations. I may just watch the non-recommended movies to verify your answer. No, I’m not a glutton for punishment. If that were the case I’d be watching the white sox all summer. Hee, hee…

Bonus points if it’s available on Netflix Instant! Me likes instant movies.

Anonymity still encouraged, but not required.

Stay cool peeps!

12 thoughts on “Thoughtful Tuesday

  1. I have always loved “Stand By Me.” Joe Clark’s story of making a difference inspires me to do everything that I can to make a positive difference in a child’s life.

    I think “Dangerous Minds” is a movie that you can miss. It tries to inspire with a strong female lead who didn’t give up on tough kids, but it falls flat.

    • I have to agree with you about “Dangerous Minds” being a miss.
      Michelle Pfiffer’s character had all the right intentions but what later turned me off about the flick was the one scene where they had her throwing candy bars to students for every right answer they were giving. It had more to do with memorization than critical thinking and it degraded the concept of teaching.
      Thanks for sharing!

    • I’ve been talking about watching “Stand by Me” again. Darn good summer movie.
      “Lean on Me” ranks up there in terms of teacher movies. From what I recall, Morgan Freeman’s character expressed tough love with his actions. He tossed out the kids who weren’t coming to school to learn in order to start cleaning house. As my experience of teaching has started to grow, thanks to the years, I see his point now.
      Thanks for the recommendation, michipooh911.

  2. I recommend “Dead Poets Society”. Yeah, it’s an oldie (1989), and the story takes place in the 1950’s. Based on a true story.
    What I like about this film is that the teacher (Robin Williams) tries to get the students to break out of conformity, and to think for themselves. Of course, when one of the students takes this to heart, it doesn’t go well for Williams’ character. But the students’ minds have been expanded, their lives changed, and they recognize this.

    I also somewhat recommend “Freedom Writers” (2007), also based on a true story. It is equally inspirational — a good teacher gets emotionally involved with her students, and they become successful in school. But it is kinda formulaic, and overly sentimental at times, which is why I recommend it with reservations.

    Probably my favorite movie-about-teaching is “Up the Down Staircase” (1967), based on the novel by Bel Kaufman. A naive young teacher (Sandy Dennis) fights the bureaucracy at an inner-city high school, and somehow finds time to teach. Sweet, funny, hopeful, and total fiction. Maybe that’s why I like it.

  3. Yes. “Dead Poets Society” is a must watch. It is very much about breaking from conformity and the “consequences” of doing so. Too bad our campus can’t be like that one!

    “Freedom Writers”, while true is glamorized and dramatized too much.But, hey, that’s Hollywood. If you can see past the formulaic script, as you’ve stated, there’s a good lesson to be learned here by teachers.

    I saw “Up the Down Staircase” too long ago when Saturday night movies were still en vogue. Don’t remember much other than it was gritty, yes? I’ll have to look for it on ‘instant’ sources or perhaps check it out from the library to watch.

    Thanks for all three recommendations, lounge lizard. (Sometimes fiction is better than reality.) I give ’em all two thumbs up!

  4. “The Bells of St. Mary’s” for all the folks who remember nuns in their habits, teaching in parochial schools. A tearjerker for a sap like me.

    • There’s a little sap in me too. I remember nuns in their habits.
      Can’t go wrong with Bing Crosby OR Ingrid Bergman. (I just can’t get myself to calling them by their first names only. Too much respect for these actors.)
      Thanks for the classic recommendation, Hader!

    • Agreed. Let’s give them some amour.
      Totally enjoyed “To Be and to Have” when I finally had time to watch it. A very slow moving film for all the right reasons.
      Have yet to watch “The Class”, so merci for the recommendations.
      Êtes-vous bien, Matt U?

  5. I agree with those who mention Dead Poet’s Society, and I have a soft spot for “To Sir With Love.” And anything else with Sidney Poitier. I like the emphasis the film puts on helping students respect themselves and others (although I have to admit that the scene where Poitier loses his cool over the fire and calls the girls sluts–if memory serves–isn’t my favorite).
    Is it sacrilege to admit that I did not feel inspired by the teaching depicted in Stand and Deliver?

    • I think I saw bits and pieces of this movie, but I’m not sure. Have to agree with you, Erica. He’s a fantastic actor. Really enjoyed him in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and now this one goes on my list. Thanks!

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