Hollywood and Teaching

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by HeatherY, May 28, 2009.

  1. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    May 28, 2009

    I have been wondering about the effects of Hollywood teaching movies on actual teachers. Do movies like Stand and Deliver and the Freedom Writers Club give teachers unrealistic expectations about teaching and how they should be as teachers? It seems as though teachers plod along day after day and although we make a difference, it is not usually the huge blockbuster difference depicted in the movies. Does this discourage new teachers to the point of not coming back to the profession? Not being able to reach kids in the ways you see in the movies? Not being able to accept the wonderful small advances of your students in search of "the big one" (for lack of a better term). Also, these movies seem to say that if your personal life does not suffer, then you are not a great teacher.

    What do you think?
     
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  3. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    May 28, 2009

    Umm, if you have a rather off-beat, dark, zany humor... you should defitnitely watch Hamlet 2. It completely makes fun of the "Inspirational Teacher" motif. It's about a drama teacher teaching hispanic inner city kids in Tuscon. He writes a sequel to Hamlet for the kids to perform with some rather objectional material...it's all pretty ridiculous...but hilarious

    The teacher/students in those movies have scripts, lightening, and editing. I would hope teachers would realize that their classroom doesn't have to run like a movie set in order to have an impact.
     
  4. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    May 29, 2009

    I remember when Dangerous Minds came out and all of a sudden, it seemed as if being a teacher in an inner-city area was trendy.
     
  5. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I love the one with Matthew Perry because it is reality based.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 11, 2009

    My inspiration as a teacher has always come from Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Ha! :)
     
  8. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Jun 12, 2009

    nice Sarge...
     
  9. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Jun 12, 2009

    In short yes I think they are problematic, although they can get me motivated. FRD teacher did teach and work a second job, stay super late, etc....BUT then what did she do? She quit to go work at a college and teach how to do what she did. Why couldn't she mentor teachers while teaching full time? Probably because teaching at that intensity for 30-35 years is near impossible. This isn't to undermine what she did, but just to highlight that doing it long term isn't probably realistic.
     
  10. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    Jun 21, 2009

    Better Mr. Hand in Fast Times than Mr. Hat and Mr. Garrison in South Park! :thumb:

    But then again, where else will students learn the gripping tale of how Teddy Roosevelt saved the Hebrews from Napoleon? :whistle:

    MathManTim
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2009

    The thing about Mr. Hand, though is at the end of the movie, he actually shows up at Jeff Spiccoli's house and helps him pass U.S. History whether Jeff Spiccoli likes it or not.

    I think that Mr. Hand's dedication to teaching was first rate in that movie. What teachers would go that much out of their way to help their most problematic and least interested student?
     
  12. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I don't think movies like Stand and Deliver and Freedom Writers do anything more than give one an idea of what can be. They are made to be inspirational and sell tickets. If anyone believes that movies are an accurate portrayal of real events, they are very naive. In the age of the internet, the real details are easily available if one wants them.

    It has already been mentioned that the subject of freedom writers quit and went to teach at a community college, which is in the epilogue of the movie. Jaime Escalante, the subject of Stand and Deliver, did not do what the movie shows in a couple of years by himself. It took many years, with the help of others, including setting up feeder classes in middle school to do it. He had to fight the administration all the way to do it. Finally, he quit LAUSD and took a job in Sacramento where he did nothing special.
     
  13. Kerfuffle

    Kerfuffle Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2009

    Interesting thread, especially finding out what happened to the featured teachers. BTW I really liked reading the book Freedom Writers... (haven't seen the movie).

    My favorite teacher movie is CHALK! :thumb: It's much more sympathetic to the ordinary teacher.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 23, 2009

    I think that people have unrealistic views of teaching because, done right, it LOOKS easy.

    Potential teachers are in school from the time they're 5 until they're 22. And yet until they student teach they don't have any sort of an idea of what teaching is actually like. (Even student teaching isn't the real thing, but it's as close as you come until you get hired as a teacher.)

    So, no, I don't think that Hollywood is to blame.
     

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