I wrote this a couple years ago after being forced to sit through Freedom Writers on a PD Day. I apologize to those of you who found the movie inspiring and I have nothing against Erin Gruell as a person–it’s the movie I take exception to. This top ten list is about all teacher movies–not just Freedom Writers.
TOP TEN THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT TEACHING FROM THE MOVIES
1. Teaching is a breeze because classes are never more than five minutes long
2. The bell will always ring at an appropriate time; infact, the bell will usually underscore some dramatic point you are making to your rapt audience of 25-year-olds.
3. Your students will be 25.
4. Don’t worry about the kids you can’t help; they will be edited out of your story.
5. If you’re a GOOD teacher, you will sacrifice your marriage for your students.
6. All it takes to turn a kid around is a smile and a kind word–and bribery.
7. By the end of the year, all your students will love you, hoist you up on their shoulders and perhaps address you as “Oh Captain my Captain.”
8. If you want to be a nice teacher, you will encounter opposition from all the other teachers at the school because they are ALL bitter disgruntled people who hate kids. Except you. You my friend will change the world.
9. All gang violence at the school will end if you get your class to write in diaries.
10. Oh, I have to stop at ten. Okay… 10. You will only have to teach one class, but you should–nay–you must be willing you use your own money to supply your classroom, even if that means taking on part-time jobs selling bras and working as a hotel concierge. That’s what a good teacher does.