"Creating People On Whom Nothing is Lost" - A high school English teacher in Colorado offers insight and perspective on education, parenting, politics, pop culture, and contemporary American life.
Disclaimer - The views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the views of my employer.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Hollywood's Heads of the Class
The "Inspirational Teacher Story" has been a time-honored tradition in Hollywood for more than fifty years. From impassioned but frustrated teacher Richard Dadier - played by Glenn Ford - in 1955's Blackboard Jungle to pathetic but ironically effective Elizabeth Halsey - played by Cameron Diaz - in Bad Teacher, audiences can't seem to get enough of engaging heads of the class. Whether the films are documentaries or "based on a true story," or some scriptwriter's fantasy of what effective teaching looks like, the teacher movies are generally based on one idea - inspiring reluctant learners to achieve by caring about them and having high expectations. They can certainly become cliched, though the connection between the true stories and the imagined ones are often so vivid that we have to wonder if it's really so simple. Everyone has their favorite "teacher movie," but there are some standards that top any list. Some of the "Best in Class" are: