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I could not agree with your

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I could not agree with your comment more. Was this teacher's pereformance and success anymore noteworthy because she was white and her students were Black? I am a white man who taught in all Black schools for the final 20 years of my career. I had many successes during that time and absolutely none of those successes were due to my race. I worked hard and treated all students with dignity and respect and elicited their best efforts.
If the teacher in the movie was more effective than I it had nothing to do with the race of either teacher or child.

If you really want to see a

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If you really want to see a depressing movie about teaching see Teachers with Nick Nolte and JoBeth Williams. If you are offended by nudity skip the first and last 5 minutes.

It is a great movie and I think it tells much about the stae of the profession but it is hardly a morale booster.

Spanish teacher for grades 5-11 in Washington, DC

I personally hated Freedom

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I personally hated Freedom Writers, and not only because the White savior theme made me uncomfortable. I remember watching her marriage fall apart because of the amount of time spent on her job and I could see only too well how that would/could happen to me very quickly.

Honestly, as a Latina teacher who teaches primarily students of color, the only teacher movies I can watch repeatedly without feeling incredibly depressed or uncomfortable are Stand and Deliver and Akeelah and the Bee.

Community Manager at Edutopia

Thank you everyone for your

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Thank you everyone for your recommendations. Here are a few more that came in via email:

Shorouq wants to add "Dangerous Minds" to the list saying that the movie touched his heart. In the film, Michelle Pfeiffer plays an ex-marine teacher who struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Rebecca and Gia both recommend "Mr. Holland's Opus", which is one of my favorites as well. Richard Dreyfuss is great as a frustrated composer who finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

And finally, Sofia recommends "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", which won Maggie Smith an Academy Award for her role as a headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh.

Education Specialist

I hope that the film

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I hope that the film portrayed the reality in Freedom Writers, and I certainly don't denigrate the good work any well-intentioned teacher does. My point is simply that there are thousands of teachers who are self-defined people of color who have done just as good, if not a better job, of educating our youth, yet their voice is largely unheard on the silver screen. While not perfect, I enjoyed Half Nelson, a film which purposefully sought to flip racial stereotypes in large part.

As far as the racial comments

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As far as the racial comments go about White heroes rescuing Black children or other racial stereotypes, "Freedom Writers" is a TRUE story about a real person- she was White, but that didn't define her behavior- she was a TEACHER. The spirit of the teacher flowed through her and to them. She could have been purple for all that mattered. I also have to nominate "Footloose"- there is a moral dilemma within the great music and dancing- a spiritual crisis-= and a generational conflict that is a part of every student's life.

Education Specialist

So what happened, you're

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So what happened, you're right there are enough To Sir With Love stories out there to last Hollywood a lifetime, so why exacerbate the stereotype of white saviors? Next thing you know someone will extoll the virtues of the fraud perpetuated in Lean On Me, only "tough love" works within urban communities... when an adult of color is involved. You're right its time to move forward and stop perpetuating racial stereotypes.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Zep, when will people like

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Zep, when will people like you learn that you only ensure failure when you frame your entire perspective solely on race? This is not progress. This is not "moving forward." The only thing it accomplishes is to further stoke liberal guilt into action. Perhaps these films are written that way for no other reason than because they are based on actual events? Did you see To Sir With Love? That was a black teacher "saving" lower class white kids.

Education Specialist

Sadly both Dangerous Minds &

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Sadly both Dangerous Minds & Freedom Writers are built on the age old stereotypes that students of color need white saviors to come in and rescue them. Taken 1 step further, think about who these saviors are rescuing the children from? Their Black community and culture. Another often beloved film Avatar falls short on this behalf as well. Why do our films choose to highlight a white teacher rescuing students of color and rarely an educator from their community? While arguable how good a film it is, a shout out to Half-Nelson for at least making an effort to flip these stereotypes on their head.

Wonderful french language

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Wonderful french language films for teachers :

Les Choristes
Au Revoir les Enfants
Etre et Avoir
Monsieur Lazhar

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