Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Favorite Teacher Movie of All Time?

Favorite Teacher Movie of All Time?

Related Tags: 6-8 Middle School
More Related Discussions
111 Replies 5462 Views
OK, so here's a thread with very little purpose other than to share some titles of movies that make us smile or think about our own profession. Have a second? Then drop us a comment on your favorite teacher movie of all time! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. -Heather WG

Comments (111 Replies)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Mel J. Janousek's picture

I consider this the best "teacher" movie because it shows what should really be taught and learned - thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, planning, and observing. Those are the things all school systems should teach directly to their students. Most school systems say they want students to be able to do those things, but they don't teach them how.

michael hattman's picture

October Sky was important in showing that the ability to change lives is within the reach of the 'regular' teacher.

michael hattman's picture

I appreciate you comments on the super teacher dominating movies but there a many teacher/school movies that are focused on realistic situations. October Sky, Crisis at Central HS, Touch of Greatness, Bang Bang You're Dead and Chalk are a few that show the skills of regular teachers

michael hattman's picture

Canrack is an excellent movie. Think of the island's property value today. The movie is based on a real teacher, Pat Conroy the Author.

michael hattman's picture

The value of teacher school movies is not always the intented purpose of Hollywood. Your ability to use the movies for teaching about our profession is their true value

Dead Poet's Society
When John Keating begins teaching at Welstone, he knows several things
already. He knows that the students at this prestigious prep school are among
the brightest in the nation, with a high work ethic and desire for achievement.
When they graduate from this high school, they will likely go on to Ivy League
School, becoming doctors or lawyers or educators themselves. He knows this,
because he, too, went to Welstone.
Dead Poet's Society is not a movie about inspiring underachievers to work
harder than they ever have before. It is not about helping inner city youths
discover a way out of their ghettos. But just because the boys at Welstone are
dedicated students, willing to absorb what a teacher has to say and then spit it
out again for tests, does not mean that John Keating has an easy task ahead of
him.
Keating's goal is not to give students reams of information to assimilate. He
wants them to learn how to think for themselves, to question whether or not the
information in their textbooks is the most correct way to view things, and to take
charge of their lives.
His passionate teaching style and get-away-from the books and desks way to
communicate reaches out to the students, and they begin to change the way they
go about their lives. What they learn from Keating goes beyond the classroom.
A shy student begins to overcome his nervousness at speaking in public, and,
actually, asks out the girl of his dreams. A student oppressed by his parents
starts pursuing the activities he would like rather than the ones they would
prefer. Another student discovers he has leadership skills.
Unfortunately, some of these changes have costly ramifications. One of his
students, Neil, wishes to be an actor, in spite of his father's plans for him. Neil
secretly auditions for a role in a play at a sister school, and gets the part. His
father is furious, and, unable to live with the idea of being under his father's
thumb any longer, Neil commits suicide. This event is the catalyst for Keating
being asked to resign.
Although the students give him a send-off that lets him leave with the
knowledge that he has touched their lives, the death of a student seems a high
price to pay to prove a point.
53
Mentorship Points:
1. Welstone is built on tradition. From set curriculum to the four pillars,
success comes from set established methods. Traditions in a school or
classroom should exist only if they serve a specific desirable purpose as
stated in school philosophy and goals. Theme
We need to establish as many possible strong traditions to counter-act our
instant society. They can be valuable tools in creating positive learning
experiences.
How can tradition be beneficial or hinder a school or classroom? What are
the traditions in your school? Do they help or hinder?
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
2. John Keating uses many unorthodox methods to interest the students in
poetry. He rips pages from the textbooks, lectures in front of the trophy
case, has the students stand on their desks, kicks the soccer ball while
quoting literature, etc. This style worked for him, but you should be
aware that being unorthodox for the sake of it is not useful. Begin with
the end result in mind--what do you want to accomplish with your
methodology? Theme
What is your opinion of these methods? Do teachers in your school use
unorthodox methods? Do you use any?
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
3. While looking at alumni photos in the trophy case, Keating encourages his
students to "Seize the Day." He wants students to understand that life is
now. He also wants them to understand their connection to the others
who came before, students who had the same hopes and dreams. They
are not alone in the universe. [14:12]
54
Assess your students for not just what they are today, but what they could
be tomorrow.
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
4. Besides going to the trophy case, Keating also takes his students outside.
He has them walk around the quad, he teaches them on the soccer field, he
encourages them to see a Shakespearean production. Don't be afraid to
leave the classroom to present a new teaching concept. [1:04:02] [1:13:12]
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
5. On the first day of classes, Keating tells his students what to call him, and
very quickly learns their names as well. Never underestimate the power
of learning your student's names as quickly as possible. [12:54]
What methods of mnemonics or games can you create to help you learn
their names quickly?
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
6. Carpe Diem, the theme of Keating's teaching brings his students into
direct conflict with their parents. If we believe that we must cause
students to think with the knowledge we present, this conflict will always
present itself.
What is a teacher's responsibility in this area? At what age and maturity
level is it natural for students to have some conflict with their parents?
55
Some conflict is natural and necessary, but there are some issues where
parents still know best. How can you determine the dividing line between
the two? [14:10]
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
7. Neil Perry's suicide presents a situation that few new teachers are
prepared for in college. In the movie, the students are on their own to
deal with grief: they are granted one school ceremony that deals more
with discipline than processing of emotion. [1:47:20]
Do your best to prepare yourself for any eventuality by talking with
veteran teachers. You may not face the horror of a suicide the first year,
but there will be deaths in the family, serious illnesses, and other events
that will affect your school and classroom.
Reaction: ______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
Relevant quotes:
1. "Carpe Diem."
2. "We are food for worms."
3. "O Captain, my captain!"
4. "Learn to think for yourselves."

Holley-GA's picture
Holley-GA
K-5 Gifted Ed. teacher/GA

Okay, this is a TV movie, but I love the book and the movie adaptation of Pat Conroy's The Water is Wide. Please don't dismiss me because I went "little screen" on the thread! I loved the pure depiction of how naive Pat was as a beginning teacher and how he learned through experience. More than that, though, was that he walked the walk in a way that very few will ever do.

Gwen Clift's picture

Does anyone remember, Good Morning, Miss Dove? This was a teacher who knew how to build character.

Barb Schade's picture
Barb Schade
Executive Director/ The Claus Academy

My favorite teacher movie is Uncle Buck. The Breakfast Club is awesome, too, but the scene where Uncle Buck talks to the principal is a classic! A great teaching moment. If you haven't seen it, rent it today. You will thank me.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.