What makes a great movie? Our answer may be biased, but a great movie makes us laugh and think, and it depicts one of our favorite professions. Teachers are the subjects of several Hollywood movies, and they inspire us in art just as they do in reality. Some of the most famous actors and actresses have portrayed teachers, principals, and counselors on the big screen. Below are five inspiring, thought-provoking movies that depict positive relationships between teachers and their students.
Remember the Titans: Remember the Titans follows a football team of black and white players after their schools have been integrated. The challenge for Coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is not only winning football games, but also uniting a team of players who are divided by color. Coach Boone instills values in the players through his homework assignments and boot camp trainings. Whether black or white, there isn’t a player who doesn’t walk off the field without having changed. Although the movie was released in 2000, the emotion and passion of Coach Herman Boone are timeless.
Lean on Me: Does improving the test stores of students sound familiar? In Lean on Me, Principal Joe Louis Clark, played by Morgan Freeman, returns to the school where he once was a teacher to improve test scores, which will save the school from closing. During this journey to clean up the school, he encounters two students who seek counsel from the principal. The students, parents, and community resent Clark’s unconventional methods, but his tough love pushes the students of Eastside High School to success.
Dangerous Minds: Dangerous Minds shows some of the realities of the classroom. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Louanne Johnson, who has a hard time connecting with her students. Johnson realizes that it takes more than a curriculum to spark her students’ interest. She breaks through with students who come from a poverty-stricken background. Although she doesn’t get much support from her superiors, Johnson tries multiple methods to get the students interested in the lessons. She develops an unbreakable bond with her students that changes their lives.
Stand and Deliver: If you’ve ever doubted that one teacher can make a difference, this film is a must see. A teacher influences the self-esteem and future of students, and math teacher Jaime Escalante, played by Edward James Olmos, makes this clear. Escalante looks past the background of the students, and he gives them a goal to pass the AP Calculus exams. The students perform so well on the exams that they are accused of cheating. After passing the test a second time, it becomes evident to the doubters that the intelligence of the students can’t be faked. Escalante took a group of students who had no interest in math and made them scholars.
Freedom Writers: In Freedom Writers, Hilary Swank portrays Erin Gruwell, a teacher who doesn’t let cliques interfere with her classroom or the lives of her students. She refuses to let the students in her class remain products of their environment. Gruwell gives her students an outlet for their anger and frustration through writing in journals. This teacher even decides to work multiple jobs to pay for new books and journals. The lines that divide the students slowly start to diminish, and they find solace in writing and each other.
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and let us know what your favorite teacher-inspired film is. Also, who would you want to play your role in a movie?