Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Afterthoughts on watching “The Freedom Writers”

In Becoming ruminative in education on August 9, 2010 at 3:15 PM

I’ve been told by a Teacher Education faculty to take a look at the movie “The Freedom Writers” last year and I can’t believe I kept the movie waiting in my hard drive this long. I was engrossed in the process of watching the movie while many issues concerning teaching as the impossible profession surfaced to my mind. The movie, in my point of view, well captured many of these complications related to how in this particular case, Ms. Gee, learns to teach and how teaching transformed her life and the people surrounding her. Below are some observations and questions that lingered in me……that seek no immediate answer but more deliberation.

  • Do we, as teacher educators, expect novice teachers to emulate Ms. Gee, as depicted in this movie, as she reached “OUT” to each of her students with diverse background and traumatized experiences, and recreated the feel of “home” for the students in her 203 classroom? Is this recreation possible or is this case-sensitive? Do we want our teachers to be only responsible for students’ life inside the classroom instead both inside and out?
  • What does seniority mean to teachers themselves? A well-deserved benchmark of success? A badge that spells “I should know-it-all” when it comes to teaching”? Or in some cases it means rest and teaching with less vigor?
  • To what extent do teachers become an agent of “change”? This touches on the teaching beliefs and personal traits each novice teacher bring with them entering the profession. My understanding leads me to believe that not every teacher is capable of being a catalyst like Ms. Gee, but realizing that teaching sometimes is more than a job is vital for making the leap from being a good teacher to being an extinguished one. As Ms. Gee’s father noted, teaching is after all a job but Ms. Gee gave all she had and did an amazing job teaching these kids. Teachers as the agent of change therefore is possible and well-accredited in the case of Ms. Gee.
%d bloggers like this: