If you Google “teacher movies,” it looks like there really haven’t been very many recent ones, especially looking into the past decade. However, many of them exist–on Netflix as documentaries. In my current equity class, we have been assigned two different movies. As a teacher, it’s definitely eye-opening to get a glimpse into a different world, even if it is a classroom with students the same age as me.
However, I believe these movies are worth watching as a graduate student in any major or career path.
The first movie, “Bad Kids,” dives into a school in the Mojave Desert. This school has become the “last resort,” for many students with troubled backgrounds, who have been displaced or otherwise kicked out from other schools beforehand. Their stories are both gut-wrenching and frustrating, but in the end, the patience, creativity, and heart that the staff and faculty at the school show are really inspiring.
The second movie, “Teach Us All,” focuses on equality of access to steady education. The movie came at the anniversary of the Little Rock Nine, but makes a clear argument, with great evidence, that the issues we sought out to fix in the years following the Civil Rights Movement still linger today. The movie moves across the country, from Los Angeles to New York, showing how in 2017, we are still struggling to provide the same, quality education for students of all shapes and sizes.
Why watch these movies as someone who works in a lab, someone who doesn’t have children or someone who just has no interest in the topic matter?
These movies will change that. It won’t change who you are, but both movies make you reflect on your own experiences in school. The students in a school are the kids that will grow up to be the decision-makers in the world that many of us will still be in. It’s really eye-opening to see what these students are going through. Many of us won’t have the time or capability to step up and make a difference. However, being a part of a body of adults that is aware and well-informed is a realistic step to a better education system.