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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tribute to Stand and Deliver

I watched this movie more than 10 years ago, but I still end up mentioning it to people every now and again. The most memorable aspect of this movie, for me, is the devotion that a teacher has toward his students. This may sound like I'm going through a bit of a phase, what with my last post about Mr. Holland's Opus and all, but I assure you that there's nothing like this going on. Well, come to think of it, I was reminded of this movie when I watched that last teacher flick.

Although I don't remember a whole lot from this movie, I do recall Edward James Olmos giving a solid performance as a highschool math teacher who first breaks the seemingly impermeable ice with his students before he gets them to aspire to greater things. Sure it's a typical story of the new teacher trying to get through to his students before all ends well, but this story has a racial angle to it. Since most of the students, problematic though they may be at the start, are Hispanic, they are all failed by a national testing authority on the grounds that they cheated, or that they must have because people of this ethnicity are no good at math. But, teacher knows best, and he fights for his students till the end, even when he gets them to re-test under extraordinary invigilation measures.

Another feel good movie, but with awesome performances by James Olmos and the rest of the cast. As for me, I aspire to be this kind of teacher in my own life; understanding my students well enough to address their learning needs most effectively, and being fun at the same time. A "must watch movie", for sure. And I'd like to thank Haresh for introducing me to this movie a long, long time ago. Thanks man.
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