June 20, 2011

Two Movies. . . I Need To See

I might be the only educator who has not seen Waiting for Superman.

Now there is a screening of an independent film called
  The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman. Basically, this film says that Waiting for Superman was an infomercial for charter schools and tells little about what parents and teachers know is going on in our school systems. 

I am really interested to see what film I agree with more. If I was a weatherman, which I'm not, I would predict that I will agree with Waiting for Superman more. If you read my blog, you know I went to private schools, taught at a Montessori School, and now teach in an urban public school. Yes I know what you're thinking. . . what a change. I honestly had no idea even how a public school worked when my first principal handed me the keys to my classroom and left me with a bunch of 6th graders who could have only been thinking "where did this teacher come from, a GAP catalogue?" I was totally clueless about public school, myself as a teacher, and my students. (My student teaching experience was only a few short months in an elementary school.) I luckily had a rockstar for a teaching mentor who was the Michelle Pfieffer of teachers.

When I was in high school, having awesome speakers (politicians, artists, actors, some of my personal heros like Gordan Parks and Jerry Uelsmann), playing every sport imaginable, having state of the art technology and high energy teachers I thought one thing. EVERY KID SHOULD HAVE THIS! I felt guilty that education was not the same for every kid. I was well aware that I had an unfair advantage. That's one of the reasons I decided to be a teacher in a public school. Private, public, charter, each has its positives and negatives. Stella, my daughter, will attend public school for most of her schooling because I believe in public education and public school teachers. But, I'm not married to public education. I'm invested in education and great education in whatever form it comes. Like my weatherman lately, predictions can be wrong.

I will post my review after I see both movies. . . until then have you seen any of these films? Please be a spoiler. What did you think? 


taramarie88 said...

All the teachers in my district went to see Waiting for Superman together for a staff development. I personally felt attacked as a teacher who works for the public schools. It showed these "perfect" students who wanted a better education, who went to evil public school with lazy public school teachers who sleep at their desks instead of trying to to teach the children who so desperately want nothing else but to learn. It basically made it seem like going to charter schools were going to magically save all of these kids. I personally think charter schools are okay, but it made me feel like the teachers are the root of all problems in public education. It only showed these well behaved students, mostly low socioeconomic class, with very supportive parents. I mean why didn't they show the disruptive kids whose parents curse you out when you try to talk with them about their behavior. Don't get me wrong, it was emotionally moving. I actually was rooting for the kids in the movie to get into the charter schools they wanted but only because the director knows how to tug at your heartstrings with these kids. It was just that it was so one sided... it basically made me feel like an evil monster trying to ruin the lives of poor innocent children. They should have made a movie directed at the politicians who want to cut our funding, or even the parents who don't teach their kids any respect or discipline...but that's just my opinion. I haven't seen the other one, I need to check it out.

Unknown said...

I get so infuriated when documentaries are more like essay films. It's true that nothing is really objective but still it is nice to see some different view points in the same movie. It adds so much more depth and complexity which is hard for most people to handle. People want to see the education problem as black and white. Honestly it's so grey and no one has a magic bullet. . . we need to look at things in a more holistic way which you are saying this movie fails to do. To bad that they don't read our blogs and see how much we really work and care.

Phyl said...

I've been putting off seeing Waiting for Superman. You know how involved I've been in my union, and the state union spoke out strongly against the movie. The charter schools take kids from public schools and the state aid goes with them. And then they (the charter schools) re not bound by lots of the regulations that tie us down. So I've been afraid that I'll just get too angry - I get tired of being blamed for everything when we take every kid that nobody else wants. Sometimes it seems like we hard-working public school teachers are always under attack, and I get real tired of the attacks.

I guess I'll have to put it on my Netflix queue and eventually get around to watching it. Meanwhile, our most recent movie watch was The Illusionist, a sweet (but sad) animated feature by the same folks who made the fantabulous Triplets of Belleville.

Phyl said...

Hey Erica, it's late, go to bed! :-)