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8 Movies Every Education Student Should Watch

8 Movies Every Education Student Should Watch

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) If humanity stands any chance to change the world for the better in a peaceful and effective way, it will be through education. Today's children are tomorrow's leaders, visionaries, and opinion-makers. What they need is a little attention, support, and understanding. They need somebody who believes in them. A prominent youth advocate and author, Josh Shipp, who himself used to be an at-risk foster child and an expert trouble maker, famously said, "Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story." 

Each teacher has the potential to help a child turn from a statistic into a success story. But we need to remember that, surprisingly enough, teachers are human beings too and require emotional fuel to keep going. In the first place, this is the case of education students and young teachers who are only starting their careers and are especially vulnerable to stress and frustration. Every single one of the below movies will boost your motivation and help you figure out the essentials of empowering the learners to become their best selves.  

1. The Great Debaters (2007)

"My message to you is to never quit," says the protagonist of this incredibly empowering movie directed by Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey. This biographical drama is based on the amazing true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. Back in 1935, Tolson helped his gifted and brave students form a debate team and challenge Harvard in the national championship. It was a team that "got the world to listen." What is more, thanks to this powerful movie, the world is still listening.

2. Like Stars on Earth (2007)

"Every child is special," runs the tagline of this inspiring film. However, no one seems to believe that its protagonist, an eight-year-old dreamer Ishaan Awasthi, is special in any particular way. Neither do they notice that the world around them is filled with wonders, flying trains, and dragons. The adults care only about marks, homework, and clean clothes. In such a dull and indifferent environment, Ishaan is doomed to be unhappy and left out until he meets a teacher that makes a true difference. Ram Shankar Nikumbh, the new art teacher, will help Ishaan and his classmates to learn to use their imagination and to dream big. After all, as Plutarch famously said, "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."

3. Freedom Writers (2007)

This powerful and poignant film, based on a true story, is not about school, though, of course, most of the action takes part in the classroom. Neither is it about a teacher, though Erin Gruwell, its main character, is, indeed, a freshman and sophomore English teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School. Finally, it is not about students, though without students, it would have been impossible to tell this story. This film is about being human and staying human in a cruel and dangerous world full of prejudice and hostility against the Other. And it is also about the power of education to change lives and to be the vanguard of civilization, culture, and humanity in the chaos of violence and ignorance. Today this film is as relevant as ever.  

4. Dead Poets Society (1989)

 "Seize the day" - or "Carpe Diem" - is the famous motto of John Keating, a teacher dedicated to making the lives of his boarding school students extraordinary through poetry. His lesser-known but no less influential quote runs, "Tear out the introduction!". What could upend the stereotypes but also exhilarate the students more than that? Keating's methods might be called unconventional, but they certainly are aimed at fulfilling the primary goal of education - to make students love learning.

5. Detachment (2011)

This film might make you angry, sad, frustrated, annoyed, disappointed, and heartbroken, but you simply have to watch it because it will also make you believe in human beings again and fall in love with teaching even more. Its beauty-in-the-broken aesthetics, Adrien Brody's raw and authentic performance as a substitute teacher named Henry Barthes, and the unflinching quest for the truth make this movie a must-see for any aspiring educator.

6. Front of the Class (2008)

Brad Cohen has been challenged by Tourette's Syndrom since a very young age. However, he refuses to give up on his dream of becoming a teacher. He overcomes all obstacles which could seem insurmountable to most people and proves that our limitations do not define us. What is more, by learning to live with them, we empower others to be who they are and fight for their dreams. After all, the best way of leading is leading by example. Based on a true story, this film will once again convince you that you have chosen the right profession.

7. Good Will Hunting (1997)

This heart-warming movie is not, strictly speaking, about a teacher, and yet we have confidently included it into our list because it illustrates Josh Shipp's words perfectly well. In her game-changing TED-talk, Rita Pearson, a visionary educator, has declared, "Every kid needs a champion." The touching story of a talented young mathematician Will Hunting working as a janitor at M.I.T. shows that such a champion can truly change a young person's life for the best. The important thing is to ask for help when you need it. If you are struggling with your college assignments, is there for you. If you are feeling stressed out and tired, watch this movie: a brilliant performance by Matt Damon and Robin Williams will leave nobody indifferent. But if you are feeling anxious, depressed, and burnt out, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a professional psychologist. 

8. The Miracle Worker (1962)

This film, based on a stage play by William Gibson, is an absolute teacher's classic. It tells the heart-piercing story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl, the meaning and function of words. From today's perspective, her methods might seem a little harsh, but only at first glance. Anne Sullivan is a dedicated and unwearying teacher, truly believing in her student and refusing to give up on her. Probably, the most inspiring thing about this film is that it is based on a true success story.

The above list might not be exhaustive, but it certainly is inspiring and uplifting. Do not hesitate, watch away, and may the teacher fairy sprinkle some of her sparkling motivation powder on you!

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