Saturday, June 4, 2011

Waiting for Superman...a thought or two

Some of you may have seen the documentary Waiting for Superman. If you have not, please go and rent it. I have heard about this documentary several times in the past few months and made a mental note to watch it. Since the hubs is OOT, I was perusing the film que on our on demand section of tv and saw it was now available. I decided to go ahead and rent it tonight since he wasn't around to encourage a choice of the Hangover variety. I didn't expect to find myself tearing up throughout the film but there I was on a Saturday night holding tissues under my eyes as the tears flowed.

A little may not agree with everything in the documentary. Rent it anyway. That is just the way documentaries go. You might agree with parts and disagree with others. However, as a teacher, I think it's worth spending a couple hours of your life to watch this film, for no other reason than to feel inspired. I am definitely the sentimental type so I can find inspiration in anything and a reason to cry in almost anything I watch. But, this film reminds us of the important task we, as teachers, have been given and it reminds us of our responsibility to make sure we continually work to improve the lives of kids.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the documentary...
1. I liked how the filmmaker put faces with statistics. It was not just numbers being spouted off at you. It was stories about real families in real places. Much more powerful.

2. I felt incredibly sad that so many children's hopes rely on a lottery system to get into charter schools in their neighborhoods. All public schools should be of the same excellent caliber that children learn equally and are challenged. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. It really doesn't seem fair that where you leave determines the quality of education you receive.

3. I found it inspiring to see the educators in the film who are working to find better ways to meet the needs of our students. It's motivating to see people who decided not to accept that status quo and who challenged typical ways of doing things in their respective hometowns.

4. I shed many tears because I could connect the stories in the film to many of my own students lives. I saw a lot of shared problems from the students in the film with the ones I see on a daily basis. It made the film more real to me.

More than anything, I liked this film because it reminded me that my job is important and their are people who are willing to dedicate their lives to building a better education system for our future generations. The system may be broken but I have faith we will find a way to fix it. I sincerely hope I will be part of that plan, however small or short lived my contribution may be. I hope to make a mark.


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