Friday, January 19, 2007

Teacher sez "Don't call me a hero"

My sister Dorothy, a high school teacher, links approvingly to an op-ed piece in the New York Times by another teacher criticizing Hollywood's portrayal of their profession as heroic.


At Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 12:03:00 AM PST, Anonymous doafy said...

Well, the emphasis is less on "don't call me a hero" and more on "don't think I don't do my job if I am not constantly doing 'heroic' (read: normal) things" It's the implication that the rest of us are schmos because we're not being like Erin Gruwell. (Oh, I know, we just don't *care* enough. Sure, so what is one of my failing students doing in my dreams at night. I'm cracking the studying whip on her even in my sleep!)

You can feel free to call me a hero if you really feel you must.

At Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 9:31:00 PM PST, Blogger Mark said...

I liked the film, but one of the things that bothered me was learning at the end that the real Erin Gruwell followed the students to college. Somebody needed to let go.

Freedom Writers obviously sides with her, but I appreciated that it even bothered to address that she was making choices that most people couldn't. Her husband forces her to choose between him and the students...and for good reason.

There's a fine line between altruism and...something. Narcissism? The way the film portrays it (and the way it may have happened), she felt the students were dependent on her. Nobody else could teach them. (Well, they must have because they couldn't have graduated on the basis of passing English.) Or maybe it's a martyr complex. What she does is admirable, but it's self-destructive.

Anyway, I think the film works, but I agree that it and similar films set up unreachable standards for all but the rare few.


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