Well, it’s my first sick day of the school year. I slept until eight. Then got up, ate, and when back to sleep until noon. Clearly I was fighting something and nothing beats germs better than sleep in my book.
Once up, I moved myself to the sofa and started looking for a movie and stumbled upon Mr. Holland’s Opus. I haven’t seen this movie in a very long time, probably since before I began teaching. It’s syrupy, manipulative, and I totally got sucked in.
Here’s the thing, maybe it’s because I work with the littlest learners, but for some reason, more often than not, folks think teaching kindergarten (and I’d imagine preschool or first grade) is, well, nothing short of easy. Watching the movie, about a high school music teacher, creating his legacy through the work he does with his students (his Opus are is students), I couldn’t help but feel a little short changed. Why haven’t there been any great movies about elementary school teachers?
All the touching stories about teachers are, almost exclusively, about high school teachers. Don’t get me wrong, I adored my high school teachers and I know they did not have it easy. I wouldn’t want to be faced with a classroom full of hormonal young adults who, mostly, would probably prefer to be anywhere else but in my classroom. When pressed to think about movies about elementary school teachers, all I could come up with was Kindergarten Cop. And while I love Arnold as much as the next guy, let’s be real, there isn’t much authenticity in his portrayal.
Where is my Lean on Me? My Stand and Deliver? Heck, I’d even take a Dangerous Minds or Music of the Heart. For my money, there isn’t much more heart and joy than in a kindergarten classroom. Most of these movies are dramas, but trust me, we have our share of tears and heartache – I just usually try to shield the children (and my readers) from it.
So movie executives, where are you? The world has been waiting to hear our story. Well, at least I have.