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SO MANY LESSONS ABOUT LEARNING AND TEACHING
12 November 2005, Great Britain
Mr Thackeray illustrates and teaches dignity and self respect, and one by one wins the class over, with his charismatic steadiness, honesty and personal morality. His is not the extrovert "all together now" leadership of the teachers in "Dead Poet's Society" and "School of Rock", which tends to result in an "in crowd" and "out crowd". Mr Thackeray sets the pupils free to be true to themselves, to be in his words "adults". One of the female pupils tries to "stand too close", and he stands off, but in the ultimate scene, she has grown up and they can dance together in secure distance. Sidney Poitier fills the film with characteristic handsome dignity.
Of course the film is "romantic" and idealized, but that is partly how film has its impact, to over-emphasize the messages to ensure they get through. Definitely one of my top films!
There are some memorable quotes there.
"I don't know what you know, read from your workbooks" – a teacher must find out what the learner already knows.
"What they need is a good hiding" – the unsuccessful teacher recommends the bullying approach to class control.
He approaches the head about a class excursion "I would like to try…" demonstrating calm reasoned leadership.
"What would you like to talk about today?" – teacher gives control of the learning to the class, and this leads into discussion about marriage.
"I think marriage is no way of life for the weak, the selfish, or insecure." Just a brilliant quote!
"So long as we learn it does not matter who teaches us." Another wonderful quote.
"If you apologize because you are afraid, you are a child not a man." Another amazing quote.
"People make mistakes – everyone deserves a second chance."
Review B (1.3.7)
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