Mrs. Gruwell believed in these kids when no one else did. She had the patience, the passion, and the bravery to speak up to truly change these students lives. Unlike most teachers at the school, she gave these troubling students a voice, told them that their lives were not a waste, and that no matter what their story was, it mattered. Mrs. Gruwell was so successful in her way of teaching these students because she did not go by a set in stone academic curriculum. Instead, she observed and strived to understand and taught her class according to those unwritten guidelines. Instead of ignoring the individual issues every student had, Mrs. Gruwell made an effort to work through these problems, created exercises for the students to overcome these issues, and ultimately helped guide students in the right direction of becoming the person they desired to be and not the person violence, racial hatred, and gangs had made them become. The racial divide in the class caused multiple issues at first but Mrs. Gruwell motivated the students to overcome their differences and explained that they only way they could be free from the violence and hate would be to go through this process together. The audience is expected to learn a lot of important lessons while watching this movie. For one, students and young adults need to feel like they matter and that someone believes in them. Many teenagers go about their lives with such a lackadaisical attitude because they have no motivation to impress anyone. Students long for that desire to learn and to show someone how important they feel and are, but if no one is there along the way for that little push, it is a hard thing to do on their own. Mrs. Gruwell was not just a teacher to these students; she was a mentor. She taught these students more than just a math equation; she taught these students how to treasure the gift of life.
Ms. Gruwell did an amazing job teaching her students, because she focused on what was best for the students. She realized that they had no passion for learning and that is the first thing you need to receive an education. I think we all agree that you cannot truly receive an education unless you want it. Continue reading
I liked this movie better than the last one. I found it very inspirational and also a very rare situation, but it’s pretty amazing that it actually worked. They resist because they feel like the friends and family they have are all they have and without them, and doing exactly as they want them to do, they are nothing. They reject the authority and think that trying will get them no where in life, and that they must fight, and that they probably won’t live long enough for it to matter anyway. Continue reading
I found that it was very hard for me to provide an answer to the prompt without comparing and contrasting the two movies – I had to rewrite most of this post. I suppose I will have things to bring up in discussion on Tuesday!
I think the reason that Ms. Gruwell was so successful in getting through to her students was her determination. I thought I had seen the movie before in high school, but I discovered I had really only been shown about half of the movie. For me, it was almost unbelievable to see how strongly she felt about making sure these students succeeded. She sacrificed her free time, working extra jobs in order to provide extra activities for her students. Eventually even her marriage was sacrificed, though that was not a direct result from her job. It was inspiring to see someone who cared so much about her job.
The students in room 203 seemed to really respond to writing in a diary. I think that was a great idea on Ms. Gruwell’s part. People underestimate the therapeutic aspects of writing all of your thoughts down, getting them somewhere else besides your head. These kids seemed to have never really thought about that idea before.
Ms. Gruwell provides experiences for the students that they probably would never have had if it weren’t for her – access to museums, having a really nice dinner.
I think that she put the idea of change into their heads, which is what I will conclude with, what we were meant to take away from the film. She made them realize that they had the power to change their lives, to break away from what they were used to and really inspire them to lead productive lives. I think it was successful in putting hope into the audience. That no matter how bad things may be, you have the power to change that. The first in your family to graduate from high school, much less continue onto college. Barriers that had never been broken before were broken in this movie – challenging the school board, kids breaking out of gangs and even betraying “their own” because they knew it was the right thing to do.
In Ms. Gruwell’s English class the students’ initially resisted her efforts to teach them because they knew she could not control them- there is power in numbers. Ms. Gruwell is a new, young, vulnerable, white teacher teaching in a highly racially integrated school. She essentially is unprepared for the nature of the class and the student’s behaviors she is up against and has never been put in such a position before. The students in the classroom are all in gangs that hate the other gangs and there is always heightened tension. The students do not care about learning or their education they just want to live another day- violence and gang life is all they know. Overall, the students hate each other but are united by their hatred towards Ms. Gruwell. Continue reading
Even though there seems to be no apparent direction in the film, “The Class,” a very interesting story is told. Throughout the movie your heart goes out to the teacher, Messier Marin. The teacher shows how he cares for his student’s lives and futures, and does everything in his power to help these troubled kids. The unique way in which this film was created gives the viewer a chance to see a true classroom setting without a Hollywood style script. To me the main focus was showing show difficult it is to be a teacher. Messier Marin shows an amount of patients toward his students that is uncanny. Only once did the teacher’s patience crack; however, this one slip up seemed to cost him all of his student’s respect. Messier Marin, lost control of his restraint and insulted two of his student. This is certainly a no-no but, to me it wasn’t his worse offense. What was worse was not apologizing to the students he had wronged. If he expects his students to ever ask for forgiveness he must do the same. Instead of an apology, he tells the girls he insulted that there are things a teacher can do that students cannot! This made me change my mind about the type of teacher Marin is; a teacher should lead their class with the example of class and respect, not hypocrisy.
What I did not understand about the movie, is why there were student representatives at what should have been private teacher meeting. It seemed outrageous that students were involved in personal disciplinary and academic conversations about students. All the issues at the end of the film would not have happened if those meetings were kept private. For me, what made this movie so different and powerful is the realness it projected. The story was not concluded with everything tied together with questions answered; this made it much easier to relate to life.
To be quite honest I didn’t like this video at all. I felt that it had no specific plot. That being said, there are certain aspects of the movie I did like. The acting done by Mr. Marin seemed so honest and sincere I really do believe this video did a very good job of accurately portraying what actually occurred in the classroom. The way that the movie portrayed Mr. Marin definitely showed that he tried to have a more friendly relationship with his students rather than a more authoritative relationship, but at the same time it was obvious that he really strives to be a good teacher at the same time. The audience is also shown how large of a struggle it is to teach these kids so we feel sympathy for Mr. Martin and his struggles. Although I do not believe that his tactic was very effective but it shows that he really believes that his approach is really the most effective one. My favorite part of the film is when Mr. Martin expels the kid because I feel it gives a realistic view of the problems these teachers must face every day. Even thought it made me mad at Mr. Martin for a while I think it made the video better and gives and supports their argument.
Before watching the movie, I knew nothing about what was going to happen in the movie. And then it was in French, which I thought was random. However, despite that I was hooked in the movie so much that I changed seats so I could read the subtitles and fully understand what was going on. Overall, I thought it was a good movie.
Even though I thought it was a good movie, I did not expect the outcomes. For example, I thought Mr. Marin would stand up for Souleyman at the hearing. Also, I thought Souleyman would come back to Mr. Marin’s room on the last day of class but that definitely did not happen. I think Mr. Marin presents his experiences the way he does is to show the audience how difficult it can be for teachers to work in an environment that does not respect them; also I think his experiences show the audience that no matter how hard a teacher will try to make an impact on a student’s life it just does not happen. His experiences are not success stories like so many in Hollywood, which is good because it makes this movie so much more realistic. There are many schools out there that just give up on their students, like how the school in the movie gave up on Souleyman. For example, the Corridor of Shame in South Carolina is known for the neglecting school districts in this certain area.
After watching the movie, I realized how fortunate I was to grow up and be educated in a great school district that cared about my future.
I had never seen that movie or even heard of it, but I really enjoyed it. I loved the documentary feel of it. I feel like Mr. Marin wanted to portray it that way in an effort to make it feel as real as possible. There is no way really to fully understand what it’s like to be in that position until you’re actually put there, but being able to see as candidly as possible the events that unfolded is the best attempt. I think it would be really interesting to see how much of the script was actually followed and how much of it was the actors add-libbing. I was impressed by a lot of the quick wit of the students. It further enforced for me that they really are bright kids, just unmotivated and easily discouraged.
Mr. Marin playing himself also added to the credibility of the movie. Knowing that he was physically present during the actual events allowed the viewer to trust that the movie was as real as possible. Not entrusting the role to someone else made the movie more powerful. It showed me that the correct portrayal was extremely important to Mr. Marin and he would rather act himself (even though he is far from an actor) than let someone else have free reign.
Overall, I think there was no better way to cast or film this movie. Making it feel as real as possible was a necessity and is what made the movie so successful.
After reading Katherine’s post, I have to say Im pretty much in complete agreement to what she’s saying. At first I found myself very confused while watching the movie, I didn’t really get the purpose or understand why we were watching a movie in French in the first place. As the movie progressed however, I got into the plot and grew to start liking the characters and Mr Marin as well. Throughout the movie though I found myself extremely disappointed with Mr Marin’s attitude and teaching, yes, I do believe he made a slight impact on the kids but I think there was a lot more potential for where his progress could of gone. It did really irritate me that he referred to those two girls as skanks because I think as an educator and role model that was very out of line. Additionally, the students in the class had absolutely no respect for him and although he demanded respect the students never really gave it to him in return which was disappointing on their part.