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.
I feel like I may be the only one who really liked the movie. I’m one of those people that likes to look at the actual art aspect of the movie, and I thought it was really well-crafted.
As for what we’re focusing on for the topic of our class, I thought that the film was really enlightening. So far, it seems that I’m the only one who was really able to relate to the problems presented in The Class. I’ve seen many a student strike up an attitude with the teacher, I’ve seen people walk out of a classroom. I went to a high school that had a reputation for the fights among students. We were mentioned on the local news more than once for students being arrested due to fighting. It really was an everyday thing, not just for me, but for most of the kids that went to my high school.
When I saw these disturbing events take place in the film, I almost wanted to chuckle because of how incredibly raw it was. I wasn’t really shocked like it seemed my classmates were. I thought it was kind of amusing because I had seen students do the same exact things in high school – “Why do we have to learn this?” “I don’t care.” “If you don’t respect me, I’m not going to respect you.”
I think that my reaction to these events was almost something of amusement, rather than shock, which was what was probably intended. I thought that the experiences depicted in the movie were completely accurate, not over-exaggerated at all. I’ve seen these things happen in classrooms. I’ve never seen anyone become bloody, though, I admit.
Granted, my experience got much better once I progressed further through school and ended up taking Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Students who wanted to do well and be well-prepared for their next step in life. Students who realized that education was a big factor in what the rest of their life would be like.
This film reassured me that I could never become an educator. It must have its incredibly rewarding moments, but I couldn’t handle forcing someone to do something they blatantly refuse to do. You can’t make someone care about something. I think that is probably one of the biggest challenges high school educators face. A teacher wants to see their students learn and progress. They want to have an active step in a student’s future. I think a lot of people underestimate how big of a challenge that can be sometimes. It was definitely interesting to see it from a teacher’s perspective – to see how frustrating it can be, and how teachers communicate with one another about students’ progress.
The final point I wanted to make was the similarity between this school in France and, say, a school in a small town in South Carolina. It’s interesting to see that international similarity, and to know that this is a global struggle that educators all over the world are dealing with.
I found “The Class” to be an interesting, kind of depressing film. I also had a bit of deja vu from back in my own classroom experiences. I like the way Mr. Marin shows the situation from different points of view, such as the teachers. He shows the hardship that the educators have to go through, while trying to teach they have to deal with no one wanting to learn. To make it even worse, them being adults means that they understand that one day the students will regret the way they acted, but it will be too late. Mr. Marin demonstrates how students go off topic and shoot off on tangents that have nothing to do with what’s going on, which wastes time. It’s like they want to waste time and just don’t care. This reminds me of almost every day of my own school life. However, he also shows that they can do so much if they just put the will power into it. I believe this is something that keeps the staff going. The part of the movie when that teacher came in the teachers lounge freaking out about his classroom and calling them animals was an important part of the film to me because I believe something that Mr. Marin is trying to portray in the film is that they do act like animals sometimes, but deep down, in those few rare situations, you can see how intelligent and unique each one of them is. Which is what keeps the educators going I suppose. The film also showed another conflict, the one in the students own personal life. This was kind of sad, because there’s always those people who are the way they are because of their environment. I thought the way that the class reps told Souleyman that Mr. Marin had called him “limited” was a very disgusting and out of context thing to do. He obviously had a hard life as it was, Mr. Marin knew that, they had no right to give out that sort of information and it was a very immature thing to do. Think about what happened to Souleyman, his life just took a dramatic turn if he had to back home. This was much more of the class reps fault than anyone else, but they can’t be the ones who are blamed. I probably would’ve referred to them as something much worse than skanks, as Mr. Marin did.