Film School [@TonyBrainstorms Guest Post]

Great Teachers in Film.

Unanimous: they break the mold of sitting in rows. Students in their classrooms do more than follow instructions. They create. There is a scene with administrators yelling at them. There is a student who doesn’t get it, and the teacher fights for him. There is a scene in which the students fail and it looks really dark. And then they succeed. And then they live lives worth making movies about.

  • Mr. Holland’s Opus
  • October Sky
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Dangerous Minds

Buried in our collective psyche is the idea that school is supposed to be more than this. It’s time to embark on a journey of educational images. What do we want school to look like? Ask the movies.

Where are the elbow-padded professors, guiding students in lively debate in a wood-paneled office? Where are the students who spend time discussing what they read, because they love to learn, not because they were assigned to?

Leadership truths are teaching truths


I’ve been reading Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, and in the last chapter they share three truths about life and leadership:

  1. “Self-leadership always precedes team leadership. Leaders… that make the greatest difference are highly self aware and well rounded…they live lives that are attractive to those they serve and lead.”
  2. “…our teams are watching us. They set their levels of trust and engagement Based on what they see in our lives. How we leaders live matters.”
  3. “What’s true for you is true for your team members. They can’t compartmentalize their lives either.”

It turns out, teaching and leadership have a lot in common. My remix:

  1. Self-learning always precedes classroom learning. Teachers… that make the greatest difference are highly self aware and well rounded…they live lives that are attractive to those they serve and teach.
  2. …our students are watching us. They set their levels of trust and engagement Based on what they see in our lives. How we teachers live matters.
  3. What’s true for you is true for your students. They can’t compartmentalize their lives either.

Students and teachers alike: bring your whole self, your best self, to the classroom (and everywhere else).

Merry Christmas!