Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Teachers in Film

We all know that teachers are the cornerstone of our society. They are often underappreciated and underpaid, but sometimes there’s a movie dedicated to just how great teachers actually are. Here are a few of my favorites.

To Sir, with Love: Classic film staring Sidney Poitier. It was one of the first movies with the formula teacher winning over the unruly inner city students, but it works so well partly because Poitier’s performance. If you like inspirational films and haven’t seen this one yet, it’s worth checking out.  



Dead Poets Society: One of my favorite films staring Robin Williams. I tear up whenever I think of
the end. “O’ Captain! My Captain!” Love it!


Good Will Hunting: Another Robin Williams film. I know the professor was the one who discovers Matt Damon’s character’s brilliance, but it was Robin Williams’ character who used his wit, charm, compassion and patience to teach Matt Damon. Great film!


Lean on Me: Love this film! I have an aunt who’s a principle in a rough school. I often call her the female Joe Clark. “They used to call me Crazy Joe, now they can call me Batman!” So many quotable lines in this film.


Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Okay, so I know this isn’t really an inspirational teaching film, but if you’ve seen this movie, you know that Sean Penn’s fantastic portrayal of stoner Spicoli was only made better by his interactions with the hard-assed teacher, Mr. Hand. I wish I’d had to nerve to order a pizza to class and then when questioned about it say, “Learning about Cuba, and having some food.”


Have you seen any of these films? If so, which one is your favorite of the list? How much do you love teachers? As always, let me know if I’ve missed your favorite from the list!


  1. Great topic! Dead Poets for sure...it is one of my favourite movies, and it always affects me deeply, even though I've seen it many times before. =)

  2. OH, Dead Poets Society is one of my all-time favorite films. I, too, get misty when I think of the end. When I watch it, I cry outright.

    I also love Good Will Hunting and Lean On Me. Haven't seen the other two, though.

  3. The only one I have NOT seen is FAST TIMES. Ha. Great post. :)

  4. Of those listed, I'd pick Good Will Hunting. Stand and Deliver is also a great film.

  5. I agree with Alex, I also loved Stand and Deliver. All great movies. My favorites being Good Will Hunting and the best movie for laughs , Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Sean Penn was awesome in that( and so young.)

  6. My mom's a teacher. Teacher films are great when done well.

  7. To Sir with Love was great, as was Lean on Me. I really enjoyed watching The Class, which I saw through the international film festival when it came through our city. As well, I really loved School of Rock. I could watch that once a year! Freedom Writers was great, too! I really love movies about teachers. Great topic!

  8. Hi Karen .. I've only seen Dead Poets Society .. but I really need to see the others ... thanks for reminding me ..

    I'll have some list making once the A-Z is over!

    Cheers Hilary

  9. Mere: Thanks! Dead Poets was a great movie. I love dramatic Robin Williams.

    M.J.: I haven’t watched it all the way through in a while, but it was on the other day. I changed the channel cause I didn’t feel like crying-lol.

    Margo: Fast Times is a classic, but if you watching, you have to put your brain back a few decades to keep from being annoyed-lol.

    Alex: I thought about adding Stand and Deliver, but I didn’t remember a lot of that movie so I left it off.

    Melissa: Good Will Hunting was one of those films I didn’t see coming, meaning I had no idea I’d like it so much. Fast Times is a great movie to laugh at when you’re in a silly mood.

    Sheena-Kay: Yay! Teacher mom is great! And yeah, the films have to be done right, otherwise they can go really wrong.

    Netablogs: I’ve never seen The Class or Freedom Writers, so I’ll have to check them out. I really liked School of Rock. Forgot all about that one.

    Hillary: Glad I could add to your list! I think I’m going to have a few lists of my own when this challenge is over.