The other day I watched a fantastic movie which I have to share.
But I warn you, if you plan to watch it, you are going to need tissues and a dark room so no one will see you blubbering as you watch.
It’s a true story of Erin Gruwell, a beginning teacher, and her first English class. Her students were underprivileged and very troubled and it was Erin’s nearly important task to teach them. Her teaching peers expected these students to fail, drop out and never graduate. Their fate was signed, sealed and delivered before they ever stepped through the doors of the school. The school gave Erin’s class dumbed down versions of books and kept all of their quality materials for the honours students (who were mostly white).
But Erin Gruwell was full of optimism and determination and she would not let her students slip through the cracks of the system. She just didn’t know how to do that…at first.
One very poignant moment in the movie was when a student asked, “What’s a Holocaust”. In response, Erin asked her students to raise their hands if they’d heard of the Holocaust. A single student raised their hand. Erin then asked the students to raise their hands if they’d ever been shot at. All, but one, of the kids raised their hands. This sparks a change in how Erin Gruwell approaches her students.
It’s an amazing story and a true story. I loved this movie.
I’ve just ordered one of Erin Gruwell’s books, “Teach With Your Heart” to find out more of her story.
She is an amazing teacher. Schools need more Erin Gruwells.