We’re here to offer our top 10 teacher films that you should watch this summer! We have chosen a selection of classic teacher-related flicks that will take you on a cinematic journey. Relax and enjoy your old favourites or tuck into something you’ve never watched before. There is bound to be something you’ll love!
Beyond’s Top 10 Teacher Films
Stand By Me
‘Stand By Me’ is a dark and thought-provoking coming-of-age story about a group of four 10-year-old friends who are forced to live up to the extreme expectations of their families when they find the body of a missing boy. The film tells the story of how the friends navigate their own trials and tribulations while dealing with hopes and pressure.
A classic teacher film! Rita, a 27 year old hairdresser from Liverpool, decides to return to university and complete her education. She meets a brilliant but self-sabotaging professor who has been drowning his sorrows in booze. Rita becomes the spark that wakes him up to his true potential and he does the same for her. The story is one of self-discovery, it shows how Rita finds her voice and highlights the choice and empowerment that education can bring you.
This film follows Erin Gruwell, a middle-class teacher who has to traverse the difficult moral and cultural codes of her students at a racially divided school in Los Angeles. Her class is deemed highly volatile, unteachable and incapable of learning but Gruwell does not give up on them. Though they initially hate her, her hard work and perseverance eventually inspires them to raise their aspirations and succeed in school. Her students become empowered, tolerant and experience the transformative power of writing.
Set in 1987 Harlem, Claireece “Precious” Jones is a teenage African American girl who believes she is stupid and worthless. Her mentally and physically abusive mother is determined to keep her stuck in the rut of her painful life and does all she can to ensure her aspirations remain low. Precious finds her hope and transformation through the power of education. She starts an alternative school program, being almost illiterate, but learns to read and write through diligence and consistency. Education allows her to find the redemption and growth she desperately desired.
Louanne Johnson, a former Marine, begins teaching in a pilot program for intelligent but underachieving teenagers. Her students are from a notorious inner-city high school and they challenge her to rethink her teaching strategy. After having an awful first day, she finds an unorthodox way to get through to them. She decides to throw her softly-softly approach out of the window and harks back to her military training. Johnson comes back armed with a no-nonsense attitude, high expectations and an unwavering determination to improve the lives of her students.
Dead Poets Society
A passionate and progressive English teacher working at an elite, old-fashioned boarding school in New England uses his love for English to disturb the peace. In doing so, he inspires his students to rebel against the status quo and break free from the enormous expectations placed on them by their parents and school. His students learn to stand up for what they believe in and live life on their terms.
Remember the Titans
The true story of an African American coach who lands a job at a suburban Virginia school which has been segregated for generations. The film explores the ups and downs of the high school football players in their first season as a racially integrated team. You see how they overcome their differences and learn the power of discipline, teamwork and tolerance.
Pay It Forward
12-year-old Trevor McKinney believes in the goodness of human nature and desires to change the world. His social studies teacher gives him and his classmates an assignment to think of an idea to improve the world and put it into action. Trevor is right on it. He creates a wholesome plan of using “paying forward” favours and succeeds in changing the world around him.
Another classic teacher film! Like other children, Matilda just wants love, support and the freedom to be herself. Sadly, her story didn’t turn out quite like that. Matilda is the oddball in her selfish, grouchy family and is very keen on learning and reading books, much to the disdain of her anti-education parents. Once she’s finally allowed to go to school, she is met with a cruel headteacher who is hellbent on making her life hell. Luckily, she meets a sweet teacher who gives her all the support, love and encouragement she needs. Matilda embraces her academic ability and soon discovers she has more talents. She hones her telekinetic powers and uses them to get the justice she, her classmates and her teacher deserve.
School of rock
After being fired from his band and running low on cash, guitarist and vocalist Dewey Finn secures a job as a supply teacher at a private school by impersonating his roommate. The private school is well known for its traditional regime and high standards so he begins secretly teaching his students about the wonderful world of rock ‘n’ roll. The headteacher becomes suspicious of Finn’s activities but he does not let that stop him. Though he keeps his roommate in the dark about what he’s doing, he highlights the musical talents in his students. He helps them discover their greatness and starts a classroom band!
If you get through all these teacher films and fancy something different, we also have an awesome reading list for you to enjoy. Let us know if you check out some of our movie recommendations this summer. Happy watching from Beyond!
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