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Old 10-15-2011, 06:00 PM
 
907 posts, read 1,312,088 times
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I came across this clip on youtube. An author is saying how she prefers to talk to teachers in january because then their ideas of coming in and making a difference like Erin Gruwell is gone.... Any opinions on the clip, the woman herself, the freedom writers???


Why real teachers hate watching movies like Freedom Writers.wmv - YouTube
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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To be fair, I haven't watched the movie or read her book, but I get the general feeling. There is a real problem with the idea that you have to have a messianic teacher to get to kids and lift them up out of poverty. The problem is that there are not that many people who can give their entire lives to teaching. Erin Grunwell lost a husband to this. She also got out of high school teaching after only 4 years. She teaches college now and she has her foundation. I think what she did with the kids is commendable, but it's not replicable by many teachers. We have to have stories that do not depend on teachers giving their whole lives away.

One other thing from some online comments from others - apparently the school she taught in was NOT in an area of poverty and is not what was described. It is true that there are kids in poverty at the school, but the gang influence was exaggerated from what others who teach their have said.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:39 PM
 
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It was a movie.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:40 PM
 
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The problem with these stories is that they do not tell the whole story. Erin Gruwell got a lot of help from her father. I think, but not positive, the husband character was added for extra dramatic effect for the movie. I believe that she got to work with basically the same students for 4 years. She did not have to start from scratch, as most teachers do, each year. Both she and Ron Clark then left their schools and got out of the classroom. They were still young. The real heroes are the ones who can stay in the trenches for 15 years or more, with the decrease in physical and mental stamina, sacrifices for a personal life and having children of their own and still not experience burn out.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,983,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
To be fair, I haven't watched the movie or read her book, but I get the general feeling. There is a real problem with the idea that you have to have a messianic teacher to get to kids and lift them up out of poverty. The problem is that there are not that many people who can give their entire lives to teaching. Erin Grunwell lost a husband to this. She also got out of high school teaching after only 4 years. She teaches college now and she has her foundation. I think what she did with the kids is commendable, but it's not replicable by many teachers. We have to have stories that do not depend on teachers giving their whole lives away.

One other thing from some online comments from others - apparently the school she taught in was NOT in an area of poverty and is not what was described. It is true that there are kids in poverty at the school, but the gang influence was exaggerated from what others who teach their have said.
From people I know who went there, Wilson isn't at all equivalent in say a downtown Chicago school. However, it has lots of gang problems according to them. Out here, you don't have to have a school in abject poverty to have a lot of gang problems.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:04 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
From people I know who went there, Wilson isn't at all equivalent in say a downtown Chicago school. However, it has lots of gang problems according to them. Out here, you don't have to have a school in abject poverty to have a lot of gang problems.
Nor do you in St. Louis. Our school has plenty of poverty and gang activity but is not in a ghetto area.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I have issues with these "super" teachers...not unlike "Ron Perry Story", "Conrack" other wonder teachers...their methods are unorthordox, looks like they have severe boundary issues, and spend every second of their lives teaching, or thinking about teaching.

Having worked in a "ghetto" school, I thought I was doing good when the kids came to class, were wearing appropriate clothes, and actually did not cause trouble in my class. I considered anything above that a win. Did I have too low of expectations? I don't know...but several of the kids I worked with went on to college, mostly because I did go the extra mile, and basically did not only teaching, but case managing of my students, to make sure that things were in order for them to go to college. We filled out paperwork for financial aid in my class, a daunting task for anyone...and applications for college, I had the fees waived for every student in my class, I worked that deal out with the college myself. I made these things "assignments"...but you would have had to have a very small group to make the "freedom writers" work...did she also teach 7 other periods, with 35 kids in each one?
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:34 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,325,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
From people I know who went there, Wilson isn't at all equivalent in say a downtown Chicago school. However, it has lots of gang problems according to them. Out here, you don't have to have a school in abject poverty to have a lot of gang problems.
Correct. Plus she started this after the King riots and Simpson verdict when all of L.A. was still a powder keg and racially divided. She geared the program to a particular group of students at a particular time in the area's history.
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