“American Teacher” Film Reflection

The overall theme that I got from this film is that teacher are very undervalued all over USA. This is contrast to many government and business officials that state that we need good teachers to have good education. In the film it said that Bill Gates mentioned that, “Having great teachers is the key factor to student success in both the classrooms and in life. I have witnessed this first hand through my experience in the academic cycle. Although I grew up in a first generation immigrant family who lived in an underprivileged neighborhood, and was bullied in grade/middle school, I was fortunate enough to go to a great public high school that fostered my skills and teachers that helped me see my potential. One of the biggest reasons I want to be a teacher is to inspire students to see that they have a great potential and motivate them to be life long learners and change agents in the community. This kind of relates to the one teacher in the movie who lived in a trailer and he teaches so that he can show his students that there is hope and this is the way he finds to relate to them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” (Exupéry). This quote reminded me of the film and it made me think that teachers should teach students not only for standardized assessments but also teach the students how to be life-long learners. Since teachers are a key piece in the puzzle to greater education gain in USA, government should provide ways in which this career can gain respect, higher salaries, and more training. Overall this movie made me a little sad, but the optimistic side of me wants to see that there will be hope for the future in a country where dreams can be realized. My hope for the future of education is to see a community in which both education and the teachers who provide education is valued greatly!

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