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Top 10 Inspirational Teacher Movies

Shruti Bhat
Teachers not only help kids with their studies, but also groom them into good human beings. The student-teacher relationship has played the perfect setting for so many movies, which are nothing short of being inspirational.
"Education... is painful, continual and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning,... by praise, but above all ― by example."
― John Ruskin
In this increasingly competitive world, we find a dire need for better role models for the children. With their busy schedule and a never-ending race to better themselves, we can only look up to our teachers to teach them right from wrong.
Teaching is an art where you not just have to inculcate what is being taught, but also more than the words itself. A good teacher knows that textbook teaching is only 10% of the actual teaching, and the rest comes from the technique used in teaching and life experiences.
It is important to teach the children at a level lower than the child's age so that those students who are less than average in studies can also understand what is being taught. And when all else fails, come up a new method of teaching.
Teachers are silent heroes who not only teach their students to read and write, but also instill some lessons that would last them a lifetime. Their hard work and dedication have inspired a long list of movies.

Dead Poets Society

Professor Keating (Robin Williams) is the new English teacher in an elite prep school. Keating uses unorthodox methods of studying, and teaches the students more than the regular curriculum.
He also introduces a handful of those students to a secret society called the Dead Poets Society, where they are encouraged to avidly read poetry beyond the standard school books. The professor encourages them to believe in themselves and speak for themselves.
He teaches them to look at the world from a different angle and perspective. He teaches the students to be self-reliant and free thinkers, and in the face opposition asks his students to stand up and say what they feel is right. In the end, each in their own way changes for good.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
― John Keating

The Miracle Worker

Helen Keller (Patty Duke) was a remarkable woman, who was not only deaf, mute, but also blind since infancy. The movie is based on her autobiography, 'The Story of My Life'. It follows her through her struggles to communicate, and frustration. A ray of hope entered her life in the form of Annie Sullivan (Anne Bancroft).
Annie taught the former to talk and read in sign language, like the deaf do. This movie is about her struggles with herself and the world, replete with a lot of love, help, support, and unorthodox and unique methods of teaching.
It's less trouble to feel sorry for her than it is to teach her anything better.
― Annie Sullivan

To Sir, with Love

Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) is an engineer-turned teacher who ends up teaching in a class of rowdy and incorrigible students, in an East End London school. This is obviously not welcomed by the students.
He decides to teach the children about life rather than what is taught in the books. He eventually wins their respect and trust. Mark is the ideal role model for such children, and thus, they refer to him as 'Sir'. The film deals with discrimination on economics and race.
I believe one should fight for what one believes. Provided one is absolutely sure one is absolutely right.
― Mark Thackeray

Freedom Writers

Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, requires a teacher for their freshman English class, and Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) steps up to the plate. She finds herself amidst a racially diverse batch of students, who are rigidly sticking to their own ethnicity. Gruwell dedicates her time and efforts into reaching out and helping these troubled teens.
You know what's gonna happen when you die? You're gonna rot in the ground, and people are going to go on living, and they're going to forget all about you. And when you ROT, do you think it's gonna matter whether you were an original gangsta? You're dead, and nobody, NOBODY, is gonna want to remember you, because all you left in the world is this.
― Erin Gruwell

Lean on Me

Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman) returns to Eastside High School after 20 years. He finds himself in a hoodlum school, where the students have no respect for the school or each other. Their unruly attitude leads to the school being known as the worst school in the state.
With tough discipline choices, a bull horn, and a baseball bat, he whips the school into shape. His decisions and actions win him respect from both the teachers and students. He motivates the teachers to improve the students' scores, leading them to victory.
This is an institution of learning, ladies and gentlemen. If you can't control it, how can you teach? Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm!.
― Joe Clark

Music of the Heart

Roberta Guaspari (Meryl Streep) finds herself a job at an East Harlem school as a music teacher, teaching violin. With a rough start and little to no encouragement or support from the students or the colleagues, Roberta finally has a breakthrough.
Ten years into teaching in the school, the class is shut down due to lack of funding. Without adequate support, Roberta decides to fight back.
I want you all to take a second and just... breathe. Deep breaths. Now listen to me. I want you all to play from your heart. Forget about the audience, watch me, you'll do just fine. Just play from here.
― Roberta Guaspari

The Ron Clark Story (The Triumph)

Ron Clark (Matthew Perry) shifts from a stable job to a school in Manhattan school. He re-instills hope and courage into the lives of many students, who have been considered to be good-for-nothings. He uses innovative rules and techniques to bring these morally lost children back on track.
He goes to extreme highs and lows to get these children from attending school, and studying at home. He encourages their unique arts, and instills self-confidence and trust in their capabilities. This, in turn, is well-reciprocated by the students through their grades.
New York public schools are desperate for good teachers. Newspaper says they're begging for them. Dad, every year I tell my students to go for what they want in life - dream big, take risks. It's time I start living up to my own words.
― Ron Clark

Dangerous Minds

Louanne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a Marine Corps veteran with a degree in education, who begins her new job at an inner city school in California. She is given a class of students who have been labeled as 'rejects from Hell'. These kids have no interest in education and are very anti-social.
With great persistence, she eventually gets them to learn literature. She uses unique methods of teaching including bribery with candy bars and intimidation.
She is finally able to reach out to the students and help them through tough problems, viz., teenage-pregnancy and bullying that threatens the academic future of the students, shyness, etc., while introducing them to their true potential.
You asked me once how I was gonna save your life. This is it. This moment.
― Louanne

Stand and Deliver

Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) is a tough mathematics teacher in an East LA high school. He is handed a classroom of students who have been labeled to be unteachable losers. However, he is determined to turn their lives around. He bonds with the students.
The students eventually realize that their only way out of poverty is through education. This epiphany drives the students to study harder, which pays off by them receiving the highest test scores in the Educational Testing Service.
Did you know that neither the Greeks nor the Romans were capable of using the concept of zero? It was your ancestors, the Mayans, who first contemplated the zero. The absence of value. True story. You *burros* have math in your blood... A negative times a negative equals a positive.
― Jaime Escalante

Front of the Class

Brad Cohen (James Wolk) is a gifted teacher with challenged by Tourette's syndrome at a very young age. His journey is difficult as he is unable to control his outbursts. He teaches his students to be respectful towards other people. His personal struggles teach his students life lessons beyond books.
He tells his students that imperfections in a person aren't bad, but it is what makes them unique in their own way and to work beyond their shortcomings. He helps students read better and understand the world around them less superficially and in a more sympathetic manner.
Everyone, regardless of ability or disability, has strengths and weaknesses. Know what yours are. Build on your strengths and find a way around your weaknesses.
― Brad Cohen
Most of the above-mentioned movies are based on true stories. These remarkable teachers have lived such intense lives, leading to these epic films. They have not just victoriously gathered their unraveling, but also touched the hearts of their students, their families, movie makers, and ultimately us, the viewers. Hats off to such unbelievable human beings whom we call "teachers."