I watched the season finale of Glee the other night. Oh boy! The unexpected happened! I cried! Dammit! I cried during the To Sir With Love scene. I cried even more when I saw Sue cried. DAMMIT! So it got me thinking, I am going to talk about teachers in popular culture.
Occasionally, I love a good drama focuses on teachers. Not that I have ever wanted to be a teacher, because I think it should be a highly respected and important profession, and it should rank higher than doctors and lawyers. Three dramas - Glee, Dead Poet Society and GTO - are amongst the best thing I've seen about teaching! I personally have never encountered any teachers during my school years who were inspirational or anything close to Mr Schuester, Mr Keating or Onizuka Sansei. I wish I did. I am sure my life would turn out different!
William Schuester - Glee
Mr Schu is not prefect, but he is a better teacher than anyone who claims to be a teacher on the show. He is cool. He connects to the kids. He is inspirational. He is a leader. He fights for the kids. He doesn't give up on the kids. And Sue Silvester is jealous! HAHA! What I love about Mr Schu is that we get to see his struggle - he wanted to give up, he wanted to be do something that paid more (that's why I hated Terri - she is everything I don't want to be). But in the end, it was the kids who reminded him why he became a teacher.
John Keating - Dead Poet Society
O Captain! My Captain! I mean, seriously! DPS was so inspirational, this movie makes me cry because I kept thinking - I wish I have a Mr Keating in my life!
Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day, make your lives extraordinary! That was his mojo. He told the kids to throw away the books and think outside the square. His teaching method was out there.
Eikichi Onizuka - GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka)
This is not the first time I mentioned GTO on my blog. For those who are not familiar with GTO, it was a manga turned TV drama. The TV series has got to be one of my favourite TV dramas ever. Onizuka was a ex-biker who had one goal only - to be the greatest high school teacher in the world! The Principal was one cool lady. She wasn't looking for someone who was a great chemistry or maths teacher, she needed a person with a good heart to fix the kids because they needed help. He was assigned to the worst class in school - a class full of great and clever kids but they were lost.
Onizuka not only became their teachers, but also their friend. He inspired them to confront problems and live their dreams. He hated the politics in the school - there were teachers who only wanted to be rich and powerful. He also inspired other teachers in the school - he reminded them why they wanted to be teachers in the first place. Onizuka got fired a few times because he was all out helping the kids - he didn't care about being fired, if he could save the kids, so be it. In the end, when Onizuka was in trouble, the students stood by him. That was a great ending!
Dewey Finn - School of Rock (An honorable mention)
I can't help it! I have to mention Jack Black! I love this movie! I love how he took the job because he just needed the money, but he turned out to be a great teacher and inspired the kids! AWESOME!!!