So there’s been a bit of talk recently about teacher movies, and how obnoxious they can be. You might wonder about why doctors, firemen, and police are so central to a great deal of TV drama (and even situation comedy). There really are limits to the kinds of stories you can plausibly tell about a lot of other workplace settings. I love the show Dirty Jobs, but imagine a workplace-oriented fictional show stuck in one of the settings described in that program. Equally with teachers (or professors), you’re either going to be telling inspirational stories or stories about the students that are almost divorced entirely from the realities of education. Unless you’re The Wire, I guess.
But as always, The Onion really gets it right.
Actually, a high school acquaintance of mine used his inherited fortune to support his NYC teaching habit. He was killed by two of his students who had been to his apartment before when he helped them out with some personal troubles. His name was Jon Levin. It was front page NYT stuff, but off course, nobody ever makes that movie.
I remember that case. Very depressing.
I thought they did make that movie. Or a highly stylized, fantastic version of it, anyway.
Over-the-top as that film may be, it’s one of the very few “teacher movies” that challenges the stock triumphal storyline of the Hero Teacher.
Here in the UK the Channel 4 drama series ‘Teachers’ was apparently the channel’s most successful ever. This may be because the focus of the show was always the alcohol/nicotine consumption and sex lives of the teachers. It was also quite funny and borrowed some Ali McBealesque surrealism.
Hey, that’s my life. The biggest problem with hero teacher movies is that they happen in the middle of a lot of arguments about education policy, NCLB, and how to improve schools, and, well, hero teachers are not a policy option.
“Unless youâ€™re The Wire, I guess.”