Films that Teach

By , October 8, 2011 10:48 am

Brad Mehldau – Exit Music (For a Film)

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Being a teacher for the last 7 years has utterly ruined my ability to watch films and enjoy them on their own merits. As the opening titles scroll forward, I think about my classroom. As the plot develops, I think about my school setting. As you get to know the film characters, I think about the LAUSD administrators and managers. While I suppose some may see this as an asset, it can be a bit annoying at times.

As evidence, I present the last 3 films (“Buck”, “Moneyball”, and “Contagion”) I’ve seen with the “teaching lessons” I’ve learned as a result.


Title: Buck

Actual plot: This documentary portrays real-life horse whisperer “Buck” Branaman as an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.

Teaching Take-away: You can be firm without being harsh. You can be strict without being disrespectful.







Title: Moneyball

Actual plot: The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

Teaching Take-away: Use data, use data, use data…but use it right.






imageTitle: Contagion

Actual plot: A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

Teaching Take-away: Always be sure to keep your classroom stocked with hand sanitizer.





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One Response to “Films that Teach”

  1. Anonymous says:

    hahaha. can’t wait to see your review of Bridesmaids! :-D

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