Saturday, May 14, 2011

Waiting For Superman: Review and Thoughts

If you've been watching all the good movies of 2010, you've stumbled upon Waiting for Superman. It's a relevant documentary on our school system and why it needs change, taking you inside the lives of the families so caught up in the struggle of good education.
This is an important film. This will blow your mind.
Anyway, this movie goes into areas such as:

-The inefficient things needed to be completed to fire an incompetant teacher (I believe there are 24 complicated, often un-necessary steps)
- Some of the people who are stepping up to help reform education and get the ball rolling in  the right direction (People who have started KIPP and the Canada schools).
- A handful of families and their journey to a better education for their kids, sometimes ending in heartbreak, which only brings the whole reality of the situation closer.
-The politics and unions who are causing some pain in the lives of the good teachers and how the horrible teachers stay in schools.

This movie in one word is bittersweet. About half of the movie is spent in the lives of the families who are in the "lottery" to get their kids out of the "drop-out factories" (the term for thousands of schools where less than half the classes will graduate). We find out who goes in the end and who stays. IT's very powerful and hugely gripping It's insane the fuss made over this. People are screaming for a better education for their children.
That's another thing. This movie is largely saying that we get away from what this is about: Preparing kids for the future. IT becomes about the adults as it leans more towards politics, more towards correctness, and inefficientness.
Being a middle-schooler and watching this was so odd. They're talking about my peers in public school.. It's weird. In some odd way, it hits close to home.
The title comes from one of the educators in the movie (it's very late here so some of it is slipping away but I believe his last name was Canada). He said one of the most heartbreaking moments of his life was when his mom told him that Superman wasn't going to be there to save the day. It works so well, 'cause I believe a lot of people really are waiting for some super hero to come in and get us out of our mess. It's relevant.
I've experianced the bad teachers of our system too. I had a third grade who used a microphone to yell at us, refused to teach sometimes, complained about how stupid we were, and couldn't teach when she did. I'm not legally allowed to mention her name, but it was bad. The prinicipa who had hired her had retired the previous year and the powers that be soon got the message that this person could not teach. Loud and clear. At least six kids requested a change of class or switched schools (I was transferred to a private school where we go to church) and soon, that angel prinicpal took steps necessary to get her out.
But the fact is, most of the time, requests like these are ignored, and kids educations are damaged forever.
So it's time to stop waiting for superman
Or the Doctor to come in with his sonic screwdriver.
Or.... well you get it.

Love and sonic screwdrivers,

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