How do we learn to live with others and their wishes? Director Nicolas Philibert poses this question in a village schoolhouse in Auvergne, where Georges Lopez teaches 13 children, ages ranging from about four to 12. Against a landscape of mountains and farmland, from driving snow to rain to sun, the children gather in Lopez's warm and colorful classroom, to read, write dictation, cook, and sort things out. At home, the older ones do homework with parents after their chores. At year's end, they look ahead to the next, visiting the middle school and meeting the little ones coming in the fall. As they learn sums and adjectives, with Lopez's help, they also learn to live side by side. Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. Wonderful, award-winning documentary about George Lopez and his one room school house in rural France. So many thoughts rush through the viewer's head as we watch this incredibly patient man battle through the daily challenges of teaching kids ages 4 to 12. Young Jojo will win your heart as the eager to play boy who would undoubtedly be subjected to doses of Ridlin in the U.S. Jojo's charm and openness are in stark contrast to the older children who seem to keep their emotions pent up to play along with the expectations of maturity. Personalities are obvious by age 4 or 5 and we have no trouble looking forward to see the type of teens and adults they will become. This environment offers so many advantages to the "pack 30 in a classroom and demand robotic behavior" that has become the norm in our education system. Teachers have become disciplinarians by force rather than life educators like Mr. Lopez. Yes, I laughed many times during this one, but only as my heart was breaking while dreaming of what could be for kids. The scenes with the families are torturous to watch and should provide insight into how many parents undermine even the best teachers. Should be required viewing for all parents and teachers. We should all ask ourselves, "what is the point of taking the eagerness and desire learn away from kids?"
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