I first saw this during my first year as a trainee teacher and was absolutely blown away by it. I wasn't alone. The girls around me were all crying their eyes out by the end of it.
The movie focuses on Teacher of the Year Guy Doud. Guy brings us through his experiences as a teacher, what he does, how he reaches out to students, his highs and his lows and where he draws his inspiration from.
In a mix of reenactments and a stand-up act, Guy gives an honest look into his life. He shares with us his own teachers from when he was growing up, the good and the bad and the exceptional. He shares what hurt him as a student and how he uses that to guide his own actions as a teacher himself. He shares with us his present class, including a student who is undergoing treatment for cancer, drawing some of the most poignant moments moments from the movie from when he forces his students to confront the fact that others go through things they never think of. He also tells of his encounter with president Ronald Reagan as he received his award.
With a healthy dose of self-depreciating humour, he brings us into his world and tells us what it is that makes him stay on in a career that is so different year by year, day by day. He never preaches that he is better just because of his award, but gives credit to God for allowing him to reach out and touch and to make a difference.
I watched it again in my second year and the effect was the same. Touching, funny and meaningful. And yes, the girls cried again. I have since watched it again and have placed an order for the video and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. Go get yours if you can.
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