3rd: Bad Teacher

While this movie might not have the same load of life changing lessons as the previous two, it still sketches a teacher who, in her own ways, tries to help her students achieve academic success.

The story

We sort of set off with the wrong foot with the image of the teacher when it comes to this movie, as Elizabeth Halsey is foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate, a teacher who doesn’t care at all about her job.

Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher movieThings heat up at school when a new and apparently rich teacher called Scott, appears on the scene and this triggers a duel between Elizabeth and another teacher, Amy Squirrel, for his affections. There’s plenty of good stuff here and the writer is out on exactly how funny Diaz really is. She gives the part everything she’s got.

Selfish plans

While Elizabeth is only driven by her own selfish plans, she sounds like the kind of teacher someone might like to have at their school, at least in theory.

She tries to raise money by attending her class` car wash in provocative clothing and does everything in her power in order to earn the bonus her school gives to the teacher of the class with the highest test scores, even stealing the state test answers and give them to her students.

Despite none of the major characters being a student, Elizabeth is seen interacting on a personal level with one of them, to whom she gives advice. The kid had an unrequited crush on the superficial popularity queen of his class and this incident causes her to reflect on how she has been superficial as well.

Why is this movie in here?

Sure Elizabeth isn`t the role model that we expect in a teacher, but she is that breath of fresh air every student needs from time to time. As this high-school satire stars Cameron Diaz, you know you are bound to laugh your head off.

2nd: Stand and Deliver

Right up there with Dangerous minds, “Stand and Deliver” tells the story of a high school mathematics teacher who takes a class of potential dropouts and transforms them, in the course of one school year, into kids who have learned so much that 18 of them are able to pass a tough college credit calculus exam, an exam so hard that only 2 percent of students nationwide can pass it.

Edward James Olmos in Stand and Deliver movieIt’s a true story of a teacher who managed to motivate a group of struggling students to attempt one of the greatest academic challenges a high school student can undertake.

True Story

Edward James Olmos portrays the real-life Jaime Escalante, a no-nonsense mathematics teacher in a tough East LA high school.

Jaime uses his own out-of-the-books approach when it comes to teaching methods, using examples out of the everyday lives of his students, making them think things out for themselves, announcing that the “punishment” for not working hard is to be banished from the class – a class most of the kids would rather be out of, anyway.

The students gradually come to realize that the only way they’ll escape their own poverty is to improve themselves intellectually and as a result, the class’ academic achievements soar dramatically.

Isn`t this the same as the previous movie?

It`s true there are several similarities. But while there are many films about teachers breaking through to tough students – many trivial and formula-written, this is one of the few truly powerful films in this genre. Stand and Deliver has several messages and Edward James Olmos, along with the rest of the crew, deliver an outstanding performance.

This is particularly true of the students, who manage to carry out convincing adolescent dialogue. The role of the teacher was not glorified, but treated as a regular human being who was doing his best to do something good, either in the right or the wrong way. A stunning and vastly underrated film.

1st: Dangerous Minds

Whether you saw the movie, or you heard Coolio`s song, this name definitely rings a bell. This isn`t one of those love the teacher, fight the delinquency movie, sweet and educative. This teacher has the totally opposite approach when it comes to dealing with her class.

Dangerous Minds movie sceneDangerous Minds tell a heartwarming story, although it can be tragic at times, showing the growing bond between a group of socially discarded students and their very unique teacher.

Heartwarming story

The movie stars Michelle Pfeiffer , as LouAnne Johnson, an ex-Marine who applies for a teaching job and is hired on the spot to deal with a couple of students that society considered a lost cause. But whatever opinions others around her had, she never gave up on her students.

Her teaching methods are inventive, definitely what you expect from the usual teacher. She bullied, bluffed, and bribed her students into caring about school and soon they were to be found in the school library.

Should her methods not work, she also had a safety net set right from the beginning, as LouAnne, the pretty, petite ex-marine told them she’d been trained to kill with her bare hands.

So isn`t a teacher that threatens her students a bad role model?

Definitely not. What we can easily notice in this movie is that LouAnne had the right idea of what it means to be a teacher. Where the school system saw thirty-four unreachable kids, she saw young men and women with intelligence and dreams.

When others gave up on them, she broke the rules to give them the best things a teacher can give hope and belief in themselves. When statistics showed the chances were they’d never graduate, she fought to beat the odds.

Michelle Pfeiffer is at her best, giving a funny, scrappy performance that makes you feel a committed teacher’s fire to make a difference. She perfectly captures the passion and warmth of her character.

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