Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Holiday Music in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Deals on HTL

Format: DVDChange
Price:$12.52+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2004
The First Year is a wonderful documentary that shows the daily struggles of public school teachers in the face of apathetic administrations, parents, and students. As a teacher in the state of California this film strengthened my own resolve to be the best educator I can. At the same time the film also illustrates the break down of the public school system. The notes with this disc states that The First Year was "created to recruit and retain the next generation of teachers."In some ways I think this film will scare teachers off because of the way some of the teachers are treated by the school's administration.In any case I think this should be required viewing by any school board members, teachers, and civil servants in national and state goverments.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2006
I don't own this product (yet), but it was shown in one of my teacher certification classes. I was really inspired by how much the teachers were willing to sacrifice to make sure their students had at least the opportunity to succeed. However, I was saddened that they HAD to give so much because often the district/administration wasn't doing its part. The documentary showed teaching in a very realistic light rather than the "oh, well they get weekends and summers off" light that many people think of it as. This video was shown in a class of 23 potential teachers and I really think it strengthened our resolve to become teachers.


I now own this DVD and have been teaching for almost five years and can say that this film does a great job of depicting the frustrations of rookie teachers and the obstacles teachers have to overcome just to do their jobs. If you're considering becoming a teacher, I would definitely recommend buying this movie to get a realistic idea of what you're getting into.

0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"The First Year" was not an easy film to watch. It highlights the real challenges first year teachers face when they want so badly to educate youth, especially in a low income area where resources are scarce, to say the least. We see automobile repair shops turned into makeshift classrooms; teachers who don't even get to have their own classrooms; apathetic parents who don't show up for meetings with their children's teachers even when they know their children are not performing well in school; and how both politics and a speech therapist who almost never showed up for her appointments with one child can nearly ruin one teacher's quest to find speech therapy for one of the kids in his classroom.

The film moves along at just about the right pace; I was never bored. These poignant, human stories grabbed my attention and never let it go until the end of the film. I agree with other reviewers who write that this film would be an excellent resource for people learning how to be teachers and not just an exposé of how we need to provide better education to all of our youth.

The DVD comes with a few extra features. I like the epilogue with tis information about what happened to the teachers and some of the children alike; and there is a very well done short entitled "Teach." There are optional teacher running commentaries as well.

I highly recommend "The First Year" for people learning how to be teachers so they will know what they may well be up against should they decide to teach in a low income area with a paucity of resources; and those of us interested in the subject of quality education in general would do well to add this to their collections.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2011
Just rented this from Netflix and it moved me to tears. I see negative reviews on here and to me they've missed the point. Sure these first year teachers might not be equipped right from the start but you can tell those kids were impacted in a very good, significant way from having these instructors in their lives. I know I could never teach. It is an important job that our society doesn't value anywhere near as much as it should. I did a little facebook poking around and it looks like all but one of these teachers is still at it a dozen years later. I applaud them and their skills. And obviously this filmmaker has gone on to grander things as well!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
I used this for my introduction to teaching class. Excellent view into the first year of a teacher.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 16, 2015
The First Year (2001) directed by Davis Guggenheim seems like a very realistic documentary. This movie overviewed the difficulties teachers can have during their first year of teaching. It addressed problems such as ill-behaved students and under budgeted programs. The documentary follows the lives of five teachers beginning their careers in California at inner city schools. They all taught elementary grades except for one who taught ESL to older kids, perhaps Junior High. One thing that they all had in common though was their passion to be invested in each child’s life. They were all extremely devoted to their class, especially the students who had behavior issues.
Two teachers, the male teachers, stood out to me the most. One of them, Mr. Rabb, a kindergarten teacher, was particularly dedicated to Tyquan, a student who needed speech therapy. Mr. Rabb did everything he could to get Tyquan the help he needed. He constantly tried connecting with the school speech therapist (which never turned into a regular thing). He called different hospitals to figure out where Tyquan could go for therapy that was covered by Medicaid. In the end, since the parents were uninvolved, Mr. Rabb began tutoring Tyquan after school himself.
Like Mr. Rabb, I found it inspiring how willing the teachers were to do home visits if necessary. Many parents were not interested in showing up for appointments or coming to conferences, so these teachers went to their students’ homes when it was necessary to get the parents in the loop.
This movie was lacking in a main focus though. I felt like the struggles demonstrated in the film, could’ve been struggles of any teacher with experience. The struggles were not unique to a first-year. The film also focused on one single student in each class, which took away from all the good that was probably happening in the classrooms. The movie didn’t address how the teachers dealt with advanced students at all.
Overall, this movie was very realistic and showed some struggles teachers may have, but it didn’t focus in deep enough. It was too much to try and cover an entire year, with 5 different teachers, and multiple struggles.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 31, 2015
“The First Year” is an award winning film directed by Davis Guggenheim following five teachers during their first year of teaching. The 2001 film documents the first year teacher’s struggles and disappointments and all the hard work that has to be put into that classroom. It isn’t easy and in this movie, that is a major point. It depicts the frustrations of every first year teacher in situations that other future teachers need to be aware of. I would recommend this movie because I thought this film was good, it was interesting. I also like seeing what I may have to deal with as a future teacher.
Maurice and his Kindergarten classroom was the most interesting to me as I would like to teach Kindergarten. I think it’s a very realistic view of the struggles of teaching and I’m glad that there are movies out there that illustrate that. The worst part of this film was the fact that it jumped around a lot and it got a little confusing at times to remember who the teacher was. It was also a shorter film at only an hour and 20 minutes but it was pretty boring so it seemed much longer. This film showed a number of teachers though that cared for their students and wanted to help them out, so they tried hard to make sure they learned. What I got out of this film is that one of the best teaching strategies is a value that all teachers should have, all teachers should care about each individual student. It was cool that these teachers cared and tried to help so much, though you can’t help them all. So I would recommend this film to all future teachers whether they’re going into Elementary Education or High School.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 2, 2015
The First Year follows five teachers in their first year of teaching. There are two elementary school teachers, one middle school teacher, and two high school teachers--all teaching in poor school districts throughout the United States. Rather than showing the ups and downs of teaching, this documentary chooses to highlight the greatest struggles the teachers face. It keys in on a few select students and their relationships with the teachers. One of those students--Tyquan--was a kindergartener in need of speech therapy. Another--Marvin--was disruptive in his . Mike is a high school student who makes a derogatory comment about homosexuals and we see his teacher work with the class to overcome negative stereotypes. Juanito disrupts another elementary school class and gets special attention from his teacher. These case studies show the dedication of their teachers, as well as those teachers' frustrations in working in schools that are underfunded, full of red tape, and lacking administrative and parental support. It also shows how some teachers make real efforts to work with their students' families, even if the parents seem disinterested in their childrens' education.

While the film was designed to help recruit a new generation of teachers I'm afraid that by skewing the film to only show that bad parts of teaching, gives an unrealistic look at a profession as rewarding as teaching is. This film could more effectively be used to scare away those who lack the dedication and determination to become outstanding classroom teachers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 29, 2015
The First Year is about a group of teachers who are teaching for the first time. These specific teachers are teaching in inner city schools that don't have a lot of money and the kids usually have difficult home lives and aren't always well behaved or have learning disabilities that aren't addressed. I have mixed feelings about this documentary because it only relates to a small population of teachers and what they have to deal with. The teacher that I liked to most was Maurice Rabb. Although all of the teachers were persistent and cared about their students, I thought he really went out of his way to get help for a student who needed speech therapy. Another teacher who I liked was Nate Monley. I thought he took a lot of time to connect with his student in and outside of his classroom. One of his students that struggled he would go fishing with or take out to dinner. I would recommend this documentary to anyone who wants to be a teacher, but to understand that it isn't realistic for all teaching situations. One thing that you could take from the movie is that if you're teaching in a school like this one, it's important to sometimes teach your kids more than just math or reading, like about violence or gangs, because these are the things that they will be faced with and might benefit from the most. Once they learn how to deal with things in life like these, it will be easier for them to focus on school subjects.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 29, 2015
This documentary showed some troubles that a few teachers encountered in their first years teaching. Some of these problems included students disrupting class, parents not coming in for meetings, and inadequate school resources. The documentary showed how each scenario was handled by the teachers and sometimes the teachers talked about what was happening.

When one teacher faced the problem of a student’s parents not coming to conferences, the principal told him to call and say he was coming over to their home. I thought this seemed a bit extreme. It seems unprofessional for a teacher to just come over to a student’s home uninvited. Other teachers had students who were disruptive or disrespectful; they responded by making their students write reflections on their behavior. Some students had to take these reflections home and read them to their parents and have them sign them. Other teachers had to work through inadequate sources. One example was a speech teacher who didn’t come in often enough and so a child did not receive the help that was deserved. Another example was teachers not having their own classrooms.

I think it’s a decent movie that shows the realities of teaching and the variety of problems that teachers encounter every day. The movie also showed that the teachers found that it is worth it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
WAITING FOR "SUPERMAN" by Various (DVD - 2011)

American Teacher
American Teacher by Matt Damon (DVD - 2012)

The Lottery
The Lottery by Geoffrey Canada (DVD - 2010)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.