Most helpful critical review
The First Year (2001)
on April 1, 2015
The First Year (2001) directed by Davis Guggenheim is a very realistic documentary. It can be hard to watch for some people because of the content. This movie went into depth about the difficulties teachers can have during their first year of teaching. From having a problem student to having a war between whose going to give up first (teacher or student), this documentary gives vivid examples on the struggles teachers have. The documentary goes into the lives of five different teachers who begin their career teaching kids of different demographics.
One of the teachers, Maurice Rabb (a kindergarten teacher) is very devoted to his students. One student in particular struggles deeply and Rabb does everything in his power and more to make sure this student gets the help needed. He is also very adamant with his parent teacher meetings. He wants to make sure he can have the chance to speak with all the parents and is even willing to do home visits if need be.
While there are good things these teachers do for their students, there are also some not so good teaching strategies done. For example, Nate Monley, a fifth grade teacher, gave into bribing in a way. He stated that if the students were quite, they would get 50 points which was an unrealistic statement. Granted all he wanted was his students to behave, he went about it in an incorrect manner.
Overall, this movie was very realistic and showed true struggles to being teachers. It was sad at times and hard to believe at times but do not let that stray you away from teaching. I give this movie a three out of five stars.