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Customer Review

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required viewing for all, July 4, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The First Year (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2011 2:18:50 AM PDT
William says:
unfortrunately, much of what she says is true and the abuse of public education by many, not all, administrators and "educationist" is appalling. wmwendt

Posted on Jan 5, 2014 2:43:30 PM PST
Steve Kohn says:
Unlike "A customer," I didn't see the school administrators as not supporting the teachers. They did their best. In one case, in fact, a teacher was given the OK for a presentation on gender bias that could easily have become terribly bad public relations. (I don't see school as the place for these discussions, but that's another subject.)

I thought the teachers were all excellent. A couple, phenomenal, the best of the best.

But they were, with the exception of the ESL class where it seems the students were motivated, constantly having to swim upstream.

I think of the teacher trying to bring Juan back from the brink. The boy clearly had personal problems. He was certainly affected by the death of his mother a few years earlier. His father was unemployed. His older brother, if I remember right, was in a gang. This teacher had private lunches with Juan, went fishing with him, and spent extra time and effort on this one disturbed and disruptive boy that could have been spent on the rest of his students.

I think of the kindergarten teacher who went out of his way to talk to parents who never showed up for parent-teacher conferences. Kindergarten! Where the tone is set for the coming years, and the parents, at least one who lived across the street from the school, "can't" make the time for their child.

I think of the continuous efforts the teachers needed to keep their students quiet and focused.

When I was in school (yes, back in medieval times), students sat quietly and did the assigned work. And yes, we passed notes and read comics behind our textbooks, but we never made a teacher have to tell us twice to be quiet. Was it the paddle we dreaded? Or the respect for the teacher our parents (parents plural) demanded we give?

My career in the Army can't begin to compare in stress and difficulty with that of a teacher in an inner-city school. I see now how easy I had it.

A good teacher is a treasure to be appreciated, rewarded and retained.
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