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The Class (2009 Academy Award® Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film) follows the year in the life of a French schoolteacher working at a high school in a tough neighborhood of Paris. Cultures and attitudes often clash in the classroom. As amusing and inspiring as the teenage students can be, their difficult behavior can still jeopardize any teacher's enthusiasm for the low-paying job. Insisting on an atmosphere of respect and diligence that's neither stuffy nor severe, his frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics are put to the test when his students begin to challenge his methods.
Stills from The Class (Click for larger image)
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However, for the rest of us mortal educators, this film is honest and raw, and watching it was so uncomfortable at times, I was compelled to pause and walk around a bit. In fact, at the three schools I taught at, our faculty meetings were just as convoluted and strained as those in the movie. I encourage all administrators to show this film to first year teachers so that they learn to avoid the land mines that so many of us have stepped on and lived to regret.
Of course, if you subscribe to the handout, prescribed test, text book style of teaching, this movie will illustrate a style of teaching so beyond your comprehension, that you will have a great future in your state's department of public instruction.
A retired teacher who wishes he was back in the classroom and would never aspire to entering the world of educational administration
I taught in California a high school for many years. What surprised me about this film is the fact that the French students in the movie so closely resembled the kids I taught in Union city, ca. "The class" is far and way the most realistic film about teaching ever made--in my opinion. This is a "must see" for teachers. Don't miss it.