Front of the Class (Hallmark Hall of Fame: Gold Crown Collector's Edition)
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Starring Jimmy Wolk, Treat Williams, and Patricia Heaton, Front of the Class is the triumphant life story of Brad Cohen, a man who overcomes incredible obstacles to become a gifted teacher. When he was growing up, Brad started making funny noises - all the time. Only Brad - and his supportive mother - knew he couldn't control it. He was teased, misunderstood and punished for disrupting class. By the time he is diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, Brad had learned to hate school. When an understanding school principal offers encouragement, amazingly Brad decides to become a teacher - the teacher he never had. But who in their right mind would put someone with Tourette's in front of the class? After 24 schools turned him down, Brad refused to give up. Discover what happens when one school finally gives him a chance. Brad Cohen's resilience and determination changed his life. His story may change yours.
Top Customer Reviews
UPDATE: Unknown to me, Jimmy Wolk does NOT have TS, a testament to his acting talent; reminiscent of di Caprio in "Gilbert Grape".
As an adult, Cohen wanted very much to be a teacher. But no administrator would hire him. After much, much trying, traveling all over creation, Cohen was finally hired as a second-grade teacher. But that was only half the battle. Some kids made fun of him, and one parent pulled her child out of his class because she wanted a "normal" teacher for her child. Cohen had to lay down the law. While friendly with children, he had to prove that he was an authority figure, not a buddy.
In time, Cohen more than exceeded expectations. First the children, and then everybody else, loved him. As a teacher with TS myself, I found this movie (and book) quite inspiring. Never let anything stop your dreams. The challenge of dealing with a disability can be surpassed by the challenge of dealing with how others treat you because of their perceptions of your disability, and the challenge of convincing adults that your disability doesn't define you can be more difficult than convincing children of the same.
As a teacher involved with the Teachers for Tomorrow program, I can't wait to show this to my students. It really shows that students can overcome their disabilities and become whatever they have the drive to be. I am also planning to show it to my Psychology students as a way of looking at abnormal psych and how it should (and should not) be addressed.
As for the movie itself, it is done extremely well. It doesn't condescend or preach, but it does deliver a message. The acting was very good. I really couldn't find any fault with it. Patricia Heaton does a terrific job of portraying his mother (for those of us that only know her from Everybody Loves Raymond - who knew she could do a lead drama??)
I can heartily recommend this movie without reservations. Hallmark definitely hit a homerun with this movie.
Interestingly, I wanted to be a teacher myself from the time I was about 15, so I finally had an opportunity to be one in the Air Force for two years (1980-1982). Regrettably, there is no doubt in my mind that TS had an adverse impact on my performance. It wasn't until about 1981 or 1982 that I even became aware that there was a name for what I had. While that in and of itself did not help alleviate my condition, I at least knew something about it and came to realize that I wasn't alone.
If you have TS or know someone who does, this movie should have a very profound and positive impact on you. Even if you do not or do not know anyone with TS and have a chance to see it, I urge you to do so. It is well worth the time--as, I should add, is true with all Hallmark movies. ><>
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really love this movie - I personally suffer from Tourette's and often find it hard to explain to my family/friends. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Enderlein
This was a great movie, in my opinion. Our world would be such a better place if we had more teachers like Mr. Cohen!Published 4 months ago by Lynne Barber
This movie is so fantastic. I have shared this true story with over 10 people. Everyone, all age groups love this inspiring movie.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of my favorite family movies, what an inspiration!!Published 4 months ago by Mother of Two Angels
Watched this film of TV - Hallmark Channel, loved it, and had to order it to show it to my grandchildren and friends.Published 5 months ago by Only use my first name please - Selma