One of my favorite movies is “To Sir with Love”. In this movie, Engineer Mark Thackeray arrives to teach a totally undisciplined class at an East End school…He starts implementing his own brand of classroom discipline: forcing the pupils to treat each other with respect. Inevitably he begins getting involved in the students’ personal lives, and must avoid the advances of an amorous student while winning over the class.
I cry every time I see this movie because I love the relationships he develops as their teacher. When I decided to teach, this movie came to mind several times. I could see myself coming into a tough school situation and winning the hearts and minds of the students with a goal of improving their lives – not just academically, but all around. It’s a tall order – but one of the most important jobs you could have.
It means the world to me to be relational with my students. I work to have their trust and confidence while fostering their growth and development. Yes, it is entirely possible to do this and still hold them accountable to stay on task and do what it takes to learn. Not only do they need relationship, they need structure and guidance too.
While I’m no Sir…I love it when my students say, “Ms. Lyons…?”
Photo Credit: IMDB “To Sir with Love” 1967