Films about teachers and schools

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When we teachers have some time to relax, we often find ourselves watching films or reading about learning and education. There are so many stories about the beauty (and of course challenges) of teaching. Here are some of our favourites, to remind ourselves why we love this profession.

Kes, 1970

Directed by Ken Loach. This film – based on the novel on the 1968 novel A Kestrel for a Knave, written by Barry Hines – tells the story of a young working-class boy who spends his free-time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Read more about the film here.

Freedom Writers, 2007

Directed by Richard LaGravenese. The film is based on the book The Freedom Writers Diary by teacher Erin Gruwell, who wrote the story based on Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, California. It tells the story of a young teacher played by Hilary Swank, who inspires her students to learn tolerance and the importance of education.

He Named Me Malala, 2015

Directed by Davis Guggenheim. This documentary tells the story of the young Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. Malala has spoken for the rights of girls and the power of education since she was a young girl.

Visit the website of the Malala Fund.

Watch the film on Netflix here.

Dead Poets Society, 1989

Directed by Peter Weir. This film, starring Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke, tells us about the an English teacher who inspires his students with poetry. The story is set in 1959 in a fictional boarding school in Vermont.

Read more about the film here.

School of Rock, 2003

Directed by Richard Linklater. The film tells the story of a musician (played by Jack Black), who become a music teacher after he is kicked out of his band. He goes to teach in a private elementary school and works on starting a band with his students.

More films about teachers, schools and education:

  • Finding Forrester, 2000. Directed by Gus Van Sant, starring Sean Connery and Rob Brown.
  • Half Nelson, 2006. Directed by Ryan Fleck, starring Ryan Gosling.
  • Mona Lisa Smile, 2003. Directed by Mike Newell, starring Julia Roberts, Dominic West, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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