We went to see the movie, The Class, this weekend. I wouldn't say I loved it but it is an interesting film. If it hadn't been for the fact that I have seen this movie in real life through the eyes of MOUSE, I might have been more intrigued vs seen that before.
The conversations around this movie could be much more interesting. The Class is a French movie which takes place over a course of a year in an inner city school in Paris around a school, a particular teacher and a group of 14 year olds. The kids are mostly immigrants who have arrived in Paris and French is certainly not their first language. The class we spend the year with is French class.
The teacher attempts at all levels to engage these kids. His frustration level ebbs back and forth. On one hand, he wants to transform these young citizens into thoughtful, respectful, adults yet on the other hand he isn't their parent, he is their teacher. These kids come with their own baggage into the class and all he can really do is try and mold them and make an impact. Try he does.
This particular situation, although not in terms of immigrants, is happening in inner city schools all around our country and bleeding out to the suburbs. There is not enough capital flowing through the education system. Sometime around the 70's, the system took a turn. Our education system is missing the best and brightest teachers, the respect of the students, and the funding for books, art, physical education and top technology. What has happened is that families with means have pulled their kids from the public education system and put them in private schools. We've divided the system in 2.
I am a huge believer in the public education system. The diversity in the classroom is powerful. But, after watching the Class, you wonder if we can ever return to a place where kids want to come and learn.
As the economy has turned sour, and more people might be wondering if they can truly afford a private education for their children, and more of these kids will return to the public school system due to lack of cash. I put the change of schools in the parents hands of these kids who hopefully will push Government to spend more on our kids because the future is them.
It is time for a much needed change in how we educate our kids.