It’s been a heavy week here on the ‘ol blog, so let’s end with some smiles. This is still one of my favorite movies and one I still think should be required viewing for anyone who works with kids.
In the time since the original post, YouTube yanked the video I first linked to—which is great because it forced me to look for this one, which is even more wonderful. Take eight minutes out of your Friday to enjoy it.
I love action movies. But I also love kids, good teachers, and laughing, and this slow-paced, reflective movie is full of all three.
To Be and To Have is a documentary which follows a small classroom of students and their wonderful teacher George Lopez throughout the seasons in rural France. The big ones learn geometry while the little ones practice their numbers—all in the same classroom.
It sounds idyllic, and it largely is because of Lopez’s skill at keeping the fifteen or so students quiet and on task whether he’s giving them personal attention at the moment or not. He accomplishes this by communicating high expectations and treating the children with respect—as a result, the kids don’t want to disappoint him. When the inevitable squabbles happen, he models conflict resolution. And he finds the teachable in every moment.
I highly recommend this if you have kids, teach kids, or want to do either one. Your Blockbuster should have it, and if not, impress the Netflix people with your savoir faire. (It’s in French with English subtitles. Don’t be scared. You forget after a few minutes.)
To Be and To Have is a great example of the impact of one life—plus there’s JoJo, the delightful 4-year-old who needs help washing his hands and sticks pencils up his nose.