January 15, 2013

Won't Back Down: a must watch movie

Won't Back Down is a fabulous movie that I highly recommend all the adults who are concerned about education to watch.  This empowering drama is inspired by actual events.  
It is about a hard-working single mom Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) who is concerned that John Adams Elementary is letting her daughter down.  She teams with a caring teacher (Davis) who wants the best future for her own son.  They set out to improve attitudes and elevate the school’s academic standards, despite the odds with courage, hope and persistence.

The movie points out that unions usually protect the interest of teachers, but not necessarily the students.  It is a big eye opener for parents, teachers and administrators to start thinking and focusing on our children.  

Being a teacher is more than a job and I don't think every good student can become a good "teacher".  I think a good teacher has to have a committed teachable personality.  I don't feel our system gives the opportunity for people who have the passion for teaching to get the jobs.  Unfortunately, not every classroom or teacher across North America sees being a "teacher" in the same way.  

This movie highlights the problems that we have in the North American education system such as 
  • The system passes children that don't meet the grade criteria, which in turn doesn't help the child become motivated to learn, as they know they will be passed no matter what.
  • Putting children into "special needs" programs without making sure that they have a good foundation from the start so we prevent issues before it arrives such as reading.
  • Many of our "smart" students are not challenged in a fun way at school so they become bored and easily give up.
This movie Won't Back Down is fabulous from start to finish, it doesn't only highlight the bad things in our education system rather it shows the value of caring teachers and importance of education.  
As a parent, I try to do my part as time permits to teach things outside of school, reading with my children, respect and other morale.  Since children spend most part of their day in the classroom, their thinking and learning is in the hands of the teachers and other school staff.  Therefore having the best teacher is very important.  The education system really needs to be looked upon on how they approach learning from the start.  Paperwork over paperwork is not the solution as it makes more unnessary work for teachers that takes away from their real purpose, which is teaching. 
We should also remind our children that they too are responsible for learning and taking a stand.
I believe our children are our hope for the future and these types of movies make us stop and think before it is too late. 

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  1. I will look for this one. Although if it makes me even madder and more frustrated with schools well I may combust! I agree so fully with everything stated here. Very sad when unions protect only teacher's rights. Where are the kid's rights protected or valued or even heard. I still fight weekly with schools. They took my daughter's EA and gave her to this explosive child. That's fine, but my daughter needs and EA and it is noted in her IEP clearly because of her DX. Also then my eldest has the opposite issues. Anxiety and extreme intelligence and creativity. One teacher thought her ADD and yet I take her to see specialists and therapists and trained psychologists and they all clearly state: "Are you independently wealthy, because she should have an assessment for giftedness. She's really really bright." The difficulty comes when school doesn't meet the child where they are at. Individualized teaching is not a real thing. Differentiated instruction doesn't happen to the degree it needs to. I get very frustrated often with systems that fail kids. They start out these perfect little blank slates and then adults throughout their lives tear them down instead of building them up. I feel the current education system in Ontario is a mess.

  2. Sounds like a very worthwhile movie to watch, I will certainly look for it. Thanks for the great review.

  3. Thanks for the review. Like Paula, I have had my share of conflicts with the school over my kids IEPs. I once said to a principal: I have a God and you're not it. That just goes to show how arrogant he was about know what was 'best' for me and my family.

    Yeah, he's no longer at our school...

  4. Looks like something to put on my "must watch" list :) Thanks for posting this!


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