One of the best things professionals and consultants do to boost credibility and find prospective clients is to teach at a university or college extended studies program. I have taught marketing and public relations at the University of California San Diego Extension since 1984. My guest speakers and I have earned six-figure clients through this strategy.In honor of the first day of classes at UC San Diego, today’s blog is about movies to inspire teachers and students. Here is my personal top ten list.
Stand and Deliver http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094027/
This is the teacher to aspire to. A dedicated teacher inspires his dropout prone students to learn calculus to build up their self-esteem and do so well that they are accused of cheating. Based on a real-life hero. Speaking of real-life heroes, my kids had an awesome calculus teacher, Len Kulbacki, who I think could teach anyone. My son went from a D to acing the AP Calculus exam.
Legally Blonde http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250494/
I prefer the Broadway musical over the movie. When a UCLA blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined. This made my list for two reasons. Once when I tried to explain what Harvard Business School classrooms were like, my young kids asked, “You mean like in ‘Legally Blonde’?” Why yes. Secondly, for the lesson that sometimes the professor that is hard on you is really your ally in the end.
Mr. Holland’s Opus http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113862/
A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. Rarely do we get to share with a teacher how much we appreciated them. There are several I want to find to thank. I have considered hiring a private detective, but that sounds creepy. I will stick to Facebook.
Freedom Writer’s http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0463998/
A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. Based on a true story.
To Sir With Love http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062376/
Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London’s East End. Great song by Lulu.
Sometimes it is the student, not the teacher, who makes the difference. Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame. Based on a true story.
The Paper Chase http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070509/
A first-year law student struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter of a stern professor. Helped me decide not to go to law school.
Animal House http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077975/
Remember the statue with the motto, “Knowledge is Good”? At a 1962 College, Dean Vernon Wormer is determined to expel the entire Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, but those troublemakers have other plans for him. I took the job as assistant dean at UC San Diego just so one day I could put a student on double secret probation. Watch it on regular TV so it isn’t so raunchy (I don’t advocate R-rated movies).
Dead Poet’s Society http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097165/
English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to carpe the diem. Robin Williams at his best. You might want to go for the regular TV version on this too.
Goodbye Mr. Chips http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031385/
An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. I prefer the 1960s version with Peter O’Toole and Petula Clark. Darn, why don’t we wear caps and gowns everyday anymore?