I saw the first a couple of weeks ago, "Here Comes the Boom."
The synopsis listed on IMDb says, "A high school biology teacher looks to become a successful mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to prevent extra-curricular activities from being axed at his cash-strapped school." I do not generally like Kevin James' movies, but I will have to make an exception here. I thought the movie was fun, inspiring, and worth telling others about.
I loved that Mr. Voss (Kevin James) did not start off the movie as an idealistic teacher who ended up sacrificing everything he has. (Anyone remember Freedom Writers?As a teacher I love the message that one person can change a lot, but I hated the fact that she had to loose everything in order to do so. I think there can be a balance.) Mr. Voss starts the movie as a burnt out former teacher of the year. While his motives to finance the schools extra-curricular activities do not start out with the students in mind, that is what drives him in the end. He was inspired to change his teaching and inspire his students.
The second movie I saw was, "Won't Back Down."
The synopsis, "Two determined mothers, one a teacher, look to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children." I liked and hated this movie all at the same time. While I think it is worth seeing, I was disappointed in how teachers and unions were represented.
The message of this movie is true. We can change education for the better! Every child deserves to learn and there are parts of our school system that are broken. But I can't say for sure that destroying unions is going to fix that.
I know that there are schools where teachers and students have lost hope. I know of teachers who lost their love of children and teaching, but continued onward in order to reach their retirement goals. I know of teachers who should have been fired, but weren't. But I also know of countless teachers who are striving daily to help their students. (Hello, you just need to look at the teacher bloggers out there.) I know of good union leaders who want what is best for students and teachers.
What do you think?
Have you seen either of these movies?