Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Etre et Avoir

A film watched over Thanksgiving Break:

To Be and To Have

Here is the blurb from

All Movie Guide
The one-room schoolhouse, where one teacher instructs several grades at once, is generally regarded a quaint thing of the past and a symbol of obsolete and ineffective teaching methods. However, the documentary To Be and to Have offers an in-depth look at a small school in rural France where one remarkable man has been doing the job of a small teaching staff for 20 years, and has taught several generations of bright and capable children along the way. Georges Lopez is an educator at a small school in France's Auvergne region, where between December 2000 and June 2001 he taught 12 students between the ages of four and ten. Employing a curriculum that embraces both academics and practical skills, Lopez and his school represent a surprising mix of the old and the new, where computer technology and old-fashioned memorization of the multiplication tables sit side by side. To Be and to Have captured Georges Lopez near the end of his career in education -- shortly after the film was completed, he retired after 35 years as a teacher. Mark Deming

I recommend this film to anyone reading this blog--whether you have children or not, whether you teach or not. Perhaps you recall a favorite teacher; perhaps you need to learn more patience and calm. Perhaps you simply need to be inspired and see things in life that are beautiful. (I wish this were a series rather than just one film.)

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