Film Responses to Waiting For Superman and The Hobart Shakespearians
“Waiting for Superman” and “The Hobart Shakespearians”, Tow great eye-opening documentaries of the American public school system and the struggles in the lives of the students and their families. “Waiting for Superman” Featured students from America that have been negatively affected by the public school system. Each of these students and their families have great hardships to overcome yet have a strong will to succeed and a never give up attitude. It shows what they parents go through in making sure that their child has a good educations, from constantly trying to communicate with teachers and school officials that have no interest in helping them, entering Chartered School Lotteries, and actually paying for private school while being low income. “The Hobart Shakespearian” is an inspirational film about Rafe Esquith, one of those rare teachers who extend his time, and energy above and beyond what is required of him. He sets an example of how a teacher with a great amount of drive and dedication to students can help turn their students’ lives around. I realize once again that teaching is so much more than getting students to understand course material. These documentaries lay out the truth about our public school system, socioeconomic status relation to public education, and how much impact the teachers have in the lives of our children.
“The Hobart Shakespearian” blew me away on so many levels, and they all stem back to what this one teacher is willing to do for his students. I couldn’t believe that the Mr. Esquith used to work four jobs to take his students on trips, or that a former student made a nonprofit just for his class. That fact there, it says everything that should be said about Mr. Esquith and his teaching style. Mr. Esquith has an unorthodox teaching style. He reads, and has his 5th grade students read books for middle and high school level, and they get them. He swears, says racy things, and encourages them to “kill” their televisions, but this is all much milder than what his students live with everyday. He focuses on the fact that there are no shortcuts in life, and he teaches his students to be nice and work hard. I saw several things that floored me, including a guitar per student and a class that could name all of Shakespeare’s plays, and all things considered I have to think that these students are lucky. They will see, and know, and feel that they can reach the good life with hard work. It won’t be just an ideal, but they will have experienced some of it, and they will have worked for it.
While the rest of us can look on Mr. Esquith with respect, those colleagues of him assume an envious and bitter role. I imagine it is because they feel like they are in a competition that they cannot possibly win. Simply, Mr. Esquith makes them look bad. “Japanese and Chinese teachers spend a greater proportion of time working with the whole class...