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Mr. Holland's Opus - medicine for the teacher's soul!

With the school year either about to start or having just started, I thought it would be worth taking some time to make a recommendation. Watch Mr. Holland's Opus.

We've posted quite a few clips from the movie here on The Freshman Transition Network. Teachers can learn a lot from them. You might watch them in the following order:

1. Stuck Compass - Mr. Holland has gone into teaching for the wrong reasons. He wants his summers free and to be done by 3:00 so he can work on his compositions. He has a bad attitude and puts no extra time into his students. He is not being a "compass".

2. I just want to be good at something - Mr. Holland's student, Gertrude Lang, makes him realize the depths of the need that students have and that teachers must work to fill.

3. Play the sunset - After spending extra time with Gertrude Lang, Mr. Holland has his first real opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. He does so by going beyond "notes on the page" and instead connecting with her emotions and attitude.

4. Marching Buddy - Mr. Holland meets Lou Russ after the football coach offers to help him teach the band to march. Lou Russ needs Mr. Holland to give more than Mr. Holland seems ready to give.

5. Lou finds the beat - After being challenged by the football coach, Mr. Holland truly begins to learn the power of a teacher. By spending extra time to meet Lou's needs, a miracle occurs. Teaching might be better than Mr. Holland realized!

6. Statler (Wayside Teaching) - After a sarcastic and negative classroom experience, Mr. Holland receives tragic news. The result ends up being a powerful interaction with Statler. The interaction will stick with Statler for the rest of his life. Mr. Holland is learning about wayside teaching - the teaching done outside the classroom.

7. The Compass - Mr. Holland has become a compass.

8. Farewell, Mr. Holland - His career now at an end, it becomes apparent just how powerful an impact a teacher has on the lives of young people and on a community.

I would highly recommend watching this movie at the beginning of the school year and then several times throughout to charge your batteries!

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