Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Television and Movie Teaching Idols

So on Twitter I've had discussions with @p00rrichard about teaching, its presentation in movies and television and some of the damage such presentations do, so far as expectations and lack of respect. We're talking about maybe writing something about it, and my initial thoughts are here.

Yesterday I wrote a post about how I use those university student end of semester evaluations, how I reflect, and issues with gender bias.

Then yesterday someone recycled McSweeney's post about Dr. Indiana Jones being denied tenure.

It got me thinking about, in tangent to yesterday's reflections about gendered comments on teaching, who my favorite television and movie teachers were.
So here's the list.
  • Indiana Jones: Because he does things because he's CURIOUS. He does things to learn. How much different would our academic lives look if we focused on pursuing such passions? Of constantly pushing ourselves to explore and learn? How different would our classrooms look like if "hey I do not know the answer but let's find out" was our guiding principle?
  • Jamie Escalante: "There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. *Math* is the great equalizer... When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You're going to work harder here than you've ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is *ganas.* *Desire.*" Pretty much my teaching philosophy. Bet he was never called "harsh."
  • Professor Minerva McGonagall: She's smart. Poised. Knowledgeable. Holds her own. Expects more. I want to be her when I grow up. Also proof that in order to care about students you do not have to be a touchy-feely cuddler/coddler.
  • Jaime Sommers: Made me fall in love with Ojai, California. I think I liked her because she was such a post-hippie movement teacher. Her classroom was relaxed, and groovy. Later, once I became a teacher I was confused how she taught being gone all the time.
So who are your teaching models? When you first started did you base your teaching persona on a real-life teacher you had? Or a television or movie model? What was it about them that appealed to you? If you're now a veteran teacher, what elements of those teachers do you still hold onto? Why?

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