Teachers Who Made a Difference

Mar 5, 2021 | Newsletter

“Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions”

Albert Einstein



Since our beginnings, the crux of American civilization has been the public school. In each community, the public schools bring together the daughter of the banker, the son of a farmer and factory worker, the children of shopkeepers and bus drivers. In public schools these diverse students come to know each other as neighbors and fellow American citizens. And then there are the teachers who made a difference in the lives of their students, in and out of the classroom. 

Here are seven films that will instill in you an appreciation of such matchless teachers:



Music of the Heart

Roberta Guaspari, a talented violinist, recently divorced, unemployed, depressed, is…




The Great Debaters

At Wiley, a Southern African American college, debating coach Melvin B. Tolson starts to…




The Miracle Worker

Seven-year-old Helen Keller has been blind and deaf since infancy as a result of scarlet fever. Because she is unable…




Stand and Deliver

In 1980, Jaime Escalante is hired by James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles to teach math…




The Class

In an immigrant, working-class Parisian neighborhood, Francois Marin, a young teacher, begins the year with twenty-five…




Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, a young, precocious girl, was diagnosed with severe autism as a child…




A Most Beautiful Thing

Ken Alpart, a man who excelled at rowing while a student at Penn, decided to recruit African Americans from Manley….




Coming Soon, Can’t Wait


Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. Diana: A Musical
March 2021: Amazon Prime. Coming 2 America. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones– back again.




1939-—The Most Consequential Year for Movies

While the horrendous World War II erupted on September 1, 1939, Hollywood was flourishing. The Academy nominated 10 films for Best Picture that year, each now considered a masterpiece. They were:

“Gone With the Wind” (Awesome Civil War epic), “The Wizard of Oz” (The most beloved fantasy film), “Dark Victory” (A young heiress dealing with a terminal brain tumor), “Goodbye Mr. Chips” (A beloved teacher and his students), “Love Affair” (Lovers agreeing to meet years later at the top of the Empire State Building), “Ninotchka” (While on an inspection tour of Paris, a frigid Russian female official finds love), “Of Mice and Men” (A tragedy from John Steinbeck’s novel), “Stagecoach” (John Ford’s classic Western that introduced us to John Wayne), “Wuthering Heights” (Emily Bronte’s romantic story of doomed lovers), “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (Frank Capra’s political statement through an idealistic young U.S. Senator). 

Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to win an Oscar for her role as the protective maid in “Gone With the Wind.” The presenter, Fay Bainter, introduced Hattie by saying, “It’s a tribute to a country where people are free to honor noteworthy achievements regardless of race, color, or creed.” After accepting the award, Hattie was escorted to her seat in the back of the auditorium near the kitchen.  


My best,



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