I truly believe in the power of using videos in my classroom. If you choose them wisely, not only can they teach academic lessons but social and emotional ones as well. They can inform and inspire... all while tricking your students into thinking they are having a "fun day" in class.
This does not look like a "fun day" for either of these two.
I have always seen my class more like a team than anything else. The classroom is the practice field. I am the coach who is helping the players learn essential skills in order to win once they get into the real game... life. Teams do not win on their own. They need to work together in order to achieve greatness. So do my students.
As a result of this attitude, I have always dreamed of starting the year by playing the movie Hoosiers. It is one of the greatest movies about teamwork, hard work, and redemption that I have ever seen. The coach is incredibly tough on his players. But it is not out anger or spite. He is tough on them because he believes in them. They can be great.
It is also one of the most fantastic underdog stories of all time... and it is based on a true story!
This is the real inspiration for the movie Hoosiers
My students all have special needs. Many have learning, emotional, physical or speech disabilities. Some have Down Syndrome or are on the Autism spectrum. They often feel like the underdogs.
I would hope watching Hoosiers could show them the power of teamwork and what can be accomplished by underdogs when they are treated and behave like super stars.
But I don't have time for all that. I have 4.5 million years of history to cover! There are many movies I would like to show. Unfortunately, I only have 180 hours with the students.
However, I can (and will) show this:
As I often do, I will not explain why I am showing this video. After it is complete, I will ask the students why they thought I showed it.
Through some guided and unguided questions, I hope they will answer with many of the following:
"It shows the power of teamwork."
"It shows that anyone can be a hero."
"It shows people doing the right thing."
"It shows people not just being bystanders."
"It shows people learning from their mistakes."
"It shows people trying, failing, and never giving up."
"It shows people problem solving and trying different solutions until they find one that works."
I know there will be more lessons they glean that even I had not seen. That is by far my favorite part of my job: learning from my students. I love hearing how they see things from their point of view. They never cease to amaze me.
Then I will ask them, "Why do you think I showed this in our class?"
Finally, I will sit back and be astonished by their thoughtful answers.
Actual footage of me after hearing what my students come up with.
How about your point of view?
What lessons did you learn from this video?
Could you use this video to teach lessons to your own children, friends, coworkers or employees?