As a house parent at Eagle Rock School, I frequently have students over to watch movies on Friday nights. Recently, we opted for a viewing of School of Rock, starring Jack Black — a personal favorite.
As the film began, students started to remark on how similar I was to Jack Black’s character, Dewey Finn. “Oh that’s just like Dan,” one student proclaimed as Finn made some contorted face at the camera. Another student piped up, “This film is about Dan teaching.”
At first I was appalled by their candor. “Do they think of me as some sort of oafish unprofessional fraud?” I asked myself. However, as the film progressed, I found myself increasingly proud of the comparison.
Turns out, young Dewey Finn embodies a lot of the spirit and craft of teaching that I hold at the core of my practice. His class is project-based and student-centered, and he uses the arts to engage students and pull out their unique individual strengths. And, he holds his students to incredibly high standards.
For those who haven’t seen the film, here is a Continue reading…