Monday, April 14, 2014

Finding Forrester

Finding Forrester is the kind of film that gets you to think. The story revolves around two characters: William Forrester and Jamal Wallace. William Forrester is a great writer who only published one book, and lives hidden away from the world in an apartment. The other is Jamal Wallace, a high school student that is a great basketball player with a hidden talent for writing. They befriend one another and their friendship helps them to overcome their fears. William learns to no longer be a recluse and Jamal learns to overcome his racial prejudices and pursue his dream of writing.

Along with William and Jamal, one of the other characters was Professor Crawford. He was the English professor at the prep school Jamal attended, and was the person who believed in him the least. Professor Crawford feed into the racial prejudices that surround many students. Watching the film, I could not imagine being the type of teacher to disbelieve in a student’s abilities because of their race. Professor Crawford does not believe that Jamal can write such extraordinary pieces, mainly due to the fact that he is an African American student from Bronx. Jamal is unequally treated by his teacher at school, but outside of school he has William who pushes him to do greater things. William helps him to develop his talents in writing, and pushes him to do better, rather than excepting what he can currently do.

This film has shown me the type of teacher I should be and the type of teacher I should not be. I should not be like Professor Crawford, the type of teacher who bases a student’s abilities based upon how they look and where they live. A teacher who just thinks their students fall into the stereotypes they are and can achieve no higher, and when they do question their abilities. A teacher should develop a student’s talents, not push them down. I should be like William, who sees past Jamal’s race and life situations. He pushes him to become a better writer and shows him new ways to expand this writing process and abilities. I want to be this type of teacher that sees each student for what they can become, and push them towards that goal. I want to help push them to explore new things/new ideas, and to develop their talents.

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