One of the most common question teachers ask is, “Can you help me learn how to motivate my students?” They will likely do a search like, “How to motivate students quickly,” and come across tons and tons of tutorials like this one or this one. While tips like, “Give students a voice,” or “Make their education feel real by including marble jars” can be helpful, there are literally millions of “tips” like these. That is why we wanted to change things up a bit…
It goes without saying that technology is an essential part of education in today’s world. One important tool is YouTube. Sure, it’s usually a place for people, young and old, to watch hilarious cat videos but it has so much more than that. If you dig around, you can find some quality clips that can be very useful for educational purposes.
You may be thinking, “Oh great… I don’t have time to find these clips…” We completely understand! Time is an important commodity, especially for educators like you! That is why we did the research for you:) Below, you will find 7 inspirational movie scenes that will help you learn how to motivate your students. We included the clips, a brief overview and one key point to take away from each one. Enjoy…
1. Freedom Writers
Plot summary: A southern California high school teacher named Erin Gruwell tries to inspire her students with an abundance of optimism. Even though she has great intentions, she realizes that her students aren’t on the same page as her and as a result, chaos ensues in the classroom. She eventually has a breakthrough when she asks her students to keep a journal about their daily lives. This draws the kids closer to Erin and as a result, the school goes through a transformation that changes other students’ lives.
Key takeaway: Every day, normal people can become heroes if they do the right thing.
2. Dead Poets Society
Plot summary: Wellton Academy was founded on 4 principles: Excellence, Honor, Discipline and Tradition. A substitute teacher by the name of John Keating helps his students approach these principles in a new light by teaching them poetry, history and other educational subjects. Along the way, he challenges them to seize each day (“carpe diem”) and come up with new ways to learn. The above mentioned scene is considered to be one of the greatest of all time.
Key takeaway: “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Plot summary: A massive asteroid is barreling towards Earth and it looks like nothing will prevent this disaster from happening. The NASA boss, Dan Truman, creates a team of drillers, led by Harry Stamper, to drill into the asteroid and insert a nuclear bomb. This will hopefully prevent the world from being destroyed.
Key takeaway: Anyone can do more, if they have the courage to do.
4. The Goonies
Plot summary: The Goonies are 7 kids who find an ancient treasure map that leads them to the treasure of the infamous pirate, One-Eyed Willie. Along the way, the rowdy crew runs into a few thieves that are also wanting a share of the pie.
Key takeaway: Don’t wait for your time to come. Your time is now.
5. Pursuit of Happiness
Plot summary: This movie is about a man who does everything he can to support his family. Along the way, he becomes a full-time dad while working an insane amount of hours. He eventually receives a job offer that helps him get back on his feet.
Key takeaway: Don’t let others bring you down. If you have a dream… pursue it.
Plot summary: Indiana (especially the small towns) are known for their passion for basketball. This creates unbelievably high expectations for the 1954 Hickory Huskers team. Unfortunately, they fall short of their goals early on in the season. They receive a much need inspirational boost from a new coach by the name of Norman Dale. He rallies them to an incredible season and receives major accolades as a result.
Key takeaway: Focus on the fundamentals. That will help you become a winner.
7. D2: The Mighty Ducks
Plot summary: A hockey player is having a phenomenal career but it comes to an end when he has an injury. Little does he know that this will lead to him becoming the coach for Junior National U.S. Hockey team. He becomes an inspiration for them and helps them win a national championship.
Key takeaway: Be yourself.