English Comp 1
April 15, 2013
Words are as important to a book as good teacher is to a student, and when combining the two together it makes a successful pair. Garret Keizer’s “Why We Hate Teachers”, talks about the importance of teachers and how they affect who we become. Although Keizer’s essay explains his views on teachers and school systems, the movie “That’s What I Am” also evaluates teachers’ interactions with students. The movie, That’s What I Am is based off a true story that presents a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students. That’s What I Am supports Keizer’s essay on the significance a teacher has on the students’ educational performance and the person he/she becomes. That’s What I Am is a true story set in 1965 that is based off the experiences a young boy has through junior high school and the relationship he has with his teacher. Andy Nichol, a twelve year old sharp witted boy who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict to protect himself from constant overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Mr. Simon, the English teacher, pairs Andy with the school's biggest social outcast, Stanley, aka "Big G," on a fundamental term paper. Not understanding Mr. Simon’s reasoning for pairing the two in the beginning, Andy soon realizes that maybe Mr. Simon knew what he was doing when he paired Stanley with him. As the story unfolds, Mr. Simon finds himself the target of a spiteful rumor spread after Principal Kelner suspends a school bully for brutally beating up a female classmate whom he thinks had "cooties." To teach his students a valuable lesson, Mr. Simon doesn’t take the easy way out by denying the rumors to save his reputation. He stands behind his beliefs and encourages his students to do the same with theirs. Junior high school can be a difficult time during any students’ life because it is a time of change. During this time the body is...