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Lean on Me

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Topics: Education, Teacher
Ashley Martinez
School Health
Lean On Me Movie Exam

1. Describe the character of Mr. Clark.

As we watched the movie Lean on Me I realized that the principle of Eastside High Mr. Clark had a very intense character but firm and secure at the same time. This guy knew exactly what he was doing and he was very passionate about what he did. The first seen in the movie is a classroom, a classroom full of the majority white students and Mr. Clark a black teacher. The students where dressed very adequately with shirt and tie girls in skirts. This to me meant he had his classroom under control. The students respected him. When Mr. Clark’s colleague called him for that emergency board meeting Mr. Clark’s demeanor changed completely and when he got to the board meeting it got worse. He became angry like he didn’t care what anyone else thought and for that the transferred him to a different school.
When he came back to be principle at Eastside at first he was in shock but as soon as he walked in to talk to all the administrators and teachers he was really mean. In my personal opinion he needed to be mean but in a good way, firm and intense because if not the teachers and administrator would not take him seriously. I liked that in some parts of the movie he had an edgy and risky attitude and that’s what Eastside needed for a revival.

2. Compare the situation Eastside before, after Mr. Clark left and when Mr. Clark returned.

Before | After | After | Clean | Dirty | Clean | Secure | Unsecure (violence, drugs, abuse etc.) | Secure- (minus violence, drugs, abuse etc.) | Well - organized | No organization- it looked nothing like a school. | Strongly organized, structured | Healthy learning environment | No learning – looked like a zoo. | Once again a healthy learning environment |

3. Describe the types of students that there was at Eastside when Mr. Clark becomes principle.

In the movie when Mr. Clark returns to Eastside the student were, in one word, horrible. There was a scene in the beginning of the movie where the students just got out of class and there is chaos in the hallways. One girl, in the scene walked into the bathroom and a group of girls ganged up on her and basically took the top of her outfit. This poor girl walked out of the bathroom with no shirt and bra and at that moment a teacher grabbed her shirt from the bullies and covered her with it, but that’s not all. There was also a student who was harassing the teacher who grabbed the girl that lost her shirt. Therefore, with this example alone, the students were uncontrollable, in other words animals.

4. Describe the types of teachers that worked at Eastside High.

The teacher at Eastside High I’m sure were not bad teachers. They teachers at Eastside looked to me like the didn’t know how to control there classrooms. The teachers in the beginning of the movie seemed to be scared of the students. I thought it’s supposed to be the other way around? To the middle end of the movie you can teachers were more in control. Overall the teachers were people who were there basically because of the money, they weren’t teaching so why else would they be in the school?

5. What decisions did Mr. Clark have to make in order to reform the school, the students, and the teachers?

School | Teachers | Students | In order to reform Eastside he made the decision of locking the doors with chains so no one can come in or out of the school and harm the student or teachers, keeping the school safe. This also was a risk because all though it was a good idea it was a safety, which is why the fire marshal had to get involved. | Decision: He made Mr. Darnell the assistant football coach instead of the head football coach because he was sick of the football team getting dragged all over the field. This involved demoting Mr. Darnell, which was a risk because he could have lost an English teacher and a football coach if Mr. Darnell decided to quit. | Mr. Clark decided to kick out all the students who were causing trouble in the school. (Drug dealers, abusers, students who were there for more then 4 years). The risk of this choice he made was that, some of these students where very troubled and if one of these students decided to hold a grudge and find a way to hurt Mr. Clark that would have be unfortunate. |

6. What did you learn by watching this movie and in what ways can you take advantages of what you saw in the movie?

I learned a lot of aspects in this movie but there were a couple things that really stood out to me. First thing that I learned was that not every student is the same. Mr. Clark had to find a way to understand each student because they all had different issues. For example, Kenisha, the girl who he used to be principle of in elementary school that girl seemed like she was a great person but if Mr. Clark would have never took his time to talk to her and listen to her he would have never known that she was having problems at home. We have to listen to our students and let them also talk and dialogue because you may be asking yourself a question about one of your students and that student probably was trying to answer it all along but you as a teacher never took the time to listen. Another thing I learned in this movie was that not everyone has a reason to want or need to learn. Not every student you get in your classis going to be motivated and not because they don’t want to but because they are being influenced by other people and that’s there definition of motivation. For example the chubby kid who’s name was Sams. When you first saw Sams in the movie he looked like all the other kids on stage, part of the group of people who were wasting Mr. Clarks time. After Mr. Clark kicked Sams out of school with the rest of the “worthless” group Sams came back the next day to talk to Mr. Clark about getting back into school. Sams was one of those students who didn’t know how to do the whole school thing. He just needed some direction and motivation and he ended up being a good student. Sometimes we’re going to have students like Sams that just need a little push and motivation to learn. Just like the movie Lean on Me it could be that we fall at school like Eastside high that needs reformation. Or we might be at a school that is great and doesn’t need any changes. Just know that no matter where you fall our main focus, as teachers are our students. When I become a teacher I want to make sure I motivate my students to do better and to always be a helping hand and listen to what my students need.

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