Saturday, November 21, 2009


‘Freedom Writers’ is a movie that I had watched for the first time during the class last week. The protagonist of this story is Ms.Gruwell or also known as Ms.G by the students. She is a daughter, a wife and a teacher. The story mostly took place at the classroom and the school. Ms Gruwell is a new teacher in the school, which have a racist problem among the students. Beside that, the senior teachers in that school was just ignored the students’ behaviors. They have not put an effort to change the students’ behaviors and their racist problems. They assumed that the students don’t really want to study and the students go to school just because they have been asked to do so by their family. Therefore, the senior teachers just teach the students only for the sake of teaching. However, things changed when Ms.Gruwell came and teach in the school. She has been teaching the students in the lowest grade. She has makes many improvements for the students and have slowly solved the racist problems among the students.
There are many things that can bee seen from this story on the perspectives of a teacher. One of them is an interactive classroom. In this movie, Ms.Gruwell has tried to get her students’ attention by started to have an interaction with the students. She asked some questions about the students’ life to make them participate. As we know, an interactive classroom makes a better learning environment as the teacher encourage and make the students to participate as equal partners in an ongoing discovery process. Ms. Gruwell also makes an activity in the classroom which is a game, started by the teacher asked few questions related to the students’ life. At the end of it, the activities that have been carried out facilitate learning interaction between the students. The teacher, Ms.Gruwell also has asked the students to write their own diaries, and they are free to write anything about their life. She also has asked the students to read a novel which can be related to their history life, their past life. These tasks have made the students to interact with the teachers and among them at one point of time. At the later part, Ms.Gruwell has brought her students for a trip to the museum, and has invited a few people of history to meet the students. These activities have also facilitated wider interaction for the students beyond the classroom where the students have chances to interact with the people of history.
The second thing that I can see is classroom management. Ms. Gruwell was a bit shocked when at first time she entered the classroom, which the students were all noisy, keep talking with each other in their own gang and some of them busy doing their own stuff. They were ignored the existence of the teacher in the classroom. The students were sitting within their own gang or races. They don’t mix at all and one cannot touch and talked with the other who is in the other races or gang. This situation was complicated, even when the teacher started to tell something, the students just ignored it. It was not easy for a new teacher to cope with this situation. However, Ms.Gruwell has managed to solve this problem slowly. She has a very good classroom management skill. She has changed the sitting of the students, where the most aggressive students she asked to sit in front and vice versa. Other than that, the students have not pay attention while the teacher was teaching. One situation happened where a student has drew a picture of a person and past it over around the floor and they have laughed, until the teacher realized on what was happened. The teacher has managed to control the situation where she told the student who drew the picture to make some drawings on the board because that student might have a good talent in drawings. This is how that I think a teacher should do in order to make the students feel shame on what they did.
Last but not least, the other important thing that I can see is the students’ motivation. The students have very low motivation due to their background, the history of their life. They have no motivation to success, to be a good person and even they only told their oneself to take revenge on what they have gone through in their life. The teacher has instilled a motivation to the students slowly. She has motivated the students intrinsically. She motivates the students by talks to them about the history, and emphasis on the importance of each life and also the importance of being tolerate and have a peaceful life. Ms. Gruwell has also make the students discover the history and brought them to the museum, and they found that everyone need each other no matter who they are and what race they are. The teacher also has motivates the students by make them being visited by the people of history, a person who have give an impact in their life to improve their own self. The teacher has given each of the students a book for them to read which have being bought by the teacher’s own money. The activity of food sale for fund raising also make the students motivated to work and help each other to achieve what they want. By completely changed in students’ behaviors, the teacher has made a small party in class to appreciate and celebrate for their changed. This is the extrinsic motivation that the teacher gave to the students.
Basically, this movie covered how to cope with aggressive students, who have very low motivation and thus make them being a bad student. With all the skills and knowledge that we have, as a teacher, we can manage to cope with these kinds of situations. It can be said here that, as a teacher, we must have many skills to encounter many situations that we might face and we must make ourselves prepared for that. A teacher not only teach, but must be an effective and excellent teacher, being loved by the students and being as an inspiration to the students.

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