The Christmas Film That Inspired Me To Become a Teacher


Ok. Confession time. The above picture is highly misleading.

I was in the first year of an Arts degree, and like many teenagers, wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do.  I hadn’t even given teaching a moments thought.  Too many bad memories from my own school days to give teaching a single speck of consideration.  But then one night I happened to watch the Jimmy Stewart classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and within hours that all changed.

The movie portrayed a character on the edge of his tether who attempts suicide when he realises he is worth more dead than alive.  Enter an angel named Clarence who shows him how he, without even realising it, touched the lives of the people around him.  Everyone wants to leave the world having achieved something – having made the lives of others more enjoyable and secure.  I started thinking about what I could do to make a contribution to society and in what area is there a need for someone with my limited talents.  Within two hours I went from never coming close to considering teaching to having the burning desire to teach.  This desire kept intensifying throughout the rest of my Arts degree and the Teaching degree that followed.  My passion has never cooled.  Actually, I love teaching more every day.

I’m interested to find out what inspired you to become a teacher.  Was it due to a brilliant teacher you had growing up?  Was it out of a love for a subject like Maths or Music?  Did you just want to offer the next generations something better than you had growing up?

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link. Thankfully, he has nothing to do with the utter disaster that is Christmas with the Kranks.

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6 Responses to “The Christmas Film That Inspired Me To Become a Teacher”

  1. theteachingwhore Says:

    A few of my favorite teacher films are The Corn is Green (the old one with Bette Davis) and Up the Down Staircase. The one-on-one teaching that Davis does in that movie is exactly what I would love to be able to do all the time.

  2. SBT Says:

    It was my undergraduate advisor and Theatre History instructor that did it for me. He was the first teacher I ever had who treated me like I was smart and had something to offer the world. When I went to him my senior year in college and asked how I could ever repay him for everything he’d done for me he simply said: “Pass it on.” That’s when I realized he’d been grooming me for a career in education and instilled a burning desire to “pass it on.”

    I know what you mean about “It’s a Wonderful Life,” though. I watch it every year and it never ceases to inspire me to strive to do good.

  3. Michael G. Says:

    Thanks for your replies. The “Pass it on” concept is such an important one.
    I have yet to see The Corn is Green. I love films about teaching, so I’m going to try and see it.

  4. Novroz Says:

    You’re a teacher just like me 🙂
    But we have different movies that inspired us. The one that inspired me is Japanese TV Series called Let’s Go To School.
    I wanted to have a teacher that can be closed with student, I never met that kind of teacher. So now, I am giving that to my students.
    If you are interested to know more about Dorama:

  5. The Teen Toolbox Blog Says:

    I decided to become a social worker instead of a teacher but I have been working in school-based programs for ten years. I have shared the movies “Coach Carter” and “Freedom Writers” with many students. My inspiration to choose social work was because of a dedicated teacher.

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