Freedom Writers gets Two Thumbs Up!

Okay, I am probably the last STAR DEN member to see Freedom Writers.  I finally broke down and rented it last night.

Freedom Writers with Hillary Swank is one of the best "teacher" movies I’ve ever seen.  Let’s just set the record straight.  I do not cry at movies.  I’ve learned the technique of looking at the ceiling for a few seconds to break away from my emotions.  With Freedom Writers I was reaching for tissues three times!

I won’t give any of the plot away (in case there really are other teachers who have not seen the movie).  But here’s the theme: Swank plays a new freshman English teacher in a high school taken over by gangs.  By the time the credits are rolling, we learn that the real Mrs. Gruewell has started a program to recreate her results in schools across the country.

That would be a great DEN event!

I rank this movie right up with others like Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dangerous Minds, The Emporer’s Club, and The Dead Poet’s Society as one of my all-time education-related movies.

As we near the end of an academic year and kids are sometimes bouncing off walls, if you want to remember why you teach, I highly recommend this movie!



  1. Teryl Magee, TN DEN LC Chair said:


    You’re not the last! I haven’t seen it, but I had heard it was great. I love the idea of a movie night for events…maybe we can get our events team to get this in the works!

  2. Lee Kolbert said:

    I have not seen the movie but I just attended a conference and heard Erin Gruwell speak. She was smart, adorable and very engaging. She even brought along one of her “Freedom Writers” students to help sign copies of the books. Her book is the next one on my list to read. You can visit Freedom Writers site here:

    It would be even better for the DEN to organize an event where we could interact with Erin Gruwell. How cool would that be?

  3. L Tucker said:

    OK, OK….I read your recommendation of Freedom Writers and put the movie on my Netflix list. Watched it this weekend and found myself blotting tears at least 2.5 times. Great movie. Reminds me of why I became a teacher. I must be a child of the 60’s! LT

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