The camera lies - but it brings things into focus

10th May 2013 at 01:00

Tom Bennett claims that his "greatest pleasure is hugging myself with joy" when he spots something in a film that does not depict the reality of teaching - a lack of photocopying, say, or no detentions to be supervised. Well, what a miserable, supercilious approach. Richard Linklater, the director of School of Rock, himself says: "Unless it's a sequel, remake or over-the-top comedy, that's all the studios are even doing. They've kind of admitted they're not in the business of doing anything else. The slightest level of irony or intelligence and, boom, you're out of the league, you're done."

School of Rock doesn't suggest that being wacky is the best way of teaching - in fact, it is clear that Jack Black's character (pictured above) is on the whole a terrible teacher - but what it does say is that children need stimulation, creativity and a challenge. Black's character also challenges prejudice, laziness and low expectations. I use this film in lessons to discuss attitudes to teaching and teachers in fiction. So, Mr Bennett, do this film the politeness of at least watching it to the end.

Lyn Lockwood, Secondary English teacher, Sheffield.

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