Anyone who knows me understands my deep love for anything from the 1940’s and 50’s. I have a deep respect for the people during this time and their resiliency. Last night during one of my Alfred Hitchcock marathons, I learned a new and interesting lesson about the greatest generation. For those of you who don’t know, Alfred Hitchcock is the king of suspense. From Psycho to The Birds, Vertigo to Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock understood how to create suspense without any special effects or fancy editing. Last night I watched Rear Window, a movie about a man who, while homebound due to a leg injury, becomes obsessed with looking out his window and observing his neighbors’ comings and goings. During this time he witnesses mysterious circumstances that lead him to deduce that one of his neighbors is a brutal murderer. Wow! It is suspenseful and a movie that I would highly recommend. But this movie is far more than a horror flick; it taught me an interesting lesson about teaching.
First, it taught me that in today’s day and age, teachers are competing with screens. Whether these screens belong to cell phones, computers, tablets, or TVs, teachers are fighting to be as entertaining as the enhanced images on the screen. So how do we cope? I think we could all take a lesson from Alfred Hitchcock. He didn’t have fancy technology at his fingertips. Instead, Alfred Hitchcock utilizes music to capture the viewer. He uses intriguing scenarios and characters. And, most importantly, he used his imagination. So as we enter the classroom use these “special” effects, play music and sing songs, act as funny characters, and place your students in interesting scenarios. Capture their attention with simple means.
The second lesson I learned from Alfred Hitchcock came specifically from Rear Window. During this movie, the main character has a front row seat to all the comings and goings of his neighbors: their hardships, their triumphs, and their secrets. Now, if there was an observer in your classroom logging your every move, do you think you would behave differently? Of course. But what this movie taught me is that there’s always someone watching. Whether it is our students, their parents, administration, or fellow teachers, the actions we take on a daily basis may seem simple, but they do not go unnoticed. Be the best teacher you can be every minute of every day. The actions we take are being cataloged.
You can find inspiration for teaching everywhere. Open your eyes and let the examples around you teach you how to be the best teacher you can be.