Rafe is a visionary in the fact that he wants to make his entire class feel like Americans, and how he sees great potential in children from disadvantaged homes. At the beginning of the film he said, “I want these kids to be Americans.” I think this a noble dream especially since he said most of his students are Asian or Hispanic, and English is a second language for them, so it’s a noble dream to want them to be good Americans. I found it very unique that he had fifth graders reading high school level readings like “To Kill a Mockingbird.” That’s actually one of my favorite books, so I was pretty shocked seeing these ten year olds reading it. I think it is very effective the way he incorporates reading in his class to help his students grasp the English language better, since they do speak English as a second language. It was interesting the way he taught math to them as well. I loved how he included music in the classroom. I wish I had been taught how to play the guitar when I was in the fifth grade like those students were. I’m not sure what to think about the money system his class used. The whole idea of it bothered me a little. I would have to see it in person to draw my conclusion on the whole use of the system. I thought his dedication and passion to his job was inspiring at times.
What I found troubling about Rafe was that he seems to have become a superstar among the teaching community. And the part that troubled me was when he said they stay in nice hotels and eat good meals to show the students what kind of life they can have if they continue to work hard. I believe at one point he said, “I want them to have the good life now”, and this troubled me because I don’t believe staying in nice hotels, or eating fancy meals is the key to the good life. He was sending them a mixed message I thought. It seemed like he was trying to show them that it shouldn’t matter what type of clothes we wear, or how we style our hair, but then he is saying it matters where we live, and where we eat. I mean didn’t he say that it was ridiculous that society tells us what to wear, what music to listen to, etc?
Well, I find it ridiculous that he’s telling ten year olds to imitate wealthy individuals, because that’s the only way they could led the good life. To me he was being a little bit of a hypocrite. Therefore, in my opinion he’s a visionary and a hypocrite. I think in the beginning he started off as a visionary with a noble dream, but he let fame clout his vision and ended up looking like a hypocrite at the end of the film.
My goals for next year are to continue to raise my GPA, and I hope to be on the Dean’s list a few times next year.