Academy for Success

Ep20 Positive Cinematic Spotlight: Soul

Ep20 Positive Cinematic Spotlight: Soul

Soul is about middle school band teacher Joe Gardner who dreams of becoming a jazz musician. He gets the opportunity to play with jazz great Dorothea Williams. But an accident leads to his death, but he’s not ready to die, not when he was just about to live his dream of becoming a jazz musician. This leads to the events of the movie. Jamie Foxx provides the voice of Joe and Angela Bassett voices Dorothea. Tina Fey also stars as the voice of 22. Yep, there’s a character called 22. There’s a point in the movie where Joe is again able to live his dream and play jazz with Dorothea Williams, but he doesn’t feel as excited as he thought he would. Dorothea then tells him a story. “I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to this older fish and says, ‘I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.’ ‘The ocean?’ says the older fish. ‘That’s what you’re in right now.’ ‘This?’ says the young fish, ‘This is water. What I want is the ocean.’” It occurred to me, as I processed the events of January 6, trying to learn what I could about what happened at Capitol Hill, trying to see things from other people’s point of view, that many Americans are like the young fish in Dorothea’s story. They were looking for something, many wanting to be heard and their doubts about the election acknowledged, but they didn’t realize that what they wanted was already there. They already had what they wanted. Politicians were objecting to the Electoral Votes on their behalf. But they had been convinced that they were not being listened to. Similarly, many have viewed the 2020-2021 school year as hit and miss, and not quite meeting desires or expectations. But if we step back and look, we can see that, while it may not be the manner in which we wanted it, we do have everything we desire in this school year. We are able to teach and reach our students better now than ever before. Yes, we absolutely want our students in our classrooms, but we also want everyone to remain safe. Our technology allows us to do just that. It may not be perfect, but whatever form your classroom takes, whether it’s 100% virtual, or hybrid, or 100% face to face but behind plexi-glass shields and face masks, we are still able to teach the students we love and help them grow and develop into successful students. We can remain positive and see all that growth we have accomplished in the past year to better be able to reach and teach our students in a wider variety of situations and formats and addressing more needs than ever before, or we can be distracted by the pessimists and the negative propaganda that we are not fulfilling our obligations. But as 2021 I feel it’s important to focus on what we have achieved, what we are able to do and that this is what we want to do… a little different than how we want, but still a successful, albeit rocky, shift in education to protect student and staff health while continuing to guide our future leaders into adulthood. I want to thank everyone for all that you do, thank you for being the best, and thank you for the heart and soul you put into your teaching. Happy New Years!

Duration: 19 min

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