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The Foreword

What Movies Do Allderdice Teachers Play in Classrooms Before Winter Break?

What Movies Do Allderdice Teachers Play in Classrooms Before Winter Break?

All year, students work hard in their classes and teachers work hard instructing these classes. However, there is one day everyone can look forward to and no, it’s not the last day of school or the day before fall break, it’s the day before winter break. This day is a notoriously special one to students hoping for a free day because in most classes at Allderdice teachers resort to games, Kahoot, and best of all: movies. 

English teachers, Mr. Parker and Ms. Ferraro, both show the movie Elf in their classrooms before winter break. Elf, a classic Christmas comedy film starring Will Ferrell, follows a man who was raised in the North Pole as an elf. He discovers that he is different from the other elves, because he is a grown man, and goes to New York City to reunite with his birth father. Both Allderdice teachers show this film largely because it is a fun, lighthearted movie, with Mr. Parker saying, “No matter what part you watch in a 40-minute class period there are some quality belly laughs.” He also says that his original reason for showing it is because many years ago it was one of the few movies he had on DVD at home that came in both a widescreen and normal DVD, meaning he could take one copy to school and leave one at home. Now it has become a tradition in his classroom. Ms. Ferrero enjoys the “wackiness of Will Ferrell.” The movie helps teachers end the year on a happy, lighthearted note.

Home Alone is another popular movie choice among teachers at Allderdice. The Home Alone franchise is comprised of arguably the two most iconic Christmas movies. The first movie follows a young boy, Kevin, who is accidentally left home alone during Christmas while his family goes on vacation. Unfortunately, two incompetent robbers plan to break into Kevin’s house. Kevin must devise a set of booby traps and deterrents in his home to stop the robbers until his family returns. Mr. Hoffer had a lot to say about showing this classic film in his class, “I like the silliness of the violence against the bad guys.” Additionally, home alone gives teachers the perfect opportunity to teach about self-sufficiency and confidence. The main character is forced to deal with a scary and difficult situation all on his own and ultimately grows as a person because of it.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is another iconic holiday movie that perfectly encapsulates winter’s cozy mood. The movie is a fun Christmas movie based on the comic strip Peanuts. The protagonist, Charlie Brown, is upset about the materialism of the Christmas season while his friend Lucy suggests that he direct the school Christmas pageant. Unfortunately, it is a frustrating struggle for him, so he gets help from his friend, Linus. Math teacher Mr. Deuschle shows this movie because of the obstacle that Charlie Brown must overcome and how it is representative of the obstacles students may encounter in his math class. Additionally, it’s a lighthearted movie that students can causally watch while working on other assignments.

Some teachers, however, show less conventional holiday movies. For example, Mr. Pacheco and Ms. McGonagle show Klaus and Joyeux Noel respectively. Mr. Pacheco plays the movie Klaus because, unlike many other Christmas movies, it takes a more in-depth look into Santa as a person. Mr. Pacheco enjoys its unique nature and how it humanizes Santa’s character. Joyeux Noel (a French greeting that means “Merry Christmas”) is another unique Christmas movie because it is based on a true story. It takes place during World War I around Christmas time, showing how bonds and relationships can prevail in the face of hardship. Ms. McGonagle is a French teacher and she shows this because it “shows  hope and goodness of humanity.”

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