March 28, 2018
Last week, I experienced a wonderful movie demonstration of human courage and compassion about teaching values. We went to a theater 30 miles away to see a movie from India named “Hichki” (English equivalent “Hiccup”), which portrayed a person who grew up with a disease named “Tourette Syndrome”. The movie was adapted from a real life story of Brad Cohen, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, an American motivational speaker, teacher, school administrator, and author who has severe Tourette Syndrome. Cohen described his experiences growing up with the condition in his book, Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had. The book has been made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie titled Front of the Class.
The movie “Hichki” changed and made it a story of a girl named Naina Mathur (well acted by Rani Mukerji) who also grew up with “Tourette Syndrome”, and persisted in becoming a teacher. The movie focused more on the Teaching part of her life. It showed how she inspired a batch of students to overcome a different set of disadvantages – economic and prejudicial – in learning and progressing in the highschool to next level of education. The dynamics of interaction between a teacher with a handicap and a student group with another type of handicap was very interesting. Initially, the students viewed the teacher, as not worth the time and deserving the respect. The teacher also did not have an answer about how to motivate the students to study. The movie took us into a journey of growth of the teacher and also the students, earning the respect and love from each other. At some point, it felt like the “Tourette Syndrome” was not as critical challenge compared to building the relationship between the teacher and the students. The movie depicted importance of both the teacher and the teaching profession in a good society.
I did not know about Brad Cohen story till the next day after seeing the movie. I looked it up about him while searching on the Google and Wikipedia. I saw the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie “Front of the Class” on YouTube. You will be able to see both movies depicting human courage and compassion in all characters – the parents, teachers, friends – as well as the stereotype reactions of some others.
I would encourage you to see both movies and be inspired. You will have a new perspective about the teachers.