Gruwell teaches tolerance and development

Remember last week when I mentioned that our teachers don’t have to inspire us like Sandra Bullock in the movie, “Freedom Writers”? Well I have decided to retract that statement for two reasons. First, Hillary Swank, not Bullock, played the teacher in “Freedom Writers,” and second, teachers should inspire their students to want to learn like that.

If you don’t have the will and dedication to learn, technical training is useless. In this case, personal growth is key in the classroom.

If you have never seen the movie, you should see it and decide for yourself. A new teacher, Erin Gruwell, takes on an entire class of “unteachable” students in Long Beach, Calif. Through what some call unorthodox methods of teaching, she takes her students from not caring about their education to graduating high school. Some even continue on and graduate college.

She also taught them tolerance, compassion and other valuable life lessons that didn’t necessarily pertain to a degree.

It’s an inspirational film that makes it obvious why personal growth in the classroom is as important as job training. Did I mention that this is a true story and there’s a real-life Erin Gruwell?

Well it is, and Gruwell will be at Tech at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Derryberry Auditorium. Tech’s Sociology Club is bringing this speaker, so students and faculty can learn from her. I suggest checking out this Center Stage event.

You can decide for yourself if personal growth is a key part of education, and you may even get extra credit from some of your teachers if you are one of those people who only care about their grades.