Top 10 Inspirational movies for Teachers and Students

With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor today there has been clips from some of the biggest movies of all time across the media and this got me thinking about the greatest movies that are out there to inspire teachers and students.

The first list comes from the undisputed bible of all things film, TV and Cinema, IMDB


Stand and Deliver (1988)
A dedicated teacher inspires his dropout prone students to learn calculus to build up their self-esteem and do so well that they are accused of cheating. (103 mins.)
Director: Ramon Menendez
“ never believe that students are unable to learn. Instead of teaching to the lowest common denominator, Edward James Olmos in a true story as Jaime Escalante sets his sights much higher, getting them to pass the AP Calculus exam. Excellent, enjoyable choice. ” - ejazasi
Dangerous Minds (1995)
An ex-marine teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city schools. (99 mins.)
Director: John N. Smith
“ Michelle Pfeiffer is excellent as real-life former marine Louanne Johnson. ” - ejazasi
Lean on Me (1989)
The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school that he is determined to improve. (108 mins.)
“ I wish if more Principals stressed the importance of discipline and learning in their schools as he did. This film shows the importance of having strong leadership at the top. ” - ejazasi
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher. (143 mins.)
Director: Stephen Herek
“ This memorable movie gives all teachers hope that they truly have an impact on their students. Richard Dreyfuss is wonderful as a musician/composer who must take a teaching job to support his family. ” - ejazasi
Dead Poets Society (1989)
English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. (128 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ The central message of the movie, to live life to the fullest everyday, is not lost. Further, Williams' poetry recitations are awe-inspiring. ” - ejazasi
The Miracle Worker (1962)
The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate. (106 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
“ Very few people can watch the famous 'water' scene without experiencing a feeling of triumph and relief. ” - ejazasi
Music of the Heart (1999)
Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids. (124 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
“ This film shows the influence that one person's drive and vision can have on others. ” - ejazasi




Here are a couple more  to take a look at

Top 10 Inspirational movies for teachers and students

Rama's Screen Top 10


Be sure to let us know what we missed on these lists.


Famous Educational Quotes to Inspire your Students

Luckily there have been smarter people than myself to say inspirational words of wisdom to help get people motivated.

Some make perfect sense - and some are total BS.  But I'll leave you to filter...

Below are a few that might come in handy next time you need to dig deep.

**Update:  FEB 2012**  We have just created an entire section for educational quotes with far more than is on this page. It can be found here.

  • Horace Mann
  • Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.
  • Aristotle
  • The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.
  • C. S. Lewis
  • The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
  • Albert Einstein
  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
  • Helen Keller
  • The highest result of education is tolerance.
  • Victor Hugo
  • He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
  • Jim Rohn
  • Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
  • Henry Brooks Adams
  • A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The secret in education lies in respecting the student.
  • 'No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. We need to see the world anew.' Albert Einstein
  • 'Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting the different results' Albert Einstein.
  • 'Some people would rather die than think'. Bertrand Russell
  • 'If we always do what we've always done, we will get what we've always got.' Adam Urbanski
  • 'One can never consent to creep when one feels the compulsion to soar'. Helen Keller
  • 'Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.' Oliver Wendell Holmes Jnr
  • 'Ten geographers who think the world is flat will tend to reinforce each others errors….Only a sailor can set them straight'. John Ralston Saul, 'Voltaire's Bastards'.

40 inspirational movie quotes in two minutes