Film 2 - To Be and To Have

Movies that Will Inspire You:
Learning to See the Child Who is Not Yet There
Film 2 – To Be and To Have

Film number two captures the essence of another teacher who has been able to see and hold the vision of what a child can be and do. This film is readily available on Netflix and other venues. Public libraries often have a good selection of films, or you can rent them or even buy your favorites through

This exquisite film is little known in the United States. The highest grossing documentary in France, the film was made to show the best, most nurturing school the filmmakers could find. It is about a one-room, rural school in France, taught by a dedicated teacher from Spain who dearly loves his students. He is a man who clearly has a great deal of experience and can very ingeniously keep children at many different levels working on what they need to accomplish.

The school is composed of children of different ages, and we see each one of them at work under the teacher’s loving supervision. He is not a Montessori teacher, but what he does is take advantage of each child’s individuality and mode of operating. The film shows not only the teacher’s classroom work, but also his attention to the details of the children’s lives and how they interact with their families. He extends himself beyond the confines of the classroom into the lives of his students and the entire village.

The image captured above is of one of the film’s most delicious moments. Little JoJo is learning how to wash his hands thoroughly and to stay on task when his mind wanders all over the place, especially to a wasp flying around his classroom. His wise and steady teacher brings him back to the work at hand and helps him achieve a victory. If you know about Montessori and the benefits of practical life activities, you will notice how carefully the teacher lets JoJo know exactly what he needs to do.

His concluding interview clearly shows the tremendous passion for teaching this man has brought to the children fortunate enough to have him as their teacher. It is a surprisingly entertaining and refreshing couple of hours. Enjoy!

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